Moist, and other words people dislike

Apparently, a lot of people hate the word "moist." They also hate "hate," "no," "like," and "impossible." This, according to an essay by Ben Zimmer of the Visual Thesaurus. From his post:
Many people feel quite strongly about moist – there's even a Facebook group called called "I HATE the word MOIST!" with more than 300 members. One Facebooker calls moist "possibly the worst word in the English dictionary," while another says, "I despise the sick, repugnant word!" It's hard to top the aversion felt for moist, but some other Visual Thesaurus "least favorites" can provoke similar reactions: panty/panties, vomit, ointment, and slacks.

It's difficult to find any unifying thread for these words that get people's goat. But much like the enjoyable words on the "favorites" list like serendipity and mellifluous, there's a certain sound/sense combination that sparks these word aversions. Why does moist merit a Facebook group of haters, while hoist and joist go unnnoticed? It's more than just the sound of the word: the disliked words tend to have some basic level of ickiness. As I told the Albany Times Union, this ickiness can have to do with slimy stuff, bodily discharge, or other things that people would prefer not to think about. Icky words include nostril, crud, pus, and pimple. Ointment and goiter share the "oi" sound with moist: there must be something about that diphthong that gets under people's skin.
"Which Words Do You Love and Which Do You Hate?" (Thanks, Tara McGinley!)


  1. i must say the word “um” really gets under my skin. when someone is talking and in between sentences you hear a lot of “um” – it’s a big pause and is just really annoying. i agree that “like” is also pretty bad. an old boss once told me that i used “like” too much because i didn’t stop to think about what i was saying before i opened my mouth. i kind of agree with that.

  2. I most dislike the word “no”, but that’s probably just because so many people feel the right to use the word to kill so many other peoples dreams.

  3. The hatred of ‘moist’ is at least in some cases an indication that one is a fan of the now-defunct TV series Dead Like Me. The main character’s mother hated the word, so the main character used it whenever possible. She regretted this after she died though.

    There’s also a song from a show I saw once called “You Make Me Moist.” But that’s enough on THAT topic!

  4. For the record, moist is a fine word when you’re talking about chocolate cake or brownies. My least favorite word would have to be greedy.

  5. worst sentence: “would you like some moist ointment for your pustules” I gotta say..pustules..way worse than moist.

  6. I dislike “pulchritude,” partly because the sound of it doesn’t do the definition justice, and because it sounds like you’re puking chunks.

  7. Since I was a kid I’ve hated the word “uncomfortable.” It just makes me feel, well, uncomfortable.

    @ #3: I’m with ya on “Moons Over My Hammy!” I’ve always wanted to order that at Denny’s just so I could say it!

  8. I think some people aren’t getting this. It’s words you hate regardless of definition or what it represents. I don’t think the moist-haters want everything dry, moist just has a nasty sound to it.

    as bargaining

  9. Moist and Ointment are my favorite words of all time. Especially when Gilbert Gottfried uses them in a sentence.

  10. Personally, I think the English language was invented just so Gilbert Gottfried could say “Is the ointment moist?”

    Just sayin’…

  11. It seems like the preferences are based on the words’ meaning more than the phonetics. Then they don’t really dislike the word as much as the concept.

    I tend to love (or dislike) words more because of their sound or how they look written down:

    I like:

    Tornado (sounds like it should be a pastry or something)

    But since the rating seems to be very emotionally-based, I’m even more surprised ‘moist’ was rated so low: I would think it would bring to mind sex and, as mentioned by #6, fresh cake or bread… Very good things, no? ;)

    Cool topic!

  12. So I put this moist ointment on, but it made me vomit all over my slacks and got on my panties.


  13. Panties – that’s an interesting one to dislike. I don’t care much for Tom Robbins, but the constant panty references aren’t the reason.

    It hadn’t previously occured to me that I do actually dislike “slacks” – not just slacks, but “slacks” (almost as bad as “khakis”). Which is somewhat odd because I do like the word “slack” in contexts such as “slacking off”, or just “there’s about a foot of slack in the rope”.

  14. And what’s wrong with ‘panties’?? Say it out loud in a cheery voice: *panties*

    This list is suspiciously puritan…

  15. I’ve never understood the big dislike for the word ‘moist’ and wonder if people feel the same way about ‘moisture’.

    While I don’t consider myself a grammar nut, I absolutely cringe when I hear people end thoughts with, “.. and stuff like that.”

    It makes otherwise smart sounding people sound dumb as dirt. Dumb as dry dirt.

  16. “Inappropriate”

    Maybe not the word itself, but how it’s used, I hate.

    And.. “Express / Feelings”

    When an art teacher (with the best possible intentions) asks kids to “just express yourselves” or explains that art is about “expressing your feelings”, they immediately close off art to a majority of children. Not only because “feelings” and expressing them is a somewhat wishy-washy concept for most kids, but also because kids don’t really know what expression is (beyond the wishy washy bit). It’s like they haven’t separated their feelings from themselves yet, so they can’t see them as an observable thing (my vague theory).

    I was always creative. I went to two art schools, released music, worked as a web/graphic designer for years, studied classical animation and am now studying computer animation.. and I can honestly say, I didn’t understand “express yourself” until years later (like only a couple of years ago).

    I found out that taking the ideas inside your head, and making them concrete outside your head was “expressing yourself” (or a substantial part of it, anyway). And that drawing an aggressive, metaller picture, or an exciting action picture (or some emo/goth dark side thing) was a part of “expressing your feelings” too. Of course there are far more nuanced and accurate definitions of “expression”, but most kids don’t get that.

    Art teachers would be two steps ahead if they laid off using that whole express/feelings angle, and just said, “draw whatever you want” or “imagine X, now draw it how you imagine it” (again, I know art teaching is far more nuanced than how I’m portraying it, but this is my rant, dammit!)


  17. I hate the word ‘medipak’. Which isn’t really a word, unless you play video games, but the point stands.

    I attribute this to many painful years as a child in church listening to preachers spit into the mic.. pretty much any word with a harsh ‘p’ sound in it drives me nuts.

  18. It’s like they haven’t separated their feelings from themselves yet, so they can’t see them as an observable thing (my vague theory).

    That ability to step from the subjective to the objective, in my experience, is one that not many people have.

  19. “wife”. Can’t explain it, but it’s up there. It just sounds so old-womanish to me, while for some reason “husband” is fine…

  20. OK, If it about the actual word, and not it’s meaning, I have one that really sets me off :)

    I HATE the word “butt”, when describing a posterior (unfortunately, a specifically American/Canadian phrase, so no hard feelings).

    As a word, it has a hard end (double t), and feels far better as a descriptor for the butt of a gun, than a cushy human bottom. It is too solid and hard-ended, it isn’t complimentary (to the concept) at all.

    You hear people using it in ways that it actually ruins the emotion of their sentence (to my ear). “Wow, look at the sexy buTT on that woman.” “Sit your buTT down here, and let me..” Or some such. Yuk!


    Bum, bummmm, buh-mmm-mmm says everything you need it to. It’s like yum, and tum(my). Butt has none of the warmmm currrves that bummmmm has. Bum is a far superior word for both sexy and casual usage :)

    I hate butt. And ass I can appreciate (in its place). But I love bum.

    Mmmm, bummm.

  21. No less that 2 TV shows have characters that hate the word moist. Lilly Aldrin from “How I Met Your Mother”, and Joy Lass from “Dead Like Me”. Both are great shows by the way.

  22. whats the problem with ‘moist’?
    i can’t stand portmanteaus and any other cutesy fake words. they were ruined forever after the Celebrity Couple Renaming Disaster of 2007, but they were already on a fast track to hell with ‘webinar’, ‘podcast’ and ‘dramedy’

  23. I don’t care for ‘steampunk’ or ‘credenza’. (All ‘steampunk’ posts on bb are bypassed!) Slaaaacks

  24. i groove on words that are pleasant falling off your tongue: ubiqutious, doppleganger,
    superfluous, succulent, abominable…. & those are merely of the english variety.

    even the lazy, abhorring words are entertaining if you limit the word to how it sounds like the way the constantant & syllables crash into one another like in *punani*…or the brut force of the word *cnt*


  25. Damn Bob, I was all ready to totally disagree with you, but the examples you listed, and the whole celebrity couple name fiasco, has me pondering a little more.

    I love lots of portmanteaus (bit, pixel, automagical, cyborg), but I’ll give you some leeway on those ones.. It seems to be the wanky corporate ones that annoy the most. Like edutainment and infomercial.

  26. I don’t like the word MOIST, but it’s not for the sound of it. I just don’t like the shape my mouth makes when I say it.

    I’m also not a fan of LULL. Saying it is a little like choking.

  27. I hate how newscasters are using the word “that” nowadays, in instances when they used to say “the”. “More news on THAT plane crash near Buffalo” or “Now some disturbing new details in that attack in Afghanistan”.


    My favorite is in the intro to The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric…that paternal voice and how he does that old-man-voice click at the end of “This is the CBS evening news with Katie Couric” sounds like he’s about ready to keel over!

    Oh, “brain fart” is another winner.

  28. Worst word ever: nugget.

    Even worse: a girl in my high school who was nicknamed “Nugget” by her mother, a high school english teacher.


  29. It really gets me steamed when which is switched wrongly for that: apoplectic, in fact, especially when it’s an American doing it to sound “smarter,” i.e., British. They’re not interchangeable, folks! Not the sound of the words so much, of course, but the mistaken senses the mistaken usages call up in my mind…. infuriating!

  30. Arkizzle: Add kick to it, however, and it kicks ass. You just can’t “kick bum” in the same way… =D

  31. I had some friends who had a band called “Moist Fist.” They were going for disturbing, and I find it hard to think of something more successful in that vein.

  32. I LOVE the word HATE. When my teeth grind and they grate. every moment I’m awake those bastards just make my brain and my body just cease and shake with violence that I wish to make. Oh how I ache.

    Yes hate is what I feel and no other word can deal with the potion of emotion that pours from my skin and into the air. Do they dare to press me, to mess with me? Yeah you. you lookin at me. I see , you over there, with your stare and your wink. I know what your thinkin.

    You think I’m what? … uh… but… well I guess I don’t mind. Sure… kinda. Maybe we could share a drink. That would be nice. Dammit. I HATE when they forget the ice.

  33. @#52: you find it hard to think of something more disturbing than “Moist Fist”? Ha – prepare yourself for a deluge of revolting suggestions in the comments to come! You might just vomit on your slacks from some suggestions, I’ll wager. I of course cannot think of anything because I am too pure of mind.

  34. ..he said moist…hahahha
    i love’s the word “penetration” that gets the “cringe” effect. I “used” it in my url…claypenetration (just to piss off my dad)…

  35. Years ago, I used to like “bro” as a term of familiarity and camaraderie. Not anymore. Not sure if it was the saturation/meaning creep or just that I grew up.

    Word abuse is my main linguistic hang-up. I like “belligerent” and “traumatic” for their own uses, but the way they are misused irritates the crap out of me. (FTR, if you haven’t conversed with unbright 20somthings in awhile, “belligerent” is used to mean “drunk”. Not even “aggressively drunk”, just “drunk”. “I got so bellige last night, bro!” How jejune. “Traumatic” is used to mean “embarassing”–“I farted in yoga class! It was so traumatic.” “Lipstick on my teeth? How traumatic!” Sure, if you lead a sheltered life, care about nothing outside your own experience, and have zero sense of proportion.)

  36. #44

    ubiquitous is one of my faves too. Translucent, ambiguous are a couple faves too off the top of my head. One that I never will forget to this day is quixotic (derived from quixote)

  37. Recent additions: twit and twitter. Somehow, twat belongs in there somewhere. Does a twit twitter or are they twittering twats?

  38. “Crispy.” You can’t argue that it’s a valid word, especially since the definition is, pretty much, “crisp.” I’m absolutely convinced that “crispy” is an invention of the advertising and packaging industry, since “crispy-crunchy” or “Krispy Kreme” roll off the tongue more easily than “crisp-crunchy” and so on.

    It’s starting to happen with “chocolatey” too; it’s being used in place of “chocolate.” Go to a supermarket and see how many kid-centric products are labeled “chocolatey chip.”

  39. oops, comment #s changed! I was referring to “Moist Fist”
    but I also hate “which” for “that”. really really hate it. and if it’s in writing, it gets switched in my head, and maybe i even have to cross it out on the page and FIX it

  40. Add decimate to the list of abused, now-meaningless words.

    Whom FTW, though. Long live whom!

  41. And while we’re being word dorks: italics for word-as-word usage, people! Neither quotation marks nor roman type will suffice!!! Grrrr….

  42. KingZilch

    Sounds like “chocolatey” doesn’t contain any chocolate. Like “truthy”, or “fruit flavoured drink”.

  43. Phike,

    I actually have nothing against ass (wait, am I naked?)..

    But if you flip the point, and compare kick-ass to kick-butt. Kick-butt is so limp compared to kick-ass.

    Even buttocks is better. Anything except butt :)

  44. Salve has always bothered me. I know of no other words that have a silent l in them. Also there are plenty of other words that mean the same thing and a far more common to use. It seems that you have to go out of your way to use this word on purpose.

    Balm is also troublesome. Words like balmy or embalm don’t inspire me to want to put it on my lips.

  45. Yeah, “moist” drives me crazy too. That and the word “meal” but only in printed form.

    I consumed a moist meal at the delicatessen.

  46. BobHughes

    I will probably get disemvoweled or banned or tased or something for saying this here, but your comment @#42 reminded me of a portmanteau word I have never liked.



    I absolutely hate it. It’s clumsy and rude. It’s an obnoxious kid walking in to my living room without being invited, plonking down on my couch, and saying, “Got any pretzels, dude?” while using my remote control to flick through the channels on my television. It’s a clump of fur in the sink drain. It’s an object you hit while driving because it was buried in the snow, and now your car has incurred damage $67 more than your deductible.

  47. Oh, you mean like in scare quotes? Quote for quotation mark is legit. Especially in an informal discussion. On the internet. About moist ointment.

  48. Arkie: Yeah, kick-ass beats kick-butt any day. But kick-bum is just plain wrong. If you use bum over here on this side of the pond to refer to your posterior people just look at you funny like a dog being shown a card trick.

    Sarah Neptune: Moist Fist, in the context of just sounding disturbing without necessarily evoking a disturbing image, like… say… Throbbing Gristle, is hard to beat. Please provide examples if you’ve got better.

    My nomination: jejune. I find this word lacking.

  49. Salve has always bothered me. I know of no other words that have a silent l in them.
    Balm is also troublesome.

    Hmm. Maybe this is a locality/accent thing, but I say the l in salve about the same amount (with a little different colouring) as I say it in balm.

    Is balm not another word with a silent l? Or do you actually not pronounce the l in salve, at all?

    (Doing my best not to use quotation marks as word-as-word signifier.)

  50. Oh, and thanks to whomever made Tdawwg’s head explode. I wish I had known it was so easy. ;D

  51. Phikus,

    Oh totally. I would normally say ass or arse in an everyday setting, and bum in a friendly/jokey/personal way.

    Bum was really just an example of why butt is a crap word.

    (Don’t know if I have the hang of the italics word-as-word thing yet..)

  52. Phikus: Could it be that you find jejune to be uninteresting, insubstantial, insipid… in a word, um, jejune? ::retreats beneath desk::

  53. TDawwg 52: That’s just one of those things which you should get over.

    RMS 67: “Now a pestering sister’s a festering blister; we kissed and all loyalty slipped. When she said I could have her her sister’s cadaver must surely have turned in its crypt!”

    TDawwg 69: I use single quotes for citation and double quotes for, well, quoting. So

    The word ‘chocolatey’ indicates a flavor like chocolate, but not actually containing any chocolate.


    When they say something is “chocolatey,” they mean…

    Anonymous 76: Salve has always bothered me. I know of no other words that have a silent l in them.

    How about ‘walk’ and ‘talk’? Or ‘balk’ and ‘stalk’? I can imagine, but have never heard, a dialect where those ells are pronounced, but I have heard the ell in ‘salve’, probably by people who read it without ever hearing it. I say it sometimes, but only when it’s a verb (here’s a little something to salve your ego) or when pronouncing the Latin word, which, truth be told, I use more often than the English one.

  54. Phikus@88: That would be me. I also commited first use of jejune upthread@59 so I seem to be winning hearts all over today.

  55. Isn’t ‘jejune’ just a French person’s way of declaring hirself to be the Spirit of Spring?

    (This goes in the same Fractured Français Dictionary that defines ‘Au bon Pain’ as “it hurts so good” and ‘coq au vin’ as “a truck carrying chocolate.”)

  56. I do so love a moist Kate Moss. I could have her moist all day. Moist with sweat. Moist with sea spray. Moist with moisture.

  57. I like sebaceous, but I hate sebum. Strange, no? (I’m referring to sound shapes, not meaning). I also think that many diseases have really beautiful names. Chlamydia. Syphilis. Rubella. Porphyry.

    A friend whose brother was a physician told me that while his brother was working a rotation in OB-GYN as a resident, a woman gave birth to a baby girl that she named Meconium, having overheard the word during her delivery. My friend’s brother explained to the woman that she was naming her baby after the tar-like digestive waste that constitutes a baby’s first bowel movement after birth, but the mother was unmoved by these arguments because the word was so pretty.

    Sometimes a word just pops, a little bit like a jingle that you can’t stop humming. This morning while I was waiting for the bus, I kept whispering the name Hatsheput to myself over and over again. Hatsheput. Hatsheput.

  58. Jim Infantino also hates the word “panties.” I don’t mind it, but then again I don’t have to wear them.

    I’ve always hated “leisure” for some reason. I don’t like the greasy way it slides off the tongue. It sounds creepy and makes me feel on my guard, rather than relaxed.

    Also, I second Little John: “Blog” is a crappy word. It sounds like someone threw up in their mouth a little, then swallowed it back down.

  59. Using the word ‘rich’ when referring to media or Internet applications. I guess it’s used to discern them from the plethora of ‘poor’ media or Internet applications that abound.

    Mother-in-law works as a great expletive to use in place of the more commonly used term. It usually gets a laugh from those who can empathize.

  60. Blog? Sometimes my toilet does that. I’ll be shaving, six feet away from that porcelin shit hole, and for no reason at all it’ll go “blog.”

  61. “Cheesy”, “sappy”, and “corny” are all stupid words that more often refer to fear of happiness than their consumable origins.

  62. Almost 20 years ago, I knew a young lady who hated the word “moist.” She also hated the word “panties.” If you said “moist panties” to her, she’d basically react as if you just asked her to kill her child with a brick. Funny stuff.

    Best words ever: rallentando and synesthesia.

  63. “Toreador!
    Don’t spit on the floor!
    Use the cuspidor!
    That’s what it’s for.”

  64. Ihate the word ‘chunky’. This stems from when I was watching the Olympics in the 80s and the commentator described one of the athletes as ‘chunky’. Now it just gives me the creeps every time.

  65. I detest words ending in “oggle”, like “boggle”. Let’s face it: Germanic languages induce many more cringes than languages derived from Latin (I hate the use of “romance” in this context).

    “Acronym” makes me cringe, but only when it’s being used improperly, which is most of the time. “AIDS” and “laser” are acronyms, but “DNA”, “NFG”, “NFW” and “NSFW” are not. “Snafu” and “fubar” are acronyms, but their synonym, “GOP”, is not.

    @AndyHavens: no way. The best words ever are the words for the three kinds of chocolate beans, otherwise known as the Holy Triumvirate:

    – forastero
    – criollo
    – trinitario



  66. When I was a kid I heard the name Aconcagua and fell in love with it. Not likely to get worked into a lot of conversations, right?

    Ha! I blush to recall…

  67. I always wondered why I felt a bit of an aversion to the Terry Pratchett character Moist Von Lipwig. He’s very lovable in most respects. Now I get that his name was somehow giving me the creeps.

  68. This has been one of the most entertaining comment threads I’ve read in quite a while. I actually LOLed few times. Good job Pesco. :)

  69. Speaking of Aconcagua (there I go!), I watched Only Angels Have Wings” (1940) a few weeks ago. And there’s a scene where an air mail pilot is flying between the crags of a mountain in the Andes (I won’t say which one, I won’t, I won’t!) and he complains over his two-way radio that there’s a flock of condors nesting in the pass, posing a possible danger the mail pilots’ route. His ground control, the rakishly handsome Cary Grant, says:

    “You’ve got that dynamite on board. Drop it on them! That’ll clean them out.” And the pilot does…

    Imagine that: bombing a flock of Vultur gryphus. What a savage age yesterday was.

  70. Bum is a fantastic word. And a kickdrum already pretty much says “bum”, so if you add kick to it, it just says “BUM”.

    Torley – add to that list “schmaltzy”

    My problem with jejune is that it’s a misspelling. It’s jejeune, dammit.

    Also, bums. Round bums in moist panties. Woooh!

  71. cadaver, and flavorful. And yes – slacks. But not moist.
    And I pronounce the “l” in salve.

  72. Hey Buddy, you know what I got out of that last comment of yours? Crags! What a hilarious word, I love it.

  73. The word I hate most of all is ‘ginch’ (or its countepart, ‘gonch’). Just the sound of it makes me cringe, and to have someone actually use it to refer to their knickers makes me want to hurl. (this seems to be a fairly Canadian usage? at least in my experience.)

  74. I’ve got a friend who has hated both “moist” and “panties” since at least high school (15 years ago). But I can make her burst out laughing with “mustard” or better yet “custard” or, best of all, alternating the two in a series of different voices or accents and dialects. This is how friendships endure.

    My hate-the-sound-of words are milk and owl and the names Joel and Ian. Sorry, Joels and Ians (and owls)!

    Loving a word for its own sound (flummox, dirigible, troglodyte, etc.) just seems too cutesy to me. But I adore the use of telescope or telescoping as an adjective or verb, with its meaning derived from the way that a telescope folds, rather than from the original meaning of its Greek roots. That it made the jump from meaning “far sight” to meaning “folds in upon itself” just because of the unique mechanism of a kick-ass object is just so freaking awesome!

    I also like the before-and-afterward hidden in the roots of preposterous – as well as its overall sound: double plosives, followed by all that sibilance. It’s a word that sounds like ridiculous outrage even before you put it into the mouth of an old English bore.

    I notice that balm, salve, tincture and ointment have all drawn complaints. I humbly submit that lotion is really no better.

  75. I hate Jim Rome-style dude-speak. “Grill” instead of face, “crib” instead of house or apartment, “Kicks” for shoes, “score” for buy (or otherwise acquire), “throw down” instead of fight.

  76. Tak – do they ooze the unguents in their undergarments?

    Alys – what about gitch and gotch? There was a bar/laundromat in my hometown that had rhyming couplets on the walls, along the lines of “sip a scotch / while you wash your gotch”, or “waiting for the spin cycle? / ask about our gin cycle”

  77. Synecdoche is one I’m averse to. It’s hideous in its sound and appearance on the page.

    There’s a word I like that I can’t type in polite company, but it’s the one that looks a lot like aunt. It has such an explosive, cathartic sound to it, it’s perfect for use as a swear word. The fact that it’s unhearable to some people just makes it that much more effective.

    Foreign languages are a good source for favourite (clean) words as well. Two I like: tarantella and zannennagara.

  78. I LOATHE the word ‘sip’. It has a prissy Mary Poppins-type overtone and obviously derives from the noise made by people with loose lips when they take in a small amount of liquid. What’s wrong with a good healthy gulp?

  79. i find it funny that i have a friend who only dislikes the word “moist” when i say it to her….

  80. The words “panties” and “panty” are appalling. I do not understand how you Americans walk around thinking about nice things- that is, ladies underwear- with such cringe-inducing words attached. The year that I spent living in America was a severe challenge to my nerves every time I found myself needing to buy new underwear.

    (Americans thought this was hilarious, and would randomly shout “panties!” at me just to see me shudder).

    Now, knickers. THERE’S a nice word. Everyone likes a nice pair of knickers, yes? Frilly knickers, cotton knickers, floral knickers, plain knickers: it is pleasant word to type, read and say. “Panties” can just fuck off.

  81. Antinous, you’re right, I did. Granny knickers are also a fine addition to the knicker range. Granny panties, on the other hand?


  82. Seems to me that calling them “knickers” in a British-English speaking country is just asking for someone to come along and steal them.

    However, it was 1950s American culture that gave us the “panty raid”.


  83. remember how duncan hines, (‘hinds?) cakes were supposed to be “softer and moister”? gross!

  84. My least favorite word…”cornucopia.” It’s hell around Thanksgiving here in the US, I tell you. Also “yummy” and “tummy” as they just sound infantile.

    Favorite word? Ooh…tough one. I’ve made lists of them on my BLOG! (just to annoy the person upthread) However, I’d have to say “euphonious” just for the double word score. I also quite enjoy “diphthong,” particularly as a makeshift insult.

    And bonus points to #91/Xopher for the Tom Lehrer reference.

  85. I hate food words or words related to food. I don’t know why. I cringe when someone says “would you like a beverage?” instead of “would you like a drink?” I hate when people use the word “produce” instead of “vegetables.” I also hate when I buy something edible and the clerk or waitress says “enjoy!” with a big grin on her face, or tells me that “ooooh, if those (M&Ms, whatever) were mine, they wouldn’t even make it into the bag!”

    I suppose my enjoyment of food like sex is something I like to keep private, speaking of which, the guy who invented the words “vagina” and “breasts” should be shot.

  86. How is it that “onomatapoeia” (dunno about spelling, don’t have italics) has not come up in 150 posts? My favourite English teacher thought it was recursively appropriate.

    Being the word nerd I am, I couldn’t hate a word if I tried, but meaning or especially usage can be irritating.

    Pet Peeves:
    ignorant =/= rude
    sick, fat, phat, etc =/= cool as in trendy (cool is now established)

    Language, however, is a dynamic thing, and persistent mistakes become real meanings after a while. Awful is the best example of this.

    Also, I love how certain words, mostly in Latinate languages, can have wildly differing meaning by placement and parts of speech. ie. French ‘avocat’ means avacado AND lawyer!

  87. Great words:
    douche, as in douche-bag.
    fiduciary, because it has the sound “douche” in it.

    I can’t say there are any words I don’t like – and I think moist gets an unfairly bad rep… What’s so bad about moist? I think people just say they don’t like it because it has become popular to say so. Shoot, I even enjoy the word smegma, because it’s just so deliciously onomontopoeic…

  88. “Delish” for “delicious” as in “This delish duncan hines brownie makes both my mouth and panties moist”. I have an aunt who says it and now, damn, so does the wife.

    RE: #138 posted by redsquid
    “Schenectedy”? Really? All the other NY capital district cities/towns drove me nuts growing up: “Rotterdam”, “Scotia”, “Latham”, “Cohoes”, “Mechanicville”, “Schodack”, “Voorheesville”.

    Then again, here in eastern MA we of course have “Athol” pronounced “AH-THOL”.

  89. Least Favorite Word: slit
    Say it out loud, it even feels gross coming off your tongue.

    Most Favorite Word: curlicue

  90. @ XOPHER #91: I pronounce the L in all of those words. For example, ‘walk’ without the L sound would sound like ‘wok’ to me. ‘Would’, however, is a good example of a word with a silent L. I have heard ‘salve’ pronounced with the L though I do not pronounce it that way myself.

    The sounds of words haven’t bothered me since I was child. I remember being inexplicably embarrassed by the word ‘ridiculous’ but now I use the word all the time. Quite frequently, actually.

    I do find the sounds of certain words funny though. Most words that start with a ‘boo’ sound, for example. Especially when separated from their meanings and just listened to as a sound: booty, booby, booger, boogie, boolean, booze, etc.

  91. I hate, hate, hate the word “dish” when used as a verb. The kind of people that use that word are the same kind of people that say the word “bling-bling” with (what they think of as)an “urban flava” accent to describe ostentatious jewlrey.

  92. I loathe Clot. Even worse: Clotted Cream.

    I have never even eaten clotted cream, and don’t even know exactly what it is….but saying it make me very uncomfortable.

  93. I seem to be the only person here with an aversion to the word “texture.” It bothers me less and less as I get older, but when I was a kid, the word would send shivers down my spine. Ick…

  94. some jerk on Ars Technica AND Fark uses Moist in their online name. And last night, I saw someone with Moist in their Xbox Live tag

  95. ProgHead777 157: To me ‘wok’ and ‘walk’ are homophonous, or nearly so. There used to be a Chinese fast-food joint in Boston called Wok-In, as I recall, pointing out the usefulness (to punsters) of that particular homophony.

  96. Anyway, this cake is great.
    It’s so delicious and moist.
    Look at me still talking, when there’s science to do!

  97. @78
    Yes, yes, YES!

    MEAL is truly the worst word we are called to swallow on a regular basis.

    It’s probably thanks to its proximity to “mealy”.
    Which evokes shitty apples and mealy worms.

  98. I hate the word “swine”. I hate it so much. And just when it was out of my head the stupid swine flu crap started. Help me.

    I second moist, panties, slacks, and pus….

    Oh, you guys forgot “lube” too.

  99. I HATE the word “poop”, yet I use the word “poo” all the time. Every time someone says poop (especially when referring to a a dog’s or baby’s) I feel so icky and embarrassed I just want to melt into a puddle (note: I LOVE the word puddle!)
    In a similar instance I hate the word “dint” but have no problem with “dent”. I love the word “crevice” but can’t stand “crevasse”.

  100. “Persons”, “utilize”, and “monies”. Persons – are they people or individuals? Utilize – you are using something plain and simple. Monies – money or funds; stop making words up to make yourself sound smarter! ;)

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