Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ten for Tuesday: Words I Hate

It's easy to wax lyrical about the lovely English language, but there are some damn ugly words lurking beneath the surface.

Here are my top 10 hated words:

1. Smear. If you're a woman, this word takes on an additional horror (sorry, men), but even without such intrusions it is a pretty awful word. There's something about the combination of 'sm' with 'ear' that just makes me grimace.

2. Schedule. I don't care how you say it, it's a terrible word. Whoever came up with it should be tethered to a desk and made to copy endless secondary school timetables.

3. Confectionery. I mean, really! What a dreadful, bland, corporate name for such a lovely category of food.

4. Sweetheart. I keep getting caught in the 'th' here.

5. Chortle. You want to chortle? How about I throttle?

6. Detritus. No matter how many times I try, I just can't pronounce this properly.

7. Uncouth. Just plain U-G-L-Y! Nothing more need be said.

8. Peripatetic. Defined as 'a person who walks from one place to another'. Duh! Don't most people do this? Do we really need a word for it?

9. Bulge. Blech.

10. Alot. I'm cheating with this one. It's not a word and that's why it's SO annoying - it seems to creep into text everywhere. Begone, alot!

What are your most hated words?


  1. Probably most of the above to be perfectly honest ;~)

    Smear, detritus and alot are definitely in there.

    "Love" is probably one as well. Not the verb "to love" but as in when somebody I'VE NEVER MET BEFORE asks me something to the tune of "Alright love?" and I know they actually mean "Oooooh looky here, fresh meat" It's creepy and I wish they would stop doing it.

    That's all I can think of now :~)

  2. Talli, I agree with your choice, when I lived in London I couldn't believe it when people started calling me 'sweetheart' all the time, got used to it.
    More phrases I hate are : girly girl (brings me out in a rash)
    and all the modern language shortcut, OK now I sound like a granny I'm off to put on my purple dress and red hat.
    I did a humorous ? post on the abuse of language on:


    if you have a spare moment, you might like it.

  3. LOL!!

    Monday. Work. Meeting. Training. Signal-Failures. Bus-replacements.

    Deadlines. Delays.

    And a lot of management speakalese!


    Take care

  4. Empower. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

  5. I'd add 'seepage' to your list. Awful word! Although I quite like 'detritus'. Not fond of bulge (or bulging, for that matter. Who is?!). Great post!

  6. I hate words that I can't spell:

    receive, Massachusettes (still spelled wrong, I know), they're/their.

    Those words are ugly! I agree!

  7. Oh no...you just unleashed my crazy!

    My least favorite words:

    MOIST (it gives me chills even to type it)







  8. Oh man. summer just said every word I hate. My eyes are burning.

  9. Hahahaha...this post and all the comments made me laugh. I don't really dislike any word, really.

    Okay, maybe a few:


    For some reason, I just really don't like these.

    And: MONDAY -that one is certainly yucky!


  10. Vehicle. Blubber. Potential. Scrotum. Corpuscle. Objectification.
    This is fun!

  11. oooh alot is horrible.
    but i kinda like chortle...

  12. I actually like the word schedule when British people say it: "shed-you'll" rather than: "sked-yool".

    Actually I like most words when people with a British accent say them. Especially dirty words.

  13. I have a couple of words I hate, but I don't think too much about it. I hate the word moist.

    I hate the word 'smirk' too, and if I ever use it, it's restricted to a bad guy. You can't trust someone who smirks.

    Smear--yeah, now that you mention it, the word is icky.

  14. A peripatetic teacher is one who travels from place to place rather than based in one school. When I first met my husband, he told me he was a peripatetic teacher, without further explanation. I'd never heard the word before, thought it meant he was disabled, and I exclaimed 'Oh!' when he got up. I really, really wish there hadn't been a roomful of people when this happened ...

  15. There are some words I never use because I hate them. I came here to the comments, ready to share, and ... BLANK.

    Maybe the most awful word is forgetful.

  16. I agree! Smear is a disgusting word. And Buldge...it reminds me of bloated..which is a word that I hate.
    Awesome post! lol

  17. Oh, I don't like it when people make money plural (monies). Nor do I like it when someone tells me to 'buck up'. Tattle is a weird one too. We could make a huge list!

  18. I really think we should make a list! All the horrible words we can think of. We already have a great start here.

    Thanks everybody! Some of these words are cringe-worthy but I'm enjoying it, strangely.

  19. Hahaha LOLing at all the comments. Who would have thought a list of words could create such passionate responses? Well, from writers, of course! We deal in words. We practically deify words. Sorry I can't think of any right now :) Just laughing.

  20. LOL! This topic is... GREAT! I'm right up there with you on SMEAR. Haha... such a ugly word! :)

  21. Oh this is just hilarious!!
    Smear, UGLY!!!
    Squirt, U G L Y!!!!
    toilet, ugly!
    pimple, ugly!!

    Isn't it funny that my list are all disgusting things? Does that mean I hate the word or just the thing? ;)

  22. I use a lot... well... a lot. Sorry!

    When these hated word lists come up, I can never think of them at the time.

    I hate pimple, a couple of words for male and female anatomy, silly nicknames for a certain woman's anatomy (think Oprah), and panties. That's the best I can do right now.

  23. Lol. Great post. I hate the word smear too (shudders).

  24. After the time I just spent re-reading The Scarlet Letter, the word I hate most is "ignominy."

  25. Hmm, are you a Shed Yule or a Sked Yule person? :) (Although in southern England we can prolong the horror even further by giving it *three* syllables...)

  26. This made me laugh!!! I never thought to post about something I hated, especially when it came to words. Hmm I've never thought about words I hated there are some things I don't like to be called...

    "What's up money" I mean seriously if I was money I wouldn't be here right now.

    A hot minute, I dislike this phrase because it is just plain stupid. A hot minute can mean several things and I don't have the time to understand this silly slang.

    So I guess I would say that slang bothers me, lol!

  27. Moist - or any word with the "oi" diphthong :)

    Pustule ain't a favorite either!

    Thanks for coming around my blog! Nice to see a new face...and one who appears to like wine as much as I do :)

  28. "Alot" is a pet peeve of mine. I hate running across this typo/mistake and hound my children so they won't make it.

    My mother always said "confectionery sugar" instead of confectioners sugar. My sisters and I still make fun of her. LOL

    Fun post! I'm with you, those words are uck!

  29. I'm guilty of using alot alot...Personly I like the word chortle.

    As for an ugly hateful word I think plastic does it for me.

  30. I absolutely loath the word "belly"!

  31. Smear. Definitely smear. I can't stand it in any context. ::Shudders::

    Sadly, I use the "word" alot a lot. :D

    Only other word I can think of that I can't stand: Apoplexy. Yep, that gets me. Every. Time.

  32. LOL at "smear" -- I hate that one! The other comments have some pretty awful ones in there too. Anything that makes me think of the bathroom is on my list. Eww.

  33. I have a friend who can't stand the word "moist" (which means I love saying it to her as much as possible.

    My husband hates the word "poop" (which, again, means I say it as often as I can).

    Can't really think of any words I detest, but that's a fabulous list you've got going!


  34. Peripatetic cracks me up! Has anyone ever actually used that word??

    Great list, Talli!

  35. That's a great list!! I despise alot and the kids in my class learn very early on that I despise it - I don't see it much after September :)

  36. Great list!

    It's funny how we become adverse to certain words - I have a few I don't like either - so much so, I won't even type them here

  37. Oh, i have to disagree with most of the words on this list! I love chortle!

    OK alot can go...

  38. I love this post and all of the responses. Let me see...

    I hate gray, but love grey. Gray just seems to perky.

    Don't like event. I know, weird, right? It's just so stiff.

    I know there are others, but my brain just shut off.

  39. hahaha peripatetic is such a stupid word, that's like something you would find on the SAT's in high school. HOnestly I think society wants to trip you up on those things with such idiotic words.

    Chortle sucks ALOT =p too. ahaha jk.

  40. hahaha

    My daughter is learning body parts at school, and the correct name has to be said for each one!!!

    vagina! haha yuck, I normally say 'doo-daa'

    I love the word 'package' :o)

  41. You are so hilarious! I laughed the whole way through your word list. I support all the comments above. Awesome post, Talli. Is support bad? It sounded bad in that sentence.

  42. The only words I hate are 'words' that aren't words and/or words that are used incorrectly.
    Such as:

    -irregardless (HATE! Nails down a chalkboard HATE)
    -for all intensive purposes (No, you did not just say that.)

    I could go on, but I shall stop this rant now, before I can't.

  43. smear is just a nasty word, isn't it? I also hate the words moist, ack, and all emoticons.

    But I have to admit I love the word uncouth. I like that it sounds like what it means. Yeah, I'm weird.

  44. I'm not fond of the c-word (yes, THAT one) and the word dyke grates on me, even when used to mean a stone wall. I never really encountered stone dykes until I moved here, but it just sounds like there's a line of unfriendly, stoic lesbians in a field.

    Detritus! Ha! 'Nuff said.

    There are quite a few clichés I don't like and I cringe a little when I hear news presenters using awkward slang in their reports.

  45. Smear is not a happy word is it? But I like Confectionery even though it reminds me of a Civil War battle.

    Can't think of any words I hate at the moment. Need more coffee.

  46. Laughing at this post! And all the comments! My tend toward sound words like plop or slurp and I hate the word blob because it's always used in reference to something disgusting.

  47. I hate moist and ointment. Those are gross words! Appoinment and moisturizer are fine, but the other ones? Ugh.

  48. Interesting list.
    #8 sounds so annoying!
    As for confectionery, it's never been a 1st choice word for sugar/sweets, etc. But it does sound corporate.

    1 of my least favorite words is DEADLINE. It sounds so final!

  49. I love this post! I am going to have to go read through all of the comments. I agree with hating alot (it isn't even a word). I like uncouth... it sounds like its meaning. I cannot stand the word nostril. I'm sure I'll think of others.

  50. 'Smear', definitely! And 'moist', for some odd reason.

    In terms of slang and swear-words, I HATE the word 'minge.' It just sounds gross. In fact, I think 'minge' is ten times worse than the C-word.

    Or maybe that's just me.


Coffee and wine for all!