Words that need to die a slow, painful, merciless death.

Dictionary through lens via wikimedia commonsInspired by a tweet Off My Red Carpet and Busy Mom that listed the words presh, sesh, preggo, totes, deets, gorg as words that provide clear evidence that our language is going in the toilet, I rushed to agree. They’re like long, pointy, scratchy nails on a chalkboard to me; should that sound be amplified through a bullhorn and then put through autotune, sung by some Bravo reality star, amplified yet again, and played directly into my brain.

While I’ve always said I share a lot of people’s personal distaste for words like panties, moist and tubesteak (shiver!), there are some new Frankenwords and uh…abbrevs in the lexicon that many of us would be fine with never seeing again.

Consider this a public service. Or maybe I’m just old. Or maybe it’s just me doing penance for having used the expressions “gag me with a spoon” and “gross me out the door and back again” way too many times and without irony.







Cray (alt: Cray-cray)







Furbaby (ack!)










Honey-do List



If you find yourself typing these words in any sort of serious context, stop what you’re doing immediately, take a deep breath, and quietly step away from the keyboard. You’ll thank me the day you see your own children failing a spelling test with the word becuz.

As to those of you defending “Hubs”… I’m sorry. I can’t help you.

Thanks for the input: LeahPeah, KdWald, Mir, AlexisHinde, GladDoggett, Mihow, LaurieWrites, OneHungryMama, Schmutzie, Dadonymous, BreWrites, TheDalaiMama, etDragon, MonaBenach, BusyMom, SassPizzazz, AmySho, UnhipNic, AshleyAustrew, MommieV1. Follow them on Twitter for 140 characters or less that won’t hurtz ur brainz.

So…what awful, no-good, very bad words did we miss?


138 thoughts on “Words that need to die a slow, painful, merciless death.”

  1. Hubster is another. Also the combo of any two celebrity names. Are we really that lazy that we can say their full names? HATE!

  2. My daughter agreed to do me a favor and I sent her a text message that I would send “the deets” by email. Her response: “Say deets again and the deal is off!” HEE

  3. THANK YOU for the *BUMP*!

    Ughhh, death to the “BABY BUMP”.

    I have had a baby, and it never looked or felt like a bump. A bump is a speed bump on the road or cystic acne. Try convincing me that a 9-month full womb is a bump!

    Please add “kiddos”. Just as awful as hubs-hubby.

    One reason I like Offbeat Mama…they don’t tolerate parenting acronyms like DH, DD, ASDFJKL;

    1. I still remember the first time I saw “bump watch” in some tabloid and was like, what the hell are they talking about? Who calls it a bump?

      Turns out…everyone!

  4. “amazing” especially when accepting recognition for being creative
    “I was like” instead of “I said”
    or “like” misused as redundant adjective in front of any & all nouns.
    Sadly, “like” used properly as a simile is lost to the English language. Too complicated for modern minds, I guess.

  5. I remember a few years ago when my sister told me to “Chillax”. I told her to leave my house for saying something so stupid. Awesome list!

    1. My standard response anytime the word “chillax” is used is “time to take your chillaxative!” It’s just vaguely gross enough that people stop using the word around me.

      Please Add: Coolio, Anywhoo, and Squee

    1. Yesss! Even worse: “baby fashionista” or “little fashionista”.

  6. I highly doubt anyone will agree, but I’ve never liked “my bad.” Bad is not a noun, and I don’t see what’s wrong with “my fault.”

    1. I can’t stand “my bad.” I don’t like “no worries” either. Though I am guilty of a few of those on the list (hanging my head in shame).

    2. I am the one person on this thread who likes it. It came from basketball as I recall. But my first literary agent kept crossing it out of my manuscript saying THAT’S NOT ENGLISH.

  7. Add “literally”, because I may literally go crazy if people continue to misuse it. If you LITERALLY jumped out of your skin, you would be dead.

    1. This one is my pet peeve too! Someone said on a business call the other day that they had literally walked in someone else’s shoes. Um, are you sure about that?

    1. I don’t mind fashionista either, although when I read it I can hear that weird echoing Bravo-TV voice in my head.

  8. Please use these in sentences because I don’t know some of them and would like to expand my vocabularly. Heh heh. (See, I could have said lulz but didn’t.)

    Seriously, I was so sad that by the time I heard of chillax it was already unusable.

  9. Even though I have one, I kinda hate the word “blog.” It sounds like “blah” which is not really the way I want to advertise my own writing. Maybe if I start calling it “thoughts from my head,” it will catch on. Like:

    “Oh, yeah, I just started my own ‘thoughts from my head’ the other day about the many variations of green in my toddler’s snot.”

  10. “Hella.” And, even worse (in my opinion), “hecka.” So annoying to hear my students use those.

  11. “Amaze” is the worst for me.. and when people say “like” and “ummm” every other word.. a little bit of education will go a long way 🙂

  12. “Hella” is an oldie but baddie.

    I am reserving most of my verbal vengeance for the use of verbs as nouns:

    as in “epic FAIL,” “let’s discuss how we’ll word the ASK and the SELL,” and “piggyback and bookend.”

    and the complete skipover of legitimate verbs in favor of an unnecessarily verb-ed form of the noun: Why are we suddenly “conferencing” when we used to “confer,” and “inferencing” when we can “infer”?

    “Impactful” really REALLY makes me grind my teeth.

    1. Agree, agree, agree! Except for impactful. I have used that one, it seems like a real word to me. I’d add “dialoguing” and “journaling”. Those words make me want to claw my eyes out. Journal is NOT A VERB.

  13. Natch, because it sounds like snatch.
    Jelly, because I hate jelly. And KY Jelly.

    But you will have to pry ERMAHGERD out of my cold, curled claws.

  14. Okay, I am a crazy grammar and language snob. I drive my friends and family nuts. I corrected my friend at dinner the other night (sorry, K) because I had had a couple to drink and she said “strategic error” when she meant “tactical error.”

    Having said that, language is beautiful because it is alive, breathing and changing all the time. English is an especially adaptable and expressive language. So, I’m all for correct grammar and usage (“literally” is my nightmare), and I die a slow death when confronted with business jargon (“let’s circle back on that”), but I defend my right to say “hubby” and the right of others to find new routes for expression.

    Not to be overly dramatic, of course. LOLZ 😉

      1. For realz, Deb! As a college English instructor, I want to freak out every time I get an essay with the wrong homophone, crazy acronym/abbreviation, or any improper usage of an apostrophe: “Wear we’re u yes2day?” Not to mention myriad other language atrocities.

        The truth is, that language is contantly adapting. We can mourn the extinction of certain words or phrases and lament the propagation of others, but if this were not the case, we’d still be talking like Beowulf.

        Here’s a cool (no kidding) article by a linguistic professor, David Crystal, on why we should embrace the evolution of text-language: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/jul/05/saturdayreviewsfeatres.guardianreview

        BTW: “Cool”, meaning interesting, can be replaced with “neat”, “boss”, “sick” or whatever you’d prefer, based on your generation.

  15. Prolly is my biggest bet peeve ever. Forgive me, but if you use prolly, I will automatically assume you’re too dumb to spell probably. THERE ARE B’S IN IT. TWO OF THEM.

    I’m guilty as charged on Hubs. Not sure what else to call him on the internet because he’s kind of internet shy – puts up with me putting him out there.

    Got an alternative? I’m listening.

    Also? Diva.

    1. I just use sigOth. Or Nate. But then, he’s not my husband so none of those other options are even tempting, fortunately.

      I’m over diva as a job title: Social Media Diva (Ninja/Goddess), especially.

      1. you are in a better position b/c he is not officially your husband. already gives you a one-up.

    2. YES — DIVA! Kick it to the curb!

      Also, goddess, principessa (when used in reference to my child, who is n.0.t. royalty), and the like have got to go.

      Oh! and fabu … has anyone nominated that one yet?

  16. I can support this list 100%. I remember when I was a teenager nothing would make me want to tear my hair out more than the sound of my mom using my slang in her sentences.

    1. I still remember the first time my mom said, “that freaked me out” and uh…it freaked me out. Now I’m kind of okay with it.

  17. I recently saw “nabe” (short for neighborhood). Yuck. Can we also get rid of “Asking for a friend?”

  18. I actually find “adorbs” kind of, well, adorable. And I think some voices (Amalah) could use almost all of the words above and I’d think it’s totally adorbs. But, I think it sounds wrong coming from most other people.

    To add to the list: I HATE “be-atch” or however you write it. Same with “shite”. Just say the damn swear and be done with it.

    And I’m totally with Delilah on the ERMAHGERD which I love. Also two thumbs up to ZOMG and ORLY. Those three make me happy.

    1. Aw I love shite. It reminds me of my Irish friends in college who pronounced it that way.

      And I agree on Amalah. She can pull anything off.

  19. I haaaaaaaate anything meaning “husband” that is not “husband.” This list is my dream “hate” list, Liz. Thank you!
    The latest “nails on a chalkboard” for me is when I hear people pronouncing texting acronyms in real live conversations as if they’re words. Example: “And I was like ‘oh-em-geeee that’s just crazy!'” Seriously, people? Seriously?

    1. My five year old is starting to say oh em gee. Which partly makes me crazy, and partly makes me want to say to anyone over five, DON’T DO THIS.

      1. I don’t know whether to be impressed by that, or frightened by it. 🙂 My 5-year-old is still having trouble pronouncing words that are actually words. “Mommy, this road is like a corizontal line.”

        1. At least she things it stands for “oh my gosh.”

          And yes, she still talks about our trip up to Gramont this summer.

  20. I can’t be silent on this one any longer. “Gifting” drives me up one wall and down the other. My sister gave me a sweater. It was a gift. She did not *gift* me a sweater.

  21. Oh no! That list reads like my everyday go-tos, and now I feel like an outsider on this blog. Please love me anyway mom 101; as a new mom, I need and rely on you! Freals! (I wanted to give you another to add to your list.)

  22. I cannot stand (hate, hate, hate!) when grown women say to each other, “Let’s play tonight, Lovie!” What, are you going to go play with Barbies and eat cookies and have a sleepover at your mom’s house or go out for drinks like adults? And what the hell is a “lovie”? Please. Stop. It’s not cute and you sound like an idiot.

  23. A lot of the words on this list are fine by me; it’s the unintentionally hilarious ones that I encounter in my job that grate. E.g. “Circle back” “actionable” and “bird’s eye”. My current favorite is “granular,” replacing “too-detailed,” as in: “This report is too granular; I’d appreciate a macro version.” Basic corporate-newspeak to say “I can’t understand this! Can you pre-chew this for me so I can pick your five top bullet points and pass them off as my own?”

    1. Ha!! Granular… argh.

      A corporate jargon favorite that I despise is, “What’s the economics?” First of all, if it were a legitimate question, it would be, “What ARE the economics?” Subject-verb agreement, people.

      Second, what you mean to say is, “How much money is that making?” or even, “What is the bottom line?” Or how about, “What is the profit?”

      Economics = a social science discipline!

      1. Ha! I shall use that on the next conference call, for the giggles!

        Seriously, though, the thing I most enjoy (perversely, because it makes me cringe as well) about corporate-speak is how we’re using these technical-sounding abstract words to conceal what we’re really saying. It’s interesting to me, as in your comment, of this weird shame thing where one just can’t come out and say “how much money is this going to make me?”

        1. Totally. It’s like we’re trying to sound smarter and smoother but in the process end up sounding like morons. Or we’re trying to obfuscate by confusing the listener??

          Here’s another one that makes me crazy: MYSELF. As in, “the call will be led by Katrina and myself.” Because teachers ingrained in us so early that “me” was wrong as a subject pronoun – “Me and Katrina went to the lake” – and people want to sound smart. Now people are even using it in place of “I” as in “Katrina and myself will lead the call.” WHAT?!

          Ok, I’m done now. I could go on forEVER.

  24. How about KK (prounounced kay-kay) for okay. It started with my kids but now I’m hearing parents using it while having conversations with other parents. It drives me cray-cray every time I hear it!!! Lol

    1. Oh yikes, that’s one I haven’t heard. It’s just one k from KKK. Too close for comfort for me.

  25. So noted.

    this is the type of thing you write, and ‘some’ bloggers want to go through their entire site scanning for any offensive words listed above.

    as for the hubby – I have used it and dislike it. henry despises it. I just cant find a replacement. don’t like DH, hubs, other half, or just plain husband.
    I may start to use co-worker.

  26. The beloved “hee hee” or “hee hee hee” is creepy to me. Makes my skin crawl. It seems sneaky, calculated – or worse. Although I do like “ha ha” or “ha ha ha”, which seems like laughter.

  27. This. (sorry. couldn’t resist.)

    This list may go down as one of my top ten favorite posts of all time. For realz. Amazeballs? That’s hysterical. I can’t pull any of these off, mostly because abbreviating has always left me feeling empty.

    I couldn’t even say “Bio” for biology or “Chem” for chemistry-felt too much like I was wishing I was in a John Hughes movie.

    This list makes me feel less alone in the world, like I’m not the only one with grammatical angst. Thank you.

  28. Some of this is cultural though, I’m in New Zealand and Brekkie, Sammy, preggo and No worries have been a treasured part of our vernacular since colonists came to our country (which is a good few decades now!) We and our Australian cousins are big fans of putting ohs on the end of things. I agree with 2/3 of your list but have to admit to totes digging the abbrevs (not Hubs etc, gross), but then again, i also use words like dig, and much as i wish i was i am not actually a 1950’s beatnik. Would like to fervently agree (in hopes of redemption) that ACRONYMS ARE NOT WORDS. Concur on management speak: moving forward, touch base etc. (@carpool goddess, i’m with ya, sista, My bad is horrific) And could some one please explain why Americans insist on saying “off of”?! THE OF IS ENTIRELY SUPERFLUOUS “i need to get off of the couch” NO, no you don’t, you simply need to get off the couch.

  29. My pet peeve is “FTW”, for the win. I don’t get it.

    And “pwned”. HATE.

    (But I do reference my husband on the blog as Hubby. Not my favorite, but he’d kill me if I used his real name, and now it’s just habit.)

  30. Wifey. I absolutely detest that. Also, I don’t like the words love or hate used solely as a response, as in:

    Facebook status update: My cat is the smartest cat in the world.
    Response: Love.

  31. Mostly agree. But please don’t make me give up “deets.”

    Did someone already add “tasked?” As in, “Joanie was tasked with sorting the cream cheese knives before the board meeting.”


      1. Phew – other people hate that task has become a verb. Inbox – that’s another word that is not a verb.

  32. Great list! Someone texted me with, Crazysauce! and it made me laugh. I hate seeing “I’m so jelly!” when someone is trying to express ENVY. I have also always hated Foodie.

  33. Is HOLLA on that list? Can it be, please? Also, SQUEE. Blech.

    I’m guilty of using hubs. Don’t hate me. Also, as a self-proclaimed foodie, I’m hanging on to that one.

  34. I can’t believe that NOM (and the related NOM NOM NOM) is not on this list yet. I hate NOM. Also, I hate NUMMY.

  35. My very suburban students have been using YOLO so often I banned it from my room. Some of them are trying to use it as an adjective. It makes me want to die.

  36. Love this post! It is wonderful, but if I am not mistaken both your Mother and I were probably being FREAKED OUT before you were born. And I still say BUMMER which is from the early 70’s. Please don’t cringe.
    My pet peeve is that many people including many politicians, say NUCULAR, when the word is NUCLEAR, since George W mistakenly said it.

  37. This is the greatest list of all time! (Except for awesomesauce, which I would like to continue using, if only to irritate my husband.)

    Hubs and hubby are particular annoyances of mine, but nothing is worse than “THIS.” used to start a comment. UGH.

    1. What is wrong with Muah!, Suzanne? (Says the girl who uses it A LOT when she sends messages to friends.) I like it better than hugs and kisses.

      1. I would say there’s a difference between shorthand amongst friends and literary usage. I might right a muah or an LOL in a text to my mom too.

        (Although I still never say hubby under any circumstances ever)

  38. Where have I been? The only one of those I even recognize is “awesomesauce” and I thought I invented it. Seriously, no one else I know uses it. Clearly, I live under a rock.

  39. The dreaded “+1”. Apparently, “I agree” is just too complex a concept to communicate anymore.

  40. That is one shudder inducing list you’ve compiled.

    Am I the only person in the world who hates the way people use ‘disconnect’ as a noun? What happened to ‘disconnection?’ Every time someone says there ‘is a disconnect’ I flinch. (When Justin Timberlake was on the Daily Show he actually used the word ‘disconnection’ instead of ‘disconnect’ and I went from being nonplussed by him to a fan.)

  41. I sometimes use “totes” just because I know it irritates my friend . 🙂

    I am so over “mouthgasm”!!!

  42. Dammit. I just used hubby in a post. And I’m totally guilty of using a few of these. {pops self on hand} Another person who can totally get away with all of these is Roo from NiceGirlNotes. She’s just that funny.

  43. +1

    (By which I mean, “=1” must die. Not that I am affirming your message by adding my approval. Although I am.)

    Also: Emphasis added by turning Every. Damn. Word. into its own sentence and blog posts that put a separate sentence (or word!) on each line. This goes triple if it’s centered.

  44. Oh, and “gifted me with.” Gave! They gave you whatever it is you’re talking about! We already have a perfectly good word for that.

    And, while I’m at it: “virgin,” when used in any context other than strictly sexually. No, you don’t get to call yourself “a baseball virgin” because you are on your way to your first game.

    Man, am I judgmental.

  45. The war’s over and my side lost, but I still hate it when the word “female” is used as a noun. To my ears, use of “female” as a noun defines a person to the sum of her sexual parts.

  46. Agreed on pretty much all accounts. I have been known to tweet “hubby” since it saves a few characters from “husband.” It always feels weird though since it is something I never say.

    Another one that bothers me is “za” as short for pizza. I don’t know anyone who actually says it, but it often comes up in Words with Friends. Once I learned it was valid I started using it too because I’m competitive and want to use a z in whatever way will get me the most points. Still, I feel like a little bit of me dies every time I play that “word.”

  47. I can’t believe people still use DD, DS, etc. They were moronic years ago, but I thought they faded away. My husband (who I might refer to as “huz” in print, sorry) is a child of the 70s and still says “Wild” where others might say “cool,” “totally awesome” or “awesomesauce” depending on when they were born.

    I cannot STAND “redonk!” WTF is that? ZOMG bugs me too. I think “Sammie” makes you sound like an illiterate Southerner. (apologies to Southerners) “Vajayjay” kinda makes me giggle, and I kinda love explaining vajazzaling to people who’ve never heard of it.

    But I HAAATE “guru,” ESPECIALLY in corporate culture. I used to be the “graphics guru” when my boss introduced me. It has connotations that don’t belong in a midtown Manhattan office, or attached to me!

    (I am also judgmental, especially about all the horrible grammar & punctuation. Let’s start a club.)

  48. Oh dear – some of my favorite words are on this list. Adorbs. Cray (baby Liam is constantly referred to as “cray cray” or “little cray” because I’m creative like that).

    Whatevs. YOLO.

  49. It drives me CRAZY when someone puts a tiny graphic on a slide in a presentation and then, when it comes up says, “It’s a bit of an eye chart, I know.” What good is a graphic is YOU CAN’T MAKE IT OUT?!?

    On the other side, a word we should bring back? “Lonesome.”

  50. Great fun to read all these irrating made up descriptions and personal language terms. I am very done with “high five”…. “give me high five”. and BFF. Please…………..

  51. Awesome. Put on your above list of stupid things commenting twice because you didn’t think the first one went through. That’s the best ever.

  52. I did a post about this a little while ago and how said of a social commentary is it that there are so many more? Not one of the “words” or “phrases” I cited is listed here. Your post is amaze…er…a riot! “…put through a bullhorn and sung by some Bravo reality star…” HAHAHA! Indeed. Money can’t buy these words a bit of class. Thank you so very much for citing “hubs”. Nothing I hate more. I use “The Hubby” in my blogs and I cringe every time I do. I simply don’t know what to call him. We’re musicians and I came dangerously close to using the equally cringeworthy “Gretsch Guy”. Eight months into my blogging “career” I think I’ll just have to break down and use his name. Hubster is even worse. Gawd. And I think “awesome” in general should be hung by the neck until dead.

  53. Don’t know if someone mentioned it yet, but I cannot stand the phrase “at the end of the day”. I worked with a woman who used it every other sentence, in every single meeting we were in! And I could even hear her on the phone in her office – using it over and over. She quit – and is now probably driving someone else nuts with it!

  54. Totes inapprop
    Well jel
    Totes Legit

    I live with a 24 year old who uses these daily. And I’m 31 and it makes me cringe.

    We’re somehow living in a society of morons.
    It makes people sound like they’re genuinely dumb.

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