Tuesday 23rd January 2018
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What words and/or phrases would you ban if you could?

Explosion 1965-6 Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997 Presented by the Museum of Modern Art, New York 1976 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/P01796

What irksome language would you blow out of the water? (Roy Lichtenstein)

This one’s inspired by a comment thread from a post last week in which I suggested we resurrect the word “smart” to describe clothing and outfits. “Bringing back ‘smart’ is fine (and very Vanity Fair, circa 1929),” writes commenter Christina, “if in return we can get rid of ‘obsessed with’ and ‘packed with’ (as in ‘packed with antioxidants’).” Chimes in loyal reader Mamavalveeta,  “can we get rid of ‘badass’ as well?” Next up, Alexa puts in a vote for ridding the world of “curated” and “bespoke.” All good suggestions, ladies, and might I add the word “rock,” to describe wearing something?  OK, your turn.

Posted on October 12th, 2015 318 Comments

318 Responses

  1. Fishmonkey says:

    Oh! Oh! I would get rid of “fashionista”, “nom” (especially as noun or verb), and “____ all the things!”

    • Lesley says:

      yes, anything ending in “ista”

    • Zoe Ivory says:

      Foodie also needs to go. I enjoying eating and cooking as much as the next person, but foodie has such pretentious, elitist connotations.

      This makes me think of another expression that I’d love never to read or hear again, describing words, expressions or ideas as “a thing.” As in is foodie still a thing?

  2. gg says:

    ‘Hi there’ — we are not adverbs.

    If you need two syllables, try ‘hello’.

    http://www.economist.com/node/15108779 — ‘dreaded’!

  3. Susan Gardner says:

    How about “pop”, as in “pop of colour”?

  4. Debra says:

    “Outfitter” and “Mercantile” for retail shops. Most of us are not getting kitted out for a safari or needing a bolt of calico to take back to the homestead.

    • Raina says:

      Outstanding. You are my favorite person today.

    • Kate says:

      Bolt of calico. Not only is it a necessity in prairie life, it’s also the name of my new imaginary cat that is very fast. I love you stranger on the Internet.

      • Lesa says:

        Sounds like a band name. Maybe one of those bluegrass things.

      • Viajera says:

        Kim,* we need a way to vote for things here.

        *Wanted to write “Kimmie,” but stopped myself. I have a bad habit of nicknaming. And usually it would be whatever your name would be in Italian, except that as it happens, I do not know what that would be.

    • Linda Kenyon says:

      So “Little House In The Prairie”! Who can forget that Mrs. Olsen?

      • Viajera says:

        Factoid: the lady who played her used to be my next door neighbor. She is quite awesome. A real grand(e?) dame, and a pistol. She moved though.

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      I think I just woke my husband up from “lol-ing”! (That could go, too.)

  5. Stephanie L says:

    Ditto to “pop of color.”

    How about “artisinal” for the most mundane, mass-produced objects? That doorknob was not hammered by a third-generation Kentucky craftsman – this is Lowe’s, for heaven’s sake. The fast-food burger is not the work of an experienced butcher with a keen eye and a divine gift.

    Let’s also drop mentions of professional “space” – the nonprofit space, the petcare space, the glitter unicorn space. Enough.

    • caro says:

      “artisinal” makes me want to scream. as does “curated” for any occupation other than “person who organizes museum exhibits”.

      • Georgia says:

        I hate it for any reason. Curate only entered the lexicon as a verb in the last 10-20 years because of its persistent over-usage.

        I would ban “reverse racism” and “playing the race card.” So offensive and frankly stupid.

    • Jenny says:

      I work in a nonprofit policy organization, and once challenged myself to go the whole day without using “space” unless I was referring to actual square footage. I failed. Yes, though, to glitter unicorn spaces. We could have dance parties there.

  6. Kate says:

    I love “smart”!
    Yes, please get rid of “curated” and “journey”. If read one more blogger use those terms… It always comes across as pretentious and/or trying too hard, in my opinion that is.

  7. Stephanie L says:

    Also – “journey.” Unless you’re talking about bringing vittles in your knapsack – with your compass – it’s just living life on life’s terms.

  8. Jamie says:

    I know this one won’t ever go away, but I don’t like the word ‘selfie.’ I just don’t.

    Also, not a big fan of ‘besties,’ when one is referring to one’s best friends.

    I’m just realizing my intolerance of ‘cute-isms.’ Apologies.

    • Keirele says:

      Yes! Also “X more sleeps until…” and “feeling all the feels.”
      I’ve always mistrusted adults that use cute-isms.

  9. Jill says:

    It is what it is.

    • ljchicago says:

      Yes! To mean that means, “My life is the way it is because I don’t want to do the hard work to change it.”

    • Stephanie L says:

      I’ll admit to using that one to end a pointless conversation. And for as long as it works I’ll keep using it as a civilized way to move on with my day.

      • Mamavalveeta03 says:

        With all due respect, I’m not so sure it’s civilized, Stephanie. I had to decide whether or not to explain to my 82-yr old father that “whatever” was basically saying “F.U.” to someone you disagree with! (I wisely chose not to.)

  10. marjorie says:

    I’m over “THIS” as a pointer, a response, or a way to say GO LOOK AT THIS THING I LIKE.

    If I never here “mompreneur” again it will be too soon.

    “___ is my spirit animal.” Racist, albeit unintentionally. (Likewise “gyp.”)

    “First world problems.”


    “Circle back” and “actionable.”

    I am aware of my own unfortunate tendency to overuse “lyrical” in my reviews and I AM WORKING ON IT, OK?



    • Betsy says:

      I came to vote for “amazeballs”, which I hate. Also, “world problems” of any kind. And I really hate the casual use of “bitch” as kind of a passive-aggressive compliment.

      • Heather says:

        Back when I tried Internet dating, “amazeballs” was one of the words which, if used, would automatically disqualify any potential suitors. Also, “duderino” and “awesomesauce.”

      • Ashley says:

        Yes to “world problems” because it is rude to denigrate someone about something that is bothering them and I will add “butthurt” because no matter how many times I see it it never stops feeling homophobic.

    • LMK says:

      Yes on “first world problems”. I would like to think that I am enlightened enough to realize that there are many good things in my life (and many of my problems are insignificant in the bigger picture) but when someone uses that when I am upset, it’s all I can do not to tear into them.

    • Tammy says:

      Completely agree with you on the laziness of “THIS”. Even worse when followed by “SO MUCH THIS.” If you feel the need to emphasize it, why couldn’t you just write out what you thought in the first place?

      Also related: “+1”. Stop trying to make “+1” happen, Google! It’s not going to happen!

  11. Rachel says:

    I’d be good with banishing “reach out” as in “I’ll reach out to Sally and she if she can help.”

    • caro says:

      haha! I also loathe it when people on a “spiritual path” accuse you of “resistance” whenever you don’t see things their way. I.e., “why are you resisting this meditation / eating protocol / observation about your ingrained flaws that you need to work on?”

    • Lesa says:

      Yes! It always sounds more like a song lyric than something you do at work.

    • Jenny says:

      If we ban “in this space” “reach out” “curate” and “It is what it is” I will have almost nothing to say in my professional life. And there are phrases here I’ve never heard yet! (Feeling all the feels?)

  12. ljchicago says:

    “Hot” and “sexy” when describing how people look and thinking that these traits are desirable. How about pretty, attractive, handsome, elegant?

  13. ljchicago says:

    Don’t get rid of bespoke yet. I just learned its meaning two years ago!

    • caro says:

      Sorry, “bespoke,” like artisanal and curated before it, has been so abused and misused that it has now been stripped of all meaning.

      • Alexa says:

        First, I can’t tell you how excited I am to have helped inspire a column on my favorite blog. I actually let out a squeal when I logged on!

        Bow now that I mull it over, instead of banning “bespoke”, “curated”, and yes, “artisinal”, we just send them away for a while to rest and recover?
        All three used to be perfectly good words; it’s not their fault they’ve become so absurdly over-and-misused.

        • Mamavalveeta03 says:

          Me, too, Alexa! Kim’s blog is “addicting”! (Another one…Kim is not the equivalent of heroin.)

  14. kates says:

    ‘Are you still working on it?’ (in reference to an unfinished meal)

    • Judy says:

      Oh, how I hate that one!

    • Gleemonex says:



      • LG says:

        Ooh, this is my folks’ pet peeve. Also, wait to clear the table until everyone is finished, so the one slow eater does not feel weird.

        I sew (clothes and quilts) and people in the sewing world call finished projects “makes.” “These are my new makes!” “Goal: 14 makes for the year.” I’m not sure why it bugs me so much but just say “projects” or “quilts” or whatever. Blegh.

    • susan says:

      In restaurateur Danny Meyer’s book on hospitaliy, he writes that no one who works in his establishments is to use that expression: Makes the food sound dreadful, for one, and eating it seem like a chore.

  15. Mae says:

    “Have a conversation about…” Do ya mean DISCUSS?

    • KK says:

      I was going to say that. “We need to have a conversation about…” NO.NO.NO. “Let’s talk about…”

  16. Julia G says:

    If I see one more fashion magazine use the phrase “effortless chic,” I’ll scream. Annoying phrase for an annoying concept.
    And I’ll second “obsessed.” Especially–again–in fashion magazines.

  17. vandegee says:

    “Get your _____on!”

    “_____ cum _____” (“waitress-cum-actress”)

    And not exactly what you’re going for but… “Literally!”

  18. Mary Alice says:

    Describing anyone as a ‘hater’
    Thinking out of the box
    The incessant use of the word ‘whatever’ to indicate one’s boredom with the subject

  19. Dana says:



  20. Carol says:

    Veggies! For heaven’s sake…it’s vegetables!

  21. Patrishka says:

    “Elevated.” Pls stop. Thx.

  22. y.k. says:

    i must admit I’m fond of “ginormous.”

  23. Katie Lynn says:

    Bespoke is actually fine, if the thing is ACTUALLY BESPOKE. Which, 99.999% of the time it is not. Like this sweater I knit? Bespoke. That sweater you bought at Nordstrom’s that a machine made? NOT bespoke.

    I am really done with those leading article click-bait headlines ‘somebody did this thing and you’ll never guess what happened next!’

    • Alexa says:

      For the .0001% of the time that it is bespoke, it is completely appropriate. I should have clarified that.

      • Viajera says:

        So, not to be a B, I hope, but… it’s only okay if that is true *and* the speaker is British. American? So not okay. Not that I would unfriend them or anything though.

  24. Raina says:


    I’ve never seen a period follow these words.

  25. Andrea G. says:

    Deep experience. (i.e. you know about something.)
    Describing yourself as an “user experience evangelist” or a “artist, data visualizer and provocateur.”
    (Only in the Bay Area.)

  26. Andrea G. says:

    I forgot the worst one:

    Thought partner.

  27. RebeccaNYC says:

    where are you at

  28. miffinmuffin says:

    I would be so happy never to hear the obnoxious phrase “someone has too much time on their hands” ever again — not just because it’s rude, and so beyond tired/unoriginal, but also because it’s pathetic. I hear it most in response to creative endeavors, and spoken by people who watch a lot of tv.

  29. Lori says:

    “Ultra-” and “uber-“, as used to intensify any adjective related to fashion or beauty.

  30. Jax says:

    Please take “the feels” (shudder).

  31. Jax says:

    And also remove the whole phrase “The struggle is real”.

  32. Tina says:

    “Yes please,” as used by bloggers (not you Kim!). As in, “Bespoke cashmere socks? Yes, please.”

  33. themis says:

    I am already weary of hearing or reading that “_______ is my everything!” No, it’s not. Or if it were, I would need to feel sad for that person, and I don’t have the emotional currency to waste on that right now. Clickbaiters, please move on to the next way to express your transient enthusiasm.

  34. Rosie says:

    I hate it when people use the word “absolutely” to answer a question. Like, can I do this with that? Absolutely! Is it safe for blank? Absolutely

  35. Rachel says:

    I have to say, I like saying the word “amazeballs”, as well as “awesome sauce.” They’re such ridiculous words, they make me laugh every time! On a more refined note, I llike using the word “handsome” to describe a solid, nice-looking object. I imagine handsome items are often accompanied by smart accessories.

  36. Bridget says:

    “Panties.” They are underpants.

  37. Chris says:

    I loathe the wincing word “adulting.” If we banished “badass,” then bloggers like Sally McGraw wouldn’t be able to describe their style.

  38. Linden says:

    The use of the word “porn” for anything that isn’t porn. Likewise, the casual use of the word “pimping.”

  39. LMK says:

    I second on “curated”. And any word that is an unnatural combination of two words smashed together (Brangelina, mompreneur, etc.) Also convo and vacay.

    “Thought partner” cracked me up, though. I’m imagining white linen tunics and wind chimes and Yanni in the background.

  40. Maggie says:

    “No problem,” instead of “You’re welcome.” Rampant among 20-something restaurant servers, for some reason.

  41. Linda Kerr says:

    “Eatery” and “issues”! And when people say “less” instead of “fewer”!

  42. Adrien says:

    Any life process described as a “journey” should go. Also, people who claim to be “so blessed” when what they mean is lucky.

    This is a weird one, but I’m really tired of hearing “home” used in place of house. HGTV is a prime offender of this. There was an episode of House Hunters recently where a young woman kept talking about looking for a home (fair enough) and when a condo was suggested she said, “I don’t want to buy a condo, I really had my heart set on a HOME.” Uh. A van down by the river can be a home. You actually have your heart set on a HOUSE. It ain’t your home until you live there.

  43. Susanna says:

    Things with unnecessary periods for emphasis. Like “I. Just. Can’t.”

    Also, I’m sick of “Because ________.”

    And I know I’m in the minority on this, but I find “awesome” grating, unless something actually is awesome, i.e. an awe-inspiring, transcendent experience.

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      Guilty on using awesome. I blame it on having teenagers in my home, but the truth is, it’s just lazy.

  44. Vicki says:

    Use of “ask” as a noun, as in “we want the ‘ask’ to be as clear as possible,” or “that’s a big ‘ask.'” Are the two syllables in “request” really that difficult to say?

  45. Stakra says:

    Any version of blending two things or more often two peoples names, to create a mutant version – Brangelina

  46. Lori says:

    “Covetable” and “craveable”

  47. Sarah says:

    I have many, but..

    “skinnies” and “sunnies”.


  48. Dana says:

    Genius as “it’s genuis the way she mixed the plaids and stripes” or any other use of it not to describe actual geniuses.

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      And we KNOW she wasn’t discussing the topic with Einstein.

    • Cindy says:

      this post should become a style guide of trite, tired and over-worn words and phrases to avoid. While I agree with so many of the ones listed here, “That’s genius!” tops the list of nails on chalkboard expressions for me.

  49. Lara says:

    “Hot.” Also, ban the use of “right” when it’s used as an affirmative after expressing ones opinion or personal experience. Such as “I had bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning, right.” Oh and also ban the use of “done” when used instead of “finished.”

  50. Kaycee says:

    “Artisan.” I walked past an “artisan bar” inside a mainstream hotel yesterday. Just stop.

  51. Trish says:

    “Tresses” makes me cringe.

  52. spacegeek33 says:

    Mine are less fashion-related… “Cali” for California and “Frisco” for San Francisco. Also that “see you next tuesday” word. Hah! Though I the “I’m Gud” for Thank you is another one that bothers me. Good question–thank you for the discussion! (not conversation lol)

  53. Elisa says:

    “Will the following customer please step down?” It’s bad grammar and although I am not 100% sure of the rule (should following modify something?), it sounds wrong to me. I think they are trying to sound “classy.” Just say “next!”.

    • Susanna says:

      Even worse is when they say “following guest,” as though you’re stepping into a hosted party rather than a Starbucks.

      And it irks me when they drop customer/guest altogether and just say “following.”

      I am cranky about many things!

  54. c.w. says:

    I haven’t laughed or agreed with so many opinions in such a long time.

    I would like to add…

    “significant other”

    • Heather says:

      I’m actually OK with this, as I think it’s attempting to acknowledge other kinds of relationships – ie not everyone is a ‘spouse.’

      • c.w. says:

        However, for me, “significant” other implies that there might be an “insignificant” other. Instead of that phrase I refer to the man I live with as my beau and people can infer from that what they will.

        • Heather says:

          Good point. I’ve also used ‘partner,’ but then people think we run a business together.

        • Susanna says:

          I actually find “insignificant other” to be a useful phrase to employ at times–albeit tongue-in-cheek. But it conveys what it needs to.

        • Mamavalveeta03 says:

          Is anyone old enough to remember the proposed “POSSLQ”? “Person of opposite sex sharing living quarters.” Really!

  55. Clatie says:

    Toxin. UGH.

  56. Sara B says:

    Trish is right about tresses. And also lashes.

  57. Lori C says:

    If I have to hear “Let’s do this!” one more time (every action movie, comedy, commercial….)
    Also, at restaurants- “How’s everything tasting?”. Who talks like that?

    • Linden says:

      When I hear “Let’s do this!” in a movie, I know that’s going to sound dated in just a few years. When people rewatch that movie they will cringe.

  58. E says:

    Oh man, Kim you have to get this published somewhere the rest of the world can see.
    Most of mine are up there, especially “where are you at” , where are you is sufficient. Saying you are very welcome when you did not say thank you very much, you just said thank you.
    Mani Pedi Cardi Bestie…
    Manicure is mouthful.. (And no, I am not 75. ;c)

    Have a great day everyone.

  59. Lynne says:

    I had a co worker who used to say “we need to dialog on this”. Not a dialog, which would have been OK. She was overall a good person, but very defensive about her lack of formal education, so she would misuse words all the time trying to sound smarter. It didn’t work…

  60. Lara says:

    Also “lippie” and love used exactly three times – “I love, love, love” that dress.”

  61. Caroline says:

    Fantastic thread. So many are here!
    however someone please take “my bad”.
    The most annoying admission of guilt ever!

  62. KimFrance says:


  63. Tammy says:

    Please, please, PLEASE ban the word “foodie.”

    It’s bad enough that it is a clumsy, unpleasant word, but when I hear someone willingly describe him/herself as one… Ugh.

  64. Zoe Ivory says:

    The feels as shorthand for having feelings. It’s lazy as in what that person is actually feeling is always left out. And I think supposed to be cute. It’s not.

    In the 90s Icon the overused word that has seemed to be replaced by curate. That one drove me bananas.

    I was watching some Woody Allen movies from the late 70s/early 80s and “Terrific” really stood out to me. No one says terrific anymore, we should.

    • Gleemonex says:

      I always imagine “terrific” being said by Gene Wilder.

      • Holly says:

        My boss uses only one adjective: Terrific. Somedays I count the number of times she uses it in an hour. I believe 8 was the record.

        She also says certain words with a a fake British accent. But all foreign words are pronounded with a French accent, even if they are Japanese or Arabic. She also uses a sibilant “s” at the end of words.

        She is ghastly. Also retiring in a few months.

  65. Annie Ree says:

    Love this thread. Several come to mind:
    “having said that”, “that being said” and all variations
    “love you to the moon and back and beyond”
    “I married my best friend”

    • Heather says:

      Everyone I know who has claimed to have ‘married their best friend’ ended up divorced. Coincidence?

  66. belle says:

    artisinal is about as descriptive as all-natural so it’s devoid of power.

  67. Maggie says:

    There is a guy in my office (my age, early 50s) whose slang is almost entirely from the 1950s. Nothing is “cool” or “awesome,” only “nifty.” He says “peachy keen” with a straight face. I think he might be an alien.

  68. Susan H. says:

    Ditto on “circle back.” Also “reach out” instead of contact or call or email. I had a supervisor who used these and many other buzz words and he has ruined all of them for me for eternity.

  69. Bex says:

    The term “mani-pedi” is absolutely rage-inducing for me. We are grown women, not little girls, so I believe we can and should use whole words, not baby-talk abbreviations, when we speak.

  70. Meegan says:

    Starting a reply to a question with ‘So,….). All of the above

    • Maggie says:

      The “So” thing is an affectation all our Tech people at work have adopted. I don’t understand it! Is it a Ted Talk thing?

    • Caroline says:

      My seven year old has a small lisp.
      So she starts the sentence with sho.
      ” sho are we having ice cream or what?”
      I prefer it that way,

    • Margaret Schwartz says:

      “So” sounds so condescending, as if the speaker has to boil down the answer in terms the feeble minded can understand.

  71. Leah says:

    When ordering, by saying “I’ll do the”…insert artisinal food name here. What the?

  72. Cara says:

    “Pulling the trigger” annoys.

  73. MJ says:

    Kudos. Can we please abolish this word?

  74. Debra says:


    If I see this word on the page of a magazine or on a website, I immediately shut my eyes and turn the page or close the site. I refuse to so much as glimpse at an item of clothing thus described.

  75. I AGREE WITH SO MANY OF YOU!! Laughing so hard, I agree so much . . . especially “no worries” and “it is what it is” and “reach out” and touch base UGHHH

    I will also add “rock” as a verb — i.e. “Here I am rocking the leather pants”

    It’s great but I’m OVER IT

  76. Marissa says:

    Let’s please please rid the world of noun/verb “convo.” I do not know how to convo.

    While we’re at it, let’s admit that most instances described as “amazing!” are not amazing. When were any of us last truly “amazed” by something?

  77. Susanna says:

    I keep thinking of new ones. “Adorbs.” And agree about the baby talk–anything that ends in an “eee” sound. Mani, pedi, veggie, bestie, selfie. If you ask me, the British are responsible for this, with the way they diminutize everything, e.g. “brekkie” (which reminds me that I also abhor “sammie,” though I don’t think that one can be blamed on the Brits).

    I also vote that we bring back “smashing,” as in “she looks smashing in that dress.” The English get credit for that one, I think.

    • Susan H. says:

      In addition to smashing, I like to use “stunning.” Who wouldn’t want to be described as stunning??

      • missannethrope says:

        My grandmother, who was a sales assistant at a posh shop in the ’60s, often uttered the word “stunning.” I imagine she addressed her clients as “modom” as well.

  78. Hilary Robertson says:

    I can’t take
    ‘Awesome’. I just can’t.

    Also when ordering food: ‘I’ll DO the burger’

    It sounds idiotic.


  79. Fishmonkey says:

    So many good ones! I love you folks for reminding me how many words and expressions I hate. So I returned to agree on baby talk, and basically everything that is a meme from two years ago. Also to add “uttilize” to the pile. WHAT IS WRONG WITH “USE”, YOU MONSTERS!

  80. Christy Wolfe says:

    “Of the moment”. This sounds like the person has a vocabulary too limited to be able to describe a trend.

  81. Margaret Schwartz says:

    So many good ones already. Please no more “iteration” for “version” or “variation” or “example.” Also “that looks a-MAY-zing on you,” especially from someone trying to sell me something.

  82. Christy Wolfe says:

    OH yes, Susanna, “adorbs”. And “totes”.

  83. Judy says:

    Slightly off topic, and I haven’t watched Top Model in years, but I cringe when Tyra Banks says, “”You’re still in the running towards becoming America’s next top model.”

  84. contingent says:

    “Concerning” used as an adverb rather than the preposition that it is. “Based off” instead of “based on.” I experience such pain on the inside when I read or hear these I want to crawl into a cave and never have human contact again.

  85. #anything and everything. One friend on FB hashtags EVERYTHING, including complete sentences after her posts.
    Any word that implies that this restaurant, thing, dress, blog is so incredibly precious/perfect that nothing else counts. I’m tired of “precious-ness”, not the word but the idea that something is so much more special and perfect than the rest of us poor idiots could ever imagine or aspire to.

    • LMK says:

      “the idea that something is so much more special and perfect that the rest of us poor idiots could ever imagine or aspire to”

      Yes, a thousand times, yes

  86. Patty says:

    “Price point” for “price” – why???????

    • Heather says:

      I think ‘price point’ is meant to imply a range of prices and also implies higher quality, ie, “J Crew has a higher price point than Old Navy.” I guess one could say, “The prices are higher at J Crew than at Old Navy,” but that wouldn’t include the additional implication of higher quality.

  87. Lesa says:

    This string is hilarious — although I’m guilty of a lot of these (including “peachy” — my semi-ironic all-purpose answer to how I am doing on any given day).
    Maybe this is unique to my line of work, but I grow tired of “informed by,” as in “this study was informed by the work of so-and-so.” Makes it sound like those documents have been conspiring together out of our sight.

  88. Lesa says:

    Oh, and “flushed out” when what the speaker really means is “fleshed out.” Argh (sounds of teeth grinding).

  89. Heidi says:

    ANYTHING said in that obnoxious “vocal fry” like the girls on The Bachelor. Ugh.

  90. Judy says:

    Oh, and the latest business jargon: Somebody “reporting into” someone else (their supervisor). It makes me think of icky things. (Icky, now there’s a word I’d like to make a comeback.)

  91. Lisa says:

    So bugged how everything thing on the internet is described as killing it, going viral, and everyone is taking down everything, “There’s one thing you never noticed about…” or “Here’s one thing you never knew about…” So presumptive!
    Also please stop the open letters.

    • AmyM says:

      Agree with stopping the open letters. If someone really wanted to send someone else a letter, they would. Privately. Otherwise it’s just obnoxious grandstanding.

  92. Ktcorz says:

    Drat, I made a list in a meeting last week but tossed it! Remember multiple uses of “socialize” to mean raise awareness, as in “we need to socialize this issue throughout our division.” Also, perhaps borrowing from gender terminology in the news, “binary,” as in “we need a binary solution,” meaning 2 options. Finally, I’ve always cringed a little when I say or am asked if “I’m full” and wish I could use the English version “I’m complete” of the less binge-y French “complet.”

  93. Jennifer says:

    “Not in my wheelhouse” will never, ever in a million years sound normal!!!

  94. lisa says:

    I may be alone here, but I really dislike the “I’m loving” phenomenon.
    For example, “I’m really loving my new Puma creepers”. It raises my hackles each time I hear/see.

  95. Caroline says:

    Oops I forgot to mention….

  96. LG says:

    Ooh, I really dislike “preggers” — shudder. Just say “pregnant.”

  97. Christiana says:

    “Fierce.” I would be happy to not hear that one again, especially if it were replaced by “smart”.

  98. Aaryn Belfer says:

    The phrase “crushing on” needs to be dismembered and fed into the wood chipper.

  99. SueM says:

    This has me gasping I’m laughing so hard.
    I also hate hate the work-related verb/noun juxtapositions so much it reminded me how I truly loathe it when fashion writers use the word “juxtaposition” to gush over what they try and have us believe is the FIRST time anyone ever wore “that” with “this”.

  100. Joy says:

    Please can we banish “bennies” for benefits and staycation?

  101. Holly says:

    I have two:

    “Indicated” as in “she indicated she would attend.” Why can’t you say “she SAID she would attend”? For the love of God , why??? If one more person in my office uses “indicted” when they mean “said”….

    Enterprise as a noun. Why not organization or company?

    • Holly says:

      Indicated no indicted. Sorry…

      • Victoria says:

        The noun-into-verb trend(is there a name for it?) infuriates and mystifies me. I’m a writer/editor currently on the hunt for a new gig, and I have run across dozens of job descriptions that require the successful candidate to “ideate,” “concept,” and “architect” the company’s “content” (never “copy,” but perhaps I am dating myself there). Yuck.

  102. Sisty says:

    “Pant” for “pants,” and “lip” for “lips.” Come on, people!

  103. AmyM says:

    Agree with almost all that have come before me. I’ll add to it:
    Baby bump
    LIttles (referring to children)
    Adulterated spellings of words that are just fine as they are: UH-mazing

  104. laura says:

    I could go on and on
    LITERALLY is so overused right now
    In sports FREE BASEBALL (or free whatever sport is going into overtime)
    PICK SIX for an interception needs to go!
    saying HASHTAG – I hate that
    Thank you for this opportunity to vent!

  105. Linda Kenyon says:

    I cannot STAND ‘baby-bump” it’s too cutesy/creepy. Sets my teeth on edge.
    I do love “smart”! Also “snazzy”. I tell my preschoolers (students) that they’re “sharp” esp.if an outfit they have on is one they assembled themselves.

  106. Katie says:

    I hate unnecessary abbreviations:
    apps for appetizers
    prof for professor

  107. Jessica B says:

    Lately, “insanely” is so overused: “This croissant was insanely good.” “Her dress is insanely chic.” Also, let’s get rid of “chic.” And saying that everything is “well-deserved.” Let’s just take our insanely chic vacations without having to qualify that they’re well-deserved.

  108. Maria J says:

    Let me add to the chorus of people who wish OTHER people would stop ordering food with the phrase, “I’ll do” or “Let’s do a. . .”

    Also on my list “We [or you or I] got this.”

    And also a new thing I see, especially on TV. People are “unpacking” a lot more than suitcases lately, as in “In the next hour, we’ll unpack why Putin is dropping bombs on Syria.” or “My mother left me alone when I was five. I’m still unpacking that.” It seems to sub for both “understand” and “explain” or some conflation of those words.

    Signed, Cranky Girl of a Certain Age

  109. Wendy says:

    I detest the words yummy and tummy when used by anyone over the age of seven. Hearing someone say “Try some of this really yummy wine!” makes me want to punt kittens.
    Also nom nom which was said previously

  110. Nancy says:

    I live in Australia and this is the land of diminutives: Sunnies, Cosies, Relies, Chrissy, and the list goes on. It’s the country that invented the word “selfie.”

    Can we have a new thread with new options? Starting with the words “smart” and “handsome,” what else can we say to move away from the tired and trite?

    • Jane says:

      Oh lord, I never even thought to imagine Australia came up with ‘selfie’. Oh dear, what have we done.

    • Jane says:

      On that note, I could slap someone for saying, “Choccie bickie”.

      • Lou says:

        As a fellow Aussie, I’m surprised to see our far our diminutives have spread. Vegies, bikkies, cossies, sunnies, rashies, relies and selfies. Ideally all in the same sentence. Nothing says home like ‘no worries’.

        And leading on, why do people advertise an inferiority complex with “punching above his/her weight” (should be a criminal offence). Can I also put in an honourable mention for using ‘around’ instead of ‘about’ as in “we talked around the issue of…”

        • Jane says:

          Haha, I saw people earlier discounting the use of ‘no worries’, and felt a little pang – it’s a very Australian thing, and I’m rather fond of it!

  111. Jen says:

    “melty” cheese

  112. MJ says:

    “Over the Moon.” Blech. Particularly when celebrities (or, more accurately, their publicists) use it to describe their newly expectant state or a new baby. Time for a new annoying phrase to use, people!

    • Maggie says:

      I don’t think any celebrity has ever actually uttered the phrase, “over the moon.” I have a hunch it always comes from the same publicist. Isn’t it particularly from British tabloids?

  113. Kate says:

    Creative” as a noun instead of an adjective.

  114. GT says:

    “Amazing.” Unless something is TRULY amazing, like re-attaching a limb or discovering water on Mars, please refrain from using that word before it loses all meaning completely. Like, the eyeshadow you’re wearing might be “flattering,” or even “cool,” but it’s only AMAZING if it also, like, ends world hunger.

  115. Lesa says:

    “Obsessed” (unless you truly are, in which case, why advertise that?)

  116. Moira says:

    I HATE the use of “gifted” meaning “gave” or “given.” It’s become ubiquitous. Did everyone lose their dictionary at once?

  117. Tucson Diva says:

    “Girl” instead of “woman” in professional and political and other public settings. Yes, I know the name of this blog but we use it in a familiar way with each other. Here in Arizona there seems to be a penchant for calling females well over the age of 18 “girls” and I’ve started seeing it crop up again in national news interviews. And while I’m on this topic, using words like bitch, ho, whore, slut, thot, groupies, slides, and the full range of slurs used to describe women — all have got to go.

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      That’s a big peeve of mine, as in, “Why is the boys high school team called The Generals and the girls team, The Lady Generals?” Shouldn’t Title IX have taken care of that outdated wording?

  118. Mary Alice says:

    Everyone here is so smart & funny! I wish we could all have a big cocktail party and be this witty in person.

  119. gablesgirl says:

    I sat through a meal with a couple who kept calling the food “genuine.” If it was not genuine, was it fake? Like GMO? I was so confused.

  120. Linda E. says:

    Ending an email with “Best.” Are you that busy that you can’t possibly take the time to type “regards” as in Best regards?

  121. Mrs. C says:

    Brah, Bro, Dude, and Totally Awesome.

  122. Lori says:

    Came back to second “sammies” and add “yummers” — *ugh*!

  123. Karin says:

    “I love you to the moon and back”” makes me want to kill someone.
    Also, “colorway” – seems to be a new word for “color”, as in “What colorway does that bag come in?”; WHY????

  124. Janey says:

    I’m in the fashion industry and if I hear the phrase “on trend” again, my head is gonna blow up.

  125. Shaniam says:

    Nails on chalkboard to me: “See what I did there?” after spouting some witticism. Bang me over the head, why don’t you? Otherwise I’d never get it!
    Also, kiddos. (Sorry if that one offends).

  126. pamb says:

    Since someone has already said “curated”, let’s go with “hack” (a shortcut isn’t necessarily a hack) and ‘icon’ or ‘iconic’ (something you’ve read about a few times isn’t iconic until it’s stood the test of time.

  127. Susanna says:

    Oh, here’s one I forgot earlier: “You do you”

  128. Jane says:

    So many of these are making me moan and cringe at my desk!

    I really, really do not like all of those bloody acronyms getting thrown around, and their catchphrase meanings as well, like, “TFW” and “FTW”. Really most recent Internet slang is insufferable.

  129. Suzanne says:

    I don’t thing this has been posted yet, but gift as a verb. Enough. It was a gift given to you, or a gift you have given to someone. What’s so wrong with the word given?

  130. Dana says:

    I must add when someone says “BOOM!” at the end of their statement as if what they are saying in the difinitive, final thing on a topic.

  131. shelly says:

    These are so great. The whole list should be made into a style guide for bloggers and fashion writers, business people, etc.

    May I add:
    “Mic drop”
    “on trend”

    • Shaniam says:

      Tots (lol) on board with mic drop! Just give yourself a pat on the back and be done with it! (I still like lol).

  132. slimkeith says:

    I can’t tell you how much I dislike the word, “Haters”. Anybody who disagrees with someone else is automatically labeled a, “Hater”.

    Also can we please loose the word, “Conversate”–that one really drives me crazy.

    I second the use of the word, “Smart”.

    P.S. One more por favor, can we loose the word, “Genius”? As in that coat is, “Genius”!

  133. kelly says:

    Using “female” as a noun instead of an adjective. Even worse, making it a plural noun, as in “Females enjoy awesome artisanal apps!”
    “outside the box” and all other empty cooperate buzzwords
    “Can I help who’s next?”

  134. Meredith says:

    I cringe when I hear “love on,” as in “look at this picture of Quinoa loving on her little brother.” Why not just say love or hug?

    Make it stop, please. I shudder.

    • Heather says:

      Can I add in general: made-up names for children? Or made-up spellings of classic names, ie Jynnifher?

      • Lara says:

        But, aren’t all names made up? Some just more recently. Even the “classic” names started somewhere. Mary and Katherine are made up names too.

  135. Amanda says:

    “Booties” instead of ankle boots or short boots.

  136. joannawnyc says:

    This is so funny! Loved reading all the comments.

    “Internet words” don’t bother me that much, in fact they often make me laugh. And I don’t mind the use of slang, although sometimes it’s startling to hear something that originated on the streets of Brooklyn or Atlanta come out of the mouth of a suburban teen.

    Language is a wonderful, living thing and I’m fascinated by all the changes in meaning and usage that happen constantly.

    That said, I am sick as hell of “baby bump,” “yummy mummy,” and most other British tabloid-isms. Let’s make up our own catchphrases!

  137. Diane says:

    I hate “money shot”

  138. TC says:

    Please let’s get rid of “pair with” used with more than one object, as in “I pair the sweater with tweed leggings and platform boots.” THREE = NO LONGER A PAIR. I see this all the time and it drives me bonkers.

  139. Sadie says:

    “Cool-beans” is that inferring beans are cool?

  140. Elle says:

    Fur baby. For starters, it plays into nasty impulses to “replace” actual babies (i.e. fill the void) for people without children. On a conceptual level, though, the word evokes furry creatures emerging from your vagina. Why would you want me to have that image?

    PS–This may be my favourite post of all time. I hate so many of these words (and even learned new ones to instantly hate)!

  141. Ramonaquimby says:

    Wow! This post really elicited a response. I don’t know if anyone has said this yet but SO tired of “reach.” As in: this is the cream I keep reaching for, you’ll be reaching for these booties come winter time (or…whatever). It’s peaked. Enough!

  142. Shaniam says:

    Just sayin’

  143. Jen says:

    Please, for the love of all that is holy, can we agree to stop using the phrase, “Keep Calm and _____ On?”

    Thank you, that feels better. I have been needing to get that off my chest for some time.

  144. Rebecca says:

    I can’t stand the way so many people online use “simply,” as in “Simply stunning.” No one talks this way in real life. It’s annoying and boring and also troubling how so many people adopt these phony baloney ways of “speaking” online. Use your words! There are so many of them!

  145. Lesa says:

    That’s how we roll.

  146. Elisa says:

    “It’s in my wheelhouse.” UGH!

  147. jenny says:

    This post was so very humorous and compelling that my 10.75 year old daughter HAD to comment. haha
    Love you guys!!

  148. Erica Byrne says:

    This thread caused me to snort wine (not bespoke, curated, or artisanal, just wine) out my nose twice. My only addition to this excellent list is “squee!” That noise should never be written out, only experienced. Use squeal if you have to.

  149. Kathryn says:

    1. “Ladyparts”
    2. “It is what it is”

  150. Cris says:

    First of all, I love this thread so much! I agree with just about everything and I also sheepishly admit that I have used quite a few of these words.

    Just in the past month everyone in my office (I’m in marketing) has been talking about “optics” to describe having a big picture vision i.e. “Elaine will share the optics of this project in next week’s meeting.” I’m already sick of it.

  151. humorlessfeminist says:

    This post and thread thrilled me–I’m glad to know there are dozens upon dozens of Women of a Certain Age With Very Certain Ideas About Language.

    To second these:

    It is what it is
    All the feels
    So on point
    Because [fill in the blank]
    Reach out
    Circle back
    Bascially any term/phrase used widely on the Internet to express (what is probably an inhuman and unhealthy amount of) enthusiasm

    I kind of love the Bob Fosse-era loucheness of “jazzed”–as in “He’s not really jazzed about it” or “I’m totally jazzed about it”

    • rosanne cowen says:

      These are great. I’d add to this list:

      Best. Day. Ever. (Particularly when written by a g.o.a.c.e. who should not write like that.

  152. Ana @Champagnegirlsabouttown says:

    “Inspired” is definitely my pet peeve. When I read yet another Insta caption saying “feeling inspired” I always want to ask “inspired to do what, exactly?”

  153. Kristin says:

    “Conversate.” It’s not a word..

  154. Lynn Wegmann says:

    I can’t stand when people say “jelly” instead of jealous. It makes my teeth hurt!

  155. Karen says:

    Some people may disagree about this one, but I can’t stand when a person says someone has “passed” when they have died. It’s going to happen to us all. Get over it.

    I can even deal with “passed away.” But passed? Where? In the hallway? His English class? It drives me crazy!

  156. Lisa says:

    Late to this – but “disrespect” as a verb. Spendy and impactful are hoorible.

  157. Violet says:

    1 – “Have a good one!” A good what? Day? Meal? Bowel movement? I first heard this while living in L.A. in the late 80s. Hated it then, still hate it now.

    2 – “Grow the business.” There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with this one but it rubs me the wrong way like bad velvet. How about ‘increase’ or ‘expand’?

  158. RunsInPink says:

    I am late to the party here – LOTS of excellent suggestions! Here’s mine: Can we please, please, PLEASE stop using the word “gift” as a verb? WE HAVE A PERFECTLY GOOD VERB FOR THAT ALREADY. Ahem. Sorry to shout, but it literally makes me itch every time I hear or read about anyone “gifting” something. And as the holidays approach, it’s only going to get worse. All I want for Christmas is for everyone to GIVE gifts.

  159. Tia says:


    Everything is a game changer…from Spanx to the Ebola vaccine.

  160. rosanne cowen says:


    Once upon a time, it meant something. It described a spectacular sunset or your first view of the Grand Canyon.

    But today, the word lives in service to Facebookers and bloggers and others who use it constantly. The birthday wishes on Facebook (which took the wishers all of 10 seconds to do) make the birthday person feel “amazing”. Their friends are “amazing”. The weather is “amazing” The children and chicken parm are “amazing”.

    Grace-less amazing has to go.

  161. language lover says:

    Yowza! (can I still say that?)
    What an ARTISNAL post. I think this SPEAKS TO our frustration with the over use of words we try to resurrect to somehow set ourselves above or apart from the COMMON MAN. An endeavor not unworthy, but in this day and age of instant everything, the masses rise so quickly to the trendy that words and phrases are very quickly over used and cliche. The majority of the examples here seem to be the misused (artisnal) and the shortened versions meant to be cutesy (selfie,sammie). This just shows how admiration for education and common sense have been replaced by admiration for pizzazz and sparkle. Sad, really. That being said, (I couldn’t resist) “Classy” has always driven me bat$&!% crazy. Now I am off to make some artisnal cheese. Which is actually artisnal cheese because I just milked the cow.
    hahahaha what fun!

  162. Jessemy says:

    Surreal instead of unreal.

  163. Satori says:

    So many and agree with all of the above. Here are some of mine…

    “There are a bunch of different ways to skin the cat.” – Ummmm, gross.

    “Anywho” – Who started this one? And how on earth did it catch on?

    “Brother from another mother.” – Just dumb.

    “Money shot”- So classless. Do people even know what they’re saying?

    The misuse of “further” and “farther” will never not bug me.

    “Cool beans.” – Might as well just say “I’m a big dork.”

    I have more but I don’t want to sound like a cranky old person.

  164. Kristine says:

    I don’t know if anyone has used this phrase yet, but it really bugs me. “To be honest with you…” First off, it’s totally condescending and second, it implies that everything that was said before that sentence was a complete lie. Just skip it if you can’t think of anything to say.