Moist! Jowls! And Panties, Oh my!

The English language has thousands of words, many of which are borrowed from other languages, or have roots in other languages. Teaching English means to teach vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and semantics. It’s important that our students learn new words and expand their vocabulary base. They can communicate better in both written and spoken language as they study and use what they know.

Yet, there are words we come across in books, periodicals, and other media that some people absolutely hate. I have a few myself, actually. There’s a Monty Python sketch that covers this topic pretty effectively.

If you don’t know what word aversion is, here’s a definition given by a grammar page at

Strong dislike for a particular word (or type of word) based on its sound, meaning, usage, and/or associations. Also known as word aversion.

In a post on Language Log, linguistics professor Mark Liberman defines the concept of word aversion as “a feeling of intense, irrational distaste for the sound or sight of a particular word or phrase, not because its use is regarded as etymologically or logically or grammatically wrong, nor because it’s felt to be over-used or redundant or trendy or non-standard, but simply because the word itself somehow feels unpleasant or even disgusting” (December 27, 2012).

While my disgust of the word “moist” (I shudder every time I have to type it, it’s an uncomfortable word) is great, I don’t go into a panic attack over it. I just choose to ignore its existence. The humor website, Cracked, has not one – but two – articles covering this topic.

What were the most hated words of 2013?

The University Herald published an article over one year ago letting readers know what the top 13 most hated words are. Do you want to find out?

According to the article these are the most hated words/phrases of 2013:

  1. Selfie
  2. Twerk/Twerking
  3. Hashtag
  4. Twittersphere
  5. Mister Mom
  6. T-Bone
  7. On Steroids
  8. -ageddon (added to some event to exaggerate it)
  9. -pocalypse (same as ‘-ageddon’)
  10. Intellectually/Morally Bankrupt
  11. Obamacare
  12. Adversity
  13. Fan Base

You can read the full article here.
Here‘s another article you can check out. What words do you hate?


Filed under English, ESL, Humor, Monty Python, Teaching

2 responses to “Moist! Jowls! And Panties, Oh my!

  1. I agree with the list, except. My favorite word is anachronistic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post and great MP choice!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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