The Most Annoying Word(s)

by | Jan 16, 2018


Marist College’s annual polling to determine the most annoying word of the year has again found, for the ninth year in a row, that the word “whatever” is the most annoying word used in casual conversation. Other words found annoying in this year’s poll include “fake news”, “no offense, but”, “literally”, and “you know what I mean.”

Interestingly, those over age 45 tend to find “whatever” more annoying than those under 45 do. For those under 45, “no offense” is the most grating word/phrase.

Other words/phases found annoying over the years by Marist include:

  • Huge (that was on the list last year)
  • You know 
  • it is what it is 
  • anyway 
  • at the end of the day 
  • like
  • Just sayin’
  • You know what I mean
  • To tell you the truth . . .
  • Not on the list, but one I find quite annoying is “to make a long story short.”

While the Marist Poll asked what word was most annoying, it appears that another word is the most repugnant: moist. Why is moist and other words such as “crevice,” “slacks,” and “luggage” so repugnant? If you are interested, you can read more here in a scientific paper entitled: A Moist Crevice for Word Aversion: In Semantics Not Sounds


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