The Thursday Thirteen: 13 of My Least Favorite Words in the English Language

I’ve been talking a lot about words recently, about the sound and the feel of certain words. Last week, I talked about some of my favorite words in the English language. A lot of those words are lyrical, lovely sounding words.

But there are also a lot of ugly-sounding words. Those words get caught, their texture and sound irksome. Those are the words I don’t like, the words I try to avoid. Some of my least favorites:

1. Moist. There’s something about the sound that I just absolutely cannot stand.

2. Rural. I find the word difficult to say, especially with my Southern drawl, without it just sounding like a bunch of mashed together syllables.

3. Crusty. I don’t even like the noun “crust” that much, but when you make it an adjective, it just sounds yucky.

4. Belly. I’m not sure what it is about this one, but I just hate it. Maybe it’s that the adorable, flexible yoga instructor on the videos I’ve been using says “belly” in this awful cutesy, not-out-of-breath-at-all-meanwhile-I’m-panting sort of way. Maybe it’s that it sounds like “jelly.” I don’t know, but i don’t like it.

5. Pimple. It’s just….Ew.

6. Firstly. What? Why? I’m not sure there’s a reason for that -ly, and I don’t like it.

7. Succulent. It doesn’t sound nearly as good as it’s supposed to.

8. Pus. It’s partly the meaning, partly the word itself. It’s an ugly word for an ugly thing.

9. Prissy. There’s something about the sound of it that irks me.

10. Unction. *Shudder.*

11. Curdle. I’m not sure what it is about this one, but I just don’t like it.

12. Receptacle. Too clinical and harsh sounding.

13. Spunky. Just. No.

Alright. I’m off now, to try and read something with lovely language that doesn’t set my teeth on edge. 🙂



Leave a Comment

  1. Instead of rural, how about pastoral or bucolic? (Assuming you’re talking about nice things 🙂 ) Hubby makes fun of me for using those words as often as I do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good list. I agree with all except for #7. I’d throw another one on the pile though:
    It’s just an ugly sounding way to describe something that we all do every day, and of course it sounds a lot like something else.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree about the belly thing. Unless it’s linked with Jelly Bellies – then I’m all over those things. I’m starting to think I like bellies only when they are combined with another word 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with most on your list and, as I’m sure is true for all of us, have a lengthy list of my own! The moist made me laugh though, mainly because it’s a standing joke within my family. I know a few Americans who do not like the word, and if I’m honest, I’d never given it much thought. But in the UK, especially Yorkshire where I’m from, there’s an expression ‘has tha nowt moist?’ It was uttered by a well known comedian (Peter Kay), and there are even t-shirts with the expression! It is used in reference to food (as in gravy) and the differences between the North and South. For that reason, it always makes me chuckle (especially as I hear Peter’s voice in my head). It is questionable in other contexts though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really funny! There’s something about the actual sound of the word “moist,” especially when it’s said by a drawling Southern U.S. accent, that it just—gross sounding.

      Liked by 1 person

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