Banned Words 2012

Lake Superior State Univeristy has published its list of Banned Words for 2012, created by popular vote.   Have a look.

Pretty weak, isn’t it? I don’t even know what Trickeraton or Man Cave means (and please don’t tell me.)   Let’s face it, this list is just bullshit. We’ll  make  our own, like we did last year. I’ll start:

Push back
The American People
Cult Status
Going Viral

I don’t want to see or hear these words any more. They’re dead to me.

Your turn!


88 Responses to “Banned Words 2012”

  1. Heidi Says:


  2. sharnek Says:

    Gifted (as in I was gifted these shoes / coat / bag etc)

    Can we see the return Vagina? Why did it ever go away!

  3. mimi Says:

    ooh, i agree on ‘slut-shaming’, although it’s probably because i see it everywhere and yet i haven’t really had the energy to even bother trying to figure out what it means.

    and 100% YES on ‘gifted’, it just reeks of entitlement.

    my pet hate is still “nom nom nom”, “nommy”, “om nom”, or even worse “nommylicious” – VOMIT. what is even more heinous is that it is used by people aged over 30. ick.

  4. andrea Says:

    thrifted. As in ” top from the Gap, skirt- thrifted”. Which means that the skirt came from a smelly Goodwill or Salvation Army. (No value judgements there, but people should just tell it like it is). “thrifted” sounds so much more romantic and hipster, no? Which is why it should be banned.

  5. sisty Says:

    Yes, gifted!

    And thrifted!

    utilize — what’s wrong with “use”?

    conversate — which of course isn’t a real word, but you’d be surprised how many mouths it comes out of.


    pant when you mean “pants”

    real time

  6. DCD Says:

    There is one word from the University’s list that deserves to be on our list too: Ginormous.

  7. maki b podell Says:

    how about inauthentic-
    id like to blame it all on dr phil and oprah….

  8. patni Says:

    ewwwwwwwwwwwww skinnies and luxe. I HATE luxe.

  9. O D Y S S E Y Says:

    I’m with you on several of these. Why can’t people simply use real words?
    – Fashionista. Use of this made-up term needs to stop. I feel embarrassed for anyone whose vocabulary includes “fashionista”.
    – Anything-“licious”. This one also needs to go away unless it is, in fact, a real word such as “delicious”.

  10. patni Says:

    my addition and i could be wrong, is pair. Every time i read of another fashion blogger “pairing” red pants and yellow socks and pink boots and a black bow, my head explodes. Isn’t a pair two? so i guess you could pair red pants and pnk shoes, but it is not a pair if you add the yellow belt. It could all be an abomination, but that is another thread.

  11. patni Says:

    crisp white shirt. Pull out a damn thesaurus.

  12. honeypants Says:

    I think we had ‘sexy’ to modify inanimate objects or ideas last year, didn’t we?

    Someone up there said ‘inauthentic’ – I nominate ‘authentic’ as well.

    Besties. Totes. I still hate Pop.

    In reference to vagina up there, I have a friend who says ‘va-geen’ and it makes me want to stab my ears out every time I hear it.

    And whenever I see ‘jeggings’ at a store, I want to scream.


  13. Tanya Says:

    “Body-snarking” makes me want to throw things. I’m adding the variants, “lady bits” and “lady-boner” to the dead-to-you “lady parts.” It bothers me that “amazeballs” is still around.

  14. purpleafricanprincess Says:

    “fabulosity”- like wtf? Who made that one up
    “absolutely”- always used wrongly
    “babe”- used by anoyne over 21 pathetic

  15. Marky Says:

    Yes, how is ‘amazeballs’ still around?

    I have to admit, ‘douche’ and all variants (‘douche bag,’ douche nozzle,’ ‘douchey’) are bugging me these days.

    I know we’ve written about ‘curated,’ but I still hear too many people use it without irony.

    ‘Heritage’ to describe a style of clothing is really disgusting, especially because I like most clothing that is described as ‘heritage.’

    ‘Partner’ used to describe a straight person’s husband or wife is gross.

  16. Aly Says:

    “post-baby body” makes me crazy!

  17. kate Says:

    i live in san francisco where “curate” is running rampant and wreaking havoc amid the vocabularies of the artist-hipster-brokeass-sombitches who think a sandwich shop makes for a fabulous location for a gallery opening.

  18. Ann Says:

    I agree with all of yours. And I’m also with Tanya – “lady boner” has GOT to go. Honeypants – “totes” needs to disappear, and of course Marky is right in pointing out “curated.”

    I’ve also recently heard a run on the phrase “to the extent that,” used as follows: “Please invite Sister Wolf to the meeting, to the extent that she has an interest in attending.” STOP making things more verbose than they need to be!

  19. Tanya Says:

    Yes, Ann! “to the extent that…”, “to the degree that..”! Awful. I just thought of another stupid convention that gets under my skin. It’s that thing where they list off something that is attractive/appealing to them in the form of a question, followed by a “Yes, please!” An example: “Raspberry macarons and mimosas followed by pedis with the girls? Yes, Please!!” No.

  20. Sister Wolf Says:

    ARTISAN! How could I forget?!?

  21. Andra Says:


    What the fuck is a jegging?

  22. Srenna Says:


    * So sick of slut-shaming!
    But Man Cave is super annoying. Every episode of House Hunters on HGTV employs this term. The lady part of the couple will trill over islands in the kitchen, and the guy part of the couple will look for his “man-cave”.

  23. Kellie Says:

    these are far better than the list provided by “Superior”
    I agreee, all the fashiony words made up by hipster wannabees.
    And referring to pieces of clothing/accessories as “she”

    “she is a lovely coat”


  24. Madame Fifi Says:

    “A pop of color” makes me want to rip out my own intestines with a fork. Why, I don’t know, but I hate it. Also, “a red [or pink or brown or whatever] lip”. It’s called LIPSTICK.

    And, please, stop calling everything “amazing”. First of all, it rarely IS amazing, and secondly, get yourself a damned thesaurus.

  25. Debbie Says:

    i now it’s an old saying but I CAN’T STAND YADA YADA YADA UGH!

  26. patni Says:

    also i despise moto, it means nothing. Also curate and snag when you mean buy. All kinds of verbosity annoy me. TV newscasters seem to be particularly guilty of these kinds of idiocies.At this hour, at the noon hour, one of our own, fallen hero etc. One that always makes me laugh is when they ask a sports player or a bystander to a disaster how they felt and they say they felt all the emotions.

  27. kate Says:

    what really bothers me about the word “jeggings” is that it’s jeans + leggings… and that could have just as easily been shortened to “leans”! which would be so much more clever! and easier on the ears, but i suspect we’d still be sick of it by now anyway.

    “i have a lady boner for this fashionista’s personally curated style. the most AMAZING skinnies and an AMAZING super-luxe bag she says she thrifted for a song – paired with a red lip for a pop of color? yes please!!”
    …just trying my hand at it.

  28. Cricket9 Says:

    Oh god, I couldn’t agree more with everyone here. What a bunch of a smart people you are! I would add “Kardashian”.

  29. St. Says:

    Really surprised not to see this on the list –

    “swag” — or anything to do with having “swagger”.

  30. shoestring Says:

    Also second Madame Fifi’s “pop of color.”

  31. mimi Says:

    “‘fabulosity’- like wtf? Who made that one up?”

    purpleafricanprincess, i believe it was kimora lee simmons.

    oh and i agree with “lady boner” that is just plain AWFUL.

    i also despise the term “food baby” – revolting!

  32. kt Says:

    “Cray” is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

  33. the other Debbie Says:

    up tick
    man cave
    not words but so annoying: fist pumps and “bro” hugs

  34. Sister Wolf Says:

    “To be honest,”

  35. Sister Wolf Says:

    Marky -But I’m not done with “douche” yet! Last night I called the lead singer of Maroon 5 a douche and had a fight with my husband over it. If that guy’s not a douche, who the fuck is????????????????

  36. annemarie Says:

    marky- amen! straight people who say “partner” should be burned at the stake.

  37. Jill Says:


  38. Mr. San Pedro Says:

    I admire everyone’s sensitivity to words. You all really brought your A game, I mean, you just brought it.

  39. diana Says:

    patni-i LOATHE pair. it’s basically included in every description on and i can’t even go there anymore. i also hate how every fashion blogger thinks they’re being really innovative by suggesting that you “pair a biker jacket with a lace dress for a girly/edgy juxtaposition!”

    some of these are more expressions than anything, but…
    “wow. just…wow” as a reaction to something someone disapproves of
    “holy ____ batman”
    “first world problems”
    “check your privilege” (which doesn’t mean i’m against doing so, i just hate the phrase)

    yeah i’ll be back

  40. Jaimi Says:

    Tacking on “-gate” to anything remotely scandalous. Fucking enough already.

  41. diana Says:


  42. Victoria Says:

    I second the ‘lip’ thing. And ‘lippie’ in addition. As in ‘she finished the look with a red lippie’.

    As for The University list, it seems rather pretentious. For example, ‘blowback’ vs. ‘reaction': reaction is neutral, but blowback has a more negative connotation, so they are not fully interchangeable, are they?

  43. DCD Says:

    Mommy Blog

  44. diana Says:

    daily outfit
    “the boy” referring to boyfriends

  45. Cristine Says:

    My list is dated: “my bad”, “been there, done that” & worst of all, “you GO girl” which I heard on a daily basis last year when I was dealing with a broken hip-walking my dalmatian while using a cane & dragging my leg behind me. People would give encouragement by yelling “You GO Girl!” & while I realised they meant well I had an overwhelmong desire to slam them over the head with my cane.

  46. patni Says:

    Squee! is it me or does it sound vaginal?

  47. annemarie Says:

    The husband and I always joke about the lameness of “you GO girl!,” and we often use it in inappropriate situations because we think it’s funny. [example: “wait two seconds while I take a pee…you GO girl!”].

    But the other day when I was at work my psychic boundaries failed me, and private and public merged in a bad way. I was having trouble with the photocopier, and a woman I don’t know came and helped me fix it. We high-fived each other because neither of us had ever fixed a photocopier before. Five minutes later, after I had finished and was leaving, I saw the woman who had helped me busy making her own photocopies and, without thinking, I shouted “you GO girl” in her ear as I walked past.

    I’m fucking mortified now and haven’t set foot in the office since.

  48. kate Says:

    sunnies. perhaps soon we will wear shoosies and hold baggies.

  49. Make Do Style Says:

    Fashion Blogger

  50. Braindance Says:

    Sister, that guy from Maroon 5 is the poster boy for douche, he is douche times 10 to the power of 9.

    I hope you won the argument, if it rears up again, to prove your point, just squeal in his face the chorus of his douche anthem song, moves like Jagger, who I also think is a massive douche, I like to call him Prick Jagger

    I don’t think I could have fit in any more commas if I tried, I obviously type like I speak, slowly with pauses.

  51. Joan Says:

    Heartfelt agreement with so many of these (especially “curate”– nails on a chalkboard). Also, “bespoke” and “luxury”

    Oh, and “on point”.

  52. Sister Wolf Says:

    Diana – oh god, “wow…just wow” is excruciating.

  53. Sister Wolf Says:

    Mr San Pedro – And I like the way you just upped yours!

  54. Sister Wolf Says:

    annemarie – Hahahahahahahahahahahhahaha!

  55. Dolly Says:

    I personally am sick of the phrase getting “on it”. Now I enjoy alcohol as much as the next 20 year old but I prefer to stick to the classics such as getting hammered or simply just drunk. I have no idea what the fuck I’m even supposed to be getting on? Alcohol? The Moron Train? What?

  56. candy Says:

    “believe it or not i’m working on it” that’s what comes to mind when I read the banned words. I don’t use any of those but I do hear gifted, thrifted, wow oh wow, and douchebag. Idon’t like most ofthe ones you listed Sister Wolf.

  57. Andra Says:

    I just read about a home for sale in Los Angelese which is described as “extremely private and emotional.”
    I have no idea what that means.

  58. candy Says:

    Andra, I can’t stop laughing…next thing you know the walls start crying.

  59. Sister Wolf Says:

    Andra – WOW, I LOVE that. Since I’m in LA, maybe I can call and inquire as to its emotionality?

  60. Kara Says:

    Yes! Down with counter-intuitive!! When I was in grad school, that stupid word was used at least six times an hour, and it made me crazy. These days, I occasionally, find myself in a situation where the word would be actually useful, but I still refuse to use it.

    On the other hand, I think “lady parts” is funny. But I own jeggings, so don’t listen to me.

  61. Juli Says:

    I hate when people refer to pregnant bellies as “baby bumps” or “bump alert.” Bump? It’s not a fucking bump. I want to kill someone when I see that.

  62. mimi Says:

    ‘work it giiiiiiirl’ (think toddlers and tiaras-esque stage mothers) is even worse than ‘you go girl!’

    ‘lippie’ will never bother me as it is common aussie slang.

    adding a new one – ‘haul’, as in being on a fashion blog and they write ‘i went shopping, check out my haul’ … ick.

  63. sulky kitten Says:

    Chillax……I will, after I’ve punched you.

    Cool……..I’ve been grinding my teeth on this one for a long time

    Pinterest……….I HATE this , and it’s everywhere.

  64. Andrea Says:

    THE husband, THE boyfriend etc. Please just say MY.

  65. Sam Says:

    Recently heard an interview with the director of a local theatre company – we all get what that is right? But no, hers was a Theatre ‘Laboratory’.

    I yelled out loud at the radio.

    I was on my own.

    I Love it when I do that.

  66. tina Says:

    I agree with Juli–baby bump makes me batshit.
    the “new normal”
    The haves and the soon to haves (STFU Mitt or whichever rich fuckass said that).

    I heard that Beyonce and Jay Z are going to trademark Blue Ivy’s name so that is also one I look forward to despising.

  67. Bonnie Says:

    This is a great list. Can we also lose rock? As in ” I will rock a pair of red jeans this spring”. I have lots of clothes that I wear. At the end of the day I change into sweats. I don’t rock those either. This one makes me wanna slap someone.

  68. Dru Says:


    Sister, are you reading my mind? I would dearly love for the phrase “____[fill-in-the-blank]____ – shaming” to go the way of names like Dorcas and those funny old Puritan names – i.e. embarrassing stuff that belongs in the distant, DISTANT past.

    It’s lazy shorthand and a travesty of the English language, and should never be seen outside of Jezebel/idiot teenage social justice warriors’ tumblrs.

  69. Dru Says:

    I also second the Vote of Death to “authentic”, “rock”, “awesomesauce” and “totes”. They are barely tolerable when confined to the idiot writers and commenters on a blog I mentioned in my last comment, and absolutely infuriating in the general lexicon.

    And I will add “amirite?” (I wish people would spell properly when they are trying to be patronising) and “asshat” (most pathetic attempt at an insult ever) to the list.

  70. Patricia Says:

    “red” as in “I got a classy bottle of red” Jeez.

  71. honeypants Says:

    69 comments before this (including one of my own) and no one has yet mentioned adding “-gasm” to anything! As in “shoegasm” AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!

    Also, my friend who says va-geen apparently also recently just heard about amazeballs, and she uses that all the time too. Same with awesomesauce. So stupid!

    St. thank you for bringing up swag/ger. Makes me want to punch people.

    We’ve been needing to lose ‘rock’ for eons – and THANK YOU SW for bringing up ‘artisan’!!! I know that’s usually my go-to complaint (oh god, go-to is horrible too!)

    So many good ones on this list -oh oh, I mean “What an amazing list we have curated!” hahaha!!!

    VOM! I hate VOM too! How about ralph? Can we bring that back? Or hurl? Speaking of which, “I just threw up in my mouth” makes me want to throw up in YOUR MOUTH whenever you say it!!! UGH!

  72. Aly Says:

    I really though that the fashion blogger favorite, “achingly cool,” had seen its last days. But it just appeared on net-a-porter’s magazine this week. I am still a fan of net-a-porter, but their magazine is dead to me.

  73. Helen Says:

    “Courtesy of” must die, at least when used by fashion bloggers. Your overpriced, unethical t-shirt is not “courtesy” of whoever is hip these days! Your “edgy” two-finger ring with a *gasp* cross or your pentagram necklace is not “courtesy” of random etsy-seller!

  74. Andra Says:

    Aly, I quite like the idea of someone being “achingly cool” although it’s doubtful if I would ever have occasion to use it.
    I can’t think of anybody I know to whom this term would apply.
    However, I think I will, sometimes, think of myself as “achingly cool” – but silently.

  75. Jules Says:

    Don’t think anyone mentioned it, but the quite horrible vajazzle, I mean seriously who the fuck had a look at a vagina and thought, well this could use a bit more bling …

    For the rest I think I’ve been quite good at avoiding/ignoring most of the words on the list and in the comments

    Love, Jules

  76. honeypants Says:

    Jules — I abhor that!

    I would like to point out that the vagina is internal and is actually not what is being -azzled. It is instead the “Mons veneris” otherwise known as the Mons pubis, or just the Mons. So it should be referred to as Monazzled, but because people are idiots and didn’t pay attention in biology class they have come up with this shameful misnomer.

  77. Cricket9 Says:

    Andra, I’m sure you ARE “achingly cool”… so am I on a good day – mua-ha-ha-ha ha-ha! Can’t imagine anyone using it in a real conversation, would probably pee myself laughing, I guess I don’t hang out in the right circles!
    Honeypants, you’re right – all these vajazzling people have a very weak grip on female anatomy.

  78. regularstarfish Says:

    Thanks guys – laughed so hard! I needed this. I heard a new one today during a work meeting, must be common among the hipster crowd (another groan-inducing word: hipster), and it’s called…wait for it:


    Apparently it stands for “user experience”. As in the U-Ex that we are having on this site is wonderful because of the categories on the side and the archive.

    Give me a break.

  79. Elaine Says:


  80. Make Do Style Says:

    I have a new one ‘storyifying’ ugh!!

  81. honeypants Says:

    Oh, I have to add “sexy time.” I HATE THAT!!!

  82. Dru Says:

    ^ me too, honeypants. Just seeing the word “sexytimes” typed out – or worse, having to do it myself like I just did – makes me recoil.

  83. Elizette Says:

    I’m with Aly on “achingly cool”, and would add “effortlessly cool” – I’m pretty sure it was on last year’s list but the damn thing still hasn’t gone away.

    Other words which drive me nuts are from office-speak more so than from blogging: touch base (STOP! just call them), drill down (as in, “once we’ve covered the basics we’ll drill down into the main topics”), and unpack (as in, “unpack the details (of a topic)”. Aaaarrrrrgghh!!!

    Further to Sister Wolf’s nomination of “artisan”, let’s add “artisinal” (commonly seen on cafe/restaurant menus to describe a dish or its ingredients).

  84. alison Says:

    “HUBBY”, ew ew ew ew

  85. sprockets Says:

    Price point

    Color way




  86. Jane Says:

    If I hear one more person reply to something someone says with the
    arrogant “Really?” or “interesting?” You know the tone I am talking about.
    They must die.

  87. martha Says:

    I’m tired of hearing “I’m obsessed with this & that” from all the fashion bloggers out there

  88. Tammy Says:

    “Nom nom nom”… How old are you? Are you incapable of saying “tasty” “delicious” “this is good” ” I love this dish” or any variation thereof? This is the sound a baby makes when suckling mother’s breast. Is that what we want to sound like? Ick!

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