Time To Banish Words!

Axe Murderer jude


It might be a little early but let’s make our list of words we don’t want to hear in 2014.

Time online is asking readers to vote on a list of 15 annoying words or terms. “Selfie” is a must for any list of awful words, but what the hell is “FOMO?”  I only just learned YOLO!

I may be too old and out-of-it to know all the linguistic outrages of 2013 (‘At the end of the day’ and ‘Reach out’ are perennials) but so far I’m on board with these:

Because + noun
Lean in
Cultural Appropriation

Okay, you can see I need help.  Suggestions?

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64 Responses to “Time To Banish Words!”

  1. Jomamma Says:

    Said no one

  2. Harmreduction Says:

    Maven, curated, wildcrafted…I am sick of these as well!

  3. ali Says:

    “fragment + though” and “noun + though” as conversational crux.

    Seeing this list feels like the first step of therapy (that will ultimately never work)

  4. Shewrote Says:

    high stakes tests
    English Language Learners
    Growth Model
    Race to the Top—since when is childhood a race? And who is racing? Probably the children that got left behind!

  5. Lauren Says:

    FOMO is Fear Of Missing Out. It’s supposed to be the emotion we feel when we’re looking at Facebook and feeling like everyone’s at a party except us.

    I am totally guilty of Because + noun. Because laziness.

  6. Sister Wolf Says:

    Shewrote – Your list makes my blood pressure go crazy.

    Lauren – Oh god, how horrible, both the acronym and the state it describes. Make it stop.

  7. Marky Says:

    “Push back” to mean “Disagree with”

  8. Debbie Says:

    What’s “YOLO”?

  9. Angie Says:

    Wait, optics? But that’s a field of physics. What is its hipster connotation?

    Also I vote for “check your privilege.” It’s such an obnoxious phrasing.

  10. Kate Says:

    I live in Silicon Valley, and if I never hear the word ‘disrupt’ again it will be too soon.
    My friend met a TEENAGER who didn’t know if a blog was, maybe, one of those Internet things? I want to know where that kid is from, and then move there.

  11. Bonnie Says:

    This has been around since 9/11, but I can’t stand “first responders” to describe police, firemen and emt’s. If we need a blanket term for all of those,how about just emergency personnel or something. Who the hell knows or cares who got there first?

  12. Liz!! Says:


    You’ve beat me with:
    Farm-to-table (oh, my God, so much rage)

    And “HASHTAG _________!” in face-to-face conversation. I want to smash everyone who says it. And I actually hear it on a semi-regular basis.

  13. Dj Says:

    Agree with curated. Stoked, under the bus, cool, selfie, only a few that I can think of right now yo…

  14. Cricket9 Says:

    Words I would never, ever want to hear again (but it’s not going to happen):

    Evolved – as in “Evolved Soul”

    and the sentence which should be prohibited right now: “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.

    Maybe you guessed that the conspiracy theorists abound where I live. Sigh.

  15. Jaimi Says:


    more of a phrase but I HATE ‘all the things’ and cutesy internet speak like that. though it seems to be on the decline according to this: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/x-all-the-y

  16. Cricket9 Says:

    I forgot one more: sheeple

  17. Sister Wolf Says:

    Angie – Optics = (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/magazine/07FOB-onlanguage-t.html?_r=0)

    I have only just now been assaulted with the ‘check your privilege’ thing! Horrible!

  18. Honeypants Says:

    “This” as in to agree with a comment someone has made online.
    Boots on the ground
    Amazeballs – I STILL hear this
    And while it’s several years old by now, if I hear one more person say they threw up in their mouth a little, I’m going to have to throw up in their mouth. A lot.
    Rock still hasn’t gone away yet 😡

  19. Sister Wolf Says:

    Honeypants – YES, Honeypants, throw up in their mouth, a lot!!!!

  20. Bev Says:

    “No problem”
    sadly, I believe it has replaced ” your welcome”.

  21. Beannie71 Says:

    Thank you for this post and all of the comments. Your collective distaste of these words is so comforting to me. Can I please add the use of flair as a noun – eg an accessory is a piece of ‘flair’.

  22. annemarie Says:

    I don’t know a lot of the words/phrases already mentioned so that must mean I live under a rock and should have no part in this conversation. But there are some things that have bothered me this year:

    I feel/am blessed



    let it go

    creative (when used as a noun or pronoun)






    “I’m a work in progess”




    trend alert


    let me be clear


    made with love

    male gaze


    give back


    channeling outrage

  23. Kellie Says:

    I am with Honeypants. Also

    Bling, or worse Bling Bling (said by middle aged houswives thinking they are hip)

  24. annemarie Says:

    some more:

    on the offensive


    ye olde [anything]

    Tom Ford


  25. charlie Says:

    “sync up with” to mean “talk to”
    “hash out”
    anything described as “social networking combined with”

  26. Sam Says:

    Oh my god I’m a bit late joining in on this one, but:

    Sick (when something is just ‘good’)
    Wicked (same annoying modern definition)
    Amazing – when again its just good
    Amazeballs – grrrr
    Awesome – no its just good!!!!!!
    Space – when referring to an area or room, this will always irritate me
    nom nom – creepy, really creepy

  27. Romeo Says:

    I’ve just learned two new words that are awful: “listicle” and “charticle.” They have some usefulness but I’m afraid “-ticle” will become the suffix of a bunchticle of new annoying words.

    Oh dear God, make an end of it!

  28. Nikki Says:

    Geeked Out (as in, got really excited about)
    Nerded Out (see above)
    Yummy (I fucking hate when adults use baby words to describe pleasurable tastes or feelings).

  29. Sister Wolf Says:

    annemarie – You are on fire, girl! Every one a winner!!!!!

  30. Sister Wolf Says:

    Kellie – Kardashian, I forgot that! Do you think that word has meaning, globally? This worries me.

  31. Kate Says:

    I agree with Bev on the ‘no problem’
    And I’ll add artisanal to the list

  32. jlynn Says:


  33. sisty Says:

    “pant” when you mean “pants”
    “lip” when you mean “lips” — like “a bold red lip.” Not that anyone needed an example.

  34. suzanne Says:

    first-world problem
    blessed, as in “I’m so,” “We’ve been so”
    no worries
    “you’re fine” as a response to someone who says “excuse me” when passing a person in a shopping aisle
    kick the can down the road
    gifted as a verb, hell, as an adjective, too.

  35. The Raisin Girl Says:

    I love words too much to permanently wish any of them gone, even though I sometimes think I could live the rest of my life without hearing anyone else yell “Wut wut!”

  36. me again Says:

    Repeated use of the word ‘handmade’ to describe anything. Obviously someone used their HANDS. Like anything is ever footmade?!?!!

  37. thriftstorelawyer Says:

    SMH (as the acronym for “shaking my head”)
    Non-Australians who say “no worries,” or worse, Americans who say it when they’re quite upset
    And everything sisty wrote.

  38. Sister Wolf Says:

    jlynn – Hate all three.

    sisty – don’t forget ‘shoe’ or heel

    suzanne – Oh my god, “you’re fine” is absolutely enraging!!!!

    Kate and Bev – We need a comeback for ‘no problem.’ Something will will deter further usage.

  39. Dj Says:

    More to add

    The word “do” to substitute as a verb. Such as “I dont do sushi”or “we are doing burgers this weekend”.
    Conversation as in, “we need to have a conversation about molesters”
    Me and her or her and me
    You feel me?

    All grotesque…

  40. Lynn Says:

    On trend.
    WTF, you espouse what’s trendy but you’re too cool to use an existing word? I am filled with rage!!!!

    Also, lippy. Give me a fucking break

  41. Liz!! Says:


  42. David Duff Says:

    For you lot ‘over there':

    Barack Obama
    John Kerry
    Al Gore

    For us lot ‘over here':

    David Cameron
    Ed Miliband
    Nick Clegg

  43. sulky kitten Says:

    And I’d like to add

    Hermès scarf


    Justin Bieber

    describing anyone, ever, as hot



    I have to stop before my blood reaches boiling point.

  44. WTF Says:







    * A self-proclaimed foodie raved about a new restaurant in the hip and trendy downtown neighbourhood; the restaurant has now become viral!

    What can you put at the table? (this is typically asked during job interviews; and may I say, I can put my boobs on the table)

    Statement Piece (when it is just a damn necklace)

    An investment piece

    It is cool yet chic at the same time

    Using ‘like’ as a filter in a sentence. (He like said to me that he would like to like go to that place where there were like a lot of like people). I want to strangle people who speak like this and say, I just like to kinda like kill you!!!

  45. T Says:

    What about when they can’t even spell “though” out whilst using it annoyingly? most commonly seen on instagram: “dat shirt doe!”
    Makes me craaaazy!
    BUT the absolute worst- “EPIC” gets thrown around so inappropriately all the time now and sounds so stupid being used as such…when the true meaning is just so very…epic! Grrrr.

  46. ali Says:

    Dj’s “do”
    and annemarie’s “really?”
    and Sam’s “space”

    I’ll add: GENUINE.

    I do like “proficient”. It is so clipped!

  47. Dj Says:

    Let’s digress…here is my favorite word that I learned this year and it is all encompassing..the word is………fuckery. As in “all the holiday family fuckery”, the ” fuckery over at the NRA”, ” the usual fuckery”. I may have gotten in Late on this one but for me, it can say it all…..

  48. madam restora Says:

    I love fuckery. It’s a word we’ve been missing and we greatly needed it.

  49. dust Says:

    topper – as in hat or cap
    chunky knit
    perfect jeans
    organic- as in creative process
    editor – this year it was more annoying than blogger and stylist

    that’s it for now, year is not over yet.

  50. Suspended Says:

    I too have a great love for fuckery. Thank you Amy Winehouse.

    Can I please add Erectile to the long list of hate words? It’s as bad as most suggested.

  51. ali Says:

    Any variation of “babe”


  52. Kaz Says:

    Enrichment anything…..as in Enrichment Class, Enriched Learning. This is big in education in Australia at the moment.

  53. Amy Says:


    I don’t know if this is actually a regular word being used or not but living with a particular stoner dude it’s one my ears are subjected to on an all too regular basis. It appears to be a blanket term for anything and everything related to religion, power and politics. It needs to die.

  54. Dj Says:

    Loathe babe…

  55. Sister Wolf Says:

    dust – Hahahaha, I hate “chunky knit” too!

  56. Sister Wolf Says:

    Amy – There is no excuse for using ‘esoteric’ more than once every six months, if that.

  57. Suspended Says:

    I also hate “eclectic.” It’s constantly used by morons to describe their mundanely conservative style. Just because you shop at J-Crew and American Apparel does not mean you have a wide range of influences!

  58. Kristin Says:


    Pop of color

  59. Emma Says:

    LOLs – used as a spoken word
    shits and giggles – as ‘just for shits and giggles (Is this just an Australian thing)
    chart of the week
    our external stakeholders
    key contributor
    action item
    to dos
    dashboard (for software system front page)
    knowledge manager
    flamboyant – when describing a gay man

    I think it’s time for me to leave my job.

  60. Daisy Says:

    Anything Jesus related that shows up in my Facebook feed as in, “praise the risen lamb” or “He is King!” or my very favorite, “have a bless day”.

  61. Kristin Says:

    Oh, oh, oh: bromance!

  62. Neil Says:

    “Keeping it real”
    Which normally means, “I’m being rude to your face, but because I’m keeping it real, it somehow excuses my rudeness”
    No such thing, you said something dumb, or you lied and got caught.
    “Totes bummed”
    Totes are a brand of accessories; umbrellas, hats, gloves, scarves etc. If you’ve ever been so upset that you’ve filled your anus with one, or a mixture of any of these – don’t tell anyone, unless they are a medical professional.

  63. Eliza Says:

    I’m very amused by Time’s inclusion of ‘cultural appropriation’ as if this isn’t an actual problem and rather a whimsy to seek offense. Makes me wonder about your readers who left ‘male gaze’ and ‘check your privilege’ in comments.

    Personally, I hate raw vegans inclusions of raw in otherwise normal words, the original and most egregious still being RAWSOME. Oh the punches to the jaw they all dreserve.

  64. Dana Says:

    Impactful, going forward, handcrafted.

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