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5 Disgusting Words That Make Me Cringe


I have a friend who hates the word “moist.”

It’s true. You may ask, “Hey Robert, what does the word ‘moist’ have to do with your 101 Book project?”

Great question, to which I would answer, “Hey there. Absolutely nothing.”

But, truthfully, this blog is not just about the 101 books. It’s about reading words. Yes, I read words. Lots of words. And then I sit down and write words about the words I just read. It gets a little wordy up in here.

So, with all that in mind, I thought I’d list my 5 least favorite words today. These are the words that make me cringe, twinge, squirm and scream. Sometimes, their usage might raise the hairs on my arms.

If any of these words appear in any of the 101 books, you can count on me automatically excluding that book from the top 10 in my rankings. That’s just how I roll, to borrow a cliche’.

Curious? Here are my least favorite words.

Nugget: Doesn’t matter whether it’s a chicken nugget or a nugget of information, this is just an awful word. Honestly, when I think of the word “nugget,” it reminds me of things I’ve seen in my son’s diapers. So there.

Dilate: A tip for the guys: If you’re ever walking down the hall of a hospital and you hear the word “dilation” and “centimeters” used in the same sentence, then run like the wind. Find the elevator, and fly and be free. Unless, of course, those terms are being used in reference to your wife. If you follow this advice and miss your child’s birth, that’s on you, friend. Tough it out.

Secretion: Let’s be honest: Have you ever heard the word “secretion,” or any variation of it, used in a positive way? Here’s an example of the usual world that “secretion” lives in: “The puss-filled boil on John’s leg continued to secrete a white, milky substance that the nurse couldn’t identify.” That’s just nasty.

Fondle: Nothing good ever comes from using the word “fondle.” Think about it. If someone tells you that someone or something just “fondled” someone or something else, then I can promise you that a very bad event just happened. You donโ€™t want any part of that, so if “fondle” is part of your verbal repertoire, remove it immediately. Creepy.

Dangle: Whether it’s participles or body parts, “dangling” simply isn’t a descriptor you want to use. Things that dangle have been overpowered by gravity and will soon separate from that which they are attached to. Eventually, theyโ€™ll plummet to the ground and probably secrete some type of moist substance. I recently heard this word used in reference to a speed boat accident. Enough said. Say no to dangle.

Honorable Mentions: waft, chunks, munch, dainty, lesion, sopping, musty, ligament, soil(ed).

Do you see why I hate these words? Arenโ€™t they just hideous examples of the English language?

Now itโ€™s your turn. What are some words that make you cringe?

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105 Comments Post a comment
  1. I do hate the word “moist.” “Nostril,” too. Some of the others you listed I don’t find too bad – I actually find “pus” to be a worse word than “secrete.” But maybe that’s just me.

    Are you going to do a top five best words to even this out? If you do, I think my submissions would be “exquisite” and “silhouette.” :)

    September 16, 2011
    • Nostril. That’s a good one.

      Yes, I’ll have to do a favorite words post…maybe in the next week or two.

      September 16, 2011
  2. Blair #

    I hate buxom and fleshy, to name a few. This is a HOOT.

    September 16, 2011
  3. What about a “gold nugget”?

    September 16, 2011
    • I prefer “gold morsel.”

      September 16, 2011
  4. I actually hate the words that are superfluous in most sentences: “like”, “kind of”, “sort of”, “basically”, “you know”.

    September 16, 2011
  5. Matt #

    I hate the word “insipid.” Ugh.

    September 16, 2011
  6. My least favorite word is “pith” or any variation of it. It’s very uncomfortable to say, too–my tongue feels like it grows three sizes and it fills up my whole mouth. Also, it just sounds like one is saying “piss,” but with a horrible lisp.

    September 16, 2011
    • Haha. Very true. I’ll never think of “pith” the same way again.

      September 16, 2011
      • A couple of years late, but finally found my way … what a brilliant site Robert! Funny too … I love it. I know this because I took a quick 2 minute break from work to have a look 2 hours ago! Anyway, to the point … re the above post from heather about the word ‘pith’ … I’ve always thought, there must be some cruel funny bugger somewhere who chose the word for ‘lisp’, the hardest word to say for those who have a lisp! Second hardest might be pith! Also, the word ‘stutter’, same cruel funny ‘wordgod’ prankster … S’ssss are sssoo hard to say with a stutter … Cheers Robert

        February 17, 2014
  7. Grace #

    Reading your post made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

    September 16, 2011
    • Glad to start your day on such a positive note.

      September 16, 2011
  8. Amy #

    Subpoena. Nothing ever good comes from this word…unless it is some kind of Mexican food I don’t know about. I would like two cheesey subpoenas with a side order of pinto beans, please. I’m going to call Taco Bell right now and have them add this to their menu, plus tell them to stop handing out moist towelettes since they secrete way too much.

    September 16, 2011
    • That’s hilarious.

      September 16, 2011
  9. The one word I always hated is a bad word, but after reading the origins on the word, I decided to take it back and no longer hate it. It’s “cunt” and I love it because it’s like a blunt hit to the head when you hear it. In a society that is SO desensitized, it’s pretty gratifying to know there are still some words that can cause a reaction.

    Generally, the other words I dislike tend to be the scientific words for body parts. They just don’t sound fun or even pleasant. Like areola. Anus. Scrotum. Gonads. Groin. And then there’s words that sound as bad they are like gonorrhea. And gout. Chlamydia. Herpes. I’m going to second Pus.

    Oh and totally off the tangent of where I was, I hate the word vernacular. It’s so… cumbersome.

    September 16, 2011
    • There’s a whole part of “The Vagina Monologues” where she talks about “reclaiming the word” cunt. I’m not fond of it either, but it’s because it’s gotten such a negative connotation.

      Did you hear (true story) about the woman who saw the chart in the doctor’s office and decided to name her daughter Chlamydia because it sounded so pretty? Ugh!

      September 19, 2011
      • Maybe that’s where I read it!!! OMG I didn’t hear that one. That is AWFUL

        September 22, 2011
    • Yess! I can’t stand scientific words for body parts either. My least favorite is definitely “vagina.” I can’t say it without throwing up a little inside. Or mucus. That one is pretty awful as well.

      October 30, 2013
    • shootingscar #

      The word ‘cunt’ is so phonetically appealing. Why did it have to have that meaning? :(

      November 1, 2013
    • Amy #

      Some one actually named their child Vagina – pronounced VaGina but still. really?!!

      February 3, 2014
  10. I’ve never liked the word “Wad.” (Spitwad. Undies in a wad, etc.)

    September 16, 2011
  11. This post and comments are really going to liven up the next “your search questions answered” installment!

    September 16, 2011
    • Teresa #

      Beat me to it! I was just going to say that.

      September 16, 2011
    • Haha. So true!

      September 16, 2011
      • DW #

        this was hilarious! I love your blog!

        January 27, 2012
  12. Douche. Scrotum. Bastard. Moppet. Hemorrhoid. Retarded. Ointment. Colonoscopy. Bowel. Piss. Vicar. Ooze. Putrid. Scum. Catty. Sludge.

    I’m sure there are more…but alas, life awaits.

    September 16, 2011
  13. I have a series of posts about “words that warm” my heart but yuck words? Um, panties and purse. No gender role issues over here. Nope. None.

    September 16, 2011
    • I don’t like the word “panties,” either. Haha!

      September 16, 2011
      • Me neither, it’s something a pervert would say to a little girl. aarrrgh yuckk

        November 27, 2012
  14. I like the word ‘musty’! I’ve never liked the word ‘moist’ though.

    How about words that you do like? One of my favourites is ‘puddle’.

    September 16, 2011
  15. Dean #

    I hate the word “hate”! I even hesitate to say that I hate it, because it causes me to say the very word that I hate.

    September 16, 2011
  16. Salve. It’s just a disgusting word that fails to live up to its healing intent.

    September 16, 2011
  17. I hate the words bloat and bulge. The sicken me:)

    September 16, 2011
  18. Katie Crenshaw #

    Scab. Gerbil. Puma. Those are in no particular order.

    September 16, 2011
    • Scab is extremely gross. Good call.

      September 18, 2011
    • Agree with scab, gerbil, ok, fine. But puma?? That’s a good word!

      September 19, 2011
  19. Not very original, but “moist” and “panties” are the two most foul words in the English language. There’s no reason to use them. At all.

    September 16, 2011
  20. Raul #

    what about use in romance novels?… “Just seeing him made her panties moist”…

    September 17, 2011
    • Woah now!

      September 18, 2011
  21. Romance novels use the worst words ever strung together in a sentence, I am not even going to go there, gives me the creeps. I’ll take horror over romance any day, and even some of the descriptions in horror writing makes me gag a little.

    September 17, 2011
    • Yep!

      December 6, 2012
  22. I also hate the word gag ^, it has a lot of implications and rarely are any of them good.

    September 17, 2011
  23. I have to second Jodi’s list up there. *shiver*

    But actually, I wouldn’t call these words “hideous examples of the English language.” They are serving their purpose to describe things… they’re symbols and signposts. It’s the ideas/objects/situations they represent that really disgust us. And the way the words feel on our tongue… like moist nuggets of musty secretions.

    So the words are good examples of language in that sense. If you want to get super nerdy about it. :)

    September 17, 2011
  24. I have to admit, I actually like the word “dangle.”

    A word I don’t like: treacherous

    September 18, 2011
  25. Worst words ever:

    – moot (as in, my father thinks that all of my points are moot when we are arguing)
    – suckle (much like fondle, this makes me cringe any time it’s used)

    October 4, 2011
  26. Another word that I don’t like because it makes me nervous is ‘condiment’.

    November 11, 2011
  27. leah #

    The word ‘crotch’. It’s terrible! For irony’s sake, I manage a men’s suit shop where I have to use the word on a daily basis, while fitting men in trousers that i get to ask, “how is the crotch? Little snug? Ok I’ll let the crotch out.”

    November 16, 2011
    • That’s a really good one! Made me laugh out loud.

      January 30, 2012
  28. Ha ha ha ha..Loved your article..i agree with you on some of the words, secretion being the top on my list of disgusting words.”penetrate” is weird as well. I simply cannot use that word. There just are some words like that.:)

    February 4, 2012
  29. I am extremely relieved to find someone else who cringes from certain words! I can’t recall any specific words of my own now, but there are plenty of them in three languages (English, Arabic, and French).

    Nice article ^_^

    February 29, 2012
  30. Winston #

    Here are some just straight out disgusting words; tobaggan, baobab, analog, legs, gargoyle, and one of the grossest: juggernaut

    February 29, 2012
  31. Geoffrey #

    Flaps – a friend of mine hates this word and another friend finds copious ways of getting it into conversation – it’s best used in conjunction with the prefix moist
    Moist flaps!

    March 2, 2012
    • That’s nasty.

      March 2, 2012
  32. “Tasty” in any combination is awful, think of “tasty morsel”. Or if anybody calls my cooking tasty, I’ll never invite that person again. “Tasteful” too makes me shudder, like in “she had a tasteful outfit for every day of the week”.

    March 2, 2012
    • Tasty morsel! Good one. Don’t mind “tasty” so much, but “morsel” is kind of gross sounding.

      March 2, 2012
  33. Chris #

    Niche…by far the most troublesome word that I have encountered. If you pronounce it with a long vowel (Neesh) 90% of people think you’re pronouncing it wrong and/or extremely pretentious. If you pronounce it with a short vowel sound (Nitch) the other 10% think you’re an idiot or some poor uneducated soul. I personally pronounce it with a long vowel sound and have been corrected countless times, and in one instance ridiculed, for it. Perhaps I am an idiot, because I have yet to cease using it.

    Oh, and Feral is an honorable mention…(Feeral/Ferral)…on that point at least I have learned to just say…wild.

    March 15, 2012
  34. “Progress” or progressive. That word is used to identify bad medical stuff or disease and really meant something different 5 or 6 decades ago.

    Level is a word I don’t like when it’s used to compare thoughts or opinions…just indicates somebody is tilted the wrong way if they are not my “my level”

    I’m sure I could think of a few others that have totally degenerated over time like “gay” and “fag”, but I’ll keep it short since this is an old post…oh! and the word “totally” the way I just used was a little questionable but not TOTALLY BAD, YOU KNOW?

    Somebody mentioned repetitive uses of “you know”, you know? I “totally” agree.

    Interestingly, some of these words I can’t think of good replacements for. I mean, when you are totally secreting, it really is totally moist, you know?

    Apologies for any offense. New to this blogging thing and trying to get around, check it out and I totally like your blog. It’s a true nugget and I’m glad I found it just dangling on the edge of my notice.

    That was fun. Seriously though, I do agree about word choice, overuse, and misuse.


    April 6, 2012
  35. Did I mention what a total relief it is to find a progressive thinker on my level…you know? lol

    I’ve been enjoying your blog and look forward to more.

    April 6, 2012
  36. I’m sure the etymology is solid, but to me,
    the word ‘bucolic’ sounds like the exact opposite of what it means. I hate it. It ought to mean something akin to digestive trauma.

    April 14, 2012
    • That’s funny. And so true.

      April 15, 2012
  37. “Random”‘ used to be a nice word but is now spoiled. “Lesion”, simply a horrible word for a horrible thing.
    My husband loathes the expression “to peter out”. I bet you can’t guess his name.

    April 18, 2012
    • Is it Richard? lol

      April 18, 2012
    • Bernadette #

      For some odd reason, that reminds me of when people say, “I’ve got to hit the head” for going to the bathroom. Uggggh!

      August 9, 2012
  38. Maria #

    I ABSOLUTELY hate the word “crevice”. I just hate how it feels when I say it and what it makes me think of.

    May 17, 2012
  39. Reblogged this on pujidotorg.

    June 29, 2012
    • Someone said Tasty…absolutely. “The food was very tasty”, of course u ass, if you have taste buds, it would be tasty regardless of weather it tastes bad or good…’Delicious’…I am sorry but I can never take in a positive note. and ‘perpendicular’…It reminds me of math and it reminds me of long objects that dangle and swing…!

      August 19, 2012
  40. Pickle. I hate the word pickle.

    September 1, 2012
    • And I would like to point out that it was my curiosity of the annoyingly trendy word “epic” that brought me here.

      September 1, 2012
  41. Gabriela London #

    Culdesac and diphthong. They are sticky in your mouth and simply inexcusable.

    September 19, 2012
  42. Dax #

    I cannot stand the word Pubes!!! Or even pubic. They are both freaky and weird ways to describe something. Another horrible word my nephew has learned from school is almost as bad. Spooge!! he thinks it’s a funny word and he runs around telling everyone he spooged on the floor or he stepped in some spooge. He’s only 10 but he has no clue what it is. and not being racist sounding cause im not but he has also learned the word Nigga at school. i was always taught you are not suppose to hate anything or anyone but i hate that word as bad as the other word it’s short for. it ranks as one of the most disgusting words in my opinion..

    October 12, 2012
  43. Hajila #

    Winningest. Stupidest and worst word ever

    November 3, 2012
  44. Brown #


    November 25, 2012
  45. Great post. Has made me think of many words I can’t stand. ‘Lush’ is one. Mainly because it is used in the wrong context now. “Oh that dinner was lush”. “He is soooo lush”. It makes me cringe.
    Another word I hate is “bespoke”. Its awful, why not just say unique or one of a kind.
    “Beige” is also horrid, its such an insipid word for light brown.
    “Panties” and “titties” are also vomit inducing and makes me think of perverted men in raincoats leering at little girls.
    OK Ive had enough now I’m feeling queasy.

    November 27, 2012
  46. February. Hate it. Nobody’s pronunciation of this one is ever right. Febyuary people sound dumb. Februayry sounds laborious.

    November 29, 2012
  47. Personally, I don’t like the word “Queef”. Nothing good ever comes from a queef.

    December 18, 2012
  48. Serenity #

    Reblogged this on Serenity's Musings and commented:
    These are really disgusting words that I think would make anyone cringe. I read through this post and realized they are so cringe worthy and I just had to reblog this. And the way he writes about it is hilarious too. LMAo :D

    February 14, 2013
  49. littlekaninchen #

    May I do this as a chain blog? Lol! This is great! You’re funny… How are you doing?

    February 14, 2013
  50. Laughing! I’d add ‘snack’. Especially preceded by ‘nice’ and ‘little’.

    April 8, 2013
  51. Anytime I hear/read ‘you’ll find this interesting’ or ‘this is brilliant’ because most likely, it isn’t either.

    April 8, 2013
  52. I hate the word “entrepreneur”. I have no reason why I do but I hate pronouncing it and I dislike hearing people say it.

    April 14, 2013
  53. I have a list just like this! Some of mine include

    It’s funny how words can have such an effect on people!

    April 17, 2013
  54. CJ #

    Well! That disgusting discussion went ahead and took care of my morning dilemma, what to have for breakfast…lol. The ‘secretion’ listing will probably haunt me the rest of my life now.
    You do have some interesting posts here, nonetheless.

    July 11, 2013
  55. I’m right there with “moist.” Also don’t like knee, steep (only for tea, not for inclines), and stool (not for the three-legged chair–enough said). The one I hate the most, though, and I saved for last because after typing it I’ll have to destroy my keyboard is: panty.

    July 23, 2013
  56. I hate the word ‘snatch’. It’s disgusting used in any context.

    July 23, 2013
  57. Pus! Cannot handle this word.

    September 16, 2013
  58. shootingscar #

    I laughed a little soon as I read “secretion.” ๐Ÿ˜‚

    October 18, 2013
  59. shootingscar #

    Moist and naughty!

    October 18, 2013
  60. JayLynn #

    The words Pimple, pus, and uber. I hate those words with a burning passion

    November 3, 2013
  61. I have a strong dislike for the words: smegma, chancre, tumescence, putrescine, furuncle, adipocere, Clostridium perfringens, enucleation, vacuole, and ascites. Just for the record, most of those things either LOOK and/or SMELL just as ghastly as the words would suggest. Ack!

    February 16, 2014
  62. Andrew #


    That’s all I have to say.

    May 20, 2014
  63. Ben #


    June 30, 2014
  64. Linda #

    I hate the word chunking. To me it sounds like a pig barfing. My husband uses that word to describe me when I snore. I am totally repulsed by that. He finally told me I sound like I am choking, so now I understand I apparently have a sleep apnea issue. But I still hate his use of the word chunking and he keeps using the term after I have asked him not to say it. He says get over it. UGH! I never ealized I could hate a stupid word so much! I hate other words too, but this is my most recent!

    July 3, 2014
  65. Linda #

    Oh and the word “privates”
    A word to stop you in your tracks and turn and run!

    July 3, 2014
  66. I am actually grateful to the owner of this web site who has shared this
    great article at at this time.

    July 13, 2014

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