I was listening to the weather forecast the other day and the weatherman said the word, “Moist” and I thought to myself, “That’s an unusual word to use, I know a lot of people don’t actually like that word,” and that got me to thinking – “What are the words that people really don’t like at all?”
Number one: “Moist”
Meaning: slightly wet.
I have to say that the word moist doesn’t seem so bad when it is describing a cake, but I am fully aware that this word, when used in relation to sexual words, can take on a whole another meaning. So maybe it’s more to do with the meaning behind the word than the word itself? Though there was a study done about this word, (yes, really!) and 39 percent didn’t actually like the sound of the word, the ‘oi’ combination not sounding appealing. But whatever the reason, this word has topped the “Worst Sounding Words” in lots of research. You will note that I have included a picture of a moist cake, rather than anything to do with the other meaning of this word.!
Number two: “Slither”
Meaning: move smoothly over a surface with a twisting or oscillating motion.
I never thought about this word until my sister asked me if I wanted some cake and i said, “Just a slither for me, please,” and I saw her shoulders shudder as I said that word. “Please don’t say that,” she begged me, “I hate that word.”
It may be because it has connotations to a snake as it describes the way a snake moves or maybe it just sounds creepy.
J. K. Rowling used this word to describe one of the Houses in Hogwarts School – with its emblem of a snake. The characteristics of this House include cunning, resourcefulness and ambition (similar to a snake) and it produced more than its share of dark wizards, Lord Voldemort being the most notorious one.
So the next time someone offers you a slice of cake, say to them, “Yes please, just a slither,” and look at their reaction!
Number three: “Phlegm”
Meaning: the thick viscous substance secreted by the mucous membranes
Phlegm is a perfect example of “word aversion.” Simply, this means that the act of just saying the word makes someone feel uncomfortable.
It’s probably the image that this word conjures up, of someone thick with a cold and coughing it up. No, not nice at all and it is spelt weirdly…
Note: I couldn’t find a picture that I could upload without retching!
More words on this list include:
Looking at this list, there seems to be a few that are connected with bodily functions, so perhaps it is the association with this rather than the actual word that causes offense.
I’m beginning to feel a little queasy myself after reading about these words, time to think of happy words….