Tyler Vendetti
August 17, 2015 1:46 pm

Earlier this week, underwear company Knix Wear surveyed 500 women to find out which words they despised the most and the results weren’t exactly surprising. Claiming the top spot was moist, that icky, spine-tingling term that can make even the most delicious cake description sound nauseating. Moist has been causing problems since the beginning of time (I’ve mentioned it on a number of occasions here) but it’s not the only ear-offender. As a self-proclaimed bibliophile, I’m particularly sensitive to how words sound, so much so that I’ve created a mental blacklist of terms that can make me squeamish when used in any given conversation. Here are a few:

1) Hubby (n.): husband

Inappropriate uses of this phrase: “I can’t stay out too late, girlies. I have to get home to my hubby before he starts to worry.”

Appropriate uses of this phrase:

I don’t have anything against love or marriage or nicknames or people that call their friends “girlies.” I just don’t like terms of endearment that sound like they could be literal pet names, like Snookums or Honeybunny or Spot. I’m also wary of any word that could warrant the use of the phrase “my hubba hubba hubby” which should be banned from the English language.

2) Pregnant (adj.): full of meaning; significant or suggestive

Actual pregnancy is beautiful, really. But when you say “her eyes were pregnant with emotion” or “the room was pregnant with tension,” it makes me want to take a pregnant pause before I crumble inside.

3) Gelatinous (adj.): having a jellylike consistency

If you don’t think “gelatinous” is gross, listen carefully. Picture a bowl of Jello. Warm Jello. Warm gelatinous Jello. Stepping on warm gelatinous Jello in socks, socks that are now moist. There, now you see how discomforting it can be? Nothing good has ever come out of the word gelatinous and nobody will convince me otherwise.

4) Panties (n.): underwear

Panties earned the third spot on Knix’s list, beating out curd and chunky, so you know it has to be bad. Panties is one of those terms that is universally hated mostly because, as one commenter so aptly explained, it is “infantalizing and weird.” What’s wrong with underwear or underpants? Why did someone feel the need to mix the two? If you really felt the urge to start blending words, why not choose “knickers” and “underbottoms”? Knickerbottoms is one million times more acceptable.

5) Succulent (adj.): juicy or tender, usually in reference to food

Don’t ask me what it is about this word that I dislike. I couldn’t tell you. It’s a perfectly acceptable adjective that I’ve only ever heard used to describe steak, so it’s not like I’m suffering from some post-traumatic stress situation where someone used it inappropriately and scarred me for life. I just prefer “delicious” and I think everyone in the world should too and I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

6) Slurp (v.): to eat or drink something with a loud sucking noise

When I hear the word “slurp,” I think of soup and spoons and someone who’s intentionally trying to get on my nerves by vacuuming up a small stream of liquid into their mouth as slowly and loudly as physically possible until I’m forced to leave the table and retain my sanity. Slurping also leads to dribbling and nothing pains me more than watching a small drop of broth inch down a person’s mouth, over their chin and onto their shirt without them ever noticing. And don’t get me started on “slurpie.”

7) Congeal (v.): solidify or coagulate

You know a word is unsettling when even its definition fails to make it sound appealing. “Coagulate.” Like a good blogger, I tried to give congeal the benefit of the doubt and find an example of a time when it didn’t make someone want to lurch but the first two results, “the gravy is starting to congeal” and “the blood has congealed into blobs,” ruined its chances of evading placement on this list.

Am I overreacting? Probably. Will that stop me from scouring the dictionary for an alternative to “moist” and “slurp” next time I get the chance? Don’t count on it.

Featured image via NBC. Info via Reddit.

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