Get the Word Out: Add These to the Banished Word List!

A humorous list of so-called offending words, and a few cool foreign replacements.

By Andy Simmons from Reader's Digest Magazine | April 2012
Get The Word OutIllustrated by Mark Matcho


The best phrase in the English language is “never mind,” as in, “Honey, the cat’s stuck in the tree. Can you turn off the TV, get off the couch, grab a ladder … Oh, it jumped out. Never mind.” But not every phrase in our native tongue is as sonorous and lovely as that one. And recently, a slew of easily offended wordsmiths have proposed
highlighting the guilty parties and hitting Delete.

Lake Superior State University’s 2012 List of Banished Words came out earlier this year, with a few terms they swear we’ll never miss:

Shared Sacrifice: “Usually used by a politician who wants other
people to share in the sacrifice so he or she doesn’t have to.”

Ginormous: “No need to make a gigantic [idiot] out of yourself
by trying to find an enormous word for big.”

Thank You in Advance: “A condescending and challenging way to say, ‘Since I already thanked you, you have to do this.’”
Ron Rosenbaum of Slate has harsh words for crowdsourcing. “No matter how many sources you cite,” he writes, “you’re not going to convince me you get smarter by asking a lot of ignorant people questions. Did Einstein crowdsource the special theory of relativity?”

Gravitas is another one Rosenbaum wants tossed onto the pyre: “Isn’t it obvious that someone who’s using gravitas is mainly trying to confer it upon himself by implying he has the gravitas to recognize and bestow gravitas?”

By now you’re probably thinking, Hey, that’s some dent you’re putting in the dictionary. Not to worry. Mental Floss magazine has an idea—let’s replace the vanquished words with cool foreign ones! Like these:

Cotisuelto (Caribbean Spanish): One who wears his shirttail outside his trousers.

Bakku-shan (Japanese): The experience of seeing a woman who appears pretty from behind but not from the front.

Iktsuarpok (Inuit): That feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if he’s there yet.

Kummerspeck (German): Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.

Tartle (Scottish): That moment of hesitation when you have to introduce someone whose name you can’t remember.

Pesamenteiro (Portuguese): Someone who joins a funeral party just for the refreshments.

Zeg (Georgian): The day after tomorrow.

No one’s going to miss crowdsourcing when you can say kummerspeck! If I were you, I’d learn these words soon, certainly by zeg.

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  • Your Comments

    • Jazzieabc

      Nada… Not!!!    Whatever !!!

    • Jacklver

      I can’t stand the “oh my bad” thing!

    • DeeBye

      When someone is telling you something fascinating or unique and you can’t believe it, people say, “Shut up!” I think it’s rather rude to tell someone to “shut up” when you’re really asking them to tell you more.

    • frozeninVT

      major gripe in local slang – ‘unthaw’ as in “Take the chicken out of the freezer so it can unthaw for tonight’s dinner”  Hello!!! that is freezing!!!!!! AAAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!

    • Snazzle

      Iconic-used for everything and everyone. 

    • rosebud

      “EPIC” is used for almost everything these days!  Another one that I refuse to say is “ginormous”. So enormous and gigantic or not good enough?!

    • Lil G

      Pro-active, and “it is what it is”.  

    • SammyP

      Okay, an obvious one:  ”moving forward”…as opposed to what, moving backward? moving in circles? not moving at all? Sheesh. It’s filler and does nothing to…move the conversation forward! ; -)

    • Louise

      “What ever” is a phase I could certainly live without! it is like your could not even be bothered.

    • Guest

      I am sooooooooooooooo sick of “No Worries”…..”Ya know what”,   the YUPPIES of today are the same as a pack of CLONES….they are ALL the same, the females talk the same, pronounce their words the same etc….the males think they are above everything on earth…….