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August 14, 2009 2:35 PM   Subscribe

lexiconFilter: what are some words that sound really gross even as you are saying them?

the most prime example of this that always strikes me is "moist." just saying it makes feel icky. another one is "salve." what other words do you find as equally unpleasant to pronounce?
posted by violetk to Writing & Language (111 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
scab
canker
discharge
aubergine

In unrelated news, I just came up with the most awesome band name ever.
posted by jbickers at 2:37 PM on August 14, 2009


Buttocks.

Makes me wanna holler BOO TOCKS.
posted by HeyAllie at 2:37 PM on August 14, 2009


gunk
posted by muddgirl at 2:37 PM on August 14, 2009


mucous
rash
maggots
sputum
posted by davey_darling at 2:38 PM on August 14, 2009


dainties
trousers
snatch
posted by iftheaccidentwill at 2:40 PM on August 14, 2009


pus
posted by SuperSquirrel at 2:42 PM on August 14, 2009


the most prime example of this that always strikes me is "moist."

I know a woman that would concur with that strongly. "Damp" also made her cringe.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:42 PM on August 14, 2009


excrete
posted by longsleeves at 2:42 PM on August 14, 2009


masticate
posted by crapmatic at 2:43 PM on August 14, 2009


heinous
panties
posted by Bergamot at 2:44 PM on August 14, 2009


yeast
moist
squish
flab
pustule
posted by soft and hardcore taters at 2:45 PM on August 14, 2009


When my son was about six, he said, "When you say moths, you bite your tongue. But just a little bit."
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:45 PM on August 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


I have no problem with moist, but ointment and putrefaction sound pretty horrible to me. Additionally.
posted by halogen at 2:45 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


puce
fungus
sphincter
posted by oinopaponton at 2:47 PM on August 14, 2009


Smegma. Not that I pronounce it very often, or ever.
posted by Wordwoman at 2:49 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


smegma
glottis and epiglottis
posted by Quizicalcoatl at 2:49 PM on August 14, 2009


chitterlings
Olentangy (as in Olentangy/Old and Grungy River)
fester
roil
adenoid AND pharyngeal tonsil
posted by Juliet Banana at 2:50 PM on August 14, 2009


cumquat
spleen
puke
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 2:53 PM on August 14, 2009


Phlegm. Mostly because of how it's spelled.
posted by peagood at 2:56 PM on August 14, 2009


brussels sprouts
posted by netbros at 2:56 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Suppurate.
posted by Solomon at 2:57 PM on August 14, 2009


blurb
posted by kathrineg at 2:59 PM on August 14, 2009


More on moist.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 2:59 PM on August 14, 2009


nuptials
succor

(though I do usually avoid using those words because they sound way ickier than their meanings)
posted by AV at 3:00 PM on August 14, 2009


gonorrhea
posted by Meatbomb at 3:02 PM on August 14, 2009


slough
posted by usonian at 3:03 PM on August 14, 2009


crotch
posted by mudpuppie at 3:04 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


pus
bulbous
crusty
posted by sucre at 3:08 PM on August 14, 2009


nthing moist
pustule
fissure
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 3:08 PM on August 14, 2009


I meant
fistula (not fissure)
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 3:08 PM on August 14, 2009


moist
hubby
crotch
squat
posted by redfoxtail at 3:10 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


gross
posted by gabrielsamoza at 3:11 PM on August 14, 2009


Just an interesting side note, that the majority of ugly words are Saxon rather than Latin derivatives. Something earthy and raw about the old roots of the language!
posted by Meatbomb at 3:19 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


redfoxtail, sounds like you had the unfortunate physical experience of those words, all at the same time.

viscera
expectorate
posted by CancerMan at 3:26 PM on August 14, 2009


feckless
undulate
lipids
posted by JoanArkham at 3:42 PM on August 14, 2009


salivary
larvae
posted by orme at 3:48 PM on August 14, 2009


Crotch.
posted by Neofelis at 3:56 PM on August 14, 2009


Near enough every word from the discography of Carcass.
posted by Bodd at 4:33 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Middlesmertz
Spinnbarkheit
Colostomy
posted by arachnid at 4:39 PM on August 14, 2009


squamous
posted by casarkos at 4:49 PM on August 14, 2009


roach
roaches

I am terrified as roaches. My mother knew that and would use it against me whenever she wanted me to clean something. She just needed to repeat "Roaches! Roaches! Roa-CHES", with the emphasis on the CHES, almost spitting on it. I would get up and do whatever she wanted because I hated having any mess around that would attract the foul creatures.

Roa-CHES

Ugh. Just typing it kills me.
posted by Alison at 4:52 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Crusty Cooter" is one I remember sending chills up a few spines. It is a phrase more than a word (and I did see crusty above) but I think "crusty cooter" ranks up there pretty high.
posted by milqman at 5:03 PM on August 14, 2009


Cunt

I shudder just typing that word.
posted by JujuB at 5:15 PM on August 14, 2009


spleen, milk (when someone pronounces it "melk"), in addition to many others people have already listed

I love this post so much that I am making the grimiest possible track out of it. Look for it at mefi music tonight or tomorrow if you don't mind getting nasty-fied.</small
posted by nosila at 5:28 PM on August 14, 2009


Secretions
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:30 PM on August 14, 2009


queef
posted by Burhanistan at 5:30 PM on August 14, 2009


vasectomy
posted by Burhanistan at 5:31 PM on August 14, 2009


snot

I can't say it, and I can't hear it without gagging
posted by dogmom at 6:01 PM on August 14, 2009


schmuck
posted by gudrun at 6:02 PM on August 14, 2009


knickers (brings to mind Benny Hill chasing a woman he'd probably prefer not to catch)

diabetes (even when disassociated from its meaning; it's phonetically and orthographically repellent.)

twelfth

Juniata ("joo-nee-atta")
posted by kurumi at 6:15 PM on August 14, 2009


YUM! (or YUMMY!)

Uch, uch, uch.
posted by Lucinda at 6:16 PM on August 14, 2009


(even when disassociated from its meaning; it's phonetically and orthographically repellent.)

How do you do that???
posted by nosila at 6:24 PM on August 14, 2009


Wyatt Earp, the name from hell.
posted by effluvia at 6:30 PM on August 14, 2009


I'm repelled by the word "veggies" (no problems eating my vegetables, though).
posted by illenion at 6:35 PM on August 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's impossible to separate most of these words from association with their meanings. The words represent gross things or ideas or thoughts and so the word itself becomes gross. Anybody can think of a gross ick-inducing word that means something gross like "maggots".

The more difficult problem is a gross ick-inducing word that means something good or beautiful.

In that vein I nominate: nacreous.
posted by Justinian at 6:42 PM on August 14, 2009


Justinian, I completely agree, so many of these words define disgusting things...yet I find them to be lovely words...as words. they enrich our vocabulary, broaden the typography of our communication. nacreous...nacreous is a GORGEOUS word, although I wouldn't necessarily want it used to describe anything about myself....

I cannot think of a word that disgusts me too much too use, although I am sure it's out there...
posted by supermedusa at 6:52 PM on August 14, 2009


What? No one has mentioned uvula? I'll do it, then. UVULA.
And sweater has always struck me as horrific.

redfoxtail mentioned hubby. Amen! Favorite word of dumb-ass housewives. Pardon me; stay-at-home moms.

And here's one invariably used by benighted pyramid-scheme admirers: opportunity.
Bleagh !
posted by BostonTerrier at 6:55 PM on August 14, 2009


I used to have a friend who would say, "When I have my first daughter, I'm going to call her 'Ammonia.' Such a beautiful name....ammonia."
posted by nosila at 6:56 PM on August 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Love the act, hate the word: Cunnilingus.
posted by in the methow at 7:43 PM on August 14, 2009


Shortening "pregnant" to:
preggo
preggers

OMG! Ugh!
posted by ainsley at 8:06 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Puncture.
Cadaver.

Rather tinny words?
posted by hangashore at 8:23 PM on August 14, 2009


Sperm
posted by Sparx at 8:27 PM on August 14, 2009


Hurl.
Gurgle.
Mung (from Wayne's World, not the Urban Dictionary) (Don't look up the Urban Dictionary entries. Really, don't).
Diphtheria.
Plethysmograph.
Wobbles.

Slightly off course - Some proper names that give me the willies:
Carpathia.
Murgatroyd.
Ignatz.
Elspeth.
Cronkite.
Wumpscutt.
Willies.

PS: Thank you and Damn you for asking this question..
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:37 PM on August 14, 2009


gristle
speculum
funbags
posted by porn in the woods at 9:50 PM on August 14, 2009


moooooist
posted by danb at 9:54 PM on August 14, 2009


Banal. All pronunciations suck.

Uranus. Talk to a classroom of 4th graders about it -- there's no good solution there. The harm-free British solution -- "yerANNis" sounds, if anything, worst.

Seaman. Same problem.

Caulk. If you don't want to say "cock" you have to do gross things with your throat.

I must be a misogynist: I can't say "womb" or "bosom" out loud successfully.

I wince when adults say something is "yummy," but I don't know if it's gross per se. Someone referring to his/her "lover" is gross, however.
posted by argybarg at 9:56 PM on August 14, 2009


Oh, and "munch." Another word for grownups to avoid at all costs. If you "munch" on something "yummy" I will hit you.
posted by argybarg at 9:58 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hate mature, whether it's pronounced "macher" or "matour."
posted by IndigoRain at 10:08 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Caulk. If you don't want to say "cock" you have to do gross things with your throat.
"Pianist" is sort of similar that way.

I always hated when people pronounced "snot" as "shnot."
What the hell? Way to make it even grosser.

"Pap Smear." (Or "shmear!")
Why does it have to be a smear and not just a test or a culture or whatever? Why the need to be so fucking visual about it? SMEAR. Combined with the "pap" it's just gross. It makes me think of a doctor saying, "Well, we're going to have to wait for the results of that shit smear we did on you today."

Also, saying "liquid" always made me feel funny, like I had a cold. Maybe because it's exactly like "Nyquil."
posted by chococat at 11:00 PM on August 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Pork.
posted by anderjen at 12:23 AM on August 15, 2009


Web 2.0
posted by clearly at 12:27 AM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Asks.

I hate saying that word. Somehow, it comes out as 3 syllables.
posted by onich at 2:00 AM on August 15, 2009


Almost any word beginning with "sn" (except snow) -- sneer, snail, snake, snot, snatch, etc.

But a keyword among fans of Edgar Allan Poe is putrescence.
posted by Rash at 3:51 AM on August 15, 2009


Similar discussion in the Guardian recently:
Which words make you wince? | Books | guardian.co.uk
posted by Boobus Tuber at 5:48 AM on August 15, 2009


Yogurt. which comes from the ancient Aramaic word for "Cream cheese of Hades." (h/t Billy C. Wirtz).
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:50 AM on August 15, 2009


Also: Bunny Breedwell.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:05 AM on August 15, 2009


luscious
posted by Brody's chum at 10:42 AM on August 15, 2009


Thrust.
Throb.
Spurt.

Hey, it's a sex scene!
posted by 31d1 at 11:26 AM on August 15, 2009


Crispy
Crunchy
Treat
Snack

(TV ads are hell for me.)
posted by Kloryne at 12:56 PM on August 15, 2009


As promised, I made a bangin' and nasty track out of this thread and posted it at Music. Check it.
posted by nosila at 1:09 PM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Poultice.

Bonus: Poultices are, by definition, moist. Mmm. Moist poultice.
posted by The World Famous at 2:31 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sweetie.

Especially when used by older people to describe their partners.
posted by ms.v. at 2:45 PM on August 15, 2009


Sputum
posted by FergieBelle at 5:13 PM on August 15, 2009


Ralph and Buick. but good words to burp
posted by Redhush at 6:03 PM on August 15, 2009


munch/munched
grab/grabbed (find some good verbs, new writers, these bite ass)
began
boyf (like the bastard child of boil and queef)
hubby
cum (but not come)
cremains
inurnment (fuck you, neologisms of death marketing)
proctor
crispy (either it's crisp or it's not, asshole)
posted by Sallyfur at 6:16 PM on August 15, 2009



rolf, rolfing
pecker
posted by kitcat at 11:02 PM on August 15, 2009


scrofula

rickets

catarrh
posted by jayder at 12:11 AM on August 16, 2009


Cheney
posted by Caviar at 6:52 PM on August 16, 2009


Leave us not forget:

rubbery
nurture/nurturing
coupon
shave
fungus
and the pseudo-word "preemie"
posted by BostonTerrier at 6:16 AM on August 17, 2009


toddler
kudos
posted by Sallyfur at 9:56 AM on August 24, 2009


supple
posted by IndigoRain at 8:51 PM on August 27, 2009


devour, devoured
sip, sipped
posted by Sallyfur at 4:14 AM on September 18, 2009


"lawyer up"
posted by Sallyfur at 12:05 PM on October 17, 2009


tween
posted by Sallyfur at 4:54 PM on October 22, 2009


spunky
spatula
goulash
gouache
gauche
galoshes
gloaming
posted by Sys Rq at 9:24 PM on December 9, 2009


"after the jump"
gifting
"the wife"
posted by Sallyfur at 9:54 PM on January 6, 2010


cut/uncut
posted by Sallyfur at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2010


"deals with"
posted by Sallyfur at 11:45 PM on January 10, 2010


blog, blogger, blogging, blogged, blogosphere.
posted by Sallyfur at 3:49 AM on January 12, 2010


maven
posted by Sallyfur at 11:45 PM on January 12, 2010


bucolic
posted by The World Famous at 5:16 PM on January 15, 2010


closure
posted by Sallyfur at 7:43 AM on January 23, 2010


grin
posted by Sallyfur at 3:34 PM on January 25, 2010


Comptroller

Cloture
posted by The World Famous at 4:41 PM on January 25, 2010


chat
posted by Sallyfur at 4:14 AM on January 29, 2010


"va-jay-jay"
posted by Sallyfur at 12:15 AM on March 1, 2010


butthurt
posted by Sallyfur at 12:31 AM on March 1, 2010


cumdumpster
pleather
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:58 PM on March 4, 2010


rockin' rocking, as in "she's rocking those jeans". Ugh.
posted by Sallyfur at 7:43 PM on March 8, 2010


the girls, as in idiots talking about their breasts.
posted by Sallyfur at 5:38 AM on April 16, 2010


penchant (but not enchant)
posted by Sallyfur at 7:21 AM on April 19, 2010


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