A new survey has revealed the definitive list of words that women hate the most – and whilst we hate to be cliches, all of them really do make us cringe!
Topping the list was that age-old favourite, ‘moist’ – fine when you’re talking about cakes, but definitely not fine when you’re talking about… well, pretty much anything else.
The research, which took into account the opinions of 500 women, showed that 77% of participants hated the word – unsurprising, really, as a Facebook page entitled ‘I hate the word moist’ has almost 7,000 fans.
Moist was closely followed by ‘squirt’, with 68% saying the word made them squirm.
The 6 words women hate the most
Paul Thibodeau, PhD, a language psychologist at Oberlin College, told Yahoo Health that ‘The common denominator [between the words on the list] seems to be disgust, either toward bodily functions or sex.’
With moist in particular, many people think that it’s the sound of the word that causes their aversion, but a 2014 study by Thibodeau proved that this was not the case, as they did not have the same reaction to other similar words such as ‘foist’ or ‘hoist’. Instead, Thibodeau believes people’s discomfort with the word has more to do with its context within bodily functions.
54% of women polled put ‘panties’ at the top of their most-hated list, with Thibodeau claiming it feels unpleasant because of the weird juxtaposition of the word’s two main connotations: initially childhood, but then eroticism.
‘For a very young person, panties is almost euphemistic [for underwear] — it’s gentle,’ he explains. ‘But then it sort of takes on these sexual properties — it becomes risqué — as people grow up.’
Chunky and curd were both seen as acceptable within the context of food (peanut butter, lemon) but not liked when used independently. ”Curd’ sounds like three words for gross things: turd, crud, and curdle,’ says Thibodeau, showing how in this instance, phonetics can have an impact.
The final word on the list, flap, got 22% of the most – presumably because of its association with the human body, and the phrase ‘skin flap’ in particular.
Well. Anyone else shuddering in front of their screens right now?
What is YOUR most hated word? Is it already on the list or is there one that’s even worse? Leave us a comment and let us know!