words that should be banned with immediate effect

Words and Phrases That Should Be Banned With Immediate Effect

I want to begin this post by saying that nothing you’re about to read in it is even remotely rational. It just isn’t. None of these words should be banned, exactly. 

I mean, there’s absolutely no reason why the use of them sets my teeth on edge. None at all. Actually, I think it’s a good thing that our language is rich, varied, and constantly evolving – otherwise we’d all be stuck talking like people did in the Olden Days, and wherefore wouldst we beest then, I asketh thee?


So, unless you’re absolutely hellbent on being offended, please know that this post is NOT ABOUT YOU and your God-given right to use the completely made-up and nauseatingly twee word “holibobs”. It’s just about me, and my irrational dislike of certain words. (Some of which I’ve probably even used myself at times, because that’s how “irrational” works.)

(Also how ‘irrational’ works: the way I can guarantee that someone will absolutely lose their shit over this post and comb through my archives to find examples of words and phrases I’ve used that they hate, while pretending to think that I’m ACTUALLY sitting here frothing at the mouth and trying to get these words banned. It’ll happen. Just you wait.)

Anyway! Here are some words that should be banned with immediate effect:

words that should be banned with immediate effect‘mooch’

People never walk around shops any more. They always, ALWAYS ‘mooch‘. I don’t know why, but this is deeply unsettling. All those people ‘mooching’ at the same time. It just sounds so furtive, somehow.


This is just a horrible thing to say about a dress, tbh.

‘out and about’

Can you be “out” but NOT be “about” I wonder? I’m going to try it next time I leave the house.


This sounds like the Scottish word ‘boke’, which means ‘to gag’. And, funnily enough, that’s what it makes me feel like doing.

Any kind of “cutesy” shortening of words

‘Hubby’ , ‘choccie’, ‘lippie’, ‘biccie’, etc. So, any word ending in ‘ie’ or ‘y’ when it’s not supposed to, basically. Also, I saw the phrase ‘platy joobs’ used recently to reference the Queen’s platinum jubilee, and I died a bit inside that day.


I have just died a little more writing that. RIP me.


“Off on my holibobs with the famalam’. BOKE.


Try to tell me how much you love autumn/winter without using the word ‘cosy’ or making reference to ‘snuggling under blankets’. Can’t do it, can’t you? People on the internet are absolutely OBSESSED with being ‘cosy’. OBSESSED.


Random, but you can just say, “Where are you?” not “Whereabouts are you?” No one does, though. I will grudgingly accept this word in the context of “whereabouts unknown”, but it will otherwise give me totally irrational rage.

‘Drama’ descriptors

I’d also like to formally request that people please stop ‘throwing’, ‘tossing’ and ‘slinging’ things with immediate effect, unless they mean it literally. Because my brain always interprets it literally, so if you tell me you ‘tossed a casserole in the oven’ for instance, I will instantly get a mental image of you standing on the other side of the room throwing food at your oven. Similarly, when you talk about ‘throwing a jumper on’, I’ll picture you throwing your clothes in the air and hoping they land on your body. Which is just plain weird. (I will obviously know that’s not what you mean, before you come at me, but I’ll still wonder, why the drama? You’re just putting a jumper on, Susan.)

While I’m on the subject, why do people always ‘climb’ into bed? I don’t think I’ve ever had to ‘climb’ to get into a bed in my life? Do you all have bunk beds? Are you the Princess and the Pea?


I also take exception to the word ‘pop’ when used to describe an activity other than actual ‘popping’ of something; not because I take it literally, but because I find it’s often used to minimise something people want me to do. So, for instance, retailers will be all, “Oh, we don’t collect returns any more, you can just pop them into the post office,” when what they actually mean is, “You will have to get into your car and drive for 30 minutes in order to send this back to us. Sucker.”

‘Popping’ as an activity sounds like something fun and easy, but it normally seems to involve me having to rearrange my entire day to suit the person who wants me to ‘pop’ and, I resent the attempt to make it sound like nothing. If you want me to make an 80-mile round trip, Jim, just SAY that; don’t tell me to ‘just pop over’.

‘Padding’ to describe someone walking barefoot

Yes, fiction writers, I’m talking to you. She did not ‘pad’ across the room, ffs! Every time I read this in a book I imagine the character doing this weird kind of comedy-walk that could accurately be described as “padding”. But actually, 100% of the time, I’m sure the author just intended to show them walking, like a normal person.

‘draw’ for ‘drawer’

ME: It’s a drawer, it’s a drawer, it’s a drawer, it’s a drawer, it’s a drawer, it’s a drawer, it’s a drawer.


‘crack on’

Honestly, I can’t even explain why I hate this. It’s just terrible.

And, with that, I will now ‘crack on’ with my day and leave you to add some of the words and phrases YOU can’t stand. Have at it, folks…

What words should be banned according to you

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books by Amber Eve
  • Fi


    You weren’t a fan of ‘Statey Funes’ for the Queens funeral then? No? ….

    As we’re about to enter the season of Chrimbo, can we add that one to the list too?

    November 11, 2022
      • Fi


        I think ‘Crimble’ was more annoying actually, favoured by the like of Cosmopolitan and Company magazines back in the early 00s. x

        November 11, 2022
  • Laura Steel


    I am totally with you on ‘draw’ for ‘drawer’. Even worse: “Chester draws” instead of “chest of drawers”. The self control I need not to correct every single person on Facebook or elsewhere using “draws” is astounding.

    I also have a personal hatred of “veggies” for some reason. The correct word is VEGETABLES, people. I also detest “photies/photys” (I have no idea how this ‘word’ is supposed to be spelled) in place of photos/photographs, though the only person I’ve ever heard use this is my mam – drives me nuts!

    November 11, 2022
      • alex


        I agree with all of them except cosy, unless cosy is being used by an estate agent and then it is also terrible.

        Also veggies. Cannot stand people using ‘veggies’ although I’m okay with ‘veg’.

        Also hate ‘bubba’ and ‘bubs’ to refer to babies.

        November 14, 2022
  • WhatLouWore365


    “Smashed it”
    Can’t stand it, everyone uses it. It’s my number one pet peeve and I have no idea why! Did it come from X-Factor type shows? I just hate it so much…

    November 11, 2022
  • Beth


    Oh god…I use so many of these 😂 agree on the cutesy shortenings though. Hubby 🤢 Hubby 🤮 I do shorten a lot of words but I think that’s from spending time in Australia as a kid, everything gets shortened there, so everyone’s name gets shortened to one syllable.
    But the draw/drawer thing: rage inducing!!!

    November 11, 2022
  • Myra


    Most of these words don’t bother me, although I love the Scottish colloquial word “mooch” . I’m actually a huge far fan of colloquial language. I’m with you on draws though – I really have to restrain myself from responding when I see it on fb or elsewhere.
    Others I can’t abide are the common pronunciation of nuclear as nucular (can’t they pronounce diphthongs?) mayor falls into the same category and it becomes maare .

    The very worst pet hate has to be the spelling of women – it’s easy singular man/woman , plural men/women.

    November 11, 2022
  • Jacqueline


    I agree with you wholeheartedly with these. There are words I dislike, for really no reason, I just don’t like the sound of them (cottage, village, for example), and I absolutely hate kid, when describing children. A kid is a goat!

    November 12, 2022
  • Julianne Mansveld


    My mother eats ‘samiches’ Drives me nuts

    November 13, 2022
    • Jas


      I hate “sarnies” even more though!

      June 14, 2023
  • Sheena Vultaggio


    I’m with you on the drawer/draw situation. It wasn’t something I noticed much until I moved to England but it’s so common here that I actually wondered if I had it wrong for a while!

    Something which I think is a bit of a Midlands thing that I cannot stand is the mixing up of the words “bought” and “brought” as in “I brought it from the shop and I bought it with me”. It drives me insane.

    November 14, 2022
  • Gemma


    Oh this made me laugh! I HATE (yes, it needs shouty capitals) the words:
    Tad. As in, he was a tad late.😤 He was a little late.
    Segment. Don’t know why, just hate it.
    Going forward. If you’re not physically moving in a forwardly direction, then don’t use this phrase to mean, in the future.
    I’m sure there are many more I could add too!

    November 14, 2022
  • Lila athanaselis


    I cannot stand the over use of the word literally, literally😂😬, chocolates, ambuhlance instead of ambUlance!

    Though the overuse of the word literally, mostly in the Southeast of England, is like chalk on a blackboard to me, it gets my hackles up, especially when said in nearly every sentence!

    November 14, 2022
  • Lila athanaselis


    That is supposed to say choclate instead of chocolate, such a mispronounced word, and yerly instead of yearly, more an accent complaint from me😂

    November 14, 2022
  • Steffi


    In romance novels, you can always tell an American is writing a stylised version of 19th century London by how excessively their characters use the word “Bloke”.

    November 15, 2022
  • Erin


    So so many, but my #1 pet peeve is “mama bear” and also “mama” and “mommy” (it’s ok not to be a bear and just be a mom. It’s also ok to be a “mommy” or “mama” to your kids, but to the rest of us humans, you’re a MOM.). This one is so irrational, but I can’t stand it.

    November 17, 2022
      • Jasmina


        Also in quite formal situations, when teachers write up school reports/assessments for example, I’m often referred to just as “Mum” – “Mum pointed out that Tom’s handwriting had improved”.
        I do have a name!

        June 14, 2023
  • ML


    As an American, this was a fun read. Thanks, also, for putting holibobs and familam in a sentence as I had no idea (not a thing in the U.S. Opportunity to start a new trend? j/k) I don’t think Americans shorten things quite as much as they do there, but I do hate “veggies” and “tummy” if an adult is speaking to another adult; (no problem if it’s to a child). Some other pet peeves are misuses of proper grammar, such as using “myself” instead of “me” ex: “that happened to Joe and myself.” Adding an apostrophe to an “s” when it’s plural instead of possessive is a big peeve. Literally is overused here, too. I feel like these things run in trends. Hopefully that one dies soon! 🙂

    November 18, 2022
  • Erika


    The phrase, “At the end of the day.” I can’t stand it! Mostly I think cause the people who say it, say it so many times. It is pretty funny what words and little sayings annoy us the most.

    November 19, 2022
  • Jenni


    I used to hate “draw” for “drawer” but then someone pointed out that if that’s the case then “drawer” should be pronounced “draw-er” and I’ve never thought of it the same way since.

    November 24, 2022
  • Lusa


    I hate the word “pop”, but that’s just because my brain immediately translates it into “poop”. I’m not kidding, it’s so annoying!
    Remember a post a few years ago about how you disliked when people pop up unanounced at your house? Well, the first time I read it I thought you were talking about people using your toilet without asking… Yes, the post didn’t make much sense… I re-read it a few more times just to understand it. And yes, my brain kept going between “pop” and “poop”.

    December 30, 2022
  • Jasmina


    “Gives me all the feels” definitely does not give me ANY feels. I hate that phrase!!
    Also “need gone today” on Facebook selling posts. Ugh.
    And “a spot of lunch” – where/what is this ‘spot’?!

    June 14, 2023