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10 Sayings, Catchphrases or Words I Can’t Stand

Updated on September 13, 2011

Nothing is more irritating than a cliché or an overused word. It takes hold and never lets go in today’s pop culture idiocy. Here are some sayings, catchphrases, and words that should be eliminated from the English language:

10. Literally

I know that literally is a plain old adverb, and when used in the correct context its fine. However, I continue to see it used incorrectly all the time. If you were literally scared to death then you should not be standing here telling me the story. You were killed by whatever scared you. If you literally peed your pants, your pants would be wet and urine would be streaming down your leg. Literally means it really happened. Otherwise, I was so scared is a perfectly fine and common saying and you don’t sound like a jerk.

9. “What happens in {insert here}, stays in {insert here}”

Look, I’m all for the campaign “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” It’s the great state of Nevada’s way of inviting you over for some late night gambling and whatever other debauchery you can get yourself in to. Fine! But this phrase does not need to apply to everything you do. I’m hearing things like “What happens at the Holiday Inn, stays at the Holiday Inn!” Really? How about “What happens at Bingo, stays at Bingo!” I’m sure all the old people are really hamming it up down at the community center. Quit abusing the phrase. Overused=no longer interesting or funny.

8. Not!

Granted, maybe it’s just the folks from my generation still saying it, but I hear it way too often. Hey….wanna hear another catchphrase from my generation? 1992 called; they want their catchphrase back.

7. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

I like Maya Angelou as much as the next person, but how many times can I see it on someone’s Facebook status update. Listen up people! If it’s cross-stitched on a pillow case then people have most likely heard it. Stop ruining its true meaning by saying it about each and every thing in your life! Your Panama City Beach drunk fest vacation album on Facebook does not need a caption with this quote underneath. Honestly!

6. Whatever

I have to admit that I’m still a user of this word, though I understand it sounds ridiculous. I use my very best Valley Girl accent and proudly say, “Whatever!” when I don’t have a better comeback. Mostly I do this to my husband because it irritates him to no end. However, it is out of date and it makes you sound like a moron. Only use it if your purpose is to sound like someone with very little originality. I’ve heard the more nowadays version is “whatevs” which is way worse. Stop the madness. If you need a substitute that badly, keep your mouth shut and just roll your eyes instead.

5. Epic Fail

Used together or separately these are two of the most nauseating words to exit the mouth of a teenager or twenty-something. Those are the only people I hear uttering those words. If there are others, they should be shot. Everyone uses “epic” the way “amazing” has been overused. Amazing means it is an out-of-this-world, fantastic sight like an ocean or the stars at night, however, I constantly see people referring to things like birthday cakes and bunny rabbits as amazing. Amazing has become trite. Same with epic. Fail on the other hand is a verb and it should be used as such. I’m not alone. The 2011 banished words list put out by Lake Superior State University lists these two words as well.

4. Bestie

Bestie has been used as a shortened up substitute for best friend. Apparently, BFF wasn’t unoriginal enough so another absurd word had to be heaved in to the English language. I’m sorry, but if you are a teenager, this word is appropriate for you. If you are in your twenties using the term, come on…get a life. If you are in your thirties or above, shame, shame, I know your name. You know who you are.

3. “I just threw up a little in my mouth.”

This was funny the first and second times I heard it. Enough already.

2. It is what it is.

Sometimes it really is what it is, but I find that people are using this statement more liberally. Often they are using it to get themselves out of whatever mess they’ve gotten themselves in to. If you were fired for looking at porn on your office computer, then it is not what it is. You are what it is. That is your fault. This statement is not meant for the excusal of your bad behavior. With society full of loathsome human beings who don’t want to take responsibility for anything that happens to them in life, this phrase just seems to excuse all accountability and make it right. No! “A peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, again? Well, it is what it is.” That is the correct usage of the phrase.

1. O-M-G

I understand that texting has caused a lot of shortening of words, and that’s fine. If you really want to say, “Oh my god,” but you don’t have time to type it, have at it. Shorten all your words for that matter: IDK Y ur SSINF (so stupid its not funny). That does not give you the claim to then use these abbreviations in regular, everyday conversation. Saying, “O-M-G,” doesn’t make you sound cool. It makes you sound like a twit!

Maybe I’m just old and out of the loop when it comes to interesting conversation and funny quips. Maybe I just want the whippersnappers saying this stuff to stay off my lawn and out of my conversations.


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    • shesacraftymom profile image

      shesacraftymom 6 years ago

      Christin, I'm also only 36, but sometimes I feel like a crotchety, old lady. Ha! I can't imagine being a teen now days. :)

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 6 years ago from Midwest

      So funny and so true. I am currently in a class where everyone else in there is 18 or 19. I hear these, among others with regularity and it makes me cringe. I speak in a normal voice with real words and half these kids look at me like I'm from mars ;) the funny thing is I'm only in my 30's. I don't get it either and thanks for the laugh!

    • shesacraftymom profile image

      shesacraftymom 6 years ago

      Sandy, lol for your comment. Thanks!

      Satice, I'll have to try that 'whateva' with my husband. I love finding new ways to irk him! Ha!

    • Sandyksk profile image

      Sandy Jauregui 6 years ago from Sanger

      O-M-G! You 'literally' ~took my breath away~ while I 'LOL' to your hub...I did enjoy it...and agree...too many ~sorry~ excuses for over using bad clichés...hopefully 'what happens in the 'hub' doesn't stay in the 'hub' this case! (It was hard to write this...but 'whateva' is what it is...!...?...or just another 'epic fail'...NOT!...) Yay to '~BANISHED WORDS~'! :)

    • satice_j profile image

      satice_j 6 years ago from via the Bronx, NY

      Often when we rant, we are in a foul mood, but I don't think yours was so! I'd had to get off here for a while after 9/11 so it is refreshing to come back and read a piece that makes me giggle!

      Two quick thoughts I hope will make u laugh:

      1. Say Whatever as 'Whateva' sort of Italian and see it in a new light!

      2. I would have liked to see closure at the end of your piece with something like, 'Fo'get about it'