The Worst Words

Disclaimer: I originally wrote this post last summer and never got around to actually publishing it because it seemed like a dumb thing to write. However, it felt like a waste to leave it in the hopper to die a slow unpublished death. And I really do hate the word hubby.

Anyone who has spent more than a modicum of time around me knows that I have lots of strongly held opinions. The English language is no exception to this rule, and three particular phrases draw my particular ire as being universally terrible.


Wanderlust is what happens when we scour the German language for a foreign word that sounds kinda cool that has the potential to be overused by all 100,000,000 travel bloggers on the internet. Not to stretch the definition a bit, but I totally will. That “wander” part? It doesn’t actually mean what “wander” means in English. It literally means to go hiking. So you the word basically means you want to hike around a lot. Not take lots of poorly-filtered Instagram photos at “luxe” resorts that prevent you from actually experiencing any culture.

Don’t use this word. If you really want a rad-ass foreign-sounding word to use, how about Fernweh. It has some bonus points insofar that nobody can pronounce it, and actually kinda means what we think wanderlust means.


Jean Teasdale used the word “hubby” hot and heavy, and much of my dislike of this word comes from her original columns in The Onion. However, hubby is a terrible word for a multitude of equally legitimate reasons.

Hubby is a lazy word. Just say the whole goddamn word. Hubby is still two syllables, only a few letters longer, and doesn’t make you look clingy and co-dependent.

It refers to people by their relationship. This is kind of a more subtle thing, but I’ve always been annoyed when people refer to their spouses as “the wife / wifey” or “the husband / hubby.” That’s not their name. It’s just a random government-sanctioned title that tells us nothing about who they even are. Call people by their name. Come on people.

It sounds dumb. There. I said it. Hubby makes you sound like you shop at Wal*Mart,  and own a lot of guns.

Signal Boost

This is a fairly new phrase that people are using, I guess, but it’s a pretty dumb one. It reads like someone was like “hmm, I want to post about this issue, but I need a cool word to describe my sharing activity.” And instead of “sharing” we’re “signal boosting.” Wow we took a phase, added a word, and made it longer! Whoohoo!

Signal boost mostly makes me think of really shitty amplifiers that just end up making the original signal indecipherable because you’re clipping the audio. Don’t do this. Don’t signal boost.

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