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10/7: “Whatever…” Takes Top Honors as Most Annoying


10/7: “Whatever…” Takes Top Honors as Most Annoying

If you’re like, “whatever,” and someone gives you a mean look, just remember it is what it is – certain sayings rub people the wrong way, you know?  Anyway, at the end of the day, who cares?



If the above paragraph thoroughly irritated you, you’re probably not alone.  The question is, which word or phrase bothered you the most?

Chances are it was “whatever.”  In a recent Marist poll, nearly half of Americans – 47% – said they find “whatever” most annoying.  The other sayings weren’t quite so loathed.  25% say they find “you know” most grating; 11% can’t stand “it is what it is”; 7% would like to ban “anyway” from all verbal exchanges; and 2% reported that they could do without hearing “at the end of the day.”

Interestingly, if you’re traveling to the Midwest, it might be especially wise to leave your store of “whatevers” at home.  55% of residents in that region dislike the term, while only 19% of them disapprove of “you know.”  In contrast, 35% of Northeast residents say “whatever” is most annoying, while 32% are most bothered by “you know.”

Table: Most Annoying Conversational Word or Phrase

Marist Poll Methodology

Related Stories:

10/7:  Offensive Language

Mary Azzoli breaks down the results from the Marist Poll’s survey on annoying words and phrases:

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  1. Jpc

    December 19, 2017 at 9:22 AM

    “And Everything”

  2. Forex Borden

    September 23, 2016 at 3:41 AM

    Amazing Poll! Great idea to bring language lovers under one roof.

  3. Pingback: Whatever | Pressvision's Blog

  4. Karol

    September 16, 2015 at 6:43 AM

    I was thinking for some other annoying words, but … you’re right – “whatever”, especially said by your teenage daughter is reaaaaally annoying. Thank you for posting.

  5. Sanna Ross

    August 5, 2015 at 4:39 PM

    The word “dude” can go too. Especially when said to a female. Many words like “dude” annoy me. Such as: bro, son or boss. I always think: he’s not your brother, nor son, nor boss, now stop it!!

  6. Sanna Ross

    August 5, 2015 at 4:35 PM

    Legit. For example when someone says: “I legit think this is the best day ever”, I legit want to punch something. Oh my God, or OMG, is very annoying also. I have never cared for “Here goes nothing” either. Also, “surfer talk” such as: rad and gnarly, have got to go. Or when someone says: “I am mad hungry” or “I am mad tired”: stop with the “mad”. I also don’t care for “what’s up?”.

  7. Samantha

    June 4, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    There used to be an old joke about language that went,”Never trust anyone who begins a sentence with the word ‘basically’.”

    Based on that, I developed a rule of my own several months ago, and I am sad to say that it has served me well. I never believe anyone who answers a request with, “ab-sah-LOOT-lee” instead of “yes.”

    Ab-sah-LOOT-lee is a red flag for me now. It means that the chances of having my request filled promptly and correctly are 50/50.

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