12/19: Whatever! Still Oh SO Annoying

December 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured, Living, Odds and Ends, Odds and Ends Polls

For the fifth straight year, Americans consider “whatever” to be the most annoying word or phrase in conversation today.  38% find “whatever” to be the most irritating while 22% report “like” gets on their nerves the most.  “You know” irks 18% of Americans while 14% want to see “just sayin’” stricken from casual conversation.  Six percent detest “obviously,” and 2% are unsure.

Click Here for Complete December 19, 2013 USA Marist Poll Release and Tables

There has been an increase in the proportion of residents who consider “whatever” to be the most annoying word.  In last year’s survey, 32% thought “whatever” was the most abrasive.  21% said “like” was most irritating while 17% thought “you know” was an unnecessary choice of words.  “Just sayin’” bothered 10% of Americans the most while “Twitterverse” — 9% — and “gotcha” — 5% — rounded out the list.  Five percent were unsure.

Table: Most Annoying Conversational Word or Phrase

“Obamacare” Taboo Term for 2014 

Looking ahead to 2014, which political word or phrase would Americans like to eliminate from the discussion?  More than four in ten — 41% — do not want to hear “Obamacare.”  There is also a strong aversion to Washington’s budget speak.  30% would prefer not to hear “shutdown” while 11% would like “gridlock” left out of the vernacular.  One in ten — 10% — does not want to hear “fiscal cliff” while 4% feel the same about “sequestration.”  Four percent are unsure.  Not surprisingly, Democrats and Republicans have a different take on what they don’t want to hear in 2014.  59% of Republicans have had it with “Obamacare,” while 45% of Democrats cringe at the sound of “shutdown.”

Table: Political Term Least Want to Hear in 2014


How the Survey was Conducted

Nature of the Sample





26 Responses to “12/19: Whatever! Still Oh SO Annoying”

  1. HUFFPOLLSTER: Uninsured Remain Unenthusiastic About Obamacare | NewsCenterd on December 19th, 2013 5:43 pm

    [...] -Once again, Americans rank “whatever” as the most annoying word or phrase in conversation. [Marist] [...]

  2. Written Prep for Friday, December 20, 2013 ← Universal Comedy Network on December 20th, 2013 2:56 am

    [...] Most Annoying Words [...]

  3. How about them apples: ObamaCare rewritten again on December 20th, 2013 9:45 am

    [...] accursed spawn of California’s San Fernando Valley –“whatever” – tops Marist College’s poll of the words or phrases that Americans find most annoying. Perennial annoyance “like” comes in [...]

  4. How about them apples: ObamaCare rewritten again | International American Council on December 20th, 2013 9:57 am

    [...] accursed spawn of California’s San Fernando Valley –“whatever” – tops Marist College’s poll of the words or phrases that Americans find most annoying. Perennial annoyance “like” comes in [...]

  5. This Has Been Dubbed the Most Anoying Word in America… | TheBlaze.com on December 20th, 2013 10:40 am

    [...] to a Marist poll, 38 percent of Americans can’t stand the word. Taking second-place honors is [...]

  6. This Has Been Dubbed the Most Annoying Word in America… | PolitiTalk on December 20th, 2013 11:22 am

    [...] to a Marist poll, 38 percent of Americans can’t stand the word. Taking second-place honors is [...]

  7. What Words Annoy You the Most? on December 20th, 2013 2:37 pm

    [...] Marist Poll revealed what Americans viewed as the most annoying words of 2013. The poll showed that 38% find “whatever” to be the most irritating, making it the winner for a fifth straight year. “Like”, “you know”, and [...]

  8. John David Galt on December 20th, 2013 2:57 pm

    I’d like to vote for several candidates: “like”, “you know”, and a big one that should have been included — “um”.

    The point is that I’ve had it with waiting for people who stutter and stammer. It ought to be considered a basic rule of politeness that you have decided what you’re going to say *before* you attempt to get the floor and begin speaking.

  9. This Has Been Dubbed the Most Annoying Word in America… » UncleSamsPress.com on December 20th, 2013 5:45 pm

    [...] to a Marist poll, 38 percent of Americans can’t stand the word. Taking second-place honors is [...]

  10. Ron on December 20th, 2013 5:59 pm

    Where is the complete list of words and ranking?

  11. Storm Saxon's Gall Bladder on December 21st, 2013 9:27 am

    I am literally burning with fires of hate that this list literally left my least favorite word literally off their list.

  12. List of 2013′s most annoying words released | Seeing Red AZ on December 21st, 2013 12:05 pm

    [...] College Institute for Public Opinion has released its annual survey of annoying words and for the fifth straight year of conducting the popular culture survey, the apathetic [...]

  13. william bowen on December 21st, 2013 8:33 pm

    annoying words — did I miss?

    “no problem” — offends ‘you’re welcome’.

  14. abby kendall on December 22nd, 2013 11:45 pm

    ” fall pregnant “, how stupid is that ? the word is ” conceive ”

    ” heavily pregant “, ??? how about ” late stage pregancy “

  15. Don Flanagan on December 23rd, 2013 12:46 am

    Yes so annoying. I also hate “for” being incorrectly used . ie: “how long are you staying for?” instead of “How long are you staying”? Why add “for”.?

  16. Jim Rush on December 23rd, 2013 1:39 am

    Most annoying word – No Problem

  17. meg lamb on December 23rd, 2013 2:05 am


  18. Warren Farraway on December 23rd, 2013 2:25 am

    I’ve been hating for ages when listening to interviews; people can’t simply answer “yes” to a question. It is always ” ABSOLUTELY”. Just lately, to emphasise their point, it is ” ABSOLUTELY ABSOLUTELY !!!”. Grrrr!!

  19. Michael M. on December 23rd, 2013 2:45 am

    The word that seems to be an excuse for anything impressive that you cannot describe: AWESOME. Cannot believe just how many people use it as a substitute for a sentence of appreciation!!

  20. Jean SmilingCoyote on December 23rd, 2013 7:29 pm

    The problem I have with many of these words is that the list is out-of-date. E.g. “Whatever” has been in use for decades. It’s always been a way for the person to evade a question while seeming “agreeable.” The words that annoy me most now are very popular; most of the guilty people don’t get it.
    1. Absolutely – synonym for YES!. It’s an adjective.
    2. Issue – as a synonym for “problem.” It’s OK as a euphemism only when needed for delicate diplomacy. One reporter told of a trip on slippery roads which was completed “without issue.” Normally, “without issue” means “without children” (said after the person died).
    3. “Sure, …” – interviewee answers a reporter’s question without meaning “yes.” It wasn’t even a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question.
    4. “Right …” – interviewee means ‘that’s a very good question’ before answering it. “Right” is supposed to be a synonym for “yes.”
    5. “So, …” – interviewee begins a sentence with this word, not as a synonym for “therefore.” In the old days, the response would start with “Well, …” to fill dead air.
    6. “impact” (verb, transtive) – used instead of the transitive verb “affect.” It’s fine if we’re talking about a meteorite hitting your house. Most reporters nowadays don’t even have “affect” (v.t.) in their vocabulary any more.
    7. “Sinkhole” used by reporters as a hype term for every cave-in, even if it’s not in a place that can get sinkholes.

  21. Brenda on December 24th, 2013 9:35 am

    My word(s) are “You Guys”, which is extremely slang. I hear it weekly in class and at church. It should never be used when addressing a group of women and men together. “You guys can sit down now”…”"How are “you guys” doing?”" Men please take note, women do not like this phrase.

  22. gary on January 6th, 2014 3:45 pm

    I have to add a phrase that grates on my sensibilities.

    “No problem”
    When Customer Service people say it, I want to reply, “well I hope it isn’t, since it’s your friggin job”.

    And I concur with this one:

    “You guys”. I have heard it used countless times in business. People giving webinars or on conference calls. They sound ignorant, uneducated and unprepared, and women seem to use it more often in these situations.

    I once went to lunch with my 80 plus year old mother and aunt, and the waitress said, Hi guys”. Really? Grow up!

  23. Do you have a “whatever” attitude when choosing an airport? | AIC Meetings Blog on January 28th, 2014 9:12 pm

    [...] just found out my most hated word, “whatever,” has topped the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion Poll for the most hated word for the fifth year in a row. The term “whatever” got the number one [...]

  24. Words That Undermine Your Credibility | Boost of Confidence on April 8th, 2014 10:41 am

    [...] is officially the most annoying word or phrase in conversation today, according to a Marist Poll. Other top ranking annoying words include: “like,” “you know,” “just sayin’,” and [...]

  25. Annoying? Whatevah « onomatopoeicbliss on June 6th, 2014 10:28 am

    [...] hating on it all, and like it, it’d all be good, you know. If you want the straight scoop, go here, obviously. Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogleLike this:Like [...]

  26. A Tribute To ‘Whatever’ | Barons of Pluto on June 4th, 2015 2:43 pm

    [...] no coincidence that by the year 2013, “whatever” had been voted the most annoying word five years in a row. Close seconds: like, you know, just sayin’, and obviously. Most of these annoying phrases [...]

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