12/21: “Whatever” Most Annoying Word for Seventh Year


For the seventh consecutive year, “whatever” tops the list as the word or phrase Americans, 43%, consider to be the most annoying.  “No offense, but” is a distant second with 22% followed closely by “like” with 20%.  Seven percent are irked by “no worries” while 3% consider “huge” to be most irritating.

Complete December 21, 2015 Marist Poll of the United States

In last year’s survey, the same proportion, 43%, called “whatever” the most annoying word followed by “like” with 23%.  “Literally” received 13% while 10% mentioned “awesome.”  Eight percent chose “with all due respect” as the most irritating word or phrase in 2014.

Regardless of age, race, gender, region of residence, income, or level of education, “whatever” is thought to be the most bothersome word in casual conversation today.  Of note, Americans in the South, 48%, and Midwest, 46%, are more likely than those in the Northeast, 38%, and in the West, 36%, to dislike the word, “whatever.”  African Americans, 54%, are more likely to be annoyed by “whatever, than whites, 41%, or Latinos, 42%.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables