Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

pulp cringe words in English

Have you heard any words that make you “cringe”?

Have you heard people say the word cringe and wondered what that meant? 

Is this just another way of saying disliked in English?

We’re going to help you to understand what cringe means and how or if you should be using it.

Also we’re going to give you a great conversation topic that you can use to connect with native English speakers at parties or in social gatherings.


What Makes People Cringe?

It can help to understand what cringe really means by looking at an example.

Recently some articles came out about what was found to be the one of the most hated words in the English language.

The word is: Moist

In 2012, Twitter users said moist was the worst word and to get it out of the English language!

It talks about how people can have “word aversion” to words that sound unpleasant to them.

This is at the very heart of what makes people cringe!


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Why Do Certain Words Create This Reaction?

It’s a very individual thing and therefore it’s all based upon the reaction that an individual has.

There are some words that really disgust people or turn them off.

As an example, in some studies there was some insight into these words that make people cringe.

  • People are  disgusted by words like “moist” in certain circumstances
  • People are not disgusted when moist is used to talk about a cake or something like that 
  • People ARE disgusted when the word moist is about bodily functions
  • This is precisely when the word disgusts people and when you might cringe


There Are Common Words That Make People Cringe

This might make you think about other “disgusting” sounding words,

Yes there are bound to be other common words that tend to make people cringe.

There was a pool on this very thing that highlights the most common cringe worthy words:

The list tells the story as these tend to get a disgusted reaction every single time.

  1. Moist
  2. Phlegm
  3. slurp (cultural!)
  4. mucus
  5. pulp

Some people claim this is about bodily functions, of which you’ll see a lot.

Some people think it’s more about the sound associated with the word. 



This is a fun topic to bring to native speakers. Ask which words disgust them!

There are certain words that can get that horrible reaction every time they are brought up.

Though you may not realize it at the time, these words get a very real reaction.

Are there any words from your native language that make you feel this way? Share them with us!


If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can. 

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