Words that make you squirm

Moist. Moist. Moist. It does it for me. It adds many grotesque images to my thought. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Hole. Crevice. Crotch. Pus. The list could go on. Why, oh why do these words give us such visual images in our thoughts? Why do they cause us to cringe and vomit in our mouths? Maybe it is the connotation of these words. Many of them have to do with body parts, discharge, leakage, etc. They do not bring great visuals to thought (more of the excrement variety) yet how have we become so tainted with visuals?

Recently I found this blog about the word moist and I laughed hysterically. Such a great post sharing all the different nuances for “moist.” Moist cake, damp, wet, the list goes on. But worst (yes, worst of all) is when I hear someone say, “moist panties.” I know it is a joke. I know it is just to mess with me, but it makes me quiver with disgust (even if I do chuckle a bit inside). Not what you expected in a random olio blog post? Well it is random, and it does happen, sometimes you just have to think of the stuff that goes unsaid. Yes, I am the one that just says what is on my mind.

This “Guardian” article mentions a few other words that make folks grossed out, but none of them really make me shudder. Phlegm does not bring the best visual to mind, but that is only after reading David Sedaris recent book “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls” where he talks about the nature of phlegm in China, where it is everywhere — the subway walls, streets, you name it. His description is hilarious. So much so, that I read it out loud to Chris to see if it resembled his experience during his many trips to China.

I guess it all depends on what era you grew up in, as this NPR article lists moist, phlegm, and slacks as the worst words ever. Slacks? Seriously? It is not the 1950’s. My grandma abhorred wearing slacks until her final years, as though it was a sin to be able to just be comfortable, right? I guess I will have to create a better word for moist, since I live in one of the moistest climates in the US, and there are days and weeks that it is never dry. While we do not have that gross, moist, humidity, it seems like that word is just part of the Portland vernacular.

What words gross you out and leave visual imprints in your mind?

2 thoughts on “Words that make you squirm

  1. I can’t come up with any words right now. Maybe it’s because I’m still laughing 🙂 Or maybe it’s because I intentionally push all those nasty words far, far away from my realm of consciousness. I have to admit though, moist anything does feel a little … disturbing 😉


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