Let’s admit it, there are some words that just give us the ick. You know those ones that make your skin crawl or set your teeth on edge, like phelgm?
The global learning network Preply has pulled data from the voting site Ranker to find the grossest sounding words in the England language.
Coming in at number one is the word pus, ranked the grossest word in English language with almost 10,000 votes. In case, you need a definition, pus is “a white/yellowish liquid formed on the site of a wound or infection.”
Yep, that’s not helping, is it? Sticking with the bodily fluids, phlegm – “a liquid secreted by mucous membranes” – comes in second place, with 8,984 votes.
The research team actually found that men and women actually find different words gross. For the men, “seepage” was voted the grossest word, meaning “the slow escape of a liquid or gas through small holes or porous material”, whereas it was women who voted pus as the grossest.
The fact that many of us feel queasy towards certain words or phrases is a phenomenon know as word aversion, says Daniele Saccardi from Preply.
“This demonstrates just how powerful language can be,” says Saccardi. “Language has the ability to make us feel all types of positive emotions, including love and happiness. However, on the contrary, language also has the power to make us uncomfortable or disgust.”
Want to find out which words make us feel a bit ick3ey? Keep reading
The 10 grossest English words, according to Ranker
Pus – A white/yellowish liquid formed on the site of a wound or infection.
Phlegm – liquid secreted by mucous membranes.
Seepage – The slow escape of a liquid or gas through small holes or porous material.
Moist – Sightly damp, wet, or humid.
Splooge – An abrupt discharge of fluid.
Fester – Of a wound or sore that becomes septic; suppurate.
Mucus – A slippery secretion produced by and covered by mucous membranes.
Ooze – Fluid slowly trickle or seep out of something.
Putrid – Organic matter decaying or rotting and emitting a fetid smell
Curd – A dairy product obtained by curdling milk. Can substitute soy.