Monday, February 06, 2012

Ugly Words

There are some words that are just ugly. Some linguists will tell you that words become ugly because of bad associations. This is probably the case with "lard." Probably most of you associate "lard" with something like "lard-butt" or "Tina, you fat-lard!"

So when we hear the word "lard" we think of unpleasant things, so we think the word is unpleasant. (This is how linguists explain things like the many different names used to refer to black people because underlying racism caused names to become "bad words" because of bad associations in racist minds.)

There is another reason that words are ugly though. It is called the letter G. Now, understand, there are plenty of words that sound just fine and have G's in them, but there are other times when G gets involved and just makes everything sound ugly. For example:

Gulp. What a hideous word. The queen of England cannot gulp. Gulp can only refer to an exaggerated ugly swallowing motion, like the bobbing of a hairy adam's apple.

Gurgle. Bleh. I know it is like a little happy sound, but it sounds more like a word to describe the vibration of snot. When you say "gurgle" it kind of sits in the back of your throat and tries to blow spit bubbles. I said it before and I will say it again, bleh.

Last of all is "gorgeous". This is probably my least favorite word of all time. It is supposed to describe something pretty, but it sounds positively awful. It has the word "gorge" in it! How can something with gorge in it be pretty? It can't! It can never be pretty!

What do you think is the ugliest word?


Sara said...

My list includes, but is not limited to: Slurry, Slosh, Lurch, Asinine, Snog, Grub

mama bear said...

moist. moist never means anything good.

Sonya said...

Lucas/mucus. U-sound plus glottal stop is usually a bad sign in a word. I think it is something to do with pre-puke retching sounds.
Everyone seems to hate the word moist these days. A tv show even spent a large part of an episode talking about it. To me, moist (depending on context, obv.) makes me think of cake. And then I think of milk. And frosting. And how delicious all of those things would be right now.

McRachie said...

Moist is good for a cake, but I think the problem with the word is that it creates pockets of spit in your cheeks when you say it. Those spit pockets evoke thoughts of things being moist due to bodily fluids. That is unpleasant to think about.

jamesnemily9796 said...

Gluttony is another ugly word. By the way I'm a friend of Tara's and I think your blog is hilarious

McRachie said...

Hee hee thanks jamesnemily9796!