LSSU’s List of Banished Words (Plus, A Few of My Own)

I love words. I do. But I have to admit… I don’t like all of them.

In a recent post, I talked about the winners for various Word of the Year awards, and these were words that have seen drastic increases in usage and influence. But let’s be honest… there are some words that have become over-used as well.

While doing my research for my WotY post, I stumbled across a slightly different list put together by Lake Superior Sate University in Canada.

In 1977, they begun a tradition of putting together an annual List of Banished Words. Born from a conversation during a New Year’s Eve party, the lists full title is “LSSU’s Annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.” I think that about sums it up.

If you want to see LSSU’s list, check it out here. It features some great words and phases such as “break the internet”, “secret sauce”, “vape”, and “manspreading”. It’s wonderful, it’s inspired, and it’s much needed.

I decided I wanted in on the trend too, so here is my own personal list of Banished Words from 2015. All definitions are (appropriately) from Urban Dictionary.



Definition: Used to describe someone devoid of defining characteristics that might make a person interesting, extraordinary, or just simply worth devoting time or attention to.

Used in a sentence: “Wearing UGGs and drinking PSLs is so basic.”

My thoughts: I’m over it. Girls don’t deserve a derogatory label for liking the same things as other girls. The use of the word basic is starting to be… basic.


Ride or Die

Definition: The people in your life who are there through thick in thin (A conjunction of the phrases “ride it out” and “die trying”)

Used in a sentence: “My best friends will always be my ‘ride or die’s.”

My thoughts: Can we please talk about how “ride or die” isn’t a noun? And can’t exactly be plural?



Definition: Something that is more awesome than awesome. It is a modifier of your basic awesome into a more awesome version.

Used in a sentence: You good for plans tonight? Yea? Awesomesauce.

My thoughts: I’m sorry, am I putting together a list of words from the 90s?? Awesomesauce (and it’s friend ‘cool beans’) need to return to the past.



Definition: The act of moving/shaking ones [buttocks] in a circular, up-and-down, and side-to-side motion.

Used in a sentence: “Look at that drunk girl over there, twerking on all the guys!”

My thoughts: While everyone attributes the word, and possibly dance move, to Miley Cyrus, it’s been around much longer than that. And it’s welcome to leave now. The dance move isn’t going to go away (been to a high school dance recently?), but at least we could stop talking about it.



Definition: Term of endearment, shorthand for “before anyone else”.

Used in a sentence: “I can’t hang out tonight, I’m staying at home with bae!”

My thoughts: Please. No. And I won’t even mentioned the whole Danish poop thing. Oh, whoops, I did!


On Fleek

Definition: The quality of being perfect, or on point.

Used in a sentence: “I just got my eyebrows done, and they are on fleek!”

My thoughts: After going viral from a Vine video, this word even landed in a Nicki Minaj song. There are so many words for looking good, and this is what we ended up with? It has a certain ring to it, but it’s complete nonsense.



Definition: A clever solution to a tricky problem.

Used in a sentence: “I just tested out this awesome life hack from Pinterest!”

My thoughts: The word you are looking for is ‘tip’. Pretty much every use of the word ‘hack’ requires extra effort, instead of saving people time.



Definition: To get hyped, to get excited for something, usually a party. Often used to mean drunk or high. Short for ‘turned up’.

Used in a sentence: “Let’s go out to the club and get turnt tonight!”

My thoughts: !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!


I can’t even

Definition: An expression that denotes so many emotional responses that the user can’t even comprehend what has been said or seen.

Used in a sentence: “OMG, did you hear what she just said? I can’t even!”

My thoughts: Ok, I won’t lie. I use this all the time. Maybe I’ll banish it next year? No guarantees.


(Resources: Metro, Time, Patch, Urban Dictionary)



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