Avatar Words I Hate, Part 2

It’s March, and time Marches on. Let’s steal a March on it by looking at another Word I Hate.


Many undergarments have ordinary-sounding names. Even something intentionally sexy, like a teddy (which is, of course, short for “teddington”) can have an unsexy name. But knickers? Nothing about it suggests something I want to get involved with. Nothing about it says “here is a thing that might attractively adorn a love interest”. It is even worse than “panties”, which frankly sound like a children’s name for pants and which should not be allowed in any romantic context ever.

Knickers starts with a deadly “kn” letter combination, a piece of linguistic showjumping that automatically takes the pleasure out of a word and gives it an ungainly appearance. And after that the rest of the word is all clacking c’s and k’s and a harsh sibilant ending. No smooth sounds here, no silky suggestions of a soft undergarment concealing the downstairs pleasure gardens of a lover or casual acquaintance. No. Just hard noises and an offputting spelling.

Knickers to it, I say.

13 comments on “Words I Hate, Part 2

  • Reasons I like this post:

    1) Sibilant – what a joyous word, it’s being added to my vocabulary as we speak
    2) Downstairs pleasure gardens – giggle giggle…
    3) One of several reasons Reuben and I now refer to them as ‘nuh-nuhs’ rather than the aforementioned disastrous word.

  • Reasons I like your comment:

    1) Repeats the word “sibilant”
    2) Introduction of the phrase “nuh-nuhs”, which this whole page had been lacking
    3) Neatly ordered list

  • I feel as though anyone else coming into this conversation would just ruin it, and they wouldn’t understand all this blatant back-slappery.


  • Oh, now, NOW, you introduce the word “slappery”. This couldn’t get any better. Nobody else can join in now. There’s no way they could catch up. They couldn’t reach these dizzying heights.

  • You’re right, but luckily everyone is so scared by our dazzling display of the English language that they daren’t intrude.

    It makes my jowels wibble with delight.

  • To the untrained observer it looks like nobody else is sufficiently interested to comment on this, but we know better.

  • Given that I represent most of the authority on comments and comment-based criticism, 95% and counting, I can safely say that it is more fear and self-loathing that is preventing others from passing comment rather than a lack of interest.

    Sometimes you must offer your hand down to those who cannot scale the electrifying heights you easily surpass.

  • Oh look who stopped grouting his house for one moment to come and slum it in da beans!

  • Yeah, despite your lofty ideas, I’ve come to slum it with you for a bit.

  • Was that some sort of house-based pun? If so, you make wish to take another extended leave of absence.

  • Exactly. The last thing we need is a carpet of wall-to-wall house or DIY puns. You can shelf those right now. It’s a sign of a lack of humour and you’re just painting over the cracks.

  • I think, before this descends into some sort of Big Dave Puns-plosion, we should move into Words I Hate, Part 3…

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