A single word has the power to evoke great emotion in us. Take me, for example: The word "taxes" will literally bring me to tears, while "wine" is akin to winning the lottery. So what are each country's least favorite words? We're going to find out, thanks to the Oxford Dictionaries' "One Word Map" campaign, which is asking the public to share their least favorite English word — and the word currently ranked number one for a huge number of countries might very well make you cringe.
The interactive map allows users to input their least favorite words based on where they're located. But that's not all it does; it also lets you explore the world by country, examining the top user-submitted words for each one. It's fascinating, of course; how we feel about certain words often reveals a great deal about how we see the world. And although some of the words are unsurprising, others are — and not always in a good way.
Are you ready for this?
...OK. Here we go. Let's take a look at three of the world's least favorite English words. Do you agree? Disagree? Feel just sort of "meh" about it? The moment of truth has arrived.
As of right now, "moist" is in the lead, with the UK, United States, Canada, and Australia picking it as their least favorite. It also comes in at number two for the Netherlands. There are several proposed reasons for why we hate the word "moist," including that it reminds us of bodily fluids and organs; but whatever the explanation may be, a lot of us are in agreement on this one thing: "Moist" is yucky. Personally, moist doesn't bother me. It makes me think of cake.
"No" is another popular word we apparently hate. It's currently in first for the Netherlands and Germany, second for the UK, U.S., Canada, and Australia, and third for India and Spain.
I'll be honest: This one surprised me a little. Sure, we often don't like to be told no... but don't we passionately demand the right to say no? NO, I will not have sex with you. NO, I will not work over the weekend. NO, I don't care if guac is extra. All those nos are perfectly valid, and the fact that we seem to have such a hatred for the word is somewhat troubling.
3. The Runners Up
Other words on the list were less surprising, like "hate," "war," and "cancer." But some seem just a tad out of place, namely "nice," "good," and "love." Oh, and Australia hates the word "panties." Just an FYI. Why are these words that annoy us?!
The poll isn't done yet, and the answers will eventually be organized by country, age, and gender. Thus far, the Oxford Dictionaries is at 10,000 submissions and counting. Results are pouring in from all over the world, just about even split between men and women. Right now, 25- to 44-year-olds are contributing the most (at 42 percent). I guess we're just, like, really passionate about the word "moist."
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (3)