Finally, the banished words for 2020

Earlier this year I looked for the 2020  Banished Words list from Lake Superior State University and somehow managed to miss it until now. This is the 45th annual list published by the university and, as always, includes the words most frequently suggested during the year by the general public. For more about the list, see the LSSU website.

The most-nominated word or phrase:

Quid pro quo  (no surprise here)

Words that attempt to make something more than it is:


Words banished for pretentiousness or imprecision:

I mean
Living my best life  (frankly, I’d not heard this one until now)
Mouthfeel  (tends to make me cringe)

Those darn millennials!

Chirp  (another millennial diss of their elders)
Jelly  (aka “jealous,” and I hate this and all similar “abbreviations”‘)
Totes  (aka “totally”)
Vibe / vibe check  (similar to “good vibes” from the 60s)
OK, Boomer!  (I always chuckle at this one because I predate Boomers)


14 thoughts on “Finally, the banished words for 2020

  1. My son and I use “I mean” all the time. I like to pick up on some phraseology if it resonates with me because I want to be able to continue to relate to him. Or vice versa I guess. I confess I hadn’t heard a lot of these but, like you, I chuckle at the “Ok, Boomer”. Also, I agree, I HATE abbreviations like that. I vividly remember my sister coming home and saying she was off to the YDub, for YWCA. UGH! That was 50 years ago and I still cringe.

    1. I probably say “I mean,” “Ya know,” “Uh,” and similar things without even realizing it. “YDub” makes me cringe just as much as the other currently used “abbreviations.” I understand if one is texting, but please, not when speaking.

      1. Agreed. My son uses “I mean” to comic effect, and we will both be laughing. For example something will be said about the orange one’s hair, and he’ll say, ” I mean….” My mind romps through the possibilities. How about when people yell out, OMG! ? ick.

        1. Saying the letters OMG is no faster than saying the one-syllable words so that’s, as you say, icky. Such “abbreviations” are for texting, not speaking. But since I’m one of those old “boomers,” I suppose it’s up to me to just accept it. I’m sure my parents had similar objections to things I said and did.

    1. Unless it was obviously said in jest, I would probably bristle at “OK, boomer.” Dissing anyone like that strikes me as rude and ill-mannered. As old as I am, I’d likely reply, “OK, young’un” (in jest, of course).

      1. It is rude. The whole war between Boomers and Millennials is ridiculous, considering that the fat part of the bell curve of Millennials was raised by the fat part of the bell curve of Boomers. I look at it as the Me Generation fighting with the Me Generation 2.0, and in typical Gen-X fashion, sit back with popcorn and wait for them both to cry it out.

      2. I just tell them “go to your room”. When someone treats you like a dottering old fool you may find it gratifying to treat them like an impudent seven year old.

    1. Doesn’t that go back a few hundred years, to old English or something? I don’t recall hearing it recently, but maybe I don’t frequent the places where it’s being used.

... and that's my two cents