5 Words You Must Avoid Like The Plague If You Don’t Wanna Sound Like Everybody Else In 2014 - Hannah Mang
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5 Words You Must Avoid Like The Plague If You Don’t Wanna Sound Like Everybody Else In 2014


Now this is a risky blog post.

Some people might be offended. Some might think I suck. And some might even unsubscribe.

Because today? I’m gonna share the 5 words I don’t wanna hear in 2014.

Plus? The reasons why you should avoid these words in your copy like the plague if you don’t wanna sound boring and like everybody else.

And yes, there’s a chance you might be using some of these words right now! (Panic?)

But the truth is? I’ve been using some of them myself! Not all of them, mind you. But some? Yup! Guilty.

If you choose to agree or disagree, promise me one thing: That you’ll at least try and come up with 3 better words for each of the “forbidden ones” you’re guilty of using.

If you insist that there’s absolutely no replacement and the word is the one and only word in the Universe to describe exactly what you gotta say? Okay: Keep Saying it.

But if you manage to come up with at least ONE better option, I beg you! Use it!

Use this opportunity to NOT sound like everybody else.

But to STAND OUT instead.

To do something DIFFERENT.

And turn up the volume on YOUR VOICE.

So that you’re gonna be heard in 2014 and beyond!

Ready for the list?

1. Empowered

I know, I know, I’m starting with a biggie and y’all are gonna wanna pull my hair and throw rotten eggs at me for saying that. There might even be an angry mob of coaches waiting for me outside my front door already.

But I’m gonna say it anyway: Empowered? What the hell does that even mean?

It may have been a great word once. But now that everybody and their mama has it on their website? It’s time to let it go.

(Don’t hate me!)

Ok, how bout a compromise? If you GOTTA use it? At least explain what specifically you mean by it!

Or better yet: explain what it means to you!

Because the dictionary only says: “To invest with power, especially legal power or official authority.” and “To equip or supply with an ability”. Yawn.

An ability to do what? Power for what?

People need to know that!

So if you feel like “empowered” HAS to be in your copy, please be more specific and tell us a little more than that. Thank you!

2. Juicy

Another one that people might hate me for putting on that list.

But before you hate away, listen to me: I was a juicy-victim myself for quite a while.

Until? I read somewhere that saying “juicy” was pretty much for lazy douchebags and that the word itself has no actual meaning. That calling something “juicy” was just an excuse not to call stuff what it really is.

At first I was like “Screw you, imma say juicy as much as I want!” and resisted. But when I thought about it? I had to admit I was wrong. And that when you say “juicy” you could’ve at least come up with 3 other words that actually mean something instead.

Juicy was the lazy way out.

And so it had to leave.

(Of course you can always say juicy when you talk about juice! Or your ass. That works too!)

3. Big Girl Pant(ie)s

Ugh. That whole “cutesy” thing makes me wanna throw up in my mouth a little bit.

Oh, great you’re a big girl now and you even managed to put on some pants!

What, were you wearing diapers before?


It might be a personal thing, but that expression just annoys the crap out of me.

Why not say: “Grow a pair” instead?

Because when you do grow a pair? You don’t have to use words like “big girl pant(ie)s” anymore.

4. Awesomesauce


Just… no!

(Unless you’re talking about what you put on your spaghetti. No, wait! I’ve changed my mind. Not even then.)


Is that even a word? Did I spell it correctly? Or is it maybe #YOLO?

Instead of telling everyone that you only live once (which — by the way — is not true according to Buddha and Dr. Brian Weiss anyway)? How bout all the “YOLOs” out there just GET a fucking life of their own? And stop “yolo-ing” all over the internet. It just sounds like “yodeling” and it’s so freaking irritating.

If you wanna tell people that every moment is precious and that they should not waste their time waiting for a better tomorrow, because — guess what? — tomorrow might never come? Then please, go ahead. Tell us! Just promise to use actual words and not #yolo about it. Ever.

Ok, now it’s time for YOU to take action.

Did you ever use any of these words?

Then write down 3 better words that you are gonna use instead of the “forbidden one” you are guilty of using.

And share them in the comments!

Do you have other annoying, overused words to share? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear them!



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{ 55 comments… add one }
  • Melanie Kastner January 12, 2014, 6:39 pm

    #1 is a tough one but it’s asking me to get way more specific! Awesomesause Hannah, ;)!

    • Hannah January 12, 2014, 6:55 pm

      Haha, in my face, Melanie!

      You’re right, it’s not easy. But it pays off to say something different. People will notice and welcome it as a pleasant surprise :)

  • Teri January 12, 2014, 8:57 pm

    Oh… my gosh. I could go on and on about the words I see that irritate me! But, I don’t want to hurt anyones feelings. Ok Ok… I’ll just list one: “Amazeballs”-What does that even mean!? I’m a rebel when it comes to copy cat “copy” and don’t want to repeat any of the trendy words out there. So, while I may be considered ‘boring’ I’m going to hold my position on that! There’s great ways to express one self without these silly words. Then again, everyone has their style and some people might just like that!

    • Hannah January 12, 2014, 9:21 pm

      Hahaha, Teri! I was even considering “amazeballs”. It somehow reminds me of a big, furry cat?

      Anyway, you’re right that everyone has their own style (thank god!). But if you choose to use different words than everybody else, you won’t be boring at all! :)

    • Temmy January 15, 2014, 11:56 pm

      Ok Teri, I’m guilty of ‘amazeballs’, I use it ‘cos it’s kind of cute. But the one that makes my skin crawl? ALCHEMIST. WTF? That’s the first time I’m swearing online by the way.

      • Hannah January 16, 2014, 12:13 am

        Haha, Temmy, congrats! You did well for a first-timer ;)

  • Naomi Goodlet (@Naomi_Goodlet) January 13, 2014, 7:24 am

    Ok, I’m guilty of using “empowered” but I like your advice to find a deeper meaning behind it. I normally use it when I should be saying something like “self sufficient”.
    The rest are SHIT. I would never touch them, I really don’t understand the appeal at all.
    Cool post.
    p.s. just after I read this I got an email with Juicy in the subject line. HA!

    • Hannah January 13, 2014, 10:57 am

      Lol, Naomi! Juicy is so common. Just like empowered. That’s why I believe adding your own personal meaning works so well.

      Just write a sentence like “But first let me explain what “empowered” means to me” so that people really understand what you’re all about!

      i knew a lot of people use it, that’s why I put it first :) It’s not a “BAD” word, it just needs a personal touch!

  • Kiya Knight January 13, 2014, 11:08 pm

    I love you Hannah, you are my new secret weapon;) Thanks for all you do.

    • Hannah January 13, 2014, 11:21 pm

      Thank you, Kiya! You are a dream client for real! :)

  • Lacy January 14, 2014, 9:46 pm

    Ha! This made me laugh.

    When I was doing travel writing for a living, we had a white board where we listed tired, overused phrases like “world class” and “luxurious” that we all fell into the trap of using when describing cities and hotels all day long, and whenever we caught a colleague using one, that person had to put a dollar in the cliche jar.

    Which we then used to pay for a round at happy hour.

    Maybe one of the (few) downsides of working from home! No one else to pay for my drinks. (Or catch my cliches.)

    • Hannah January 14, 2014, 9:55 pm

      Oh I love the cliche jar!!!! SOOOO much better than a swear jar! Everybody should have one in my perfect world! ;)

      That’s exactly what I mean by “the lazy way out”. Sometimes you might really have to say empowered. But like 97% of the time? There’s something more specific you can come up with!

      Thanks for stopping by ;)

  • Lana January 14, 2014, 9:49 pm

    I’ll still use empowered and juicy because they do have specific meanings for me and my readers. (Empowered means stepping into a mindset of possibility instead of problem-focused mind and juicy means delicious, decadent, highest-grade of satisfaction). But the other 3, never used them and probably never will. Especially because this girl wears thongs and not panties. ;-) Fun post Hannah!

    • Hannah January 14, 2014, 9:52 pm

      Hahaha, Lana! Thank you! And, yes: G-Strings to the world, lol!

      See, you got an explanation and that totally works! This way everyone will understand what it means to you and you won’t sound like everybody else :) win-win


  • Hooping with Sarah (@HoopingBySarah) January 14, 2014, 10:11 pm

    Aloha from a fellow B School Babe. Hell yeah! What the hell does juicy mean and why would I want my business to be “juicy”. This is the first time I’ve seen your website and it’s adorable and effective. Here’s to standing out in 2014.

    • Hannah January 14, 2014, 10:19 pm

      Amen, Sarah! And thank you so much for the kind words. I hope that means I’ll see more of you around here :)


  • Suzanne January 14, 2014, 10:12 pm

    Love this post! I would add divine and goddess really irritate me!

    • Hannah January 14, 2014, 10:21 pm

      Totally feel you, Suzanne! They have been overused for quite a while unfortunately. Especially goddess irritates me as well!

      Thanks for sharing ;)

    • Sandra Moore January 15, 2014, 2:05 am

      I believe it depends on your ideal client or you, and the path that you are traveling in life. I’m not a fan of shunning words. It reminds me of people being shunned for expressing themselves. Words are creative expression. I use to have an issue with the word goddess however it became apparent to me while doing my personal work that it wasn’t the word that I had an issue with, it was stepping into my goddess energy which believe me, is far more powerful than masculine energy which many women are running. I do love the fun element of this post Hannah ;-)

      • Hannah January 15, 2014, 11:25 am

        Thank you Sandra! And YES! — of course it all comes down to who you are and who your ideal customer is. I still believe that some of the overused words are easily replaceable with other effective words. We’ve had goddess filed under irritating here in the comments already ;) But this is just a general guideline and a challenge to come up with your own authentic words and phrases. It can be FUN :D

  • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha) January 14, 2014, 10:20 pm

    Ha ha, amazing! I have to confess to quite liking juicy of late, though I think you’ve caught me juuuuust before I start to use it.

    • Hannah January 14, 2014, 10:24 pm

      Hahaha, fair enough Marsha! And like I said… I used to be a juicy-victim myself! Until I stopped and was like “what the hell does that even mean?”!

  • Nicole January 14, 2014, 10:22 pm

    oh yes please get rid of awesomesauce… and secret sauce too!

    • Hannah January 15, 2014, 12:09 am

      YES, Nicole! And any other form of “sauce” as well! ;)

      • Erica Lee Strauss January 17, 2014, 5:33 pm

        ….Except “the sauce” (aka getting drunk). Not that I actually SAY that, but I definitely don’t want my happy hour to go away. ;) xo

        Awesome post, Hannah! I use a few of these (sometimes) but I think it’s just because they’ve saturated the Internet and therefore, my brain. Love that you pointed out using words like this & cliches are taking the lazy way out.

        To more creativity (and maybe a little harder work) in 2014!

        • Hannah January 17, 2014, 6:13 pm

          Thank you!

          And cheers to that, Erica!

          Good to see you around here ;)


  • Kim January 14, 2014, 11:01 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Juicy has caught on in the women entrepreneur community like a plague. You want juicy? Peel an orange.

    • Hannah January 15, 2014, 12:00 am

      Kim, you are SO right. Juicy DID spread like a disease!

      So glad I’m not the only one who feels like this!


      • Sue Shea January 15, 2014, 1:10 am

        i only use the word juicy when referring to markers. ok and fruit.

  • Nancy January 14, 2014, 11:25 pm

    I love this. I’ve been following a blogger who uses those words all. the. time. Glad I found you…now where’s that other blogger’s unsubscribe link? ;)

    • Hannah January 15, 2014, 12:01 am

      That’s great Nancy! I’m sure that’s the reason why you found me today! :)

      So good to have you!


  • sophie January 15, 2014, 12:00 am

    I like juicy, even though I never use it myself, but I’m attracted to it. But I hate, ABHOR, awesomesauce! Ugh! I guess it all comes down to personal preference, correct? I love the word “babe” but I know many people who hate being called “babe.” And I hate being called “Sweetie” or “Sweetiepie”…. Ahhh…the beauty of choices ;-)

    • Hannah January 15, 2014, 11:39 am

      Yes, Sophie, it totally depends on what you’re talking about and who you’re talking to. But calling a product or service “juicy” leaves a lot of room for interpretation ;)

      I like babe too! Sweetiepie…. for a 4-year-old it’s appropriate I guess :D

  • Sarah January 15, 2014, 1:29 am

    Super entertaining post Hannah. Now I’m curious how do you feel about bomb.com?

    • Hannah January 15, 2014, 11:19 am

      Thank you, Sarah!

      What… you mean like when people say “it’s DA BOMB.com”? Tough one. I guess I can live with that at least compared to awesome sauce and juicy. Because I don’t hear that one AS much. Do you? ;)

  • Juliana January 15, 2014, 2:00 am

    Nice, very very nice. Plain ol’ awesome stays though okay? And may I add, for the love of all that is good and righteous in this world…stop lol-ing Stop It!!!

    • Hannah January 15, 2014, 11:22 am

      Yes Ma’am! Awesome stays, because it’s legendary ;)

      I gotta be honest: I do use “lol” but only in comments (like here) or when texting. I wouldn’t use it in a blog post — or even worse SAY IT OUT LOUD? That’s just horrible ;)

  • makeupdetox January 15, 2014, 4:20 am

    One thing I’m sick of is a phrase, not a word – when people say ‘this blog post is long so grab a cup of tea/coffee/smoothie etc’. Everyone says that! Do you think anyone actually gets up and gets a cup of coffee? No. It’s a way to apologize for a long post, which you shouldn’t do. Because if it’s great – don’t apologize and if it sucks – don’t post it. The end.

    • Hannah January 15, 2014, 11:28 am

      Haha, I can see what you mean. If it’s an attempt to say “make yourself comfortable and take some time to really focus on this post” — then it’s okay, but what could you say instead? :) “open a bottle of vodka if you wanna survive this boring post”?

      If it’s an excuse for a long-ass post that could be much shorter, it sucks. Agree!

  • Desha Peacock January 15, 2014, 3:37 pm

    Ah, what a relief- not using any of those! Probably a whole slew of other lame words, but not those- ha ha!!

    • Hannah January 15, 2014, 4:05 pm

      Haha, Desha! But as long as you’re not using THESE ugly bastards, you’re safe ;)

  • Samantha Leith January 15, 2014, 9:45 pm

    Whoops. I use Empowered. It’s even in my newsletter tagline. Weekly dose of Entertainment, Empowerment and Education…….it just fits for me. I cross my heart promise not to use any of the others though!!!

    • Hannah January 15, 2014, 10:06 pm

      Fair Enough, Samantha :) If it works well as your opt-in, then why not? Still miles away from awesomesauce! ;)

  • Candice January 16, 2014, 1:47 am

    Can’t help it. I have to say awesomesauce. I have to… Lol

    • Hannah January 19, 2014, 11:48 pm

      Girl, I don’t even know what to tell ya! Just let it go ;)

  • Arlene February 20, 2014, 2:25 am

    Funny, I tweeted today that I would scream if I saw the word badass or rockstar one more time. I’ve been on an unsubscribe spree cause I am sooooo sick of seeing those words! Been away from design and blogging for awhile and cannot believe how all of a sudden everyone is a “badass rockstar”. Gag.

  • Brooke February 26, 2014, 4:31 am

    I’m really trying to think of a word to replace empower… and I can’t come up with one – open to suggestions. I agree with the others, I also HATE amazeballs. Let’s be honest here, balls aren’t really amazing, they’re kind of weird.

    • Hannah March 2, 2014, 12:19 am

      Lol, Brooke!

      Well like I said: If you REALLY can’t come up with anything else, at least explain what exactly it means to you. Or why not just describe the actual feeling? Instead of “You’ll feel empowered” you could say “You’ll feel full of energy, confident, eager to take action”… whatever it means to YOU ;)

  • Marje March 4, 2014, 1:21 am

    Are you pumped for today has to be just as annoying. I hear it at work a lot, it is supposed to set us up for a busy day. But guess what? we sell burgers, we don’t go into battle. It is just a JOB! I am conscientious enough to do my best, whatever my best is – cliches like that actually put me off.

  • Trisha April 30, 2014, 4:51 pm

    This WHOLE post made me giggle. I admit, I have used ‘empowered’. I think you’re spot on when you say it’s a catch all word that people use when they don’t know what else to say so thanks for reminding me (I’m being lazy – ha). I can barely even type the word ‘juicy’ let alone say it & I’ll go ahead & add ‘juice-s’, as in ‘creative juices’. I don’t know what those are but I certainly don’t want them ‘flowing’ anywhere around me.
    By the time I figured out what YOLO meant, I realized I was already too old to use it {sad face}.
    If I could add one to your list it would be a phrase: ‘I die’. I get that Rachel Zoe got that started & it was cute for like, one season of her show. Then it was over. I wish everyone would just let THAT one die.

    PS, found you via B School. ;)

  • Wayne May 31, 2014, 11:38 pm

    All I have to say is: Your post has empowered me to be conscious of using the word empowered, in context when I am attempting to empower others to be empowered to go out and create with the video training I provide.

  • Star Khechara October 16, 2014, 12:30 pm

    Fab post. I hate all of these words/phrases too. Big Girl Panties – WTF? How about I spend all day hustlin’ in my hooker knickers instead. Yeah.

    • Hannah October 16, 2014, 6:45 pm

      Star, thank you so much! Hahaha, hooker knickers, amen to that, sister :D

  • Yvonne December 13, 2014, 5:17 pm

    Luv this

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