Most annoying word or phrase in 2017? Whatever

The most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation this year? Whatever.

According to the annual Marist Poll released Monday, for the ninth consecutive year, “whatever” takes the prize as the most irksome word, 33 percent of Americans say.

Rounding out the top five were “fake news” (23 percent), “no offense, but” (20 percent), “literally” (11 percent) an “you know what I mean” (10 percent), according to the poll.

The telephone survey of 1,074 adults conducted Nov. 6 to 9 has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Last year, “whatever” received 38 percent of the votes, followed by 20 percent for “no offense, but.” Runners-up were “Ya know, right” (14 percent), “I can’t even” (14 percent) and “huge” (8 percent).

“Since 2015, we have seen a narrowing between ‘whatever’ and the rest of the list,” said Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “It has been more than 20 years since ‘whatever’ first gained infamy in the movie ‘Clueless.’ 

Last month, ranker.com listed “The Most Annoying Words That We Should Really Retire In 2018” for internet slang.

Its top five: “lit,” “keep it 100,” “woke,” “snowflake” and “fake news.”


Anthony Sorci: 916-321-1051. The Associated Press contributed to this report.