10 Modern Words That Shouldn’t Exist Anymore

No need!

Let’s face it: Our society has a knack for producing garbage words. Sure, we’re an inventive and creative bunch, and that often works to hilarious effect. But other times, the internet produces word abominations that simply have no business existing. Although some of the following gimmick words might have been newsworthy at one point, it’s time to retire these suckers.


Manbun was one of numerous “man” words that crept into our everyday language around 2015, along with murse and mansplainingBut enough already! We don’t need a new vocabulary word every time a man does something out of the stereotypical norm. What’s next? Mancooking? Mancleaning? We can do better than this worn-out trend.


Of course, the term bae means your boyfriend, girlfriend, or snugglebunny. On the flip side, baeless describes a millennial who’s bereft of a significant other. A word of advice: If you’re struggling to find someone, put yourself first! Take part in more of your interests or expand your social circles. Pretty soon, you’ll banish baeless from your vocabulary.


If you hear someone refer to a sharknado, they’re probably talking about those cheesy Sharknado films that first attacked film audiences in 2013. But, they could also be using the phrase to refer to any unfortunate or badly-timed event. Admittedly, sharknado was pretty fresh when it first hit, but after the release of Sharknado 5: Global Swarming, perhaps this word belongs on the endangered species list. 

Legitimate rape

This cringe-worthy phrase was used by former Republican congressman Todd Akin in 2012. During a local television news interview, he stated that women who are victims of legitimate rape rarely get pregnant. The claim, and the focus on that phrase in particular, was thought to be largely responsible for the loss of his seat to Democratic rival Claire McCaskill in the ensuing election. Plain and simple: Legitimate rape is an oxymoron that has no place in current lexicon.


Bi-winning describes not just winning, but super-winning, on many levels. It was coined by downward-spiraling actor Charlie Sheen when an interviewer asked Sheen if he might have bipolar disorder. Sheen replied, “What does that mean? I’m not bipolar. I’m bi-winning. I win here, I win there.” While you gotta admire Charlie Sheen’s moxy, the struggles of serious mental illness should be no laughing matter. 


Perhaps a first cousin to George W. Bush’s “misunderestimate,” refudiate is political figure Sarah Palin’s mash-up of refute and repudiate. This word has come to be accepted in some quarters as a real word. Refudiate was even named the New Oxford American Dictionary‘s 2010 Word of the Year. 


Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s now infamous phrase “basket of deplorables” was a severe misfire that badly damaged her prospects in the 2016 presidential election. Though she wasn’t referring to all supporters of her opponent, the word left a bad taste in voters’ mouths on both sides. If there is a need for a group-label for racist or xenophobic people—and perhaps there is—it may be wise to start from scratch. 


This word seems to evoke more scornful snorts than any other on this list. Adulting was coined to describe a young person’s initiation into the mad-dash that is adulthood: paying bills, going to work, doing laundry, basically all the dreadful stuff adults do every day. Some millennials despise this word because of its condescending nature, which plays into the assumption that young people don’t understand anything outside of Snapchat and frozen yogurt toppings. 


Harambe was the 17-year-old gorilla that was shot to death at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2016. While many truly mourned the gorilla’s death, countless internet memes were spawned with irrational fervor. The word harambe has become synonymous with an unfair event or tragic death, which has resulted in Harambe the gorilla becoming somewhat of an ironic or satyrical martyr on the internet. We think it’s time to let poor Harambe rest in peace.

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