The 10 Grossest English Words

Ethel Walk

It started raining on Tuesday, which turned to sleet overnight. It continued to sleet most of Wednesday. Wednesday night and all-day Thursday it snowed. In the end, I measured seven inches, which is seven more inches than we’ve seen all winter. Yesterday, during the day, a young man knocked on the door and offered to shovel our walks. For twenty bucks, it seemed like a deal. He did a good job, but since the snow kept falling afterwards, in a few hours, it was hard to tell that anything had been shoveled at all. Later Anne and I walked to the grocery store. The headline on the front page of the paper was an order to “Stay off the roads.” It was accompanied with a rather humorful photo of some fool motoring his moped down a rather snowy roadway.

Unfortunately, the half-plowed roads were the only decent place to walk. We tried walking on Clayton, but a pair of passing County snowplows made us jump back and we retreated to the less well plowed neighborhood streets that were also much less trafficked.  Most stores were closed, and the grocery store was only operating at reduced hours. We got a few things and trudged back home again, managing not to land on our butts. The storm sewer that runs beneath Ethel Walk normally looks rather gross, but with a fresh blanket of snow, it looked almost beautiful. Today, I shoveled the walks again and dug out the car. After much egregiously idling I was able to get the ice mostly off its windows and now it is ready to go, except that we’re not going anywhere now.

Yesterday, on HuffPo I spied an article from the language learning website Preply. This article identified the ten grossest words in English, as determined by a poll. Almost all of the words have to do with bodily fluids. Most women found pus to be the grosses word, while most men disliked seepage the most. Jane’s favorite, phlegm, is sitting proudly in the number two spot.  

  1. Pus – A white/yellowish liquid formed on the site of a wound or infection.
  2. Phlegm – liquid secreted by mucous membranes.
  3. Seepage – The slow escape of a liquid or gas through porous material.
  4. Moist – Sightly damp, wet, or humid.
  5. Splooge – An abrupt discharge of fluid. 
  6. Fester – Of a wound or sore that becomes septic; suppurate.
  7. Mucus – A slick secretion produced by and covering mucous membranes.
  8. Ooze – Fluid slowly trickle or seep out of something.
  9. Putrid – Organic matter decaying or rotting and emitting a fetid smell
  10. Curd – A dairy product obtained by curdling milk. Can substitute soy.

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