Overused Words That People Need to Drop Immediately

Overused Words That People Need to Drop Immediately

How you speak tells people a lot about who you are as a person, for better or worse. The words you use don’t just send a message about that topic at hand but about your likability and even your levels of intelligence in some people’s eyes, as silly as that sounds. If you don’t want to be annoying or seem like a bit of a simpleton, remove these words from your vocab ASAP.


It’s intended to signify that something is true without any form of exaggeration. However, its rampant misuse to add dramatic effect to figurative expressions has diluted its impact. It’s better to reserve “literally” for when you’re stating facts and avoid using it for emphasis.


This is another adverb that many people often use as a crutch word or filler, especially when summarizing complex topics or ideas. The problem is, using “basically” too often can make your communication seem less clear or insightful. It’s best to use this word sparingly, and only when it’s necessary for providing a simplified explanation.


woman trying to make a serious face

While honesty is an admirable trait, always prefacing your statements with “honestly” can ironically cast doubt on your sincerity. It may give the impression that you’re not being truthful when you don’t use this qualifier. To maintain the strength and trustworthiness of your statements, use “honestly” sparingly and only when you’re emphasizing a point.


Instead of relying on “very” to express a higher degree of something, use more descriptive and powerful adjectives. For instance, instead of saying “very big,” you could say “enormous” or “massive.” This can make your language more vibrant and engaging. This one isn’t the end of the world, but it helps to think a bit more creatively.

“In my opinion”

It’s important to express your views, but the phrase “in my opinion” can often be redundant. Unless the context suggests otherwise, it’s usually clear that what you’re saying represents your viewpoint. By stating your opinions directly and confidently, you can communicate more effectively and avoid unnecessary repetition.


The word “actually” is often used unnecessarily, especially when you’re correcting a mistake or introducing a surprising fact. However, using “actually” too often can make your statements seem argumentative or condescending. Be mindful of when you use it and make sure it serves a purpose in your sentence.


This term is often used in place of “regardless,” but it’s not a standard English word. The prefix ‘ir-‘ usually indicates negation, which means “irregardless” could be interpreted as meaning “not regardless,” which contradicts its intended use. To avoid confusion, it’s best to stick with “regardless.”

“I can’t even”

two guys laughing and chatting

This phrase has gained popularity on social media as a way to express extreme disbelief, exasperation, or awe. It can add a touch of humor or drama in informal conversations, but due to its incomplete structure and casual tone, it’s best used sparingly and not in formal or professional contexts.

“Just saying”

This phrase is often tacked onto the end of a statement to soften a critique or controversial opinion. However, it can come off as passive-aggressive and may undermine your point. It’s generally better to express your thoughts directly and respectfully, without relying on this phrase as a disclaimer.

“I mean”

This is another phrase that’s often used as a filler or as a way to introduce your thoughts. However, it doesn’t add much value to your sentences and can make your communication seem less decisive. Try to express your thoughts clearly and directly, without leaning on this phrase.


The word “like” has become a ubiquitous filler word, particularly among younger generations. While it can be useful in casual conversation, overusing “like” can make your speech sound informal or unsure. In formal or professional settings, it’s best to avoid fillers and use precise language.


Once used to describe something that inspired awe due to its grandeur or power, “awesome” has become a commonplace descriptor for anything mildly pleasing or satisfactory. To enhance your vocabulary, consider using alternatives like “impressive,” “remarkable,” or “extraordinary” when appropriate.


young man and woman chatting on park bench

 Although “definitely” is a useful word to express certainty, it can lose its impact if overused. Consider varying your language with synonyms like “certainly,” “undoubtedly,” or “surely.”


male female runner sitting on steps afer exercise

Similar to “definitely,” “absolutely” is often overused to express agreement or certainty. It can be replaced with words like “completely,” “entirely,” or “unquestionably” to avoid repetition.


conversation Women are sitting at a table in a cafe, socialising over tea.

This term is frequently used to express surprise or amazement. However, its overuse can make it seem less impactful. Consider using alternatives like “astonishing,” “amazing,” or “incredible” for variety.

“At the end of the day”

woman telling female friends a storyiStock

 This phrase is often used to preface a conclusion or a fundamental truth. However, it’s become a cliché due to overuse. Instead, you might say, “ultimately,” “in conclusion,” or “fundamentally.”


This is a very vague and overused word. It’s better to be specific about what you’re referring to whenever possible.


two female friends walking with coffee

This is a bland adjective that doesn’t provide much information. Instead of saying something is “nice,” try to use a more descriptive word.


two women having a conversation on park bench

Similar to “things,” “stuff” is an overly vague term. It’s better to specify the “stuff” you’re talking about.


two female friends sitting by the water chatting

While it’s great to express enthusiasm, “amazing” is an overused word for describing something impressive or surprising. Consider using words like “impressive,” “astonishing,” or “remarkable” instead.


male female friend having serious conversation

This is an absolute term that’s often used for emphasis but can be misleading or inaccurate. Unless you’re referring to a rule without exceptions, it could be more accurate to say “often,” “usually,” or “typically.”


man and woman having convo on couch

Like “always,” “never” is an absolute term that can be misleading. Unless you’re referring to an absolute prohibition, it may be more accurate to say “rarely,” “seldom,” or “not usually.”

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Originally from Australia, Emma Mills graduated from the University of Queensland with a dual degree in Philosophy and Applied Linguistics before moving to Los Angeles to become a professional matchmaker (a bit of a shift, obviously). Since 2015, she has helped more than 150 people find lasting love and remains passionate about bringing amazing singletons together.

Emma is also the author of the upcoming Hachette publication, "Off the Beaten Track: Finding Lasting Love in the Least Likely of Places," due out in January 2025.