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12 of the Most Disgusting English Words

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Last week we wrote about 15 of the most beautiful words in English. We collected them from non-native speakers and this week, we’ve done the same. We asked people to tell us what the ugliest, most disgusting words in English are. It can be for what the word means or how it sounds, it all depends on your opinion. This one was a lot of fun! So, hold on to your stomach as things are about to get gross…


Some people love it, some people hate it. Some people can’t start their day until they have a bowl of it. Others simply hear the word and immediately feels disgusted as it feels floppy, lumpy and straight-up ugly.


The word ‘awkward’ seems to catch a lot of people! Trying to get your mouth around the sound of that ‘w-k-w’ is a real linguistic challenge. Feeling awkward is so uncomfortable too that really, it’s an all-rounder. 


This one needs no introduction. That big brown beetle that sends most of running or makes us hide on a chair. It just needs to cross our path in the street and people start screaming! How does something so small scare us so much?!

4. Armpit

It’s sweaty, it’s damp and sometimes, unfortunately, it’s smelly. So very smelly. This body part doesn’t have it easy and having a name like ‘armpit’ is added cruelty. The final rotten cherry on an already rancid cake. Armpits… take them away!

5. Wretched

In some ways this is such a beautiful adjective because it is SO expressive! It can only be a bad thing however, and that’s why it made it onto the ugly list. Similar words could be ‘miserable’, ‘pathetic’ or ‘terrible’.


This word can make your skin crawl. It’s slimy and gooey and has the unpleasant job of oozing from noses and wounds, as well as lubricating the throat and other body parts. But really? Mucus? Why does it have to be such an awful word?


A pesticide is a chemical solution designed to kill plant, fungal or animal pests. The word alone sounds toxic, as the product is. The sound of the word gives a feeling of sickness, being unwell. It puts thoughts of poison, death and decay in your mind.


Something that is disgusting, is something that feels offensive to your taste or senses. For example, the taste of sour milk?  Disgusting. How about the smell of old socks forgetten at the bottom of your gym back? Disgusting. Rotten fish? Definitely disgusting. 


A squirming, pulsing mound of these guys is bound to turn your stomach. Writing that sentence was effective enough. Everything about these little beasts tells of death and decay, even if they are an important part of the cycle of life.



This word in most contexts is harmless. But for some people it symbolises dental surgery, such as a tooth extraction, or being a spotty teenager needing to do a pimple extraction. What ‘extraction’ means is the removal of something. So with the suggestions above, we’ll let you work it out. 

11. Blister

You know when you wear shoes for the first time and they rub against your foot while walking? Then you get that hot pain. It burns and stings all at once because now you have a blister. Yep, that thin watery sack of skin swollen against the edge of your shoe causes so much discomfort. Blisters! Who needs them?!


Mmmmh… this is one of the worst. It reminds a person of wet socks after walking to work or school in the rain. Your shoes let in water and your feet are flooded for ages after. Or sitting on a wet bench. Soggy, squelchy, cold and disgusting.

There you have it! You now have an arsenal of vocabulary to delight and horrify your friends with. Add a little spice to your English conversation with any of these words and feel a little giggle on the inside as you watch the reaction of people. Why learn a language if not to play and have fun with it? Learning English abroad is a lot of fun and everyone appreciates some creativity, so get out there and enjoy yourself!

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