Learn English | A new lesson every week
Book your course now

What are crutch words?

Average: 3.6 (54 votes)

A crutch is a stick you put under your arm to help you walk if you have injured your leg. Basically, a crutch is something you use for support, but you don't have to have had an injury to use a crutch word.

When we want to give ourselves more time to think or to emphasize a point, we use use crutch words; they support us when we are speaking.

It's important to remember that although crutch words can help when we're thinking of what to say next, you should be aware that people find over-use of them very annoying; people dislike hearing too many crutch words.

Crutch words can be used in casual conversation but should be avoided in formal settings like public speaking or presentations. Crutch words are not generally used in written English.

5 Common Crutch Words

Like

I was, like, thinking we should go for pizza.

Well

Well, that was more difficult than I expected.

You know

It's, you know, not my decision what happens next.

Literally

Today was literally the coldest day I can remember.

Obviously

I'm obviously very happy to have been chosen.

Do you use any of these or do you have any other examples? Leave your comments below.