General Question

Magnus's avatar

Am I the only one that cringes when someone says "Awesome"?

Asked by Magnus (2860points) March 24th, 2009

The word is so overused and trivialized. You’re supposed to use “awesome” for something that fills you with awe and/or admiration. Not as a synonym to “cool”.

Does this annoy you as much as it annoys me?
Even my English teacher uses it as “cool”.

And it’s lame to say, regardless.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

80 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Awesome! <made ya’ cringe>

SpatzieLover's avatar

Seriously, I hate it when a people over say 30 say “Cool”...that makes me cringe!

SeventhSense's avatar

My pet peeve is AMAAAAAZING. Like everyone’s straight off the set of Queer Eye. Makes me want to shoot metrosexuals.

peedub's avatar

I prefer ‘wicked’ but awesome is cool.

Magnus's avatar

I want to buy: . Email me if you want in on this project, I’ll pay and I have a server. Just need someone to help me:,com .

marinelife's avatar

Ah, I see @gailcalled is answering. She wrote the book on hating awesome. Hopefully, she will give you a link.

Magnus's avatar

Looking forward to your response gali!

YARNLADY's avatar

Many people have a very stunted vocabulary. It is not anything to cringe about, because it is so common. I prefer to simply use more descriptive words in my own answers and comments, in the hope that I can encourage by example.

SuperMouse's avatar

You are totally not the only one. You know what else makes me cringe? When someone says bonus. Argh!!

SeventhSense's avatar

My brother still says “Ciao”! And now he has his wife saying it. I’m thinking of abandoning them on a trip to Italy..

drClaw's avatar

i like “awesome” it reminds me of the Nija Turtles. “cowabunga” and “narly” are also acceptable in my book.

Magnus's avatar

This is the correct usage of “Awesome”:

adreamofautumn's avatar

I have no problem with “awesome” really. Like lots of other words though, I think it’s really weird when “older” adults pick up youth slang that didn’t exist when they were young. It always just sounds weird as it comes out of their mouths!

I have no right to be bothered by anything that anyone says ever, because I would have to check myself and acknowledge that I say “awesome”, “dude”, and “stoked” on a fairly regular basis.

Dr_C's avatar

I used to be bothered by this kind of language… then i decided to stop and be awesome instead.

True story.

cak's avatar

I’m ok with awesome, in low doses, but I hate chillax. I believe the next time my daughter says it, I will implode.

loser's avatar

I think awesome is awesome!!!

Magnus's avatar

Really @loser..? Really? Do you really get filled with awe by being filled with awe?

casheroo's avatar

seeing “wicked” is bothersome. i usually know that that person is from new england just from that. it’s such a stupid term.
i use “awesome” a lot. i don’t care. haha

adreamofautumn's avatar

@casheroo what did us New Englanders ever do to you?! :). Our use of “wicked” is way more useful than other places use of wicked to mean “cool”, now that is just ridiculous.

casheroo's avatar

@adreamofautumn lol, i was just stating i know where someone is from, from their vocabulary…just as most people could figure out where i’m from, if they heard me talk. i have a slight philadelphian accent. not ghetto…but it’s there.

Dr_C's avatar

@casheroo must… have… cake…

Saying “wicked”.. not awesome.. it’s like Michael Sera in Juno saying “Wizard” all the time…

Awesome on the other hand.. is just awesome.

gailcalled's avatar

I got sidetracked by Milo, who is superb, unique, original, sui generis, one-of-a-kind, hard to duplicate, and mine.

Guess how I feel about it? (I would also include “sucks,” “my bad,” “lame,” and “lol.”)

Why not (as I repeat myself for the twentieth) time, take advantage of the richness and subtly of English? Using umbrella words is lazy, and sooner rather than later, they become meaningless. If recipes, relationships, cars, pancakes, porn, pets, clothing, hair products and video gamer are awesome, what happens when something truly fills you with awe?

Somewhere in the mists of the earlier days of fluther, I asked a question about finding synonyms for “awesome. I had a lovely list; but of course, I can no longer find the query.

AstroChuck's avatar

Not if it’s used properly.
The Yosemite valley is awesome!
The Hallelujah Chorus is awesome!
The amazing wit of AstroChuck is truly awesome!

gailcalled's avatar

Or, Astrochuck is sort of unique, rather unique, somewhat unique, or almost unique,

AstroChuck's avatar

Uniquely awesome!

gailcalled's avatar

Given the flexibility that we have today, “awesomely unique” would do, also.

EmpressPixie's avatar

So… I guess you all saw that Awesome joined Fluther today. Way to welcome him or her.

I immediately thought of Gail when I saw the username on the front page.

SeventhSense's avatar

Sucks totally rules and that is so lame to say that.
The best is of course cool….way.

gailcalled's avatar

@SeventhSense : I’m delighted that you agree with me about subtly, originality and uniqueness.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

I only say it when I’m really excited.

I say “sick” and “cool” a lot to mean “cool” too, of course.

SeventhSense's avatar

Subtly-the state of being less than a submarine?
I’m sure you meant subtlety.
Of course that’s only a subtle difference.

gailcalled's avatar

@Great catch, SS. A little “e” goes a long way.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I use it more often in its original sense of being overcome with awe, but occasionally, I’ll say something’s awesome, like totally awesome, like, ohmigawd, okay?

loser's avatar

This thread is AWESOME!!!

SeventhSense's avatar

The tussle in Toulouse. Too much E in Paris

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@SpatzieLover, why do you cringe when someone over 30 says cool?

kevinhardy's avatar

Awesome dude

Dr_C's avatar

i think it’s awesome that you asked this question… like TOTALLY awesome.

breedmitch's avatar

Why had no one mentioned uberbatman?
Somewhere back in the “mists” as gailcalled puts it (in the thread to which she refers) the collective (she) decided “awesome” would henceforth be “uberbatman”, and I agree!

gailcalled's avatar

Childe Harold to the rescue, as always. Thanks. Love, Maude.

Dr_C's avatar

@gailcalled aaaaaaaaawwwwwwwww harold and maude.

gailcalled's avatar

@Dr_C: We’ve been an item for several years. It is lovely.

Dr_C's avatar

yes…. yes it is

mattbrowne's avatar

Overused terms are often promoted by youth slang driven by the desire to sound different from all the adults. But sometimes hype words become generally accepted. Don’t worry, they come and go.

In German the word “geil” meaning “horny” became very common in the 70ies meaning “awesome” or “cool”. It was later replaced by “mega” and I’m not sure what the current hype term really is. Geil is again limited to horny (I hope I didn’t violate the Fluther rules by using the word horny).

Strauss's avatar

@SpatzieLover I’m over 60 and have been using “cool” since I was a teenager, following the lead of some of those hep-cat beatnik jazz clydes.

Awesome is another story. I used to cringe when I heard it used as hyperbole, but no longer.

Magnus's avatar

@gailcalled Exactly, it’s now to the point that when I really see something breathtaking or amazing I don’t say awesome, because people would think I’m insincere. The word has been raped and that is not something you should ignore, as expressed by galicalled in her post.

fortris's avatar

THANK YOU. FINALLY SOMEONE WHO FEELS THE SAME WAY. Sorry for the all caps, but this bugs the crap out of me too.

“To inspire awe or wonder” Not bad-ass. NOT THE SAME. But, a lot of words have generalized into slang. So we can’t be too worked up.

gailcalled's avatar

@fortris: “THANK YOU. FINALLY SOMEONE WHO FEELS THE SAME WAY. Sorry for the all caps, but this bugs the crap out of me too.

“To inspire awe or wonder” Not bad-ass. NOT THE SAME. But, a lot of words have generalized into slang. So we can’t be too worked up.

So which is it? Not getting too worked up or having the crap bugged out of you? Can you have it both ways. The caps say it all, I hope. Gail

marauder76's avatar

“Awesome” I can handle. “Am I the only one that” makes me cringe a little bit.

fortris's avatar

@gailcalled I’m talking about future reference. The all caps was the initial excitement of seeing the question. For srs gawd.

gailcalled's avatar

@fortris: Which part is for the future reference? Ya gotta clarify that if you want us non-clairvoyants to understand And what does “For srs gawd” mean, please?

Zen's avatar

@marauder76 with you on that one.

ahankes's avatar

Awesome is completely acceptable to say in lieu of cool.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I always thought the word Awesome was to mean a thing tremendous and terrifying which is why I like the word so much, especially for particular people.

fortris's avatar

@gailcalled It was a way of rationally dealing with an unsurpassable delemma, ohemgee get ovr it.

@ahankes I hate you troll.

fortris's avatar

BTW, I’m being IRONIC.

gailcalled's avatar

@fortris: De lemma is this:

1: an auxiliary proposition used in the demonstration of another proposition
2: the argument or theme of a composition prefixed as a title or introduction ; also : the heading or theme of a comment or note on a text
3: a glossed word or phrase

An unsurpassable dilemma means what? Ohemgee means what?

fortris's avatar

Okay. Putting on my srs face.


gailcalled's avatar

@fortris: Too suble by half for me.

Jeruba's avatar

“Cool” as slang has been popular since World War II and came out of 1930s jazz and Black English. What’s interesting is that it still has enough currency that the younger folks think it’s theirs.

jackfright's avatar

i use it only when talking to americans, and i also mix it up with “great” and “sweet”.
all of which are already pretty cringe worthy on their own

i didn’t initially, but i found people would be watching me for some sort of response, so i made a conscious effort to use it.

gailcalled's avatar

@jackfright: What about the Brit. “brilliant,” which seems also to be used to fill awkward pauses?

jackfright's avatar

@gailcalled depends on delivery, but i usually dont notice it as much. do you find it annoying as well?

gailcalled's avatar

I have no friends from the UK so never hear it. Maybe if my friends used “brilliant” all the time, it would become tiresome. “Awesome” certainly has.

fortris's avatar

@jackfright @gailcalled Might as well not get worked up about it, each generation is going to have some form of slang.

gailcalled's avatar

@fortris; Luckily, I don’t spend too much time brooding on current, past or possible future slang. I am too busy sulking over “that” misused for “who.” Am I the only one who feels this way?
That is the question.

jackfright's avatar

@fortris i’m not worked up :) i think language in general is an interesting topic.
@gailcalled i dont recall hearing people using “that” for “who” before, do you have any examples? does sound like something that would make me groan

gailcalled's avatar


Reread the original question. ^^ Of course, Magnus’ first language is Norwegian so I am always stunned by his use of English. Imagine us trying to chat on a Scandinavian site. (He did just spend a school year as an exchange student in the southern US, however. So we cut him some slack.) Klaas4 and Vincentt are both from the Netherlands. Their english is depressingly good also.

Dr_C's avatar

I think it’s AWESOME that this thread is still alive.

Rsam's avatar


seriously though, the definition of words change over time; its what language does.

gailcalled's avatar

Here the primary question is not the change of definition of “awesome.” but its overuse. It is a really boring word when it replaces dozens of other choices meaning superb, unique, original, sui generis, one-of-a-kind, hard to duplicate, thrilling, etc.

And this is not grammar but vocabulary.

Dr_C's avatar

@gailcalled i agree that it’s over-used and is sometimes used to replace certain words in an inappropriate way… and yes you are correct it is vocabulary and not grammar.

About vocabulary by the way…. you used the latin term “sui generis” and suggested that the word awesome could be used as a replacement… i disagree.

From Merriam-Webster:
* Main Entry: sui ge·ner·is
* Pronunciation: \ˌsü-ˌī-ˈje-nə-rəs; ˌsü-ē-ˈje-, ˈge\
* Function: adjective
* Etymology: Latin, of its own kind
* Date: 1754

: constituting a class alone : unique, peculiar

that’s vocabulary too… just saying.

gailcalled's avatar

@Dr_C: It seems that people use awesome willy-nilly. My cat is “awesome” and he is one-of-a-kind. By your reasoning, which I find fair, we can’t substitute “unique” for “awesome” either. Would you consider “peculiar” to be pejorative? Just asking…

Dr_C's avatar

@gailcalled actually it would depend on the tone… if said in a condescending manner or sacrastic for that matter.. then yes i would consider it pejorative… otherwise no. Probably something akin to whimsical or off-beat.

gailcalled's avatar

@Dr_C : I’d rather be called whimsical or off-beat any day than peculiar, no matter what tone of voice is used. I think of peculiar as related to odd or screw-ball.

sjmc1989's avatar

Awesome is completely fine with me. Saying “cool beans” is like nails on a chalk board to me. I had two associates of mine at work that said it after everything I said! I put a stop to that fast.

Jude's avatar

I’m over “sweet”. Or, for some “sweeeet!”.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Try schweeet! How’s that?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Not if it’s sarcastically deadpanned.

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