General Question

wundayatta's avatar

Are there words you cannot say?

Asked by wundayatta (58591points) May 6th, 2009

This is going to be hard for me. I need to give you an example, but these are words that I cannot say. I was trying to say them to my therapist and to my wife yesterday, and I couldn’t get them out of my mouth. They were good things, not bad. They might even be true. But they were about me. And I couldn’t say them out loud.

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61 Answers

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Yes, there are some. And knowing my back story, you can guess some of them, I’m sure.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I can’t say the n-word (when referring to Black people) and it’s VERY hard for me to say I’m sorry when I don’t think I should be apologizing…oh and the word pussy…I can only say it during sex

3or4monsters's avatar


I can say, even yell, the common crude vernacular alternatives for both those words (“BUTTSEX! COCK COCK WEINER!”), but I can’t actually SAY those specific words without stuttering or very fierce concentration.

augustlan's avatar

Daloon, perhaps you should ‘say’ them here. It might be good practice.

wundayatta's avatar

@augustlan—Don’t you think I would have if I could have? I barely even let myself think them.

3or4monsters's avatar

What about.. if someone were to print out a big page (or packet of pages) of words, and the words were nested among other questionable words? The packet could be placed in an envelope that you could open in privacy. If you were to circle or somehow mark the words, and put the pages with the marked words shuffled deep in the packet, back in the envelope, where a therapist could open them later in private…. would that work?

There is enough distance there, and nobody would witness you saying, writing, or circling the words that somebody else had written, and you would not have to be present for them to be read. Your name or numbers would not be anywhere on the envelope or the papers.

Is that too abstract?

cookieman's avatar

see you next tuesday

the “n” word


mcbealer's avatar

for some reason I have issues pronouncing it correctly

aprilsimnel's avatar

The N word.
The C word.

Just racist/sexist/other-ist slurs in general, now that I think about it.

Tobotron's avatar

supercalifragilisticexpialidocious oh my god I just said it, yehhhhh :)))

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

I’ve never said…the F word.

Any curse words, really.

Tobotron's avatar

Being British and brought up in London I don’t think there’s anything we wouldn’t/couldn’t say, in North London the term ‘good ol cunt’ isn’t/didn’t used to be a bad expression lol…I think the hardest word(s) to say is ‘I love you’ and not about another person but about yourself and mean it whole heartedly…

ru2bz46's avatar

@Tobotron I love me! I love me! I love me! I love me! I love me!

No problem, you should try it more often. :-)

elijah's avatar

I won’t say the word cunt. It’s just disgusting. Racial slurs make me angry. I can’t say “it will be ok” to myself, but I can say it to others.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, not in the way you mean it. I am open to saying what I think and feel. I do not use “swear” words, other than Plutoid, and I do not like seeing them. I rarely use words that I find embarrassing, but I can if I have to.

May I suggest what I have done to express myself privately, I type my feelings and memories into a word file, that only I can see. This helps me express myself, without anyone but me seeing it.

Blondesjon's avatar

I have a great deal of trouble pointing out when a person is attempting to garner attention and sympathy via self-depreciating, passive/aggressive means

aviona's avatar

When I was younger I used to not be able to say “pregnant.” It made me feel really uncomfortable. I’m an only child if that makes a difference.

N word. D word. K word. Gay and retarded as synonyms to stupid or dumb—makes me quiver. All of those derogatory terms.

I’d be interested as to what your’s is/are @daloon.

When I was younger I couldn’t pronounce yogurt. I don’t actually remember how I said it, but I remember the moment at which I finally said it correctly. So exciting!

Bluefreedom's avatar

I cannot speak the name of my first wife. To do so would cause irreparable harm to my pysche. She was a demon spawn of Satan and she royally screwed up our marriage and my life. I’m all better since I haven’t talked to that evil entity in 13 years. Life is good.

chyna's avatar

@Bluefreedom I feel the same way about my brothers second wife. She too, was the demon spawn of Satan, so is perhaps sister to your ex-wife. Truly, that woman should be in prison at best, or dead.

Supacase's avatar

There are very normal words I have difficulty pronouncing and words that I avoid because they make me cringe, but none in the sense that you mean. I wish you luck.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Bluefreedom & chyna – wow, I feel the same way about my fourth husband, perhaps they are all related!!!

chyna's avatar

@rooeytoo And perhaps there is a special place, waiting for them.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

I can pretty much say anything. There may some that make me feel uncomfortable, but I can still say them fine. And when I’m angry I have been known to use some more “shocking” words. Especially if someone uses a derogatory term against me. Of course, that has been all on the internet, which is not the same.

wundayatta's avatar

Ok. Here’s an example. Even if I thought it was true, I could never say, “I’m hot stuff.” Or anything of that ilk. There are (good) things about me that I do think are true, but I can’t say them. It feels too much like hucksterism or false advertising, even though I believe these things to the accurate descriptions of me.

These are things that I wouldn’t even say in a job interview, where you’re supposed to brag about yourself. I can highlight my “accomplishments” (and I have no problem stating things as accomplishments, even if I think they are pretty bogus), but I am having a great deal of difficulty owning up to certain characteristics that most other people seem proud and happy, even eager to talk about.

I can see I worded the question in a way that didn’t get me what I was looking for. I guess I meant things that you believe are true, but can not say, for any number of reasons.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Oh okay, well, I don’t really have a problem with saying things that I believe are true about me. I sometimes even exaggerate things just for fun and say them. I’m just not modest enough…

I mean, I’m great—there’s no denying it. :)

Bluefreedom's avatar

@chyna and @rooeytoo. Wherever it is and however bad that special place might be, they probably earned the trip there or at least they deserve to end up there when it’s all over.

wundayatta's avatar

@Dansedescygnes: why do you exagerate? Do you ever worry that people will not take you seriously, because you are so puffed up? I mean, that would be my reaction. Unless it was clear you were just making a joke.

YARNLADY's avatar

@daloon It sounds to me like you need a course in “self esteem”. There is absolutely nothing wrong in speaking of your attributes and accomplishments. Perhaps a membership in Toastmasters would help, it was great for my Hubby. Or at least some type of formal classes.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


Usually I say it with a tone that’s joking. People who know me also know the kinds of things I will say. And it’s not like I do the exaggerating thing all the time.

But with the regular statements of my accomplishments and positive characteristics, I just have no problem stating them (when appropriate, of course). My mom says I get it from her. There’s a difference between having high self-esteem and being arrogant. Arrogant people compare themselves to other people as in “I’m better than N” but non-arrogant people with high self-esteem talk about it in terms of themselves as in “I’m good at X” or “I have good Y”. That’s my theory, anyway.

Blondesjon's avatar

I find life becomes much simpler when you realize the only opinion about you that matters is your own.

it’s the only one you have any control over

wundayatta's avatar

You have some…. interesting opinions, @Blondesjon. Keep up your yeoman work.

Blondesjon's avatar

You make it too…easy, @daloon, keep up you adequate work.

wundayatta's avatar

@Blondesjon: LOL! I’ll try. Hmmm. Who was it who said I had low self-esteem? I don’t remember. Pop psychologists are a dime a dozen, these days. (I should know—I’m one of them!)

Allie's avatar

I’m capable of saying pretty much any word. I don’t like to say the N word. I have difficulty saying “cinnamon” sometimes, but that’s a different kind of issue.

rooeytoo's avatar

I was only kidding, I learned my lesson after the first husband, now I prefer to just live happily in sin.

But I betcha #1 is in some “special” place!!!

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Yes and some don’t make much sense. I love my mother but I don’t know when I’ve said it out loud directly to her except when over the phone when we didn’t live together, it feels awkward.

A person who loves me gives me a compliment and I can’t say, thank you, I end up saying, “you are kind” or “you flatter me”. It’s not that I don’t believe they mean their words but I feel vain accepting them..

ru2bz46's avatar

I’m with @hungryhungryhortence on the second part. Even as a little kid, I didn’t know how to accept praise. When something was offered (a beverage, snack, etc.) when I was with a parent at somebody’s house, I would always refuse (until I was told it was rude; I eventually started accepting snacks/drinks). Sometimes, I’l thank a person for a compliment, but I usually turn it back on them or play it down.

I donate blood components at least once a week. At various intervals (10 gallons, 15, 20, etc.), they like to take your picture and give you balloons and make a big deal out of it. I always tell them beforehand that I don’t want any accolades because I’m just there to give, and I really don’t think it’s a huge accomplishment to sit in a recliner and bleed into a machine for an hour or two. I think it’s wonderful when other people can give, though.

I’m also with @daloon on his points about not being able to say great things about himself, even in an interview. I will be as accurate as I can, but withhold saying everything if it seems like I’m making myself look too good.

knitfroggy's avatar

I can’t say puss, panties or cunt. apparently I don’t have trouble typing them I don’t care for pussy but it’s better than puss. And I don’t like titties either, but tits is acceptable.

Aethelwine's avatar

I can’t say that I am a good wife. I have made many mistakes and it is hard for me to forgive myself.

shrubbery's avatar

I have trouble saying things that I don’t really mean or believe. For example, I never would want to but even if I did I couldn’t suck up to people because of this. I’m a pretty bad liar. I try, but I suck at it because when I don’t believe it myself I have trouble trying to convey that I do anyway, even if it’s to convince someone else.

But I also have trouble saying things that I really truly mean, important things such as “I love you”, “thankyou” (in a bigger sense that just say someone holding the door open, if you know what I mean) and just things like that. When it’s really important, I somehow manage to get it out, or I write a note for them to read when I’m not there, but a lot of the time I just leave it. I probably shouldn’t. But for those who know me it’s ok because they understand, and I think they know that I love them and that I’m grateful for all that they do and I don’t have to say it.

I’m also like @daloon, though, in that I don’t like to talk about myself and my characteristics in a job interview or similar situation. Or even achievements. I find it terribly embarrassing and I feel like I’m so cocky.

But I guess you could say that I’m the silent type.

Zen's avatar

Sorry, seemed to be the hardest word, ‘til I realised how good it made me feel, too, when I said it and meant it.

Now, the only words that I find hard to say are: I hate you. I have no problem with I love you, but I reserve hate for extreme measures; preferring dislike, can’t stand, and the proverbial fuck you asshole, in their stead. I am not being entirely serious.

essieness's avatar

@daloon I see what you mean. I’m the same way in many aspects. I have a hard time bragging about my achievements and good points. Maybe it’s because I absolutely loathe braggarts. There’s very little that turns me off more than someone who is can’t get enough of his or herself and loves to let everyone know about it. High self esteem and loving oneself is one thing, but to brag and carry on like you’re the hottest thing to happen since sliced cheese is quite another.

I think maybe you are just a very modest person. I sure hope that’s the case and it’s not insecurity, because you, @daloon, of all people have a lot to be secure and happy about! There’s nothing wrong with being modest; I think it’s a great quality to have. It’s nice to pat yourself on the back once in a while, but doing it in private is also good.

I wish you luck with this issue!

Blondesjon's avatar

@essieness…If you think @daloon‘s question had anything to do with modesty than I have this bridge in Brooklyn that recently has come up for sale…

YARNLADY's avatar

@Blondesjon Now I’m confused. If not modesty, then what?

Blondesjon's avatar

@YARNLADY…I answered this with my first post on this thread.

Shuttle128's avatar

I cannot say words I have not learned.

ratboy's avatar

Yes: ”****’, ”*****” and ”***”.

kayysamm's avatar

I cant say words that are in a different language.
Other then that my mouth is like a sailor and i dont give a f***

Krag's avatar

Even though I’m a bit shy.Saying any word isn’t out of the question. As long as I can pronounce it I say it.I think I’ve even made up a few. I work in construction so it’s every day life. Kaysamm your my kind of girl

VzzBzz's avatar


amoreno06's avatar

i pronounce library “li-berry”. i can’t help it.
i can’t say hubalaboo
or spell it.
oh, the spell check has it. it’s “hullabaloo”
but the way i spelled it is how i say it.
i HATE that word.
it means penis in spanish. i have no problem saying penis.
just not in spanish.
it just sounds so…vulgar

aprilsimnel's avatar

<———Realizes ‘penne’ probably means the same thing in Italian…

ru2bz46's avatar

@aprilsimnel I’m not eating that kind of pasta, aymore. Ewww!

amoreno06's avatar

@ru2bz46 my friend used to gross me out cuz he knew i hated that word.
he loved pasta.
so we’d go grocery shopping together and he’d get his “penis” (penne) pasta and of COURSE he had to say it out loud to get at me.

Clair's avatar

I can cuss like a sailor and sleep like a baby at night. I can say any racial slur you throw at me, except kike. Thats just not nice…

SABOTEUR's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: Your comment caught my attention because I can’t (or is it “won’t) say the P word either, unless it’s during sex. In fact, I’m uncomfortable when I find myself in the company of men (which is rare, thank God) who delight is discussing women anatomically or in strictly sexual terms.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@SABOTEUR I can sometimes say it during sex too…oh, lol, I see I said that already…

desertr0se's avatar

Nope, there is nothing I cannot say.

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