“God I hate that word, it just makes my skin crawl.” When I think about my favorite word this is the first thing that comes to mind. The individual responsible for this is my aunt Sheila. It was a cool Thanksgiving day and myself and the rest of my extended family were at my grandmother’s house, as we always do. This particular Thanksgiving became special right before we started to eat. My cousin Ryan was dishing up his cranberry’s and while he was doing so he said with a deep raspy voice,” Eww these cranberry’s are so moist, I really hate the texture”, and without any hesitation my aunt Sheila responded,” Gugh that word makes me cringe.” That’s when all the fun started.


For the rest of Thanksgiving dinner my cousin would add the word moist to any part of his sentence just to antagonize his mother. He would say,” This turkey is so moist and mouth watering”, and,” Does anyone have a napkin my hands are moist?” Suddenly almost as if through telepathy the rest of the kids started to join in. After a while we would just start saying the word under our breaths to see if she would hear it and say anything. To this day we still will go up to my aunt and simply say the word moist and it makes her skin crawl. So I would say that moist is my favorite word because he brings back a great family memory that will always be with me.


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July 9, 2022 6:33 pm

Dear Drew,

I greatly enjoyed reading your post, “Moist,” because of the personal family story you shared. I have heard many people express disgust at the word “moist,” just like your aunt. I laughed at the way you and your cousin tormented your aunt that Thanksgiving – I think this is a relatable situation!

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “For the rest of Thanksgiving dinner my cousin would add the word moist to any part of his sentence just to antagonize his mother.” I think this is delightful because we can easily relate to the fun one finds in needling your parent over something they can’t stand, but in a way that causes no one any actual harm. It’s good-natured teasing.

Another sentence that I appreciated was: “’God I hate that word, it just makes my skin crawl.’” This stood out to me because as soon as I read your opening sentence, I knew what “that word” was. (Of course, I knew from the title, but I would have known it without the post title!)

I agree with your aunt that the word “moist” has a special power to make one’s skin crawl. One reason I say this is the connection of that word’s meaning with things like creepy, subterranean crawl spaces and bodily fluids. Another reason I agree with your aunt is due to the sounds inherent in the word. The “oi” sound isn’t particularly pleasant, and neither is the “st” – the combination of those words together sends a shiver up my spine!

Have you seen this article? I thought you might be interested in this because it explains the findings of three scientific studies as to why people hate the word so much.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because you have such a clear writing style. I also enjoyed how you brought the reader into your family with this story, and relayed a funny story in such a relatable way.

Best wishes,

September 25, 2017 7:02 pm

Hi Drew, I agree with your point, I also carry a mutual dislike for the word, “moist”. I think this is a general opinion across most individuals and I believe this is due to the way this word rolls off the tongue. The hard “t” combined with the preceding “s” is a recipe for a nasty sounding word. I also believe this is due to the nature of objects that this word tends to describe. When someone hears this word, it triggers a response within their brain that begins to replay every terrible noise of chewing, stirring mac ‘n cheese, and all things moist that lurk in the depths of a person’s sensory memory. I found this article that you may find interesting: http://mentalfloss.com/article/64984/science-behind-why-people-hate-word-moist

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