Moist slacks ointment

For me, it’s “surfaced”. For others, “moist”, or “slacks”, or “ointment”. Whatever the word, it’s part of a phenomenon called word aversion. Slate investigates.

Word aversion is marked by strong reactions triggered by the sound, sight, and sometimes even the thought of certain words, according to Liberman. “Not to the things that they refer to, but to the word itself,” he adds. “The feelings involved seem to be something like disgust.”

Participants on various message boards and online forums have noted serious aversions to, for instance, squab, cornucopia, panties, navel, brainchild, crud, slacks, crevice, and fudge, among numerous others.