Uncool Words

Some words are inherently cool. Like gorgonzola. But some words are not so lucky. Be it through time or an unfortunate circumstance there are some words that exist today that are quite simply uncool. Here, by my reckoning, are a few of them. Feel free to disagree with me or add your own uncool words below.


The blockbuster is not what it used to be. And even if it is, it certainly isn’t itself anymore. What I mean to say, is that with Blockbuster (the one time mammoth video chain) heading for bankruptcy in the United States, the word blockbuster has become synonymous with financial ruin, American crappiness and things that your Dad remembers fondly. Put simply, blockbuster = old and uncool.

As such movies, books, TV shows, movies, comics and movies have slowed the use of the word blockbuster as a buzz word to create hype and embed ridiculously high expectations in audiences.

As a result when people describe a movie as being a blockbuster these days, it’s probably just your Dad talking. About Star Wars.


I was using gmail chat the other day when I needed to reply to my sister with some variety of an affirmative interjection. I went for kewl since I’m aware of using cool on IM too much. My lovely sister was quick to dress me down for my choice. Apparently kewl became grossly unkewl around the time Kool Mints stopped being sold in tins.

Anyway, I apologised to my sister and typed lots of parentheses and semi-colons to her and she was happy.


Suddenly is as uncool now as it was twenty years ago. It indicates that something of interest is upon us, without being interesting at all. This is why my fourth grade teacher banned me from using it in my story writing. It may have been the passage “Suddenly they kids stood up. Suddenly they were amazed to see a bear coming their way. Suddenly there was the bear. Suddenly they were scared of being eaten by the bear. Suddenly they slowly crept away” that pushed her over the edge.

Like they say in writing school, ‘Show don’t tell’. Which is longhand for ‘Never use suddenly’.


Because Kevin Rudd says it.


This one is kind of unfair because this time next year 2010 will be the uncool word. But for now it’s the word 2009 that is associated with things of yesteryear and thus the things of uncool.

‘OMG that is so 2009’ a modern teenager might say. Actually a truly modern teenager would probably say ‘It is so 2009 to say “OMG”’. None the less, to describe something as being very 2009 is to make a very disparaging comment indeed.

The other thing worth keeping in mind is that even when 2011 ticks around, 2009 won’t become instantly cool again. It takes time for these things to regain their cool. Apparently 1983 has been waiting for more than twenty years.

13 thoughts on “Uncool Words”

  1. how about YOORUP? i likes it.
    then again, i got yelled at for using ‘kewl’ too, and i still say ‘ace’.

  2. Channel 7 are suddenly calling tonight’s Collingwood vs Geelong clash a ‘blockbuster’, mate.

  3. Uncool, as far as I’m concerned, are;

    “appropriate”, “on-message”, “mind” (as in ‘do you?’), “pardon” and “er”.

    This is based on the fact of my being reasonably well established as extremely Not Cool (about as cool as over-use of punctuation in the 21st Century, from someone who’s not even 40 yet despite the comfortable-shoes-look), and their being among my most-used.

  4. ‘Just because the 80’s are popular doesn’t mean everybody born then is…’

    Remember when all you really wanted was to belong to the cool kids in school? I live up in the north, where it snows basically 11 months and 29 days a year (but hey, the rest is amazing, hot, sunny summer… eh…) so I’m considered one of the coolest kids – think permafrost. I’ll make do without the paraphrasing – another thing I can do without is the word ‘stat’. As in ‘we need to solve this issue – stat!’. Okay, honey, cool down – you’re not on ER…

    So uncool!


  5. the Constantly Dramatic One

    What about “Bootylicous” or anything with “licious” added at the end with exception of the original “delicious”.

    If I hear another girl add “licious” to the end of her name one more time…I am so gonna lay the smack down on someone.

  6. Hear the word ‘slacks’ and suddenly it’s 1975 and your mom has asked you to hurry up and put on your purple ones or you’ll be late for Billy O’Brien’s 8th birthday party but you don’t want to wear them, not because they are polyester with an elasticized waist and really, really ugly, but because they are called SLACKS, which is the most uncool word in the world.

    Trousers rule.

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