Asked by Jaime Anderson PsychologyEnglish Language
Why do people hate the word "moist"?
December 19, 2019 10:30PM
A common theory is that it just sounds gross, but that was somewhat debunked by a group of researchers from Oberlin College and Trinity University. They ran three experiments and discovered that 14 to 21 percent of participants were averse to the word. However, similar sounding words like “foist” and “rejoiced” did not garner the same negative feelings from the participants.
“Moist” was considered most distasteful when it was paired with sexual or unrelated positive words, but many were not as bothered when it accompanied food words such as “cake.” This suggests that the reason for the disdain was more tied to what the word implied—and its association with bodily functions—than to its sound.
There’s also something to be said for the cultural component, or the theory that people hate the word because other people hate the word.