About a year ago, I realized I was saying the word “actually” a lot.  So I decided to make an effort to reduce the word’s usage in my eveyday vocabulary.  But while I bit my own tongue to keep the word from slipping out, I discovered I wasn’t the only one who was overusing actually.  My ears perked up whenever I heard someone else saying it, and soon the word was like fingernails down a chalkboard every time I heard it.  The word nagged me, it insulted my ears.  And every time I heard it I felt like I just had to tell the speaker that he or she had just used the word 3 times in the same sentence.  I had to enlighten everyone on the overuse of actually!!!

But alas, I got over my actually phobia.  I still try not to use it unneccessarily, but I do giggle whenever I hear my 4-year-old daughter saying it.  Actually seems to be the like of this generation.  I remember driving my parents crazy with that word.  Like school was like totally stupid today and like I have way too much homework (and yes, I really did talk like that when I was in middle school.)

We all have certain words or phrases that are stuck on repeat in our everyday vocabulary.  Some are harmless, some aren’t exactly G-rated, and some we swore would never escape our lips.  Some are used incorrectly (it’s not “I could care less”  because that means you care enough to care less…the proper phrase is “I couldn’t care less.“), some have picked up momentum from tv shows (Seriously, didn’t Grey’s Anatomy seriously initiate the whole seriously catch phrase?), and some are used for the purposes of emphasis but really don’t make any sense (“I literally laughed my face off.”  Well, your face is still there.  I see it.  So you didn’t literally laugh it off.   ***As an interesting side note, one of the definitions of literally is actually.***)

Anyway, like I said, we all have our sayings.  And here are my…

Top 10 Overused Phrases in My Vocabulary
10)  “Is that right?”
Mr. Roller Coaster once told me that our son knows when I’m not paying attention to what he’s saying because I say, “Uh huh.  Uh huh.  Uh huh.  Is that right?”  Guess I need a new phrase of feigned attention.  Or I need to start paying more attention to my child.
9)  “Roger that”
I say it to my husband.  I say it to my children.  I say it to my students.  I say it in emails.  Sometimes I annoy even myself.
8)  “Chillax”
Obviously a combination between chill out and relax.  I stole this one from a friend, and it’s definitely my most popular phrase as a kindergarten teacher.  (Runners up include good gravy, okey dokey artichokey, and holy cannoli spicy guacamole.  Don’t you wish you were in kindergarten again?)
7)  “Get your….”
Shoes on.  Backpacks and lunches.  Teeth brushed.  Homework done.  Oh there are so many ways to fill in that blank. 
6)  “One…two…two and a half…”
I’m such a sucker.  I rarely get to 3.  But boy if I do, my kids are in serious trouble.
5)  “Mind your own beeswax.”
As a kindergarten teacher and a mom, I say this phrase way too often.  The sad thing is, kids think it’s hilarious and don’t really pay attention to its meaning.  But I guess it does its job as a distraction when that embarrassed little girl has an accident in the bathroom and you need to help change her clothes.
4)  “What time do you think you’ll be home tonight?”
I don’t know why I bother asking Mr. Roller Coaster anymore what his schedule will be like.  The answer is always the same: Your guess is as good as mine.
3)  “Scheisse” (German for sh*t)
I always figured it was better to curse in another language than to curse in English for my kids to repeat.  Well I guess that backfired because my 4-year-old daughter repeated me the other day.  But I wonder…if she repeated that in school, would her teachers be appalled that she said a curse word or impressed that she was speaking a foreign language?
2) “Because I said so”
Didn’t we all want to spit nails when our parents said this to us?  Didn’t we all swear we’d never say this to our own children?  Well guess what.  I said this 10 times yesterday.  I counted.  I’m utterly ashamed.  Sorry Mom and Dad.
1)  “Just a minute.”  (often coupled with “I can only do one thing at a time.”)
I didn’t even make it through this blog post without saying…hmmm, what’s that noise?…just a minute readers…my kids are screaming…and I can only do one thing at a time…. 
What sayings come out of your mouth too often?´╗┐

5 Comments on Top 10 Overused Phrases in My Vocabulary

  1. Great list! Mine is "frickin". Followed closely by "are you sure?" which I use to make my son think about his schoolwork. I'm mean because I even use it when he's right!

  2. Haha I love your list! It's funny, I don't think I've ever thought about overused phrases in my vocabulary until now. I use "freakin A" a lot… well, let's just replace the "freakin" with the other bad word… "otays", "Hello there", "awesome", "babe", "oh yeah?"…

  3. Numbers 1, 2, 6 and 7 are very popular with me too! And I remember saying "like" a ton back in middle school, I must have been so annoying…

    My big words/phrases seem to be:
    "totally" (yikes, sad)
    "for cryin' out loud,"
    "shibitz" (my tame version of s**t, which my 5 year old repeated, oops)
    "If I have to tell you one more time…"
    And because all teachers of little kids have cute/annoying sayings – "Hasta lasagna, don't get any on ya!" – I can't believe I just admitted that one…

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