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The Banned Words List on Eater National

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Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

During my four and a half years at Eater National, I developed and honed this banned words list. It is a document that I believe has very much helped define the tone of this website. I've hinted at its existence for a long time, and now I fulfill the promise of running it on my last day. The banned words list has been essential day-one reading for new hires and columnists (a lot of people like to use the word "joint" for some reason). Crimes against language happen every day, sometimes (believe it or not) even on Eater. For example, why would anyone ever refer to a group of chefs as "top toques" or use words like "kerfuffle," "brouhaha," or "hullabaloo"? Beats me. With the hope that it keeps future Eater editors honest, here's the list:


THE EATER NATIONAL BANNED WORDS LIST

USE THESE AND THE FURY OF A THOUSAND HAILSTORMS WILL DESCEND UPON YOU.

- joint (referring to a restaurant as a "joint" is sort of dismissive.)
- foodie (unless in a derogatory manner.)
- foodie-preneurs (come on)
- foodists
- foodsters (see "The resultant buzz has turned Toronto's foodsters into a throng of screaming Bieber girls")
- eaties (credit to Rachael Ray for that one)
- toque (please do not ever refer to a chef as a "toque." A toque is a hat. Give people the respect they deserve and use a proper title.)
- top chef or top chefs (use "top chef" only when referring to the show. Print media olds use this term indiscriminately, especially in the UK, and it is confusing. One thing to not do: refer to all past contestants as "top chefs." The whole point of the show is to crown a singular winner, a "top chef" if you will. PR wonks will sell their clients who were unwinning previous contestants as "top chefs" and ugh. )
- top toques (omg come on)
- television toques (unreal)
- under a toque (see lines like "Chef TK now has two new jobs under his toque." This is what happens when you wear a toque)
- cheftestant (this is a fake Bravo word. The preferred word is contestant or "cheftestapant." Credit goes to Max Silvestri for the latter. Hilariously, commenters get riled up almost every time we use it. See also BGIC's brilliant run on "-testant" with words like "egotestestants" + "bitchtestant.")
- chefstaurateur and cheflebrity
- cheferati
- cheffy
- superchefs
- cuisiniar (huh)
- startender (star + bartender = ughhhh.)
- douche, douchebag, douchey (be more creative!)
- foochebag (a portmanteau of "foodie" and "douchebag" - use foodiot instead)
- suck, sucks (be more creative.)
- chow
- chow down
- nigh (as in "the end is nigh." it is not the 1830s.)
- kerfuffle (it is not the 1940s.)
- brouhaha (why)
- foofaraw (seriously)
- hullabaloo (come on)
- tussle (stop it)
- Hold yea ol' britches (for real?)
- food fight (too cheap and easy. use sparingly or not at all.)
- a-snicker (as in "food blogs had been a-snicker for days." People have actually published these words.)
- pens (as in "pens an article." no one does that. use "writes.")
- penned an ode
- tome (when describing a book)
- jumping the shark (just no.)
- at the end of the day
- drool-worthy, mouth-watering, yummy
- unctuous (courtesy Bourdain)
- BBQ (or barbeque or bar-b-que. use barbecue. the only exception is the rubric ZOMG BBQ or if "BBQ" is part of a restaurant's name)
- sat down with (especially when it was a phone or email interview, it reads funny.)
- anyhoo, anywhoo (no.)
- fingers (as in "The DA Fingers Donald Trump For Real Estate Malarkey." Ew ew.)
- malarkey (this is probably not a real word.)
- thank god (let's not bring religion into things)
- gosh
- nom
- nom nom
- nom nom nom
- sammies, sandos
- healthful (just say healthy)
- interweb, interwebs, intertubes, tweeps, ermahgerd, amazeballs (cutesy internet lingo is silly and gets dated so fast)
- peeps (don't be cute)
- deets (as in "Stay tuned for more deets")
- peep the deets
- snarky
- #winning, winning (Charlie Sheen is an unfunny man. Charlie Sheen references, even less so.)
- dear reader (this is so pandering and weird and ugh why.)
- hilarity ensues (it means nothing. Explain why something is funny. Or better yet, just be funny.)
- nosh (as in "you can also nosh on some fun snacks")
- victuals
- adorbs
- adorkable
- foodieodicals or foodiodicals (It's fine when Food Book Fair uses it, but let's not make this a thing.)
- foodievents
- foodstagramming
- drinky-drink
- foodie boner (uh)
- fromage (just use the word "cheese," it's easy)
- tummy, tummyache
- hold up g (uh)
- boo ya
- yum or yum!
- wax lyrical, wax poetic, wax nostalgic, wax philosophical
- shakin' off the hatas (uh)
- get your gorge on (uh)
- in other words
- ruh-roh
- begs the question (or any variant)
- The more you know!
- ! (exclamation points are silly. F. Scott Fitzgerald: "Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke." We have all been guilty of this.)
- resto
- somm
- spot
- preggers
- cray cray
- totes
- shindig, soiree, fandango, or hoedown
- modernist (except in relation to Nathan Myhrvold). Use progressive or whatever.
- nowadays
- "What the what?" (uh)
- 'za (snazzy hepcat lingo. just use pizza.)
- suds (it's like using "toques" when referring to chefs. just use "beer")
- java (instead of coffee)
- vino (instead of "wine." see http://blog.zagat.com/2013/03/wine-time-momofuku-gets-new-vino.html)
- "grape juice" and "juice" (instead of "wine" too uh)
- tipple, tippling
- quaff
- Billyburg (instead of Williamsburg)
- burgs (instead of burgers)
- vacay (just use "vacation")
- DRUNKYPANTS (uh)
- WOMP WOMP (uh)
- "Eater hears"
- click through, after the jump (these are bloggy terms that only bloggers get. Also "after the jump" looks really dumb when you're on the full page and there is no jump.)
- click here (surely there is a way around this)
- we (just work around it.)
- "without further ado"
- "as previously noted" (janky)
- 'nuff said

· All Words on Eater [-E-]
· All Eater Lexicon [-E-]

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