Filler Words

Here’s a good list of common filler words.  This list is from an article by Ellen Finkelstein, original article here. I mean, basically, overall, it is actually just really definitely worth literally eliminating these from your speaking . . .

Really: “I really want to say how important this is.”
Actually: “I was actually flabbergasted!”
Literally: “I literally sank through the floor.” (Don’t you mean “figuratively” which is the opposite?)
I mean: “I mean, I think it’s OK to say no.”
Definitely: “I’m definitely a supporter of environmental awareness.”
Basically: “Basically, I’m fine with that.”
Overall: “Overall, I don’t see how we can pay back the debt.”
Just: “I’m just so upset about the situation.”
Kind of: “I’m kind of (kinda) ambivalent about him.”
Sort of: “I’m sort of (sorta) ambivalent about him.”
Like: “I, like, don’t know how it’s going to turn out.”

Eliminate these from your speaking.

Any others you use or hear?

12 thoughts on “Filler Words

  1. How about “LOL”? ‘Lolspeak” is becoming prevalent nowadays as filler words, I often hear people say “O-M-G”, “LOL”, “BRB” and so on.

    I have to eliminate my “really”, “just” ,”literally/figuratively”, “sort of” and “kind of” words. 🙂

    Thanks for posting this!

  2. Is this based on the assumption that in spoken language, words are exclusively vehicles for carrying lexical meaning.

    If I stop and analyze the way I use language, I see that these filler words are often valuable in the communication process.

    They often function in a similar way to bold, italics, underline, inverted commas etc… in written language. They assist in the punctuation and articulation of spoken communication.

    For example, while adding ‘definitely’ may not add anything to the locutionary meaning of a sentence. It aids the listener in their discernment of the perlocutionary intent of the sentence. Saying ‘I’m definitely a supporter of environmental awareness’ serves a similar function to putting ‘supporter’ in bold or italics in a written document.

  3. The Ellen Finkelstein site was a valuable find for me. I’m not a preacher as far as profession, (only as much as we are all in a sense, preachers of the gospel) but I do speak publicly as part of my part-time occupation. I found myself saying, “OK…” as a transition or filler between slides/topics.

    The fact that I am not a preacher but part of the congregation does make me wonder whether I should be reading this site.

  4. Margaret – thanks for the comment. Of course you are welcome to read the site. Genuine biblical preachers have nothing to hide from the congregation. This site is certainly not giving any “inside secrets!” Actually I know of other “non-preachers” who read the site because of the content relating to Bible study that appears on here. Anyway, you’re welcome here and thanks again for commenting.


  5. Thanks, Peter. This site helps me to see the passion and hard work that goes into preaching. It’s truly such a high calling. But people like me have to be careful not to be the uninvited detectives (from the post a few days ago) of the sermons we are hearing.

  6. Peter, thanx for pointing at this. Ellen Finkelstein’s site opened a door to a place I need to be before long. “I really want to thank you…” Without the “Just”. LOL…

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