Nearly 39 percent of 1,020 Americans questioned in the survey deemed it the most irritating word, followed by “like” with 28 percent and the phrase “you know what I mean’ at 15 percent.

“Perhaps these words are introduced through popular culture, for example movies … so they catch on,” said Mary Azzoli, of Marist. “It has a lot to do with how accepted and how popular they become in every day speech.”