Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Vocab: why I hate the word "cute"

This week I have come across the word "cute" used in contexts that annoy me.


  • The Cutest Blog on the Block
  • That friend who always looks so cute-and-put-together
  • You should wear this. It's a cute dress.
  • What a cute haircut!

As a single, standalone word, I don't mind "cute". It has its time and place. What annoys me is when people use the word cute out of its time and place.

Cute, for me (and Webster), is defined as "having a pleasing and usually youthful appearance". I'd describe a baby as "cute". A well-dressed little girl or boy as "cute". A Volkswagen Bug as "cute".

But I can't describe an adult as "cute". For me, "cute" implies a non-mature appeal to my parental nature. If I want to squeeze its little cheeks and speak to it in baby talk and feed it, then it's cute.

I'd never apply the label of "cute" to a woman because that would take away from her adultness.  I definitely do NOT associate "cute" with "sexy".  (Webster, you betray me.)

So whenever I hear the word "cute" applied to an adult, it makes me go *squick*. It's just not right.

Her Grace refuses to be described as "cute". If you must describe Her Grace, "elegant" is a more preferred term.

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