England

'Moist' leads poll for least favourite English word

More than 10,000 people have already submitted their entries for the English language's worst word
Image caption More than 10,000 people have already submitted their entries for the English language's worst word

"Moist" is the early front-runner in a search to find the most-hated word in the English language.

The distasteful adjective - a favourite of Great British Bake Off presenting duo Mel and Sue - has topped polls in the UK, US and Canada, according to those behind the global survey.

Oxford University Press said "no", "Brexit" and "British", joined moist as the UK's four most-despised words.

More than 10,000 people have responded to the survey so far.

"Moist" - dubbed by comedian Miranda Hart the "queen of all words" - also leads the way in the US, Canada and Australia, also coming second in the poll of Dutch opinion.

'Negative route'

"No" is least popular in the early running in the Netherlands and Germany, while "love" and "sorry" find the least favour in India.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Wednesday's edition of the Great British Bake Off featured host Mel Giedroyc urging contestants to make a "moist" drizzle cake

Dan Braddock, from Oxford University Press, said this was the first time Oxford Dictionaries - which focuses on current English usage - had tried such an experiment and "we're not entirely sure what to expect yet".

"We thought for a long time about the question to open with, but we decided to go down the negative route," he said.

"We thought people were more likely to have strong opinions about a negative subject matter."

He said the publisher hoped to collect 30,000 replies by the end of the project.

Despite the poll's findings, "moist" does not appear to be universally despised.

On Wednesday's edition of The Great British Bake Off, host Mel Giedroyc remarked that it was her "favourite word" as she urged contestants to produce a "sumptuous" drizzle cake.

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