Sep 7 2017 3:00pm

32 Authors Share The Words That Squick Them Out!

It's a truth universally acknowledged that some words should just not be used in a romance novel—we're looking at you, “moist.” What squicks out one person is perfectly benign to another. At RWA, we had the chance to talk with authors about the words that made them cringe—some of whom even confessed to using the word that squicked them out! Do you see any of your cringe-worthy words on this list?

Sylvia Day 
author of One with You (Amazon | B&N)


Amelia Grey 
author of Last Night with the Duke (Amazon | B&N)



Synithia Williams
author of Full Court Seduction (Amazon | B&N)



Vivienne Lorret
author of Just Another Viscount in Love (Amazon | B&N)



Rhenna Morgan
author of Claim & Protect (Amazon | B&N)



Holley Trent
author of The Demigod's Legacy (Amazon | B&N)



Michele Aris
author of Devil's Deal (Amazon | B&N)



Roni Loren
author of By the Hour (Amazon | B&N)

Moist (unless it's about cake)


K.C. Bateman
author of A Counterfeit Heart (Amazon | B&N)



Dana Volney
author of Protecting Her Secrets (Amazon | B&N)



Jennifer Probst
author of All or Nothing At All (Amazon | B&N)



Sarah Morgan
author of Holiday in the Hamptons (Amazon | B&N)



Sharon Sala 
author of A Piece of My Heart (Amazon | B&N)

Throbbing member


Megan Frampton
author of Lady Be Bad (Amazon | B&N)



May McGoldrick
author of Much Ado About Highlanders (Amazon | B&N)



Elizabeth Michels
author of The Wicked Heir (Amazon | B&N)



Kira Gold
author of The Dirty Secret (Amazon | B&N)



Megan Crane
author of Edge of Ruin (Amazon | B&N)

Nether lips


K.L. White
author of Dark Water (Amazon | B&N)



Milly Taiden
author of Kiss My Asteroid (Amazon | B&N)



Tara Wyatt and Harper St. George
authors of Dirty Boxing (Amazon | B&N)



HelenKay Dimon
author of Dirty Deeds (Amazon | B&N)



Tracey Livesay
author of Love Will Always Remember (Amazon | B&N)



Monica McCarty
author of Going Dark (Amazon | B&N)



Sionna Fox
author of Dark Rooms (Amazon | B&N)


A few authors turned from NOT safe for work options, to general word choices that make them twitchy!

Kerrelyn Sparks
author of So I Married a Sorcerer (Amazon | B&N)



Megan Erickson 
author of Chasing Destiny (Amazon | B&N)



Nico Rosso
author of Seconds to Sunrise (Amazon | B&N)



C.C. Hunter
author of This Heart of Mine (Amazon | B&N)

Healthy food


Asa Maria Bradley
author of Viking Warrior Rebel (Amazon | B&N)

Toed off his shoes


Sherrilyn Kenyon 
author of Dragonsworn (Amazon | B&N)


H&H Editor Picks:

Words Not to Use in a Sex Scene

Unpassionate Words, Part II

When Romance Novels Go TMI

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Wendy the Super Librarian
1. SuperWendy
I feel vindicated in knowing I'm not the only one who hates "nubbin."

(I'm now rethinking my least favorite quirky word though - because Megan Crane's and Megan Frampton's choices are....ewwwww. I agree ladies!)
2. xoumamah
Moist and Slit are pretty bad ones and they squick me out as well. My personal one is bulbous. I just picture a light bulb anytime I see the word. lol
Jennifer Proffitt
3. JenniferProffitt
I'm going to add a squick word that I can't really say I would hope to ever find in a romance novel, but "limp." As in, "Her arm went limp." "these fries are limp" not "walking with a limp"... for some reason that last context doesn't bother me.
4. wsl0612
I love Tracey Livesay! Her expression is so fierce, I'd bet that Webster's immediately felt the vibe and decided to amend the dictionary :-)
5. wsl0612
I love Tracey Livesay! Her expression is so fierce, I'd bet that Webster's immediately felt the vibe and decided to amend the dictionary :-)
6. Moonlaura
Dislike the word plethora. People seem to use this too much to sound smart perhaps? And I can't say penis without laughing.
7. reggit21
Moist is my #1 that needs to disappear unless it is being used with regards to cake.
8. JassyBaby
Can I just say how adorable Sherrilyn looks in this pic? She's so cute and one of my faves, for sure!
9. SpiritedMuse
Ha, yea, I couldn't believe that was SK, trying to get away with dressing so regulary. Almost didn't recognize her. In regards to life goals, I would definitely say her word of failure is right on.

I still admit to having to laugh over moist being a top squick word for many.
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