5 Buzzwords You Need to Retire & What to Say Instead

There comes a time in the lifespan of every word that it reaches its zenith. Everyone and their mom uses it and before you know it you have articles like this one discussing the 5 buzzwords you need to retire and that should have been put on hiatus like yesterday!

We all know those words. They start off cool and refreshing. Then they pick up steam and celebs and average joe’s alike are using it in the everyday vernacular. Right before it reaches the height of its overuse you still like it. You still use it. Then, one day it becomes oversaturated to the point of inducing 1,000 eye rolls.

Today I want to address a few buzzwords you need to retire ASAP as well as offer a few replacement words. In some cases, the replacements won’t exactly have the same kick but they will prevent you from coming off as cliche or worse, a try-hard. 

You may use some of these words, in fact, I’m positive you probably at least use one of them. This doesn’t mean that you’re an awful person it just means that I need a moment to make my case. 




Oh, “authentic” we had a good run but it’s time for you to exit stage left. When someone uses this word they have the best of intentions. They’re just trying to showcase their earnest desire to be exactly who they claim to be. No one who uses this term realizes or even factors in the hundreds of other creativepreneurs, bloggers, interviewees etc that are also using that same word. 

When several people use the same exact word to make the same exact point it sort of becomes meaningless. (Click to Tweet) It’s like the word “amazing” or “awesome.” Both of those words are so heavily used in the American English language that they don’t pack the same punch anymore. However when you say that you’re “legit” significantly less other people pop into my mind and therefore I associate that word with you and your brand.

The whole point of being authentic is that you’re being true to you and you’re not shapeshifting for the benefit of the crowd. So, why use a word that’s just going to make you blend in when you can stand out?


What to Say Instead: Legit, genuine, credible, true, trustworthy, original etc.


5 Buzzwords You Need to Retire & What to Say Instead - Tired of seeing the same words slapped on everything? This list of buzzwords you need to retire is filled with stellar alternatives that are even better!



I suspect that some people are going to want to throw stones my way while others will offer me a sly hi-five. For me, this word is not only oversaturated but it’s also problematic. Maybe I’m thinking too deeply here but why is it necessary to put the word “girl” in front of “boss”? Would you say, “girl doctor”, “girl chef”, “girl teacher” or even “girl president”? 

I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t. Let’s take it a step further, and ask ourselves why “girl” instead of “woman” or “lady” etc. Now I’m sure Sophia Amoruso, creator of all things GirlBoss, just picked “girl” because WomanBoss didn’t have a nice ring to it. Granted, I have not read her book so maybe I’m just missing something.

This isn’t to say that I have anything against her or the movement as a whole. I think GirlBoss is a well-meaning female empowerment vehicle. My only issue is in the terminology and the underlying message it sends. With that in mind, I think we should all leave GirlBoss to Sophia and go back to just calling ourselves bosses minus the qualifier. 


What to Say Instead: CEO, boss, exec, manager, owner, chief, head, etc.



Goodbye hustle! It’s been a real love-hate rollercoaster but I’m ready to kick ya to the curb! Now I know I’m not the only one who could benefit from adding this to the list of buzzwords you need to retire. The whole concept of hustling sends mixed messages, some of which are downright unhealthy. (Click to Tweet) Over the past few years, a culture has developed that glorifies not having time to eat, sleep or even breathe because you’re busy “hustling.”

Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure the main reason why we all bought into this hustle hard lifestyle is because we wanted all of the benefits that hard work can afford. In other words, as Drake’s new playlist album claims, we wanted More Life. More time to do as we please and more funds to make our desires happen.

So, let’s lay “hustle” to rest and focus more on finding a balance. I’m not sure a perfect balance exists but I do think that we can all benefit from prioritizing a life well lived. 


What to Say Instead: Hard work, dedication, elbow grease, commitment, grinding etc.


5 Buzzwords You Need to Retire & What to Say Instead - Tired of seeing the same words slapped on everything? This list of buzzwords you need to retire is filled with stellar alternatives that are even better!


Real Women

Here is a quick question for you: Since when do we have fake women? I mean, are there clones or robots or new make-believe people just wandering around that I didn’t know about? 

In all seriousness, I understand where the phrase “real women” came from. It’s being used, in some ways as a marketing tactic geared towards women from diverse backgrounds and body shapes. At the same time, it’s a word that some use to separate themselves from models or women who more closely fit society’s ideal. The problem is that using a phrase like this just pits women against one another. 

Instead of the model being perceived as a paragon of beauty, the supposed “real woman” is put on a pedestal while the other is stripped of their validity. For me, every woman is a real woman. Just because someone can fit a sample size doesn’t make them any more or any less of a woman. 


What to Say Instead: Women.


Anything followed by #goals

I have to admit that I’m a bit conflicted about this one. I’m confident about all of the other buzzwords you need to retire but I’d wager that this one is debatable. My problem with #goals is that it usually idealizes something that isn’t 100% real. (Click to Tweet)

For instance, if you scroll through Instagram and stumble upon your fave blogger after a fresh haircut you might be inclined to comment “#hairgoals” or something similar. Or maybe you see a drool-worthy blog post featuring a Brooklyn brunch spot you’ve been dying to try. You see the dreamy place setting, the bright colorful plates, gold utensils and beautiful blooms in the center of the table surrounded by avocado toast, mimosas, and lattes.

It all just looks idyllic and perfect and . . . not at all real life.

Let me back up for a moment to the haircut example I mentioned. The haircut is real and probably looks just as dope in person. However, just outside of the frame you don’t see the PJ pants they have on the kid bouncing around at their feet or the mess in their bedroom.

What I’m trying to say is stop glorifying images without knowing the story behind it. There is nothing wrong with loving someone’s clothes, or hair, or thinking they take great photos with their significant other. Just don’t then take their curated and stylized images and place them on a pedestal. Don’t compare it to your own life and view it as some unobtainable goal. Instead see it for what it is, a great photo, and then move on.


What to Say Instead: Use your words. Describe whatever it is that you like without glorifying it.



5 Buzzwords You Need to Retire & What to Say Instead - Tired of seeing the same words slapped on everything? This list of buzzwords you need to retire is filled with stellar alternatives that are even better!


There are probably much more than just 5 buzzwords you need to retire. Still, what do you think of these overused words? Did I miss any that are on your list?

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