Please tell me what crutch words are.

I think they are used to fill spaces between sentences like a filler word, but I am not sure.


2 Answers 2


Yes, they are essentially "filler words" such as um, uh, like, etc. However "crutch words" reinforce the idea that they impede communication and should be avoided/taken care of with an evident negative connotation.

Imagine a perfectly-able athlete trying to compete in a 100-m hurdles with crutches taped to their arms.

  • 1
    On the contrary I believe the term crutch is appropriate because it helps a disabled or injured person to move around more freely and independently. Without crutches how would a person with a broken leg or ankle move? Likewise these verbal crutches provide the speaker with the necessary time in order to come up with the words he or she needs to complete their thoughts.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 29, 2014 at 7:43
  • @Mari-LouA There may be "beneficial" types of crutch words as per your comment. The interpretation varies on context. In general, I associate crutch (as well as filler) words with extravagance. Given that OP is already familiar with filler words, I provided the most plausible answer. Pardon me if it came off as dismissive. Oct 1, 2014 at 15:46

Crutch words:

  • are the unnecessary words that we use to fill the dead spaces while speaking, or if we’re unsure of how to begin.

  • Since most of us don’t speak in front of a crowd on a daily basis, crutch words can be hard to catch! Here are some short common crutch words:

  1. Um
  • We all use this one: it takes up the empty space in our speech, is extremely distracting, and ruins all credibility. I once counted the number of times my teacher said “um” in a 45-minute class period: 74 times. The fact that I was counting should say enough- I was definitely not paying attention to any of the topics she covered!
  1. At the end of the day
  • At the end of the day, this phrase is just a precursor to whatever you really mean to say (I had to!). Similar to the dreaded “in conclusion” or “all in all,” this phrase is unnecessary and can (and should) be left out. As a crutch word, “at the end of the day” has nothing to do with the final hours of a day, and therefore might wins against the others in the battle for most annoying.

Source:https: www.voxy.com

  • 3
    This is business advice. That may be what the OP wants -- they didn't say. But it's not English grammar. Sep 27, 2014 at 22:01
  • Mere citing of a source cannot be an answer. Furthermore, it is not a canonical or definitive source.
    – Kris
    Oct 29, 2014 at 9:14

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