Having lived in the USA for several years I've noticed that Americans use the word "hate" a lot. What do they mean? Do they have hate emotion attached when they use this word? Or do they really mean "I don't like" when they say "I hate?" I use the word hate only when I really hate something.

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    This is the exact counterpart to love, with probably the same answer: these words are used very casually and informally, especially by younger people. If someone says I hate Mondays, no, it does not mean they expend emotional energy directing hatred at Monday, which after all is just a day of the week; it simply means someone dislikes that it is Monday. If the English are known for understatement, Americans are known for hyperbole.
    – choster
    Oct 17, 2014 at 3:38
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    I hate peppermint icecream, and that is true hate in the truest and most literal sense. I hate being in a toilet full of unflushed sanitary urns. I hate having overslept on an appointment. I hate having to hate things I hate. Hate, hate, hate. Oct 17, 2014 at 7:18
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    Don't you hate it when people do that?
    – Oldcat
    Oct 17, 2014 at 18:24
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    @choster That is my question about love. :) Nice. I now understand love and hate better in American culture.
    – bodacydo
    Oct 18, 2014 at 1:54

1 Answer 1


Americans use "hate" and "love" and a variety of other extreme words with little regard to the extremity. It ought to be taken as a declaration of dislike, unless there is particular emotion behind the declaration.

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    Indeed. The latest would be "I literally hate that!" meaning "I mildly dislike it".
    – Fattie
    Oct 17, 2014 at 9:06
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    This kind of hyperbole makes me furious! I'm literally speechless with rage.
    – Dave M
    Oct 17, 2014 at 15:11
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    I think there may be a generational component to this as well. In my experience, older people are less likely to use "hate" as a synonym for "dislike." Mar 15, 2018 at 12:57

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