What is a word for someone who uses a word excessively in conversation? For example, using the same swear word in every sentence.

  • 2
    Unimaginitive? Vocabulary challenged? A creature of habit? Context matters. Oct 11, 2015 at 2:32
  • habitually using the same word in conversational sentences
    – john
    Oct 11, 2015 at 2:50
  • There are a bunch of specific words for the deliberate repetition of a specific word as a way of providing emphasis, especially in poetic language, such as anaphora which means the deliberate repetition of a word at the beginning of a series of clauses. But I get the impression you're not talking about rhetoric.
    – barbecue
    Oct 11, 2015 at 4:07
  • Incredibly annoying.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 11, 2015 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


If someone repeatedly uses the same word or phrase when talking, one possibility is that they are using it as a filler word (aka a discourse marker or embolalia.

When speaking, we often use filler words when we are talking to indicate that a pause in speech is temporary. Often we do this when we're thinking about what to say next, and we want the listener to know that although we have stopped talking, we're going to continue again shortly, so "stay tuned." And in many cases we aren't even aware that we're doing this.

Common examples of this are sounds like um, like, and er, or phrases like you know or so anyway but some people will use other specific words this way. For example, I know someone who says the word ultimately repeatedly. Every conversation with him is sure to have that word in it at least twice.

The problem is, we all do this to some extent, it's pretty much universal, to the extent that up to 20% of all speech can be such words. That makes it unlikely that there's a special word just for people who do this.

  • I cannot find embolalia in any dictionary - including the OED. Why would that be?
    – WS2
    Oct 11, 2015 at 9:44
  • @WS2 It is a word all right. Means the interpolation of meaningless sounds or words into speech (Webster's Unabridged)
    – A.P.
    Oct 11, 2015 at 12:28
  • Thanks for the explanation. Understanding why word repetition is done will possibly make it less annoying when people continually do this.
    – john
    Oct 11, 2015 at 12:30
  • @barbecue That explains what crutch words or fillers are, but doesn't really address the OP's question on what to call the person who uses fillers.
    – A.P.
    Oct 11, 2015 at 12:31
  • The word for people who use filler words is "everyone" because we all do it. I realize that's not helpful, but sometimes the word for a person who does X is "person who does X"
    – barbecue
    Oct 11, 2015 at 15:01

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