Is there a word (or a few words) that accurately describes someone with the "like disease" (or the many other unnecessary words or small phrases spread throughout most sentences, such as "um") in "proper" English?

I often find having a conversation which such a person very distracting, even annoying, and it makes it difficult to concentrate on the intent of their conversation when I constantly here like x, like y, like z, ... if such a "word" describes this too, even better.

  • 1
    Are such fillers/filled pauses/hesitation markers/planners really unnecessary? They communicate that the speaker is not finished speaking, but doesn't yet have the next word. Anyway, there may be a word for such a person, but since the behavior is so common, we tend to name the behavior, rather than the actor. I.e. it's not worth labeling a group that comprises everyone who's ever spoken when nervous or unprepared.
    – Juhasz
    Dec 2, 2019 at 23:53
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    They are ummers and errers.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 2, 2019 at 23:54
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    This is just an um personal pet peeve so that you can find an um pejorative term you can use against people you're um well like really peeved with. Don't be mean! It like violates our Be Like Nice policy.
    – tchrist
    Dec 3, 2019 at 3:28
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    Perhaps fluency impaired?
    – jxh
    Dec 3, 2019 at 7:16
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    At the duplicate, the excessive use of fillers / crutch words is revealed as 'embolalia'. Nordquist, at ThoughtCo, even has an article. Dec 4, 2019 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


The comments under the question about like being a deliberately stylistic form of speech aside, if somebody is constantly struggling for words, where things like um, uh, or ah (essentially, meaningless filler sounds) are frequently repeated as they try to think of how to express themselves next, that person would be said to be tongue-tied:

1 : unable or disinclined to speak freely (as from shyness)

However, if they don't seem to be struggling for what to say next, but are simply using such sounds as actual parts of their speech, they could simply be said to be ineloquent:

: not eloquent : having or showing a lack of eloquence
// George W. Bush, often so ineloquent in public, worked hard as governor of Texas and afterward to master legislative arguments and complications.
— James Fallows, The Atlantic, "Trump's Latest Interview Highlights Four of His Greatest Flaws," 20 July 2017

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