The word should be applicable to a text with too much useless information. Preferably, the term is used in everyday speech, but I wouldn't object against somewhat grandiloquent words.

Since I’m Russian, I can provide you with an example in Russian language, “watery or too much water”(direct translation from Russian, maybe it would help).

Also, looking for a colloquial word for ‘write in a text too many words to pass an assignment(for instance, if you are tasked at school with writing an assignment of 600 words, but you have only 500, and you start adding useless words to hit the threshold of 600).’ Direct translation from Russian is ‘to pour water’.


5 Answers 5


Suggested sentences:

You have a good piece of writing about 300 words in length, but you've padded it (out) with another 200 words of fluff to meet a requirement of the assignment.


You have 300 words of good writing and 200 of padding.

pad / pad out (v.)

(Usually pad something out) Lengthen a speech, piece of writing, etc. with unnecessary material.

Don't pad out your answer to make it seem impressive Lexico

padding (n.)

Superfluous or inferior material introduced into or included in a book, speech, etc., in order to make up a required or expected length. OED

It often happens, especially with younger engineers, ambitious to show the painstaking manner in which they have carried out their work, that the report is padded with verbose descriptions and discussions of useless topics. Charles Herzig; Mine Sampling and Valuing (1914)

Do not use superfluous words. A piece of writing padded by unnecessary verbiage is weakened like milk diluted with water. Paul Kies et al.; A Writer's Manual and Workbook

Padded phrases are unnecessary, bulk phrases used in the place of simple conjunctions (and, or, but, so, etc. and prepositions (at, by, from, with, in, on, etc.). Notice the difference between the following two sentences:

  • Padded Phrases: In light of the fact that this year's flu vaccine can only be expected to become available in the springtime, it is critical to protect yourself from viruses with the constant cleansing of hand during the winter months.

  • Clear Prose: Because this year's flu vaccine will not be available until spring, protect yourself against viruses by extra hand-washing during the winter months. Bettina Stumm; Joining the Dialog

Try not to put in too much padding, anything that you don't need in your story. James Carter; Creating Writers: A Creative Writing Manual for Schools

One of the canons of literary art is, Omit the superfluous. Alas, it is too often forgotten! Poets as well as newspaper men are too careless. There is too much padding in editorials and in reporters' "copy." Writers have a way of putting in too many words and too many sentences. The Writer, Vol. XXVII, No. 12 (1915)

  • Padded with trivialities?
    – ghurley
    Dec 5, 2021 at 20:25

In the absence of a sample sentence where the word should appear, here are some possibilities (from Merriam-Webster):

wordy, verbose, prolix, diffuse mean using more words than necessary to express thought. Wordy may also imply loquaciousness or garrulity. (a wordy speech) Verbose suggests a resulting dullness, obscurity, or lack of incisiveness or precision. (the verbose position papers) Prolix suggests unreasonable and tedious dwelling on details. (habitually transformed brief anecdotes into prolix sagas) Diffuse stresses lack of compactness and pointedness of style. (diffuse memoirs that are so many shaggy-dog stories)

Some other possibilities include long-winded and rambling.


Although I am almost entirely ignorant of Russian, from what I am lead to believe, something scurrilous or slightly vulgar might be most appropriate to a negative expression. In which case, there seems to be one word that is used in English and would fit the bill:


That this is appropriate can be seen from an example from the Cambridge English Dictionary on line:

The content of her speech was unimpressive, unconvincing, flatulent and flabby.


I am from California. I went to public school from kindergarten to 8th grade, and private schools for high school and college. Starting in 5th grade, and every year after that, including all of college, the word that my teachers used was fluff. For example:

Over the next few years, you're going to learn to be very good at writing fluff. Some kids will try to get the "perfect balance" between content and fluff, but they're doing it wrong. The real trick is to blur the lines between content and fluff, so that your teachers can't tell what's fluff and what's not.

— My fifth grade teacher (paraphrased, i.e. not verbatim).


You could describe it as having a lot of filler or waffle.

"Filler" is often used in the context of entertainment media to describe scenes, or even entire episodes, that largely exist to add runtime or episode count. If telling the entire story as planned only created 40 minutes of content, but the show needs 45-minute episodes to fit into its time-slot, then the creators might shoot some filler scenes to make up the difference.

"Waffle" tends to be used more when dealing with people in management or politics who talk a lot while saying little of substance. They'll get accused of "waffling on" or giving talks "full of waffle", or being "prone to waffle".

In an extreme case, where a talk or document is entirely useless (or very nearly so), you could call it content-free.

"How was the cloud computing seminar the boss sent you to?" "It was content-free." "Ah."

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.