Another Word For “Awesome”

In a lot of ways, I’m an adult. My Netflix queue, wardrobe and the As seen on TV Slushy Magic kit sitting on my desk might argue otherwise, but it’s a fact. I am a bona fide grown-up. Try not to be too impressed. I own several matching sets of salt-and-pepper shakers, I can rent a car basically everywhere, and I’ve considered buying a briefcase several times. There’s one small problem: I still say “awesome.”

It’s more than disconcerting. There is just no reason for it. I have a robust personal vocabulary that is resplendent with adjectives. Yet, “awesome” persists.

Sure, having a youthful outlook is great and I don’t really have a lifestyle that prohibits me from saying “awesome.” Still, I think it’s time to exchange it for a new go-to word. I need something for when I think something very positive has happened or will happen to me, or others. This will additionally be deployed when I encounter something I believe to be the very best of its kind.

Maybe this isn’t an age thing at all. There are certainly tons of people in the world who are much more adult than me. These are people with things like wine cellars, classical music, and work Blackberries, who use the word “awesome” skillfully — and yes, I’m as troubled as you that apparently I think the epitome of adulthood is Frasier Crane.

Saying “awesome” — like riding a unicycle, beating up the beat, or marrying a man — is fine, just not appropriate for my personality. It’s a habit that I have no memory of forming or no reason to form, or anyway that’s what I told people after that incredibly strange eulogy. Maybe I’m just too positive. Or more accurately, maybe I’m so negative and cynical that when something even remotely good happens, I am blown away, deem it a miracle, and describe it thusly. Either way, the one thing I’ve realized is for me, someone who is not a cast member of California Dreams — saying “awesome” isn’t awesome.

Here now, is my search so far, for a replacement for “awesome” in my personal vocabulary. Suggestions welcome

REJECTS

Too toned down to express real emotion:

Splendid

Nice

Neat

Too Tony Toni Tone:

Feels good

Too flamboyant to describe things that happen every day: 

Sensational

Fabulous

Wonderful

Fantastic

Too flamboyant to describe anything but a diva’s ensemble or a diet snack cookie:  

Fantabulous

Amahzing

Bootylicious

Delicioso

Too Abbrev.’d:

Terrif.

Ridic.

D.

Too Downton Abbey:

First-rate

Divine

Marvelous

Grand

Superlative

Not Downton Abbey enough:

Hot

Sick

Bangin’

Sweet

Amazeballs

Terms/idioms that I cannot use because they’re too trite:

The cat’s pajamas

The cat’s meow

Out of this world

Out-of-sight

Top-drawer

Terms/idioms that I cannot use because they do not exist:

The dog’s sweatpants

The dog’s infuriating whine

Into those dimensions

Ocean’s 11

Highest Cabinet

Too 1960s:

Far out

Too 1970s:

Groovy

Too 1980s:

Rad

Too 1990s:

Cool

Too 2000s:

Yay, it’s just like something from the 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s!

Too Stinson:

Legendary

Words that sound like I am exclusively describing a penis:

Auspicious

Magnificent

Prizewinning

Astonishing

Too heavily associated with Princess Bride:

Inconceivable

Too confusing but real:

Awfully good

Boffo

Less confusing but fake:

Nastily Swell

Chongkle

CONTENDERS

Great TC Mark

image – Shutterstock

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  • http://twitter.com/rob_t_firefly Rob Vincent (@rob_t_firefly)

    Brilliant!

    • Drew

      I like your categorization of potential terms, but I think that the project’s end might be unachievable: words’ meanings are socially defined, and “awesome” works because people have a certain reaction to it. Its popularity and non-specificity make it a low-stakes stamp of approval, like “liking” something on Facebook. Anything that you create or adopt that goes against the stream will draw attention to you, and won’t have the egalitarian quality of “awesome” that makes it so useful.

  • Bea

    I feel like there’s nothing wrong with either “fantastic” or “the cat’s pajamas”.

  • http://blingedup.wordpress.com blingedup

    In all honesty, I have tried to find a replacement for the word awesome and can’t do it.

  • Austin

    Immaculate? This may be too pretentious/stupid

  • Joe

    OUTSTANDING!

  • http://twitter.com/copper0928 Alyssa (@copper0928)

    I say “Great” a lot. I also say “Perfect”, though an exaggeration.

  • Megan

    Phenomenal.

  • http://twitter.com/Mcsweeeeen Rebecca McSween (@Mcsweeeeen)

    My advice: forego the response. Nodding and smiling has an intimidating effect, and if someone is talking at you and inspiring just your habitual response, maybe he or she needs to step it up anyway.

  • cool cat

    Ace.

  • glehr

    superb

  • wicked

    wicked

  • http://www.facebook.com/izmeister15 iakt

    Too Doctor Who:

    Fantastic
    Brilliant

    Too Community:

    Streets ahead

    Btdub, this is hilarious haha!

  • http://hartlove.wordpress.com hartlove

    Reblogged this on Love, Hate– It's all Innate. and commented:
    Sharing the same problem as this author. Awesome (see?) blog post. Really worthy of my first Reblog.

  • http://twitter.com/MrTyYu Taylor Yu (@MrTyYu)

    Wait, can you give us a more specific example of when you are using ‘awesome’ but don’t want to be?

    • amanda

      that’s what I was waiting for in this article

  • http://www.facebook.com/katie.f.anderson Katie Faye Anderson

    Smashing!

  • http://twitter.com/hillgaf Hillary (@hillgaf)

    Try “excellent”
    Though it tends to sound sarcastic

  • kittycattiness

    I like “Ah!” It has a certain brevity–no companion words necessary. Variations: “aaah!” or “ahhh!”.

  • http://www.markdoesmarketing.com Mark

    Fancy.

  • http://twitter.com/xcdannon Dannon Unsdorfer (@xcdannon)

    I actually like Ocean’s 11, although it is a mouthful. Bernie Mac would be proud.

  • allie

    “CRAY CRAY!” (too abbrev’d?) or “the bee’s knee’s” (too trite?)

  • Katherine Gough

    “Very tight butthole” – Workaholics phrase equivalent to awesome.

  • eee

    wild

  • http://www.facebook.com/amrita.tapadia Amrita Tapadia

    I think ‘swell’ works just fine.. I say awesome all the time

    • Frankie

      ‘Swell’ is too Old Hollywood.

  • von

    You should steak sauce!

    • von

      *add steak sauce :)

  • nico

    dope and/or dopamine? works for me, but I’m definitely not grown up yet so…

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