05 May 2010


I am not one to turn down any compliment, but recently I've discovered a slight annoyance.
Who am I kidding, it bugs the s#*t out of me.

It has plagued conversations for years, and started showing up in higher frequency in my facebook comments and in my inbox.
It has been used so much as a compliment, for me, it has become a non-compliment.

What is it?? 


That shirt it cute.
You are so cute.
How cute!
You look cute today.
Awww, CUTE!

Don't get me wrong, I take what I can get, especially in the compliments department.
But, I simply cannot escape this.
Is the word 'cute' a compliment cop-out?
Is it a safe and easy compliment that is dished out when there is nothing left to say?

Basically, I'm asking if 'cute' has any meaning any more?

This leads into a further discussion about compliments that I give.....
I use the word 'cute' very often,not only describe other people, but other things.

So I'm challenging myself to explore the English language to find words that will give better compliments.
"That dress is fabulous. Very flattering to your figure."
"I'm crazy about that necklace you are wearing!"
or some other compliments that my friend T and I came up with today were,
"If I didn't know you and I saw you wearing that dress, I would hate you."
"If we weren't friends, I would steal that from you."

It comes down to this:
Can we, as a society (American and beyond*) come up with better more specific and descriptive compliments that will evoke feelings of warmth, appreciation, and humbleness??

*I mentioned beyond American society because in Japan the word kawaii (directly translates to 'cute') is used for anything and everything. It is used the same way as it is in English and causes me to hate that word in TWO languages!

Please weigh in on this.
I've set up a poll to the right of this post. Let me know what you think!


  1. I say cute quite a bit but I think I mainly use it for things and clothes than describing someone. (at least I think so) I am definately going to try to say something other than "cute" from now on because you are so right that it's used way too much. Thanks for sharing! :-)

  2. I say cute as much as the next person, and for me, when I say it I mean it. But at the same time, you are right. It's over-used, and a generic response. I'm going to try to be more expressive when I am truly impressed.

  3. I agree. Cute is for 5 year olds. I feel it is a cop out.

  4. I have to say, I could pretty much check every box up at the top :) I do think that cute has become the sort of fall-back complement, but that's because sometimes I just really don't know anything better to say. It's not that I'm not sincere, but it is handy for finding a word other than "nice." Saying, "Don't you look nice" or "Isn't that nice" sounds both old-ladyish and one click above "lame." So I use "cute" unless another word jumps out at me and takes over.

  5. I'm not a fan of "Cute" anymore. I feel like that's a nice way of saying, "ummm it's ugly" but I'm gonna not hurt your feelings and say cute. So I'm definitely over people using the word cute.

  6. This post is so cute......psshh! Ummm, I would agree...cute is a cop-out. I think cute is used alot towards kids...let me explain...

    "I think your kids are cute", true meaning.."I think your kids are brats and are really weird and odd looking, but instead of saying that, I'm going to say they are cute so you like me".

    My word that I use towards just about every situation is....BLECK!