Language Log stresses these are not words that are taboo, or commonly taken to be offensive, nor are they words subjected to widespread misuse, which triggers a somewhat-related "word rage." Rather, this is purely subjective opinion based on sound, divorced from definition.
I like the idea of word aversion. I mean, I'd already made lists of words and names I liked, independent of meaning. Why not words I am repelled by? Off the top of my head, words that make me wince are "veggies" and "yummy." I also hate "tummy." I notice these are all "ee"-sounding, informal words. Dare I say Americanisms? Perhaps not. I wonder, though, if it's more the connotations that these words bring with them-- annoying, entitled parents I come across in my neighborhood, say--than the words themselves. I am disappointed by the word periphery. It's got a sexy definition that I like, but the sound of it doesn't evoke anything remotely appealing. It is unsatisfying to say and it is ever-so-slightly inelegant– the "p" - "ph" and "eri" - "ery" seem reduplicative but they're not. The "phery" in particular seems weak and awkward-looking.
Language Log makes this interesting connection, quoting another blogger:
For some of us I think there is definitely a connection. I agree with the above about "baffle" although I dont' find that word bothersome. When I read "lobe" I think of wet, blubbery, custardy things. I would not say I'm a synesthete but I often have textural or other visual connotations with sounds. I would, for instance, opine that "two" could never be blue-- its more of a warm-colored number. I have never experienced taste or smell in relation to a word....
I really just don't like those words. I don't dislike their meanings, but phonetically they conjure up all sort of unpleasant textures. 'Baffle' sounds fibrous and tough like a mat of hair, and 'Cornucopia' is too much like 'corpulent'. I won't get started on 'squab'.
This reminds me somewhat of the way that people talk about synesthesia -- I wonder whether there's any connection.
I queried some of my friends about disliking words. I'll update as the answers roll in.
veggie for sure
for some reason these plurals bother me
I won't use "munchie" either. I don't use "scarf" either but i accept scarf.
Oh I hate veggie!
..."dangle" would be one...
i'm not crazy about brassiere, crayfish, minge
guru "I even hate the way it looks" said she
Update: I recently got an email from a potential date that used the word "tummy" prominently and it nearly made me physically ill. I still get a shiver of disgust just thinking about it. (don't worry its not someone who would know that I'm referring to him).
The word "goodies" also gives me pause.
In reading the comments I like that Brooklyn Brit is throwing flaps into the mix...