Filler Words: The conversational copywriting superpower you didn’t know you had (including 50 filler words you can use today)

“What do you wanna eat?” my husband said, his eyes fixed on me, head tilted while taking a deep breath—a tiny hint of impatience that comes from knowing this dance allll too well.

I looked up from my computer screen, mid-email. “Ahhh, ummm, eerrr,” was my reply, then silence (That question always seems to wipe all knowledge of culinary options from my brain.)

Husband: *rolls eyes* with a smile (a teasing smile).

Yep. That’s the usual interaction between my husband and me when he asks what I want to eat for dinner. (He’s the cook. I clean up.)

My ums and the ahs when being asked what I want to eat have become one of my signature moves.

To be honest, I don’t even notice I’m doing it—but he does.

Here’s the thing.

Filler words are often used in conversation without us even noticing.

They’re such a part of conversation, but if used too much or in the wrong context, they become a bit silly.

They’re words like ‘um’, ‘ah’, ‘you know’, and ‘like’.

When we talk, they can give us a moment to think or show that we’re unsure.

You see, in conversational writing, the aim is to write to sound like we’re talking. So adding a few filler words can make the reader feel more at ease, as if they’re in a friendly chat rather than reading an essay.

Be careful, though. It’s easy to go overboard. If we use too many, our writing can become messy and hard to follow. Kinda like my husband getting a bit impatient with me deciding whether I wanted salmon bibimbap or pizza for dinner. (Hard choice, right?!)

So, how do you get the filler word use right?

It’s about finding a balance.

A few filler words here and there can keep things light and friendly. But make sure you keep your peepers on them. If you find too many, or if they’re not helping you make your point, it’s probably best to cut them out.

I recommend the following: When you’re done writing, read your work out loud. Does it sound like you’re talking to someone naturally, or does it feel a bit stiff and awkward? This will help you see where filler words are working and where they’re just taking up space.

Now to be clear, I don’t like fluff in writing. Filler words appear like fluff… but they make for super conversational writing.

The TL;DR? Use filler words when you want your writing to feel more like a conversation, but don’t let them clutter up your message. Keep it clear, keep it friendly, and you’ll keep your readers engaged.

Anyway, want a few filler words to swipe into your next social media post? Here are 50 filler words you can use today:

  • Honestly
  • You get me?
  • Just
  • Perhaps
  • Totally
  • Literally
  • Absolutely
  • Anyway
  • I suppose
  • At the end of the day
  • Believe me
  • For real
  • Look
  • Now,
  • Frankly
  • Sure
  • Okay
  • Hey
  • Hmm
  • You see what I mean?
  • Right
  • No way
  • You know what I mean?
  • I’m telling you
  • See
  • Huh
  • Well, you know
  • Er
  • I can’t even
  • Seriously
  • I bet
  • To be honest
  • You feel me?
  • Oh
  • Let me tell you
  • Guess what?
  • Wait
  • By the way
  • Also
  • What’s more
  • Besides
  • In other words
  • That said
  • As it were
  • Not to mention
  • And so
  • As you know
  • To put it another way
  • Kinda (Kind of)
  • Um / Umm
  • You know
  • Like
  • I mean
  • So
  • Actually
  • Basically
  • Well
  • Let’s say
  • I guess
  • Sort of
  • Anyway
  • Right?
  • You see
  • Uh oh
  • Oops

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