Caution: R-rated language

Some words, when present in a comment, make it eligible for instant, automatic one-flag deletion. Out of the seven words you can never say on television, only

shit and fuck

appear to work this way. But then there are other, Stack Exchange-specific dirty phrases:

  1. accept rate or accept-rate
  2. acceptance rate
  3. what have you tried
  4. whore

Are there other such words or phrases? Is there a complete list of them?

Some suspect words and phrases that do not suffice for automatic deletion:

accept an/the answer, thank you, voting to close, piss, bitch, idiot, cunt (often found on Stack Overflow as a misspelling of "count").

  • 3
    What I meant by my somewhat obtuse comments is, I don't think anyone is actually going to give you the list
    – jonsca
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 22:09
  • 7
    Did you test for nags and figgers yet?
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 23:07
  • 2
    @tchrist No... search query does not turn up those "in the wild", and I did not feel like adding them myself, even for a test. Also, I think they are unlikely to appear often on a site where users do not know one another, and are not discussing news articles... I am more interested in non-obscene words, and it's possible that the various forms of accept and tried exhaust those. Although I should try some LMGTFY variants.
    – user259867
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 23:16
  • 2
    Nope, LMGTFY link (obfuscated) did not disappear when flagged.
    – user259867
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 23:40
  • 1
    Correction: "what have you tried" seems to work only on Stack Overflow, not on other SE sites.
    – user259867
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 0:13
  • 2
    @Thursday Fascinating! That means this can very by site.
    – tchrist
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 1:05
  • 3
    would be great if word "programmers" was added to this list, at least at Stack Overflow
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 9:57
  • 2
    After stumbling upon that: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/271949/… I regret it's not technically feasible to add plz, i, r, u and company to that list... Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 13:02
  • 6
    Re "seven words you can never say on television": Do you mean television in the United States? Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 12:23
  • I would add 'hostile', 'toxic' and other such trollWords, together with 'Consider', Explain' as first-word homework dump touchstones. Commented Sep 4, 2021 at 11:26
  • While sentences such as What have you tried? are dirty and should be avoided as they are against the Code of Conduct, they are usually used even by established highly reputated accounts. Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 10:16

3 Answers 3


I initially read the OP as asking for what comments a moderator will delete right away when the first flag on it appears. However, I misread the question, for he is actually asking about the specific magic words that are sometimes alluded to and which make one comment more easily flag-deleted than the next one.

I provided a list, but did not probe them for instaburnination because I did not realize that that was what was being requested. Nonetheless, I appear to have accidentally gotten at least one right, the one about “What have you tried?” Flagging a comment containing “accept rate“ or “accept-rate” also causes instant deletion on SO.

Pity that daily flag limits render dictionary-discovery methods infeasible for this sort of detection. Back to the flagboard with me.

Original post follows

Presuming that you are talking about actual use, not mere mention, that still leaves the barn doors pretty wide open. Here I list only documented candidates:

  1. +1/−1 comments.
  2. Duplicated comments.
  1. Thank-you comments.
  2. Lemme-Goober-That-For-Yaz links, especially but not uniquely when hidden behind obfuscatory link-shortening.
  3. What have you tried? is getting old.
  4. Voting to close.
  5. Linking to Zalgo.
  • Thanks for this compilation. I checked "what have you tried" so far, and the comment got instantly deleted. But I'm not sure about your items 1 and 3: they are certainly discouraged, but do they make comments eligible for instant deletion upon flagging?
    – user259867
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 21:38
  • @Thursday Do you mean instant deletion meaning they instantly disappear from your own view when you flag them, or do you mean that moderators always delete those comments upon the first flag against them? I had thought you meant the latter, but now I wonder whether you didn’t actually mean the former. You know, like how comments flagged offensive disappear from the flagger’s own view instantly, but not from others’.
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 21:41
  • thank you Flag this and see, @Thursday Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 21:43
  • 1
    I did mean the former: instant disappearance at the moment of flagging. (BTW, not all SE sites follow the same comment policies: on some of them, mods often decline flags on comments listed 1-7.)
    – user259867
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 21:43
  • 2
    @TheGuywithTheHat Flagged "too chatty", the comment is still there. So, not automatic.
    – user259867
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 21:44
  • @Thursday Oh, so you mean like these then!
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 21:46
  • @tchrist Yes, the magic words... but Tim Post did not list them in that question, he only talks about accept (which, as I gather, no longer works by itself).
    – user259867
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 21:47

I humbly suggest we add php, php, and php to the banned words list.

Also php.

  • 7
    I don't get it. what's the joke here?
    – starball
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 22:19
  • 17
    I think you are missing the php from your list. Quite an omission. Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 23:06
  • 5
    @starball Zathras Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 0:24
  • 4
    Ehm... well, that's not the response I wrote... I see the moderators are having fun editing my comments. mhm... Well, OK. Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 3:21
  • 3
    We should ban all uses of the letters "p" and "h" just to be safe
    – mousetail
    Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 4:56
  • 3
    I believe it's how you pronounce the word, that make it a childish swear word.
    – Rob
    Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 5:17
  • Interesting. 🤔
    – E_net4
    Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 7:30
  • I think we have enough jokes on Meta at the moment, not to need more junk.. sorry, joke answers added to an eight-year-old post.
    – Nij
    Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 8:59
  • 2
    Some fun isn't bad considering the sheer amount of angst lately Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 9:55
  • 1
    PEE - AITCH - PEE Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 14:16
  • @mousetail Then you have already violated the ban. And apparently, it was put into action before you even mentioned it; 2 messages earlier! Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 15:39
  • 10
    ok this is obviously not serious. I just wanted to provide a moment of amusement for anyone reading it .. 🤣 Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 23:40
  • 4
    It most definitely was a moment of much needed amusement, now that amusement is severely lacking. There's also more than one way to entertain the community, and make us happy. :) Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 6:01
  • 3
    @starball english.stackexchange.com/questions/507584/… (epizeuxis epizeuxis epizeuxis) Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 12:53

This comment auto-deleted upon raising a "No longer needed" flag against it:

I have summarized our findings in an answer, which you can accept if you think it solves your initial question.

So I would suggest that accept (on its own) is also a dirty word.

Indeed, this comment on an answer to Are comments which respond to another comment deleted by single flag? would seem to back this theory up:

I remember people misusing this Scunthorpe Problem in the SE system by flagging comments by moderators with the wording Please don't add the same answer to multiple questions. Answer the best one and flag the rest as duplicates. See Is it acceptable to add a duplicate answer to several questions? as no longer needed (the word "accept" in "acceptable").


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