No offense but...

Ok hold up. What in the world? How did this little bug of a phrase ever enter our vernacular?

And before anyone goes getting offended, no offense because trust me, I am just as guilty of using it. The words “no offense, but…” fly out of my mouth, and I’m just standing there thinking, What am I even saying?

But honestly, this phrase is borderline ridiculous. “No offense but…” and then we follow it by something that is almost always extremely offensive. How is that legal?! That’s like playing “no givebacks” with guilt. Hot potato. Here you go, a big whopping load of offense and oh, cherry on top: you can’t be offended! Sweet! (pun, as always, entirely intended)

“No offense but you look a little out of sorts today.”

“No offense but I don’t think he likes you very much.”

“No offense but I despise you from the depths of my soul.”

Well I’ve made us a little graph…

Meaning of No Offense

I’m not sure I like the idea of everyone being allowed to claim ownership over everyone else’s emotions. Imagine if this bled into other aspects of our lives… “Mom, no anger, but I got in trouble at school today and…” Do we think that works? Is mom just like, “Oh I was going to ground you, child, but since you said ‘no anger’, never mind it all, and let’s just go get you an ice cream cone! Do you want rainbow sprinkles?”


So how did this ever even become a thing? I’m embarrassed for my generation that we walk around giving a decree before our statements: THIS SHALL BE YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE. AND IT SHALL BE THE RESPONSE THAT SERVES ME BEST. That’s some pretty twisted stuff, man. So no offense to all you loyal non-offenders, but maybe it’s time we swat this bug of a phrase.

Emma Murphy