Midget is a word that is usually not said because it is offensive to the "Little People". In no way am I trying to offend anyone. But my question is, is it official that the word midget has negative connotation? Or does it still have some neutral connotation, even though some people get offended by it.

Another question of mine is, what would be a non-offensive term to call them?

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    I suppose one could write an answer that explains why or when the term midget became derogatory, and link that up to dwarfism, also considered by some to be politically incorrect or particularly insensitive, and then say which words or expressions are acceptable. I actually find the term little people to be patronising, each to their own.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 24, 2015 at 19:04
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    You should edit your question and ask that! I bet users will respond well.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 24, 2015 at 19:06
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    @Mari-LouA - OP is clearly a non-native at his/her first question here. I think the doubts expressed in using the term "midget" are understandable and legitimate, apart from all the research that could have been done and that we would normally expect from a first time user.
    – user66974
    Nov 24, 2015 at 19:09
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    Far be it for me to say not to accept Josh's answer, but users will be less likely to post an answer if they see the OP has already accepted/awarded an answer. You can unaccept it, (and after a couple of hours accept it again) and wait to see what other users suggest. I think the question has great potential, if it is expanded.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 24, 2015 at 19:15
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    @NicholasAwesomepants- no, I don't think you should delete it.
    – user66974
    Nov 24, 2015 at 19:20

3 Answers 3


Yes, it is offensive and you should probably avoid using it:


  • (taboo, offensive) an extremely small person, who will never grow to a normal size because of a physical problem; a person suffering from dwarfism.

(OLD) Fiera an I Midget:

  • (from midge, a sand fly ) is a term for a person of unusually short stature that is widely considered pejorative.


The following extact offers an interesting insight on the meaning and usage of midget vs dwarf:


  • When the topic of disassociating people with dwarfism from the word midget comes up, people often begin the rant of “The world is too politically correct”, “You can not say anything any more” and so on. This has always been fascinating since this seems to happen only with smaller minority groups such as the dwarfism community. When dealing with other larger minority groups, that have large numbers in society and pose a threat either by force, financially or through boycott the rants seems to silence.

  • The fact is that until a few decades ago, even in the medical world, the word midget was in common use: Some physicians employed the word to refer to persons who were small and proportionate, most often as the result of a growth hormone deficiency. Dwarf was used to differentiate this category from individuals who were small and disproportionate, most often as the result of various cartilage and bone disorders; their conditions were known medically as forms of skeletal dysplasia.

  • While proportionate dwarfism is quite rare today because of medical advances, people still refer to individuals who are small and disproportionate as “midgets”.

  • If the word were still considered acceptable today, the reference would in fact be incorrect. Yes incorrect..Not politically incorrect.

  • Many times, when justifying the reasons that the “M” word is considered offensive, a comparison is made to the “N” word. This comparison often brings up the argument of one can not compare the history of both these words. While this is true, as it is with any offensive and hurtful term, they are all labels which at times becomes a person’s only identity and offers a less of a chance for them to succeed in life.


  • Thank you for your answer, I was never planning on using the word. It was just a thought I had my head. Thank you Nov 24, 2015 at 18:27

In addition to @Josh61's answer, about:
> Another question of mine is, what would be a non-offensive term to call them?

The medical term is "dwarfism".
The terms "dwarf", "little person", "LP", and "person of short stature" are now generally considered acceptable by most people affected by these disorders.



I find it curious that all of these answers originate from individuals who are not impacted by the term midget, no-one is qualified to answer this question who does not experience the effect of this word due to negative connotations. Only those who cannot acknowledge their privilege due to not experiencing prejudice or discrimination as they belong to a validated majority seek to classify others not belonging to their powerful majority, othering them via distinctive terms, which they claim are neutral, but serve to objectify, see as distinct, objectify, dehumanise. This has been the case with race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability, identifying who does not belong and thereby disempowering, stigmatising and ultimately discriminating. Language is never neutral, naming and categorising has implications, often for those in a minority these are negative. You look to that community and more specifically individuals within it to enquire how their identity is expressed which offers them respect, validity and agency to take advantage of any opportunity on offer to those around them that don't share their identity. The length of your arms and legs don't define your identity, capacities and capabilities anymore than the colour of your eyes or the size of your genitalia, or any other physical attribute, however others opinions of these attributes and their perspective of you does influence outcomes for you. So, as a dwarf I am empowered to say; for myself, that the word midget is not neutral, and no amount of delving into etymology by those who do not have dwarfism is irrelevant here, you are not impacted and thus your opinion is not valid. Midget is a pejorative word with negative associations connotating an object of humour for mockery or sexual objectification, any google word search will make that fact quite apparent, so no don't perpetuate the use of this word anymore than the 'N' word for black people and those of colour. Personally if you want to identify me, much like you, use my name, I am not my dwarfism.

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    Nigelo, welcome to EL&U. This may be seen as commentary and repeats information from another answer. I encourage you to see the site tour and help center.
    – livresque
    Jan 16, 2022 at 23:32

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