Is there a general term to refer to "a semi-denigrating term used by a minority social group (not necessarily a racial group) to refer to the majority". Examples would be "muggle", "gentile", "textile", "breeder", "straight", "mundane", "vanilla" etc. (I am not referring to outright derogatory terms)

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    "Textile"? What is that from? As opposed to the minority "clothes made from animal skins"?
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 16:27
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    @MItch, "textile" = people who wear clothes
    – BlueWhale
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 16:28
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    So from your examples, I might infer that you are a gay Jewish nudist wizard telepath with no children? :-) Great question! +1
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 16:38
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    Great question, but I'm not sure if there is an answer.
    – Marthaª
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 18:07
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    Some more examples: "mono" (-sexual, used by bisexuals), "normals" (various), "cis" (by transfolk). Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 12:45

4 Answers 4


I am not sure that groups of pejoratives are classified by scale (i.e. minority pejoratives; majority pejoratives) but these words and terms are relevant for the discussion:

  • Descriptions of "the majority" include the masses; sheep; common; pop.
  • "Reverse discrimination" is the concept of a retaliation against a dominant or majority group and includes subterms such as reverse racism
  • "Affirmative action" is a classification of policies that are intended to react against an ill-founded majority
  • An "exclusionist" is one who advocates the exclusion of others; this could apply to certain groups against others (e.g. Jews and gentiles)

None of these are a perfect fit but it they may help with specific cases.


Pejorative is slightly more general (for instance, it includes words directed at things other than people), but includes all those examples.

  • Too general for what I'm asking for
    – BlueWhale
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 17:49
  • @BlueWhale: Are you looking for a word for 'pejorative for the majority'?
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 18:30
  • @Mitch... semi-pejorative, not overtly so, and which is specific to the type of minority that uses the term
    – BlueWhale
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 18:49

you might be looking for the word ethno-phaulisms


1. Creating negative cognitive images of a different group, negative worth and/or caricatures (jokes having to do with someone's features). 2. Using derogatory or disparaging words.

and example of this would be hoi polloi


1. The common people; the masses.

"Here and there, a gracious residence sat comfortably insulated by its wide grounds, a > grand lady spreading her skirts, ignoring the presence of the hoi polloi nearby." — Drums of Autumn

  • He's not asking for examples, but for a word for terms like hoi polloi. He's asking for a word for such words.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 16:25
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    I think BlueWhale is looking for a term for the terms, not a term for the people. Or do I misunderstand? Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 16:25
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    Yes, I am looking for a "meta-term"... a term which describes all the terms that are like that
    – BlueWhale
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 16:27
  • @BlueWhale oh okay - I got it ;) Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 17:10
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    Note that the Greek word "hoi" means, basically, "the," so "the hoi polloi" is considered a solecism. (We disdain hoi polloi.)
    – The Raven
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 17:44

The closest I could get was "defamation", which although is used to mean statements that project a negative image of a group, nation, etc. As well as a single person:

Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, traducement, slander (for transitory statements), and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image.

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