One word that was suggested was "own". While not perfect, it is close. Some more examples it made me think of to illustrate what I mean by flipping something negative into a positive:
- Metallica's Jason Newsted's famous reply to the criticism that Metallica were "sell-outs":
"Yes, We Sell Out --- Every Seat In The House" Jason Newstead, VH1's Behind The Music, 11-1998
Or African American's taking back "nigger" by changing it to "nigga", and using it to mean something like 'friend' or 'comrade'.
Or "dude" meaning young men in the 1800's concerned with keeping up with the latest fashions (what might today be called
metrosexual), implying that he was a sissy or wuss. Dude was reclaimed over time and in the 70's meant just a normal guy, and now today it can mean just a person (referring to any gender).
Geek. Used to be an insult in the 50's indicating somebody that is studious but weak, low social skills, and possibly unkempt. Today it just means anyone who is an enthusiast of something, especially electronics, computer, or programming related.
Hippy. Used to be derogatory to mean what today is called a 'poser' in the 1950's. Hepsters/Hipsters were the legitimate cool folks, and hippies were the pretenders. Now hippy just means someone with long hair or someone who is very spiritual or loving in nature.
What is a good concise term for the act of converting the meaning/connotation of a social stigma into something perceived as positive?
Ex. 1: Clerks II
In the Movie "Clerks II", the character of Randal uses the racial slur "porch monkey" (which I only know is a racial slur because the movie told me. I've never heard the term before then, and I suspect a nice section of the country may also be in that boat of ignorance), but he doesn't realize it is a racial slur. Offended by others taking umbrage and acting hostile about his ignorance, Randal suggests that the term can be reclaimed and saved. He believes it should mean something more positive like "lazy people" instead of "lazy black people".
That is one example of what I mean by "reclamation", although fictional. But, I think it illustrates the point.
Ex. 2: Pink Triangle
Another would be the infamous Pink Triangle (Wikipedia). This was a symbol the Nazis used in WWII to brand homosexuals in concentration camps as a badge of shame. But, in the 1970's the symbol was adopted by the gay pride movement and changed into something positive. This is a real example of the kind of reclamation I'm referring to.
Is there an all-encompassing term that is "#soundbiteable" or "#hashtagable" -- a simple phrase that explains it concisely and clearly -- to describe reclaiming or reversing the meaning or connotation of a once derogatory term, thing, action, or condition?
What the heck is a
nig-nog? Is the term even real, or was it made up as a device for the movie?
And what is
sheeny? Is that a real term? I'm from Iowa, if these terms are real, they are not popular in Iowa and I'd never heard them until the movie.
Any help is appreciated