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What is it called if I have a good social condition (education, money, etc.) and I disrespect people with a lower condition?

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  • 1
    Are you looking for a verb? Aug 15, 2012 at 14:54
  • 4
    Hi Moataz. Can you provide more context for where you want to use this word or phrase? Can you also tell us what words or phrases you think might fit but are unsure of?
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Aug 15, 2012 at 14:58
  • 3
    Do you have a particular way your are disrespecting them? This question seems quite broad to me. Aug 15, 2012 at 14:58
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    'kind of a jerk'?
    – Mitch
    Aug 15, 2012 at 15:13
  • well what am I doing,disrespecting people (verb). Another example, if I'm disrespecting certain social class then I'm a ....? Aug 15, 2012 at 16:16

10 Answers 10

42

Some possibilities:

  • snobbery
  • snootiness
  • classism
  • elitism (or élitism)
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    I've seen elitist used to describe someone fitting those characteristics quite often.
    – Tim Post
    Aug 16, 2012 at 10:51
  • @TimPost, The word "elitist" sounds way too elite. "Snob" is much much more apt. (Contrast "I'm a elitist and nothing's wrong with it! " vs "I'm a snob and nothing's wrong with it! ")
    – Pacerier
    Dec 28, 2015 at 4:50
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The words that came immediately to mind were condescension, which means patronizingly superior behavior or attitude, or disdain, which means a feeling or show of superiority and dislike; contempt; scorn.

There are many other words for the belief that you are better than others.

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    I'd have also marked your answer as the right one. But I can only mark one answer. Yours is great as well. thanks Aug 15, 2012 at 16:17
  • OP asked for the behaviour of people high on the ladder; the worst disdain I ever encountered was from somebody who had neither money nor education, and despised people 'born with a silver spoon in their mouth'. Reverse snobbery can be as bad as the other kind. But condescension is good. Aug 15, 2012 at 22:09
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    @TimLymington hope you mean that the word condescension is good. Not the act itself. ;)
    – Qw4z1
    Aug 16, 2012 at 5:11
  • "Isn't it obvious? The prisoner must have escaped down the back staircase.", Tom said condescendingly.
    – Jim
    Aug 17, 2012 at 18:49
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That would be an example of snobbery. I'd say you were being a snob

snob: A person who seeks to be, or is, a member of the upper classes and looks down on lower classes, such as the middle class and the poor. More generally, an egotistical person who often thinks of people as inferior, particularly anyone not being within their clique or class

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  • I upvoted this because I think it the best answer, and you provided a definition. Jul 2, 2015 at 13:12
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In general, you are bigoted or are a bigot: you treat members of some demographic group as inferior to yourself, especially to the point of intolerance or even hatred.

Specifically, you are classist; you are intolerant of members of unequal social status. Understand that you can be on the lowest rungs of the social ladder and be a classist, regarding those of higher wealth as inferior to yourself; many of us actually do regard stereotypical "old money" types with disdain when they display their naivete of and inability to function in the "real world" without all of the conveniences and assistance their money can buy.

More specifically, you are elitist or an elitist; you aspire to social classes higher than your own and are intolerant of lower social classes than your own (or even of your own social class). You may be termed a social climber if you aspire to advance quickly to higher social levels, especially by association with members of that class.

Your actions may make you snobbish or a snob; you rebuff, avoid or ignore things or people you perceive as inferior, especially to the point of offense or vulgarity.

You may also be an aristocrat; of the belief that those in superior social standing are the most fit to rule over all (which is self-reinforcing; those in leadership positions typically gain wealth and celebrity from being in the position). While the connotation of the word implies no inherent disrespect, most aristocrats are in superior social standing themselves, in which case the person asserts themselves to be superior to lower classes by esposing this belief.

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    The word 'aristocrat', though members may well show disrespect to nonmembers, does not imply any inherent disrespect.
    – Mitch
    Aug 15, 2012 at 19:20
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Another useful term is high-hatting, which means treating in a condescending or supercilious manner. Thesaurus.com lists verb high-hat as a synonym of verb condescend.

Supercilious, by the way, means “arrogantly superior; showing contemptuous indifference; haughty”. Arrogant typically means “having excessive pride in oneself, often with contempt for others”. Noun contempt is similar in meaning to nouns scorn or disdain.

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You could also say that you are either looking down your nose or turning up your nose at people you consider to be your inferiors.

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  • yes but what you be called in this case? you looking down your nose, so you are a ...? Aug 16, 2012 at 8:30
  • Well, I'd say someone who looks down their nose is arrogant, but that's not specific enough for the question. Aug 16, 2012 at 17:30
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In my experience its called discrimination.

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  • I'd consider 'discrimination' too ambiguous. Aside from a formal perspective I'm not sure people would literally say "I discriminate against people of a lower class", unless the intention was to explicitly state disrespect or insight camaraderie amongst other snobs.
    – wonea
    Aug 16, 2012 at 8:37
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What about condescending? It means acting in a way that betrays a feeling of patronizing superiority. Reference: define: Condescending in google

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You are a classist (Prejudice or discrimination on the basis of social class, according to Wikipedia).

-2

There is also a slang term, diss, which is just short for disrespect.

"Are you dissing me, man?"

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    That's not specific to this situation, though.
    – user11550
    Aug 16, 2012 at 0:08
  • haha, what's the noun of that? dissisnt? :) Aug 16, 2012 at 8:32
  • @MoatazElmasry: I believe it's "a diss". Aug 16, 2012 at 13:45
  • cool. didn't even know there was a noun for that. thnx Aug 16, 2012 at 13:53

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