Questions tagged [pejorative-language]

This tag is for questions about pejorative language. Pejorative language is any language that portrays someone or something in a negative light, no matter whether it is intended to be disparaging and derogatory, contemptuous or disapproving, belittling or offensive, or even abusive. It’s anything that makes someone or something look bad.

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2answers
4k views

When did “blonde” become offensive?

The OED defines blond (noun) as: A person with blond hair; one with light or ‘fair’ hair and the corresponding complexion; esp. a woman, in which case spelt blonde. 1822 Edin. Rev. 199 Brenda, the ...
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3answers
889 views

Yiddish loan words for the foolish & incompetent

Is there a Yiddish loan word to describe someone incompetent or amateurish, or who is a small-time player in a given field of endeavor? The closest I know of are general-purpose insults like shnook, ...
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2answers
8k views

Non-derogatory word/phrase analog of “bi**** resting face” but for a young kid

I am not normally someone who uses the word bitch, in fact I dislike it greatly. However, there is the concept out there of "bitchy resting face", for people who have a face that looks unhappy even ...
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5answers
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A phrase describing someone who is lazy [closed]

Is there a phrase that would describe a person that is lazy beyond anything reasonable?
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17answers
57k views

What is a word that means “someone who pretends to be your friend but is actually your enemy?”

What do you call someone who pretends to be your friend but is actually your enemy? A friend suggested spy for me, but that does not nearly describe the word I need for an English project. The ...
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2answers
2k views

How offensive is calling someone “dodgy”?

Labour MP Dennis Skinner has been suspended from Parliament for the day for calling the Prime Minister "Dodgy Dave". I would like to know how serious of an insult it is. Can you put this insult to ...
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3answers
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A word for someone reporting about other people to the government

Is there any pejorative word for someone reporting about other people to the government or other power about other people, but who is not working for that power (is no spy)? That reporting is usually ...
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11answers
3k views

A word for someone always defaming people whilst constantly trying to affirm their own uprightness

Consider the extreme example of a person exerting all efforts to defame people around them, whether in work or their own social group, collecting innocent emails and letters from people and later ...
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1answer
148 views

What are the differences among Vitrioil, Vituperative and Invective?

I am having a really hard time seeing the nuanced differences between these three synonyms, especially vituperation and vitriol. I saw from my research that invective is used in more formal context ...
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3answers
919 views

Is the phrase “stone-throwing devil” actually a slur?

Inspired by this question. What is the etymology of the phrase "stone-throwing devil"? Is there any evidence that it has been used as either a racial or religious slur historically or in ...
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3answers
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When and why did “the Dutch act” emerge as a slang term for suicide?

J.E. Lighter, Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (1994) provides this entry for "Dutch act": Dutch act n. Und[erworld] suicide.—constr[ued] with the. [Earliest cited ...
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2answers
364 views

If we use “fairy” in our band name, will people think of sprites or gay men?

Seems like a really weird question but here's what it's about: Me and my band are currently searching for a bandname which seems to be very hard. We recently (finally) found one name that we all ...
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1answer
77 views

What is a British English equivalent to 'Fussbudget'?

Lucy from Charles Schultz's Peanuts strip is often described as a 'fussbudget', for example here: 'Lucy: Fussbudget to Feminist'. What is a British English equivalent to 'fussbudget'?
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1answer
56 views

Is Jester word derogatory? [closed]

Jester means professional fool. Fool is a bad word. Is Jester word derogatory?
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2answers
8k views

What do you call a person who loses interest after achieving something?

I know about the term butterfly, but I am looking for something a little different. What do you call a person that is greatly motivated to achieve a goal, but loses interest the second after that ...
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2answers
6k views

Where did 'cahoot" come from, when did it first appear, and how did it acquire its pejorative sense?

According to Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003), cahoot, meaning a partnership or league, and usually expressed in the plural form "in cahoots," has a first known ...
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6answers
15k views

Neutral non offensive alternative to “slanting eyes”

I was looking for a term to define the eyes shape of oriental people and I discovered that the term slant-eye is a derogatory one: (offensive) a person with slanting eyes; especially , one ...
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8answers
35k views

Is there a word, preferably a verb, that means to exaggerate a point, or idea, to the detriment of the point?

It seems that if such a word exists it would be rather useful. Often, whether listening to to certain people or talking with friends, I feel that certain ideas are willingly exaggerated for a certain ...
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23answers
161k views

What do you call someone who thinks everyone is incompetent (doesn't know anything)?

I'm looking for a way to describe someone who thinks everyone is incompetent (that is, doesn't know anything) and always has to explain every minute (small) detail because his perception of the person'...
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5answers
6k views

A word for someone who does not keep up with popular culture

Person A does not keep up with celebrities or popular entertainment. A knows that they exist, so I don't think sheltered is the right word. Also, would it be a different word if A tried to forced ...
0
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1answer
60 views

What is an appropriate word that describes someone who gets others to do things when they could easily do them themselves? [duplicate]

I'm trying to pin down a word or phrase that concisely describes a person who intentionally gets other people to do things for them that they could easily do themselves, as a form of either conscious ...
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2answers
17k views

Origin of “old bag”?

What is the origin of the term old bag as a derogatory term for an older lady? In the UK it is exclusively used to describe females. There appears to be nothing intrinsically feminine about bags. ...
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8answers
6k views

Is there a word for someone who does no work of their own, but criticizes the work of others?

I have a coworker who is notoriously lazy, hands off all her assignments, then when others do her work for her she is ridiculously critical of it. Is there a word for someone like this? My ...
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11answers
78k views

What's a word to describe people who blindly follow their government without question?

I want to describe someone who fanatically follows one of the following: Governmental body Political party Country Basically, someone who will agree with their government/party/country regardless of ...
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1answer
2k views

How do words become derogatory or politically incorrect?

I know how words can become racist but I'm not sure how a word becomes derogatory or politically incorrect. If seems as though once one does, a new term is created to replace it that is not derogatory ...
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6answers
6k views

Is there a male counterpart of jezebel?

Jezebel means a shameless or immoral woman. Is there a connate or coeval word for a man that would mean the same, as if it was coined to be the male counterpart of Jezebel?
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12answers
75k views

Is there a word for a “promise breaker”?

I'm somewhat vexed in that I cannot think of a word that means a "promise breaker" or "person who breaks a promise". There are words that may subsume that, such as "miscreant" or "liar", but I cannot ...
2
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2answers
292 views

Are US detention centers on the US-Mexico border “concentration camps”?

There is a hot "debate" on Twitter regarding whether the detention centers used by the US border patrol to detain/hold immigrants can be called "concentration camps" or not. ...
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13answers
54k views

What would you call someone who imposes on other people's generosity?

What would you call someone who isn't afraid to ask for money or any kind of favor or who misinterprets someone's generosity for a consistent resource for what they need?
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8answers
63k views

Word for someone who does not like/want to get a job or do anything in life?

In Portuguese, my native language, we have a lot of words for this kind of person, like mandrião, calaceiro, calaça, indolente, malandro, etc. We have also lighter words like preguiçoso that is the ...
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3answers
6k views

What's a word for a blamer who blames others for their own guilt?

What's a word to describe a person that accuses others of feeling how they feel because they are ashamed of that feeling within themselves? eg. Cathy is a classic [noun] - she would loudly criticise ...
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13answers
102k views

Is there a word to describe someone who does nice things for others, only to make themselves look or feel good?

I'm looking for a word that can describe a person who does nice things for other people (e.g holding the door open, carrying someone's things) but only for self gain; this person only does nice things ...
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3answers
6k views

Can “mongrel” be used to refer to people?

I'm translating a fantasy novel into English. In the story there are a bunch of races. Among them, there are mixed-race people. "Pure races" mock mixed-race people and usually refer to them ...
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3answers
5k views

Has the suffix “-trix” acquired a pejorative meaning in recent years?

A couple days ago I needed the correct word for a female aviator, which I figured was aviatress. A dictionary.com search provided aviatress, aviatrice and aviatrix as acceptable choices. ...
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2answers
94 views

Word for reminder of inconvenient truths

What do you call a person who constantly tells others things they don't want to hear even though it's true? (Maybe even revels in their dismay) Something along the lines of Person A telling Person B ...
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4answers
14k views

Word for someone who makes fun of others for a characteristic while himself or herself has it

What is called a person who makes fun of others for a characteristic while himself or herself has it. For example a short person who scorn someone for being short.
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2answers
773 views

What's the origin of this expression recorded in Louisiana, 1867?

From Freedmen's Bureau records as excerpted in Sterling's brilliant We Are Your Sisters: Emmeline Ellaby jumped out of the cotton and called them damned bitches and said that everyone of them damned ...
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14answers
26k views

What is a phrase or a word for someone who says “I knew that would happen” after the fact?

Is there a word or phrase that describes someone who claims to have known something all along, but only proclaim this after the incident has occurred?
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1answer
63 views

Expression describing code written by inexperienced, lazy and untalented developers

One of my characters is a young graduate student who leaves her adviser. He takes her research code and he gets his other students to use it, not forgetting to say all sorts of mean things about her ...
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1answer
73 views

What is the meaning of gim boy?

I received an e-mail from Spotify Customer Support a few months ago. They ended the email with the following: "Looking forward to hearing from you. Let us know if you have other questions or ...
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12answers
5k views

A possibly modern derogatory term for housewife

I need a derogatory term for housewife. I couldn't find any in online dictionaries and I'm not sure I have ever heard of any in any language I'm familiar with. But I'm thinking there must be something ...
0
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1answer
190 views

On a certain pejorative in contemporary British English

According to the OED https://www.oed.com/viewdictionaryentry/Entry/67623) "faggot" and "fag", used to refer to gay men in a derogatory way are "originally and chiefly North ...
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3answers
1k views

What are some words I could use to call someone who is not good at work? [closed]

I asked this question because the other question on workplace.se. I realized that "enemy" is not the right word to express my idea. I was working with that person for about a year. He was bad at ...
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4answers
8k views

Is calling a white person “white bread” considered racist in everyday conversation?

I have just watched "Top Five" played by Chris Rock. In this movie, there is a scene where Chris Rock saw a white actor and here is the conversation: The actor (played by white male actor): Hey, ...
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11answers
7k views

What's the word for “overly proud of your education”?

A friend and I are trying to remember a word to describe someone who is overly proud of their education. An example usage would be: Does that email make me appear too ___? Where the ___ is the ...
2
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3answers
87 views

Olden pejorative/word for a “fancy-pants”

What word would someone around the era of the Wild West (1850) use to describe a "posh fancy-pants"? I see that "fancy-pants" first known usage was in the twentieth century, so it'...
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2answers
113 views

Are there words used within an ethnic community to refer to its members which are pejorative outside it?

While I was reading a couple articles with a similar type of idea, I wondered if there were some substitutes for "nigga" that other ethnicities than black people use? That is the word is supposed to ...
19
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10answers
67k views

Is there a word for “a person who hardly understands things”?

I have one friend who has a hard time understanding things other people say. While everyone except him understands what someone tried to say, this guy still understands nothing. We always have to ...
9
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11answers
322k views

Word for someone who thinks they can do anything, and believes everything they do is right but others are wrong

If someone thinks they are always doing the right thing, and believes others are wrong, what would I call them? Say, for example, I did something that person considers wrong. But then on another ...
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6answers
1k views

I'm looking for a word/term that describes someone who creates conflicts that don't exist

I have heard of people who create conflicts (non-violent) in their minds (and nowhere else) with other people that don't exist (the conflicts don't exist, not the people involved) and for no ...

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