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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14
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13answers
86k 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 ...
1
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3answers
4k 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 ...
5
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3answers
4k 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. ...
1
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2answers
91 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 ...
1
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4answers
11k 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.
9
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2answers
744 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 ...
19
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14answers
25k 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?
0
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1answer
52 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 ...
-2
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1answer
51 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 ...
5
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12answers
4k 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
167 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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8answers
59k views

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

In Portuguese, my natural language, we have a lot of words to define this kind of people, like mandrião, calaceiro, calaça, indolente, malandro, etc. We have also lighter words like preguiçoso that is ...
0
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1answer
71 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
733 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 ...
5
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4answers
7k 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, ...
10
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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
votes
3answers
71 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'...
-2
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2answers
108 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
57k 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 ...
8
votes
11answers
305k 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 ...
4
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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 ...
15
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11answers
3k views

Difference in meaning between “elderly” and “old”?

Advice being given because of the COVID-19 pandemic, includes the word “elderly”. I know someone aged 77 who does not feel elderly but does admit to being old. Is there more of a negative ...
3
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6answers
41k views

Word for someone who always seeks appreciation for his deeds or work

Word for someone who always seeks appreciation for his deeds or work however small or trivial it may be. If they don't get it, they will be vocal about it and ask point blank like for example "Isn't ...
2
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5answers
1k views

Term for a person who is extremely dismissive

I'm looking for a word that describes a person who is extremely dismissive and unopen to ideas or comments. Dismissive feeling or showing that something is unworthy of consideration For example, ...
1
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1answer
62 views

Is prolific an approving word or neutral word?

I thought it was an approving word which is used to describe the diligence of a producer or artist and therefore the abundance of their productivity.Then I just knew that it can also be used to ...
0
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2answers
66 views

What is the negative connotation of 'great'?

We call a well known actor, a 'famous' actor. Yet a well known criminal is called a 'notorious' criminal. In similar vein, a popular leader would be called a 'great' leader. But what would you call ...
11
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7answers
2k views

Was 'douchebag' used in its metaphorical sense already in the '80s?

Stranger Things is a '80s period piece TV series that was written in 2016. In the first episode, I noticed some characters using the word 'douchebag' to mean not the vaginal cleaning aid, but 'asshole'...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Is there a term for a group 'owning' a previous insult?

Is there a term or word for the process of a group of people taking (or attempting to) an insulting word/phrase and making it their own? I'm thinking about something more than normalization or ...
1
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2answers
129 views

Do “developing countries” and “underdeveloped countries” have derogatory connotations?

Is there any derogatory or negative connotation with the words "developing countries" and "underdeveloped countries"? Should I avoid using them? I read somewhere, don't remember where, that they ...
35
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8answers
74k views

Why are the French pejoratively referred to as frogs?

As the title says - why frogs? A common answer is that the French eat them - but I'm not convinced by that, because it's only become specific to France in recent times, with the rise of gastronomy ...
1
vote
10answers
5k views

Synonym for overdoing something/taking too wide an approach

I'm looking for an idiom or a synonym for a situation when someone has taken a heavy handed measure that achieves the desired effect, but also goes above this, affecting things that aren't a problem. ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Why is “lousy” pronounced like “louzy”? [duplicate]

As "lousy" is a pejorative for someone or something being infested with lice, why is it pronounced with a "z" instead of an "s" sound? OTOH, when a person is called a "louse," the "s" sound is used. ...
21
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12answers
18k views

Somebody who pretends to understand, but doesn't [closed]

What is a word or idiom for a fellow who pretends to understand something, but doesn't. This person is fundamentally confused, and often goes to great lengths to convince others of their expertise and ...
8
votes
8answers
12k views

Word for someone who acts like an expert but who has very little knowledge?

What is a word to describe an individual who acts like an expert in a subject area, constantly stating facts and correcting people, but who actually has very little knowledge on the subject?
-1
votes
1answer
81 views

“fat” as an insult

Much ado is being made about the spirited exchange between Joe Biden and some corpulent guy in Iowa that took him to task about his son's dealings with some Ukrainian company. Biden's supposed to ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

What do you call a person that criticizes your ignorance, but does nothing to help alleviate it?

Suppose Alice and Bob are having a debate about umbrellas. Alice does not like umbrellas for a few reasons. Bob says Of course you don't like umbrellas, you don't understand the real purpose of ...
4
votes
11answers
66k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
7k views

Is there an alternative to the phrase “Going Native”?

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/go_native defines the meaning of the phrase "Going Native" this way: (idiomatic) To adopt the lifestyle or outlook of local inhabitants, especially when dwelling in a ...
1
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0answers
95 views

What did “John Boy” mean (as an insult) in New Zealand around 1977?

According to the records of the New Zealand Parliament, "John Boy" was considered unparliamentary language in 1977. What did the phrase mean though, back then, over there? Urban dictionary seems say ...
1
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0answers
146 views

Is the following AmE usage of “chick” offensive?

GDoS shows the following AmE slang usage of chick (short for chicken) in different contexts: Chick: of interest to girls or women, e.g. chick movie, chick lit. 1993 [US] M. Myers et ...
2
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6answers
5k 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?
8
votes
6answers
57k views

Word for someone seeming deep and intelligent, but not really being that

What is the word for someone trying to seem/be deep and intelligent, but really they are shallow, and not at all being insightful. Pedant is about rules, so that is disqualified, the closest I could ...
3
votes
4answers
916 views

Origin of the negative connotation of “boy”

Recently I stumbled on a discussion where the word "chico" in Spanish is translated to "boy". To my knowledge, using "chico" to refer to someone younger is considered normal. But in English, calling ...
9
votes
11answers
56k views

Is there a term for the character trait of assuming things about people?

I'm sure you've had a conversation with someone like this. The person constantly reads something into everything that you say or makes quick judgements about you based on very little information. I ...
0
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0answers
65 views

Looking for a word for a coward who claims credit for the heroic acts of others

Someone who doesn't do anything required or expected but takes credit for having performed heroic deeds. I have considered 'cowardly', but it doesn't convey the complete meaning. An example ...
6
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4answers
8k views

Origin of “I fart in your general direction”

I grew up knowing the insulting phrase "I fart in your general direction", and recently saw it used by John Cleese in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (apparently its most famous usage): http://www....
7
votes
6answers
15k views

What is the origin of “rag” meaning newspaper?

In Australia and the UK, some folks refer to a newspaper as a rag, and I am curious how this term was coined. Although most people would ask for a newspaper, I have gone around asking "Have you got a ...
0
votes
1answer
9k views

Is there a word for people who revel in freebies?

By which I mean, people who strategically position themselves so as to acquire money/service/free stuff at the expense of another? I don't mean extortion (that's too strong a word for what I need). ...
12
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4answers
6k views

Is “Fredo” an insult to Italian-Americans?

Recently in the news there's been some kerfuffle about a verbal exchange between CNN anchorman, Chris Cuomo, and a person who called him “Fredo”. In the cell-phone video, the man claims I thought ...
1
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2answers
70 views

defamation, slander, libel, …?

German law has three distinct terms in the context of insulting a person: § 185, Beleidigung -- Insulting a person. This covers e.g. flipping somebody off in traffic, calling somebody names etc. § ...

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