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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17 views

Why is “lousy” pronounced like “louzy”?

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. ...
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“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 ...
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45 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
61 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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1answer
209 views

Is “girl” a valid synonym for “young woman”?

This question emerged out of a discussion on Mastodon about Ivanka Trump being called a girl, where it was claimed that “girl' is synonymous with 'young woman' in English”. Is this true? Is it sexism ...
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1answer
39 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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3answers
76 views

Why is “modish” a derogatory word?

"Modish" appears as a derogatory word on Dictionary.com/Oxford website Lexico: https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/modish Do you know why this is the case? Is the word often used in derogatory ...
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1answer
147 views

Is Autistic the new “spaz” or “retard”?

Has autistic become an accepted cool pejorative through constant misuse? While I usually would not bother with Urban, the theme was taken up… Autism is typically said with a negative connotation....
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265 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. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, ...
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1answer
111 views

Why do people seem to get so triggered at the word “plebeians”? [closed]

While having online conversations people seem to get triggered when the word plebeian is used to describe the commoners or common people. They seem to think its bad or something. What's wrong in ...
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1answer
84 views

Is effervescent a pejorative when describing a person [closed]

My colleagues and I have been talking about whether or not "effervescent" is a pejorative when used to describe someone. To provide context, one of the people who works in my office is a high-energy ...
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5answers
183 views

Non-offensive version of the word “mongol”? [closed]

I want to describe a person or group of thugs who cause damage without concern for science or culture. I had written down "mongol behavior", in reference to the Mongol invasion. Is there an all-...
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1answer
92 views

Is the use of the word “cracker” as a racial slur so common that it cannot safely be used to refer to certain hackers? [duplicate]

I always liked to use the word "crackers" to refer to people who overcome computer software or security restrictions, as opposed to "hackers," which (supposedly) originally meant people skilled at ...
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5k views

Insult for someone who “doesn't know anything” [closed]

How do you call/insult someone who doesn't know anything (meaning not the simplest/basic or obvious things)? Context: I need it in a dialog of the following form: A: How does <very simple/obvious ...
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1answer
43 views

How would one (formally) describe being socially able to say something because of membership in a certain group?

How would one formally describe being socially able to say something otherwise considered derogatory on the basis of one's membership of the group towards which the purported derogation would be ...
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4answers
483 views

Is there a term for words which are insults but not vulgar?

Sometimes, when I explain a new word to a friend who doesn't speak English well, I know that the word has to be used carefully, because it is not appropriate in all contexts, or can be offensive if ...
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1answer
77 views

What is a pejorative phrase or word you would call an employee who has all the free time in the world?

What is a pejorative phrase or word you would call an employee who has all the free time in the world to just to be nosy in how others wear their tie or how some one should not put their hands in ...
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4answers
359 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 ...
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1answer
27 views

Pejorative Word or phrase for when tourist undergoing Government procedures for visa formalities is experience based

Pejorative Word or phrase for when a Government does not have its procedure in place for citizen or migrants or tourist for simple formalities like passport renewal or visa renewal or visa application ...
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3answers
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Reprimanding (pejorative) Idiom, phrase or expression for when one wants to pay less (minuscule) and get maximum out of a deal (basically greediness)

What is pejorative phrase, idiom for one wants to pay less (minuscule) and get maximum out of a deal (basically greediness). Example The management wants to get talented employee but hire employees ...
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2answers
61 views

A word for petty enforcement of rules [closed]

The word you'd use to describe a 1940's middle school where kids would be spanked for not having the proper haircut or tucking in their shirts. Not "strict", because strict implies necessary ...
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2answers
155 views

Looking for equivalent of Indian (Marathi) saying “Makdach ghar” which translates “Monkey's house”(never ready when you expect it should be)

I am looking for equivalent of Indian saying "Makdach ghar" which is "Monkey's house" the meaning is a monkey always starts to built his house only after it starts to rain. It has the analogy of "Ants ...
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5answers
112 views

What would you call a person pejoratively who enjoys perks of a job post but responsibility of a lower rung assistant

What would you call a person pejoratively who is on a professional privileged position such as Engineer, geologist, senior engineer etc (earning what the post demands) but chooses to do a job of a ...
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3answers
170 views

Pejorative word for events like ribbon-cutting ceremony, Association party & fests which are counterproductive activities for an organization

Pejorative word for attending "ribbon cutting ceremonies, ribbon cutting ceremonies, Association parties and fests" by a country's missions post abroad who are meant to be engaged in welfare of ...
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2answers
147 views

Someone whose sole aim is to make another person’s life difficult [duplicate]

What are some good words that have the meaning of doing something only to make another’s life difficult? My ex is suing me for my car. He bought it for me and now wants it back. I am in a different ...
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137 views

Slang Appellation for Plastic Surgeon?

Some years ago there were a few quite amusing, albeit slightly derogatory terms for plastic surgeons. A cursory Google has revealed but one: Sellout, which is a reasonable start. Others may exist, ...
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2answers
166 views

Word for one who does not see flaw/fault in oneself?

I have been digging for a word that English seems to have a hard time representing. If I were to describe the spirit of what I'm trying to convey, it would be one who does not look inward for fault ...
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2answers
167 views

Is there an English equivalent to this French idiom : “Brasser du vent”? [closed]

This idiom means "Talking a lot without significant results". I was wondering if there was a specific idiom to say this. So far, I have found nothing but "hot air merchant".
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3answers
705 views

Word for someone who has plastic surgery, breast augmentation, etc.? [closed]

She's a ______ beauty. My beauty is natural, hers is _________.
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2answers
294 views

What is an eloquent word for a disrespectful, impertinent child?

I’m looking for a word that denotes a child (either a young one or a fully grown one) who acts disrespectfully and spitefully toward their parents. For instance, if you see your friend being ...
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2answers
850 views

Difference between “vulgar”, “offensive” and “derogatory” [closed]

Why do we use the words "vulgar", "offensive" and "derogatory"? What are the differences between them? For example, on Wiktionary, if we look up "nigger". now offensive, ethnic slur, vulgar, see ...
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0answers
65 views

Word for someone who discriminates against left handed people [duplicate]

We have words like racist, bigot, xenophobe, etc. that we are all familiar with, but what would we call someone who discriminates against left handed people?
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233 views

Why is “n----r” considered extremely offensive while “n---a” is not that much?

Specially considering that they are pronounced similar if not the same. I know "nigga" is also considered offensive by a lot of people but I think on general terms, you're likely to offend more ...
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3answers
179 views

A noun for someone who is shamelessly uncouth?

I'm looking for a noun to describe the people who behave in certain tacky / uncouth ways. In particular, I'm not looking for a classist/racist slur, but rather something to more generally describe ...
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6answers
251 views

Is there a single word meaning “convivial, jovial” but in a way which is not pleasant to others, obtrusively friendly?

Is there a single word with the meaning of convivial, jovial but in a way which is not pleasant to others? The important part of the meaning should also be obtrusively "friendly". Like people who ...
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4answers
2k views

Origin of figurative use of 'ugly American' in the pejorative sense of 'ignorant, arrogant U.S. citizen abroad'

The expression "ugly American" evidently became famous through a novel—William J. Lederer & Eugene Burdick, The Ugly American (1958). The title character, Homer Atkins, although physically ...
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1answer
70 views

What is the single word to describe a person who's USED by another person [duplicate]

Sam and Alex are friends, co-workers or business partners.. Alex is always trying to benefit from Sam about things which are not belonging to their friendship, work nor partnership. Looking for a ...
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3answers
73 views

Term for the mental state of a new recruit

Is there a word (probably slang), that describes the slight state of shock common to new recruits in the first days (weeks) of military training, or the recruit suffering from that mild state of shock?...
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4answers
345 views

Is “Go wash the dishes” a typical English expression used against women?

I'm from Argentina and it's very common to hear men saying Go, wash the dishes to women when they don't know how to do something or they do something wrong. For example, when a woman is driving. ...
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1answer
122 views

Is there a term that would work in the UK that is equivalent to “Norwegian bachelor farmer”?

Garrison Keillor introduced the term "Norwegian bachelor farmer," which is a bit like the male equivalent of spinster. Is there a male equivalent of spinster that works in the UK? I considered "...
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3answers
264 views

replacement for homophobic slang

(note: please read through what I am asking before taking offense and feel free to edit to make it less offensive) When I was growing up in the 70-80s it was common for kids to say things like oh, ...
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2answers
2k 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 half-breeds. "Pure races" mock half-breeds and usually refer to them as mongrels. Now, ...
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4answers
2k views

Someone who thinks he's very important, but isn't

I cannot find a good equivalent of the Russian "Watchman's syndrome" in English. It refers to someone who thinks he's very important, but isn't. For example, this guy has "Watchman's syndrome": This ...
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1answer
1k views

Why are the Welsh and the Irish called “Taffy” and “Paddy”? [closed]

Why are the Welsh and the Irish called "Taffy" and "Paddy"? Where do these words come from? And why are they considered offensive?
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7answers
51k 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 ...
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2answers
218 views

What to call someone who is unable/bad in holding a converstation

Okay, So I am in often in a conversation with this person. But I have now realized that all our talks have been futile because he keeps on repeating the same topics. Topics I have talked about before. ...
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2answers
2k views

Expression for a person who cares too much what other people think about him

Is there an idiom or an expression to describe a person who cares too much what other people think about him?