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Why do we need this page?[edit]

Wikipedia is not a dictionary. Mswake 14:15 Nov 4, 2002 (UTC)

Why do we need any page? :-) But seriously, the page on pejorative has plenty of information which wouldn't be found in a dictionary. Since any number of offensive words in the Wikipedia may be considered pejorative, it's worth labelling them as such, and this page provides some explanation about the term (which may not be in everyone's vocabulary). You're right that Wikipedia is not a dictionary, but this page serves several useful purposes. Rootbeer 07:03 Dec 16, 2002 (UTC)

This article requires expansion actually

Actually pejorative words are not confined to what has been mentioned. For example in most Asian languages, there are differing words for You, He, She, For Him, For Her, and even for verbs which signifies different levels of human existance. When many of these words are used by certain senior social or positional levels, they can more or less maim the other person/s mentally, intelluctually, socially and even physically. The only problem is that modern Englsh based social studies is currently unaware about the gravity of this issue.

In many ways, it remains an open secret, in that if it is made understandable in English nations, there would be deep distress about the words many immigrant groups are using about the native populatioin. --Ved from Victoria Institutions (talk) 05:35, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Ved036 makes an important point. For example, Japanese "synonyms" ordinarily communicating relative social position (i.e., humility, respect, etc.) can be used in a pejorative sense. Someone knowledgeable in such matters should provide an exposition in this article. Myron (talk) 19:42, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Removed - funny, but non encyclopedic?[edit]

The Simpsons provided an illustration of the meaning of pejorative, when a group chants a protest against Homer Simpson:

"Two, four, six, eight,
Homer's crime was very great!"

The protest group realises that this falsely implies the crime was a good thing, and subsequently adds:

"Great, meaning 'large' or 'immense';
We used it in the pejorative sense!"

-Stevertigo 18:51, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

I don't know, it may not be too high-brow but it does illustrate the meaning of perjorative very well. I'd vote to keep it in. 13:12, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I realize I'm a couple years late for this discussion, but I think we should keep it! It is a good example; and it is a real source. I don't understand why it would not be encyclopedic. It is definitely notable. The joke part of it, where they accidentally say that his "crime was very great," makes this example much better than most because by using the word pejorative in order to correct the joke, this example makes it particularly easy for the reader to remember what pejorative means even years after they have read the example. -- VegKilla (talk) 22:45, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm late too, but I think the Simpsons example is great. It should be in there. (talk) 01:01, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Spade, eh?[edit]

I'm not sure if it's intentional, but when the article mentions "calling a spade a spade", it reminded me that someone once told me 'spade' was a pejorative term for a black person! Though I fear this will start us off on the euphemism treadmill again.

A question[edit]

Some individuals (e.g. User:FWBOarticle) appear (from discourse) to believe that words may be inherently pejorative. I genuinely wonder if there are any philosophical discussions regarding such ideas? (20040302 00:48, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC))

"Pejorative" vs "disparaging"[edit]

From the article:

Although pejorative means the same thing as disparaging, the latter term may be applied to a look or gesture as well as to words and phrases.

But the article linked to (as should be obvious from its title) does not discuss its application to a look or gesture. Brianjd 10:19, 2004 Dec 27 (UTC)

Bites more then it chews[edit]

This ariticle starts the huge subject of taking away the power of pejorative words, but doesn't really explain any of the process or the rationale. I think Dr. Judith Butler says some crazy stuff on it, though I might be mixed up. It would be awesome if someone (maybe me, later,) gave more support.

Also, the article could use something on the use of pejoritives by groups against each other (I linked here from terrorist, for example).

Taken from ?[edit]


The small print at the foot of the above link identifies the text as taken from Wikipedia. --Wetman 07:51, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

The word ham[edit]

The origins of the word HAM (radio) are ambiguous at best if not completely obscure. I know of no references that it was originally used in a pejorative manner. Does anyone have a source on this? Anonym1ty 16:25, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Idiot - wrong use[edit]

It's my understanding that "idiot" was a non-pejorative, neutral term that has come to be pejorative. I couldn't find too much during research to back this up but it seems it was created as a descriptor for early IQ test results by David Wechsler:

They are used in this journal:

IQ Classifications in Psychiatric Use

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) American Psychiatric Association, 1994

(Quote) Mental deficiency used to be divided into the following sub-classifications, but these labels began to be abused by the public and are now largely obsolete: Borderline Deficiency (IQ 70-80), Moron (IQ 50-69), Imbecile (IQ 20-49 and Idiot (below 20). Mental deficiency is now generally called mental retardation.


This makes this passage:

"Conversely, a neutral (non-pejorative) term may grow to become pejorative: the term retard, to refer to a person whose mental capacity is permanently held back from development, was originally used as a euphemism, as had been moron before, itself a euphemism for idiot." need for restructure. The point is, moron and idiot are on the same standing, and technically describe different levels of intelligence. This makes the sentence incorrect in that they are each a descriptor born from the same time and cannot be used to explain each other. 13:10, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

"Pejorative (frequently misspelled pejorative)" ?[edit]

"A word or phrase is a pejorative (frequently misspelled pejorative)" Confusingly, the "misspelled" word is written in exactly the same way as the correct word. How is it frequently misspelled then?

Perjorative and pejoritive are the most common misspellings, apparently. I frequently misspelled it as pejoritive myself, because in English, the pronunciation would be the same. Runa27 18:06, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Really? Ummm, at least in my dialect of English there'd be a pretty noticeable difference ("ah" in pejorative instead of "ih" in perjoritive, different vowels after all). However, it's awfully tempting to put a "pre" or "per" at the front since English-speaking tongues are far more used to prepending words with those two than just a "pe". Phil Urich (talk) 06:01, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Actually, although different dialects may pronounce it differently, according to Merriam Webster, the sound for the "a" would be schwa, represented by an upside down e and is prononced "uh" link in "America." If perjorative were misspelled pejoritive, it would still be pronounced the same(represented by a shwa) because the schwa is an unstressed vowel. Thus, the ambiguity is easy.

As a very belated answer to the original inquiry, see this edit, which explains the nonsensical introduction at the time: overzealous, thoughtless correction of a deliberate spelling error. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:05, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Derogatory vs. pejorative[edit]

I'm a bit surprised that derogatory points to pejorative. To me, derogatory is more personal and implies some kind of moral insult, where as pejorative is more broad and less direct. For example, "bastard" is a derogatory term, while "illegitimate child" is pejorative. Furthermore, I think of a derogatory term as always being intended as an insult, while pejorative may not be, or if it is, it's more subtle.


Pejorative - having negative connotations; especially - tending to disparage or belittle
Derogatory - detracting from the character or standing of something -- often used with to, of, or from

2 : expressive of a low opinion

Is this really the right redirect? They seem quite different terms. Usually it seems like pejorative words are ones that could be interpreted to be non-insulting, and it's that ambiguity that causes people to use them in certain situations. Ken 06:44, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Is 'dyslogism' a real word?[edit]

Can anyone name a dictionary that contains the noun 'dyslogism'? This article is already hard to follow, it doesn't help when you can't look up the words used. Cbotman 08:41, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

I thought the same thing. Search for it, can you find it in any reputable online dictionaries? I can't, leading to me thinking that something is fishy. Someone should at least do a better job than the current article in Wiktionary. (talk) 22:49, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Video on Trial[edit]

Video on Trial's verdict about Paris Hilton is NOT actual; therefore please DON'T put a picture of her. --Addict 2006 07:20, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Political correctness[edit]

The last paragraph (about "correct terms" for those with physical disabilities) reads pretty oddly for an English audience, particularly the suggestion that "physically challenged" is the "correct" way of describing those with physical disabilities. That may be accepted practice in the States, but not in England, where political correctness hasn't taken quite such a firm hold. 19:41, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

True - the correct and accepted term in the UK is physically disabled. Blitterbug (talk) 19:22, 19 February 2009 (UTC)


Where does "Gay" fit into this, for example when used as "That is so Gay". - O^O 21:32, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Much as if "gay" were listed, personally, I was hard set to not delete the set of pejorative words listed in the article. While I don't find them necessarily offense, I do find such a list inherently limited, if not inaccurate, and as such, think it would be more useful to solely speak in the abstract.

As well, it seems like little more than an aside to have a list of words that, to some, may or may not be pejorative, but which remain derogatory to others. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:33, 4 October 2007 (UTC)


I would propose that this article be transwikied to wictionary. Not quite sure how to go about doing that, but it sounds like a good idea.

2007-04-3 Automated pywikipediabot message[edit]

--CopyToWiktionaryBot 02:01, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Saturday Night Special example[edit]

I noticed that Saturday Night Special was listed in this article as an example of a word that was undergoing amelioration and was thus considered by some to be pejorative and not by others. I have no idea if this is a good example or not, but since I read it in this article, I decided to mention it in the Saturday Night Special article. It's a good thing I did that because it brought the example to the attention of the editors of the Saturday Night Special article, and one of them decided it was not a good example. That editor reverted my changes to the Saturday Night Special article, since they did not apply, and from the pejorative article, they removed this:

Sometimes a term is still considered as a pejorative word by some but not by others — for example, Saturday night special.

I assume that editor removed it to get rid of the Saturday Night Special example, but since the "Sometimes a term is still considered..." part is important to the logical flow of the article, I put back the sentence and simply left out the example:

Sometimes a term is still considered as a pejorative word by some but not by others.

Example Needed: IT WOULD BE NICE if someone could find a source for an example of something that is considered pejorative to some and not to others. Since the rest of the article has so many good examples, this sentence is noticeably lacking. VegKilla (talk) 22:33, 17 January 2008 (UTC)


I think it should be mentioned that there are pejorative words that are still in popular use despite their offensiveness, including the word homophobia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:46, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

This is a discussion on how to improve the article, not a soapbox for making (irrelevant) public declarations of words you feel shouldn't be allowed. I think it's clear from your choice of 'offensive' word that you are trolling. Blitterbug (talk) 19:31, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Merged content[edit]

Some content merged from term of disparagement:

Some terms (such as soccer mom, gay, one-percenter, or farm boy) are disparaging only in a particular context or with a certain intonation and are rarely considered disparaging otherwise. Other terms, such as fag and nigger have a history and connection to social issues that makes them widely regarded as taboo.

Many disparaging terms are synecdoches, such as mick, paddy, and taig, all of which are derived from Irish first names and are applied disparagingly to Irish people. Synecdoches can range from barely pejorative (e.g., referring to businesspeople as suits) to inflammatory (e.g. referring to German-speaking people as Nazis).

When applied to people, abbreviations are often regarded as disparaging. Referring to a Pakistani as a paki, a Japanese person as a jap, an Aborigine as an abo, or an Inuit as a skimo (short for Eskimo) are some examples.

Other terms of disparagement are based upon sarcasm (such as sahib in reference to Indians), metaphor (as in the basis of the term white trash), metalepsis (as in the term wetback), zoomorphism (a partial basis for the slur porch monkey) or other figures of speech.

Terms of disparagement have been applied to various political views, such as bleeding-heart, wingnut, moonbat, or pinko. Terms that describe particular views that are considered extreme or outside of serious discourse, such as anarchist, communist, or Nazi have been used as disparaging expressions as well. Some derogatory terms, such as schmuck and cunt, originate as terms for parts of the human anatomy (in this case, the penis and vagina, respectively). Medical terms have been known to become terms of disparagement as well, such as idiot and retard (both of which were used by doctors to refer to people with low IQs or developmental disabilities).

-- Neutralitytalk 07:10, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Shortening nationalities[edit]

Why are some shortened national identities, such as Paki and Jap, offensive; yet others, such as Aussie and Brit, are not? It also needs to be pointed out that whilst Paki is considered offensive when used by non-Pakistanis, it is often used neutrally, or even with a sense of brotherhood, by Pakistanis themselves. Best name (talk) 00:02, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Removal of Big Bang from list of Formerly Pejorative Terms[edit]

Apparently, the idea that the term "Big Bang" used to refer to the eponymous theory of the origin of the universe was originally used as a pejorative is a misconception. According to Wikipedia's own article (as well as the relevant sources) on the subject, Fred Hoyle used first used the term metaphorically in a 1940's radio broadcast to help listeners easily distinguish the concept from rival theories of the time. He has always maintained that the use of this term was intended as an illustrative simplification, and not a form of derision. In light of this evidence, I have removed "Big Bang" from the list of formerly pejorative terms. If anyone objects to this, or would like to discuss this further, please let me know. Thank you WaynaQhapaq (talk) 20:53, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Removal of Mormon content as example of Pejorative[edit]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not promote the usage of the term Mormon as related to members of this faith. The term Mormon is thought to take focus away from the name of the Church, which implicitly states that this is the Church of Jesus Christ which has been restored in the latter days. Thus, to use the term Mormon as an example of a pejorative that is no longer a pejorative is incorrect, because this is only from a view of non-members of this faith. Members inside this faith do not promote the use of this term. They only accept it partially because it is what has been given them by the community outside this faith is so widely used. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Skawalter (talkcontribs) 14:47, 26 January 2010 (UTC)


I added Category:Connotation. sorry I didn't mention it when I first did it. Anyone object?--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 00:09, 30 November 2013 (UTC)