Posts tagged ‘Pejorative’

February 21, 2017

Vatnik

vatnik

Vatnik (Russian: ‘cotton-padded jacket’), a derivative of and often shortened to ‘vata’ (Russian: ‘batting’), is a derogatory social slang neologisms in Russian and Ukrainian languages, and an internet meme used in reference to individuals with pro-Russian jingoist and chauvinist views. In the original meaning, ‘vatnik’ (also ‘telogreika’) is a cheap cotton-padded jacket.

The meme was created by Anton Chadskiy under the pseudonym ‘Jedem das Seine.’ His associated picture of an anthropomorphic square-shaped quilted jacket similar to the cartoon character ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ was first posted on Russian social network ‘VK’ September 9, 2011. The meme went viral in 2012, but became much more widespread in society after the Russian military intervention in Ukraine started in 2014. Chadskiy, claiming he feared political persecution, left Russia in late 2014.

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November 14, 2016

Snob

Duke of Bedford's Book of Snobs by Nicolas Bentley

A snob is a pejorative term for a person who believes there is a correlation between social status and human worth. The term also refers to a person who judges, stigmatizes others and believes that some people are inherently inferior to others result from the perception of beliefs, values, intellect, creativity, talent, wealth, occupation, education, ancestry, ethnicity, relationship, power, religion, physical strength, class, taste, prestige, beauty, nationality, and fame. The word ‘snobbery’ came into use the first time in England during the 1820s.

English social commentator William Hazlitt observed, in a culture where deference to class was accepted as a positive and unifying principle, ‘Fashion is gentility running away from vulgarity, and afraid of being overtaken by it,’ adding subversively, ‘It is a sign the two things are not very far apart.’ The English novelist Bulwer-Lytton remarked in passing, ‘Ideas travel upwards, manners downwards.’ It was not the deeply ingrained and fundamentally accepted idea of ‘one’s betters’ that has marked snobbery in traditional European and American culture, but ‘aping one’s betters.’

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October 17, 2016

Pussy

pussy-bow

pussy-riot

The word pussy is a noun, an adjective, and in rare uses a verb in the English language. It has several meanings, including use as slang, as euphemism, and as vulgarity. Common meanings of the noun include ‘cat,’ ‘coward or weakling,’ and ‘the human vulva or vagina.’ Because of its multiple senses including both innocent and vulgar connotations, ‘pussy’ is often the subject of double entendre, including the late-19th-century vaudeville act the Barrison Sisters, who performed the notorious routine ‘Do You Want To See My Pussy?’ in which they raised their skirts to reveal live kittens.

The etymology of the word is not entirely clear. Several different senses of the word have different histories or origins. The feline variant comes from the Modern English word ‘puss,’ a conventional name or term of address for a pet cat in several Germanic languages, including Dutch (‘poes’) and Middle Low German (pūse). The word puss is attested in English as early as 1533. Earlier etymology is uncertain, but similar words exist in other European languages, including Lithuanian (puižė) and Irish (puisín) as traditional calls to attract a cat.

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August 17, 2016

Mom Jeans

barb by christian cimoroni

Mom jeans is a humorously pejorative term for a type of women’s jeans worn in the 80’s considered to be unfashionable and unflattering to the wearer’s figure. This style usually consists of a high waist (rising above the belly button), making the buttocks appear disproportionately longer, larger, and flatter than they otherwise might. It also tends to have excess space in the zipper/crotch and leg areas. The jeans are usually in a solid, light-blue color, with no form of stone washing or fading.

Other attributes of the style often seen are pleats, tapered legs, and elastic waistbands. The style is often accompanied by a blouse or shirt that is tucked into the jeans. This style of jeans was popular with women in the United States until the mid-1990s, when lower rise jeans started to become fashionable. High-waisted jeans became popular with young fashionable women once again in the early 2010s.

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June 15, 2016

Gringo

Gringo Viejo

Gringo [gring-goh] is a term, mainly used in Spanish-speaking and in Portuguese-speaking countries, to refer to foreigners. In Spanish, gringo refers especially to someone from the United States. The word was originally used in Spain (although it’s mostly unused in the country nowadays) to denote any foreign, non-native speakers of Spanish.

The word was first recorded in a 1787 Castilian dictionary: “Gringos is what, in Malaga, they call foreigners who have a certain type of accent that prevents them from speaking Castilian easily and naturally; and in Madrid they give the same name, and for the same reason, in particular to the Irish.’ The dominant view among etymologists is that gringo is most likely a variant of ‘griego’ ‘Greek’ speech (cf. ‘Greek to me’).

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May 24, 2016

Gay Mafia

gay steamroller by the oatmeal

rso

The ‘Gay Mafia‘ and the ‘Velvet Mafia’ are pejorative terms for the expansion of gay rights groups in politics, media, and everyday life. The terms are typically associated with a perceived ‘elite’ within the fashion and entertainment industries; although they are also used ironically by gay people themselves.

An early use of the term was when English critic Kenneth Tynan proposed an article to ‘Playboy’ editor AC Spectorsky in late 1967 on the ‘Homosexual Mafia’ in the arts. Spectorsky declined, although he admitted that ‘culture hounds were paying homage to ‘faggotismo’ as they have never done before.’ Playboy would run a panel on gay issues in 1971.

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May 23, 2016

Social Justice Warrior

gamergate

Sarkeesian

Social justice warrior (commonly abbreviated ‘SJW’) is a pejorative term for an individual promoting socially progressive views, including advocacy for women’s rights, identity politics, multiculturalism and civil rights. The motivation for using the term has been described as being an effort to degrade the motivations of the person accused of being an SJW, implying that their motives are ‘for personal validation rather than out of any deep-seated conviction.’

Gamergate is a blanket term for a controversy involving sexism and progressivism in video game culture, stemming from a harassment campaign conducted primarily through the use of the Twitter hashtags #GamerGate and #SJW. ‘Vice’ observed: ‘It’s awfully convenient to have a term at the ready to dismiss women who bring up sexism.’ The magazine assessed the problematic use of the term: ‘The problem is, that’s not a real category of people. It’s simply a way to dismiss anyone who brings up social justice—and often those people are feminists.’

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March 31, 2016

Dutch Uncle

honesty by Allison Ross

Dutch uncle refers to a person who issues frank, harsh, or severe comments and criticism to educate, encourage, or admonish (the reverse of what is normally thought of as avuncular or uncle-like, i.e. indulgent and permissive). During the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 17th century, the English language gained an array of similar insults, such as: ‘Dutch courage’ (alcohol-induced bravery), ‘Double Dutch’ (incomprehensible, nonsense), ‘Dutch cap’ (contraceptive diaphragm), ‘Dutch wife’ (sex doll), ‘Dutch widow’ (prostitute), ‘Dutch comfort’ (saying that ‘Things could be worse!’), ‘Dutch metal’ or ‘Dutch gold’ (cheap alloy resembling gold), ‘Dutch treat’ (social date where the invitee pays for himself/herself), ‘Dutch concert’ (noise and uproar, as from a drunken crowd), and ‘Dutch-bottomed’ (empty).

Another proposed explanation is that the term, often expressed as ‘talk to one like a Dutch uncle,’ originated in the early 19th century as an allusion to the sternness and sobriety attributed to the Dutch. Dutch behavior is defined in the book ‘Culture Shock! Netherlands: A Survival Guide To Customs and Etiquette’ as ‘practical, direct, outspoken, stubborn, well-organized, blunt and thinking they are always right.’ Another book that advocates this theory is ‘The UnDutchables,’ which assigns comparable characteristics: ‘not lacking in self-esteem … caught up in a cycle of endless envy … always speak their mind … frank, obstinate, blunt,’ basically summed up by the phrase ‘the natives thrive on shaking their fingers at and scolding each other.’

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March 18, 2016

Dog-whistle Politics

gop by Rick Sealock

Dog-whistle politics is political messaging employing coded language that appears to mean one thing to the general population but has an additional, different or more specific resonance for a targeted subgroup. The phrase is often used as a pejorative, because of the inherently deceptive nature of the practice and because the messages are frequently coded because they are distasteful to the general populace. The analogy is to a dog whistle, whose high-frequency whistle is heard by dogs but inaudible to humans.

The term can be distinguished from ‘code words’ used in some specialist professions, in that dog-whistling is specific to the political realm. The messaging referred to as the dog-whistle has an understandable meaning for a general audience, rather than being incomprehensible.

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May 9, 2015

Holy Roller

Holy Rollers

Holy Roller is a derogatory term for some Christian churchgoers of the Methodist, Holiness, and Pentecostal traditions. The term is sometimes used derisively by those outside these denominations, as if to describe people literally rolling on the floor in an uncontrolled manner. However, those within these Wesleyan traditions have reclaimed it as a badge of honor; for example William Branham wrote: ‘And what the world calls today holy-roller, that’s the way I worship Jesus Christ.’ Gospel singer Andrae Crouch stated, ‘They call us holy rollers, and what they say is true. But if they knew what we were rollin’ about, they’d be rollin’ too.’

Merriam-Webster traces the word to 1841. The Oxford English Dictionary cites an 1893 memoir by American humorist Charles Godfrey Leland, in which he says ‘When the Holy Spirit seized them … the Holy Rollers … rolled over and over on the floor.’ Similar disparaging terms directed at outspoken Christians but later embraced by them include ‘Jesus freaks’ or, from former centuries, Methodists, Quakers, and Shakers.

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May 4, 2015

Scientism

religion and science

Scientism [sahy-uhn-tiz-uhm] is belief in the universal applicability of the scientific method and approach, and the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview or most valuable part of human learning to the exclusion of other viewpoints. Philosopher Tom Sorell describes it as: ‘putting too high a value on natural science in comparison with other branches of learning or culture.’ It has been defined as ‘the view that the characteristic inductive methods of the natural sciences are the only source of genuine factual knowledge and, in particular, that they alone can yield true knowledge about man and society.’

The term scientism frequently implies a critique of the more extreme expressions of logical positivism (verificationism) and has been used by social scientists such as Friedrich Hayek, philosophers of science such as Karl Popper, and philosophers such as Hilary Putnam and Tzvetan Todorov to describe the dogmatic endorsement of scientific methodology and the reduction of all knowledge to only that which is measurable.

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March 25, 2015

Basic Bitch

ugg life

Basic bitch (or simply ‘basic’) is a slang term in American popular culture used to pejoratively describe people who like popular, mainstream products or music. Interpretations of the term vary and its use has been criticized for being an overly vague and a misogynistic insult. Their male counterparts are usually termed ‘basic bros.’

The term was created by comedian Lil’ Duval in 2010. Over the next two years, it appeared in several American rap songs. In the songs ‘Hard in the Paint’ by Tyga and ‘I’m a Human Being’ by Lil Wayne, the singers insist that they are not basic bitches, while in the song ‘Basic Bitch’ by The Game, the singer warns others to avoid basic bitches because they are ‘fake.’ In 2011, rapper Kreayshawn debuted her song ‘Gucci Gucci,’ which included the chorus: ‘Gucci Gucci, Louis Louis, Fendi, Fendi Prada … basic bitches wear that shit so I don’t even bother.’

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