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pejorative

Legal Definition of pejorative

Related terms


Definition of pejorative

Etymology

    French 1882 péjorative (“depreciative, disparaging”) < Late Latin peioratus, past participle of peiorare (“make worse”) < Latin peior (“worse”). Compare English 1644 pejorate (“to worsen”), from the same etymology.

Pronunciation

  • (RP) IPA: /pɪˈd''rətɪv/, SAMPA: /pI"dZQr@tIv/
  • (GenAm) IPA: /pəˈd'"ɹətɪv/, SAMPA: /p@"dZOr@tIv/

Adjective

pejorative (comparative more pejorative, superlative most pejorative)

  1. Disparaging, belittling or derogatory.

Synonyms

Noun

pejorative (plural pejoratives)

  1. A disparaging, belittling, or derogatory word or expression.

Further reading

Pejoratives[1] (or terms of abuse, derogatory terms), including name slurs,[2] are words or grammatical forms that connote negativity and express contempt or distaste. A term can be regarded as pejorative in some social groups but not in others, e.g., "hacker" (possibly viewed as a quick, clever computer expert, or as a person who violates computer laws and privacy). Sometimes a term may begin as a pejorative and eventually be adopted in a non-pejorative sense in some or all contexts, e.g., "punk". In historical linguistics, this phenomenon is known as melioration, or amelioration, or semantic change.[3]

Name slurs can also involve an insulting or disparaging innuendo,[2] rather than being a direct derogatory remark. In some cases, a person's name can be redefined with an unpleasant or insulting meaning, or applied to a group of people considered to be inferior or lower in social class, as a group label with a disparaging meaning. Also, an ethnic slur or racial slur can be used as a pejorative to imply people of those groups are inferior or deficient.

References

  1. Pejorative on Dictionary.com
  2. "Slur", Merriam-Webster.com, 2011, webpage: MWslur.
  3. Croom, Adam M. (May 2011). "Slurs". Language Sciences (Elsevier) 33 (3): 343-358. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2010.11.005.

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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