How Slang Words Originated. Essay

823 words - 3 pages

EuphemismsSome words are used to classify people. Words used today weren't always considered derogatory or insulting in the past. People use everyday words and no one realizes what they say and what it really means, for all they know they can be offending themselves or even they're own culture. Some words do not even derive from the English language. Also, some words are modified to mean something a little less than what it was originally meant to mean. A lot of words that are used today offend people, which originally meant something else that was less offending.One of the most offending words used today is gay; the word gay was adopted about fourdecades ago(The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories p.189). The movie star Gene Autry, who was in the movie "The Gay Cowboy" and to the best of my knowledge a homosexual, brought to light a new definition of gay(Word Histories p.189). However, originally, gay was a word that meant happy or joyful, yet now it is used as a hate word, and sometimes used to mean that something or someone is "dumb" or "sucks." For example, if someone were to say, "Hey man, the professor gave a big lecture after the test we just took a mid-term." And his friend said "Man that's gay." That would be one way that the word gay is commonly used today.The word idiot is another common word people use today; idiot can mean that someone on is "stupid" or "unintelligent,"; it's also a word I use from time to time. For instance, my boyfriend will say "I want to get a CRX when I buy a new car." I respond and say "your an idiot." I used the word idiot to mean that he is stupid because he is about 6'2 and there is no way he is going to be comfortable in that car. The word idiot is a Greek adjective idios, which means "one's own" or "private"(Word Histories p.235). Idiot meant someone who wasn't in the public eye or held no public office. Later, idiot changed its definition to "common man," to "ignorant man,"(Word Histories p.235) and finally to someone who was mentally deficient. To call someone an idiot a hundred years ago wouldn't have offended him/her, idiot would describe a type of title the held.Puny, also a word used to generally classify males as someone who isn't strong or who is a coward. Puny is used in this dialog...

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