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Pejorative

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  • The word pejorative has only been in use since the late 1800s. We will examine the definition of pejorative, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    Pejorative describes something that is derogatory or expresses contempt for something. A pejorative term is meant to hurt or insult someone. This means that a word may be pejorative in some contexts, and not pejorative in other contexts. For instance, the word bastard may be used to insult the lineage of someone, or it may be used as a term of affection between close friends. Some words are always considered pejorative, examples include scatological name-calling and ethnic slurs. The wordpejorative came into the English language in the 1880s, from the French word péjoratif, which in turn was derived from the Latin word peiorare which means to make worse. Pejorative may be used as an adjective or a noun.

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    Examples

    “Although the term is not inherently antisemitic, ‘globalist’ is often used as a pejorative term for people whose interests in international commerce or finance ostensibly make them disloyal to the country in which they live,” the ADL website states. (The Jerusalem Post)

    Miller’s narratives didn’t venture too far beyond the realm of dorm parties, and his fairly pejorative “frat rap” designation spoke not only to the demographics of his fanbase, but also to a much broader shift in hip-hop’s audience. (The Guardian)

    The harassment included calling de Hoyos pejorative names and advising cardiothoracic residents not to work with him, the complaint said. (The Lexington Herald-Leader)

    Prairie School, which opened late last year in Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood, serves cocktails like “Tall Boxes,” a variation on a Brandy Old Fashioned inspired by Wright’s pejorative term for skyscrapers. (Town and Country Magazine)


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