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PEJORATIVE

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PEJORATIVE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:21 pm

• pejorative •

Pronunciation: pê-jo-rê-tiv • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Derogatory, negative, insulting. 2. Vulgar, profane.

Notes: Pejorative terms are words like floozy and jerk, that are insulting to those they refer to. They include all the vulgar words and racial slurs that we don't allow on our website. The adjective may be used as a noun, as in speaking of pejoratives like drunkard, braggart, and twerp.

In Play: We find pejorative alternatives for many of the commonplace nouns in the English language, e.g. yap is a pejorative term for mouth and mug is pejorative for face. Words can even be pejorative sometimes, sometimes not. Pig, for example, is perfectly normal when applied to pigs but is pejorative if used to denote to a person. Despite the unsavory connotations of this word, you can play with it: "Anita Job says the word 'work' as though it were pejorative." You may know someone with Anita's speech defect.

Word History: This word comes to us from Latin pejoratus "having been made worse" from the verb pejorare "to make worse". The verb is based on the comparative of malus "bad", which is pejor "worse". Malus itself underlies English malady, not to mention the prefix mal-, found in such words as maladroit, maladapted, and malfeasance. The superlative of malus is pessimus "worst", on which our word pessimism is built.
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Re: PEJORATIVE

Postby Stargzer » Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:09 am

Dr. Goodword wrote: . . . "Anita Job says the word 'work' as though it were pejorative." You may know someone with Anita's speech defect.
. . .


Well, work is a four-letter word! :lol:

Or, in the words of Oscar Wilde: "Work is the curse of the drinking classes."
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby Brazilian dude » Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:57 am

Why have I seen so many perjorative's? Does anybody pronounce an r in the first syllable?

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Postby tcward » Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:48 pm

AskOxford.com must get asked that a lot. They put up a page just for that!

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