Hard Habit To Break
March 3, 2010 2:08 PM   Subscribe

I don't want to use the word "retard" as a pejorative anymore. What is a good substitute?

I'd like to make sure that I am only insulting the people I intend to insult from now on but it's been a hard habit to break. Help.

Not interested in other arguments over the word.
posted by ericthegardener to Writing & Language (148 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Fool," perhaps?
posted by tellumo at 2:10 PM on March 3, 2010


Idiot, moron, dumbass? I've never felt a need to use "the r-word" given the other options at my disposal. Especially dumbass. Dumbass dumbass dumbass. It's one of those days at work.
posted by olinerd at 2:10 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jerk.
Monster.
You can be so threatening with my way.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 2:10 PM on March 3, 2010


Asshat.
posted by RobotNinja at 2:11 PM on March 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


A hard habit to break? Just don't say retard. Say idiot or moron.
posted by proj at 2:11 PM on March 3, 2010


Dork. Ninny.

Lately, I've become a big fan of "that is incompetent work/thinking/planning" and especially "this is unimpressive." The understated reaction seems to have a little more zing.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:11 PM on March 3, 2010 [16 favorites]


Yeah, so if Gandalf has told the hobbits "Run, you retards!" just before falling off the Bridge of Khazad-dûm near the exit to the Mines of Moria, it wouldn't have sounded as powerful.

I second using fool.
posted by pmbuko at 2:13 PM on March 3, 2010 [16 favorites]


I like Doucheface McDouchersons, or, really, any variant on douche, but I suppose that's offensive to feminine hygiene products. The thing I like about douche is that it captures the mocking essence of retard, differentiating it from lesser synonyms of stupid.
posted by phunniemee at 2:14 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have been enjoying Jhole, dillhole, feckless, dbag and asshat.
Fool is good, moron is good, asswipe is good, but I still really like Jhole the best because it doesn't mean anything, but the point is obvious.
posted by Duffington at 2:15 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine in high school used to call people "butter-head" when they were being dumb. I like the imagery there: a head full of lukewarm yellow butter rather than brains. You should call people "butter-headed".
posted by Greg Nog at 2:16 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Asswad. Dickwad.

The "-wad" suffix is your friend here.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:16 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just don't say retard. Say idiot or moron.

You do realize the irony of this suggestion, don't you? Idiot and moron, like retarded, have actual scientific (albeit antiquated) meaning.
posted by mkultra at 2:17 PM on March 3, 2010 [32 favorites]


dumb, stupid, unintelligent, ignorant, simpleton...

You could try a thesaurus, you know.
posted by Jaltcoh at 2:18 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've been favoring maroon as my insult of choice lately, as in Bugs Bunny saying "What a maroon!" The long "oooo" makes it fulfilling to say when frustrated.
posted by mostlymartha at 2:18 PM on March 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


I am partial to "doofus".
posted by reenum at 2:18 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Buffoon. Spectacular failure. Tragedy. Piece of work. Cry for help. Dunce. Blunt instrument.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:18 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fucking moron, complete with eye roll and sneer. Fucking optional, depending on level of disgust.
posted by bahama mama at 2:18 PM on March 3, 2010


I generally use dingbat. Probably, I will soon learn that "dingbat" is an ancient perjorative term for Uzbeks or bald people or something, and then I will feel bad about it.
posted by craichead at 2:19 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


twit, ignoramus, nincompoop, peter griffin
posted by lizbunny at 2:19 PM on March 3, 2010


If it can be R-Rated, I like fucknut. I never say it, but it's funny when I hear it.
posted by The Deej at 2:21 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I seem to pretty consistently use the word "joker" in any context where someone else might use the r-word. In my opinion, it's demeaning in just the right way because it's highly dismissive.
posted by a.steele at 2:22 PM on March 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dumbass is pretty good, but I prefer jackass because it sounds better when preceded by fucking.
posted by eggplantplacebo at 2:23 PM on March 3, 2010


Why not expand your abusive vocabulary across the Atlantic? The Brits have a buffet of pejorative terms to choose from, including the following:

wanker
tosser
pillock
prat
knobhead
twat
plonker

Just don't use "nimrod" because that's what they call their air force.
posted by stuck on an island at 2:23 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I love calling people dumbass, especially when they do something demonstrating their stupidity.

Dipshit is nice too, or dumbfuck.

Any of these, when used with sneering condescension, usually withers the recipient.
posted by Max Power at 2:25 PM on March 3, 2010


I like 'jackass'.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:25 PM on March 3, 2010


Plonker.
posted by Abiezer at 2:25 PM on March 3, 2010


Listen, jackass, the best answer is "jackass". Jackass.
posted by ninebucks at 2:27 PM on March 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Previously.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:28 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


At Lyco, we used "momo".
posted by sperose at 2:30 PM on March 3, 2010


when you start looking at words to replace it, you should realize that a lot of them were/are just other words for retard.

idiot
moron
imbecile
cretin
posted by nadawi at 2:30 PM on March 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Muppet.
posted by Paragon at 2:30 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Half-wit.
posted by kmennie at 2:31 PM on March 3, 2010


Idiot!

The best thing about 'idiot' is that it, too, was once unironically used to refer to retarded people. Hopefully it won't become the new standard term, and we can continue using it on stupid people who don't have a congenital excuse.

-
posted by General Tonic at 2:32 PM on March 3, 2010


Thanks for this post! I'm doing the same thing. I've been using "fuckwad" a lot.
posted by NoraReed at 2:32 PM on March 3, 2010


lego eater
posted by the cuban at 2:32 PM on March 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


Smeghead.
posted by Mwongozi at 2:33 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Twit.
posted by tigrefacile at 2:33 PM on March 3, 2010


I like "knuckle dragging philistine."
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 2:34 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


We Jews have had this licked for ages:

Schmuck or putz
posted by JaredSeth at 2:34 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Fucknutted chucklehead.
posted by clavicle at 2:34 PM on March 3, 2010


and, while i love bugs bunny and don't think it was meant as anything but a funny play on words/sounds - you should probably also stay away from maroon.
posted by nadawi at 2:36 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


"moron" was actually coined by Goddard as part of his ranking scheme in 1910. He may have also used "idiot" and "imbecile", but those are old words (the OED has several 14th c. "idiot" citations; "imbecile" in the sense of mentally weak, as opposed to physically weak, has an 18th c. citation.)

I've stopped using "moron", but am comfortable with keeping "idiot" and "imbecile."
posted by Zed at 2:36 PM on March 3, 2010


Rubberhead
posted by stuartmm at 2:41 PM on March 3, 2010


phunniemee: "I like Doucheface McDouchersons, or, really, any variant on douche, but I suppose that's offensive to feminine hygiene products. The thing I like about douche is that it captures the mocking essence of retard, differentiating it from lesser synonyms of stupid."

This. The word "douche" plus another noun (and sometimes a verb-turned-adjective) is almost invariably funny.

Consider: doucherocket, douchewhistle, douchehands

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!
posted by andrewcilento at 2:44 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I like smacktard or fucktard, but those may not be any better than the original.
posted by tryniti at 2:45 PM on March 3, 2010


I went and looked it up, and unfortunately my go-to insult for stupid people, cretin, is a medical term. Damn it!
posted by notsnot at 2:48 PM on March 3, 2010


I think dumbshit or dumbfuck work best. They have the proper bite and syllabic cadence.
posted by threeants at 2:48 PM on March 3, 2010


Cotton-headed ninny muggins?
posted by jasondbarr at 2:49 PM on March 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


genius
dum-dum
posted by 23skidoo at 2:50 PM on March 3, 2010


Dumbass or dipshit.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:51 PM on March 3, 2010


Leotarded
posted by thelastenglishmajor at 2:51 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I played rugby with a Scottish guy that liked numpty.
posted by electroboy at 2:52 PM on March 3, 2010


Mouth breather.
posted by longsleeves at 2:52 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Palin-American" is going around though it is awkward. I was always partial to "pretarded".
posted by chairface at 2:53 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


douche-canoe ... my favorite EVAR

Also crusty cunt but that's just hella offensive to most people.
posted by kthxbi at 2:54 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've retrained myself to use ridiculous.

Yes, it's a different part of speech, but I found that I would often catch myself once it started coming out of my mouth, and "ridiculous" made a good replacement in those cases.

He's a re...diculous jerk.
That's re...diculous.

It's a little more polished than replacing "retard" with "dickwad" or "douchebag" -- I assume you're trying to sound like less of an asshole in general.
posted by ellenaim at 3:03 PM on March 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I use hillbilly.
posted by loosemouth at 3:05 PM on March 3, 2010


JERKFACE
posted by unknowncommand at 3:06 PM on March 3, 2010


I like douche-related words because douching is actually bad for feminine hygiene, so there's nothing particularly offensive about calling someone a douche, a d-bag, a douchenozzle. The item itself is just as useless as the person you're describing pejoratively with the term.

However, I just watched The Departed, my week has sucked, and Mr. F just got in the door from a car accident, so, realistically, I am not saying any of those words right now. The ones I am saying are much worse. You don't want any of those.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 3:06 PM on March 3, 2010


Doorknob! (Which calls forth memories of beefy guys with very thick Minnesotan accents calling each other "ya knob." Ah, college.)
posted by *s at 3:08 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fuckwit.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:09 PM on March 3, 2010


Pongknuckle
posted by the duck by the oboe at 3:12 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


forty-watt bulb.
mongoloid.
[uh-oh, here comes the pitchfork brigade]
posted by BostonTerrier at 3:12 PM on March 3, 2010


numpty
dipstick
cabbage
posted by emilyw at 3:13 PM on March 3, 2010


On the other hand, after watching Deadwood, "cocksucker" really grew on me. But you'd potentially offend everyone who sucks cock. And I'm certain that cock suckers outnumber the retards in the world. (quick, someone find some stats!)
posted by ellenaim at 3:13 PM on March 3, 2010


Thanks for all the great answers!

a.steele correctly ascertained that I was looking for words that were properly demeaning and insulting (but not to any other group of people, just the singular person I am addressing).

greekphilosophy - I think your assumptions are inappropriate for Ask Metafilter.
posted by ericthegardener at 3:17 PM on March 3, 2010


Advanced, i.e. that's some seriously advanced bullshit right there.
posted by philscience at 3:17 PM on March 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


I like IGNORANT STAIN.
posted by peep at 3:19 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


The correct word is Knucklehead.
posted by bondcliff at 3:22 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like DIPWAD - acceptable even in front of 5 year olds (who I identify with mentally)

We Jews have had this licked for ages:

Schmuck or putz


Word of warning - some older jews are highly offended by those words; I'd suggest using them no less judiciously than you would 'cock.'
posted by phearlez at 3:26 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


You may choose between meathead and chowderhead, depending on season, geography, and scale of asininity.
posted by thejoshu at 3:27 PM on March 3, 2010


Dimbulb/nitwit/peabrain/galoot
posted by fish tick at 3:29 PM on March 3, 2010


Waste of space.
posted by fish tick at 3:30 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Simian Dolt
posted by crenquis at 3:33 PM on March 3, 2010


I really enjoy the word 'dumbass'. It's got a satisfying sound, round and weighty at first, then a trailing hiss that's easily made contemptuous.
posted by emeiji at 3:34 PM on March 3, 2010


Currently in heavy rotation: Tool. Knob. Misfit. Roadblock. Lichen. Shroom. Invertebrate. Gooball. Blockhead. Face plant. Train wreck. Diversion. 404 Error. Broken parrot. Bumble. Snausage. Grease trap. Slug bait. Circus act. Flaming ball of chaos. Landfill. Proto-sapien. Pop tart. Polanski. ....to name a few.
posted by prinado at 3:43 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dingus.
posted by tristeza at 3:53 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have started using r-worded.
posted by damionbroadaway at 4:02 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am very surprised that no one yet has suggested one of my favorite names to refer to people as, "dope." It's a bit gentler than some of the other options presented here, while still pointing out the person's lack of intelligence.

If you're not calling someone stupid, specifically, but expressing a more general displeasure with their personality, you could call them a D-Bag.

These aren't really appropriate for those times when you hate someone's guts, but if you just think someone is kind of a stupid jerk, they work for me.
posted by wondermouse at 4:04 PM on March 3, 2010


Turd
posted by davey_darling at 4:10 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Another vote for doofus. Though 'Knob' and 'Dickhead' are both good alternatives.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:21 PM on March 3, 2010


asshat
assclown
clownshow
toolbag
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:22 PM on March 3, 2010


I went through a similar period and I settled on calling people lackwit
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:24 PM on March 3, 2010


Goddard did use the terms "idiot" and "imbecile." He proposed the term "moron" (Greek for "silly thing") as replacement for "feeble-minded" (mildly retarded). The equivalent term used by French and German psychiatrists at the time was "debile" (French débil).

However, nobody except etymology nuts or people who know way too much about the history of psychology is going to associate "idiot," "imbecile" or "moron" with an actual diagnoses, or Goddard's theories about intelligence. They've lost that baggage. They're just insults now, and perfectly good ones as far as I'm concerned.

Debile is kind of a neat word, actually, though it's never meant this in English, as far as I know, just weak.
posted by nangar at 4:26 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ditwit
posted by InterestedInKnowing at 4:33 PM on March 3, 2010




Is it certain that "maroon" as used by Bugs Bunny is a racially-tinged epithet? I had always assumed it was Bugs intentionally mispronouncing "moron." Which, as pointed out above, has its own problematic history, of course, but I didn't want to saddle a cartoon with more baggage than he already has.
posted by shiu mai baby at 4:52 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I use "spasm". "You're such a spasm."
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:02 PM on March 3, 2010


spoon
prannet
fuckwit
sumph
tumshy
neep
[dribbling] arsehole
oaf
dingus
hunnaberry
toss-pot
posted by scruss at 5:07 PM on March 3, 2010


Idjit or dimwad or rube come to mind.
posted by Red Loop at 5:13 PM on March 3, 2010


shiu mai baby - i specifically said that i didn't think it was used with racist intent by bugs(although, there's plenty of racism to find in the old cartoons) - but that using the word might be misinterpreted by those around you.
posted by nadawi at 5:15 PM on March 3, 2010


"Intellectually challenged" has worked for me.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 5:17 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Goober. Ass-weiner. Fart-cheese. Dingleberry.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:18 PM on March 3, 2010


Cocksnotter: satisfying to say and slow-burn offensive.
posted by BadMiker at 5:21 PM on March 3, 2010


bobo
posted by joecacti at 5:24 PM on March 3, 2010


Douche, in all of its variations, is a personal favorite among my husband and I. Douche bag, douche hat, douche canoe, etc. Also shortening douche to the letter d is great too.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 5:44 PM on March 3, 2010


My brother in law, a psychiatrist sensitive to medical misdiagnoses, uses numbnut.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:46 PM on March 3, 2010


Ah, my mistake, nadawi, I missed that, somehow.

Reading comprehension = N(eeds improvement)

And, to drag this back within proper AskMe territory, I, too, am a big fan of jackass.
posted by shiu mai baby at 5:51 PM on March 3, 2010


If they're whiny and self-indulgent: ninny.
If they're picky and anxious and rigid: nitwit.
If they're aggressive: jackass.
If they're simply very stupid and slow: doofus.
posted by sculpin at 5:59 PM on March 3, 2010


My old-school Pittsburgh father in law introduced me to the beauty of the word "jagoff" and all variants thereof.
posted by msali at 6:10 PM on March 3, 2010


Cockfucker or Cockfucking somethingsomething. It's a very versatile expression.

Also:

—You challenged person you!

This allows you to take a deep breath maybe not get as upset at whatever retarded thing/person is bothering you.
posted by monocultured at 6:17 PM on March 3, 2010


yahoo, plebe, deadbeat, waste.
posted by benzenedream at 6:19 PM on March 3, 2010


Debil is an excellent word to use, unless you're addressing a Polish crowd. It's "severely retarded" with intended malice.
posted by monocultured at 6:20 PM on March 3, 2010


After I saw a particular commercial a few years back, I've taken to calling people dumas.

Unless I'm extremely angry at them, then they're an ass, a jackass, a stupid ass, a stubborn ass, or a slimy son of a dog.
posted by patheral at 6:42 PM on March 3, 2010


Seconding jagoff.
posted by Loto at 6:45 PM on March 3, 2010


Plunker
Tosser
Nob
Muppet
Jack-nuts
Dumb-nuts
Numb-nuts
Knuckle-nuts
Dillweed
Fuck-nob
Crackhead
Mental midget
Yoda
Socrates
Sand pounder
One who couldn't stack boxes to reach a banana
posted by jasondigitized at 6:59 PM on March 3, 2010


I'm partial to "webelo" and "bidoof," myself.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:59 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Moron. Lessoff.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 7:14 PM on March 3, 2010


I always use Jackball. It flows nicely off the tongue.
posted by Kloryne at 7:24 PM on March 3, 2010


n'thing mouth breather- even worse than retard.

I love douche or douchebag.

Also, I like to use the phrase, "I'm embarrassed for you."
posted by TheBones at 7:25 PM on March 3, 2010


Spastic.
posted by wackybrit at 7:25 PM on March 3, 2010


"Spastic" or "spazz" also refers to folks with jerky, uncontrolle movements -- usually as a result of a condition like cerebral palsy. Not a great choice.

"Douche" or "douchebag," however, are perfectly suited. I once saw Lily Tomlin mention that she doesn't use those because they're demeaning to women. Well, precisely! A douche, like the type of jerkwad guy that I typically use the term to describe, desperately tries to convince females it's ultra-necessary, but is actually quite irritating and, in the end, does more harm than good.
posted by Madamina at 7:35 PM on March 3, 2010


"Dumbass" is so tired. I've long over-used "jerk" but tried adding some suffixes like -hole, -knob, -pie, and my blackberry recently invented "jerk-bob" via autocomplete so I went with it.

Also a fan of nincompoop, maroon, rube, dingbat, and silly knucklehead.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 7:36 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fucknut. Chucklehead if you're in polite company.
posted by jessamyn at 7:44 PM on March 3, 2010


I've been trying to make "Summer's Eve" happen.
posted by cestmoi15 at 7:57 PM on March 3, 2010


We've been using "palin" at work lately, both as a noun and adjective. As in "You palin", or "Well that was palin."
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:15 PM on March 3, 2010


Couche-tard has the same mouthfeel, but it's French for "late-to-bed" and could imply someone who doesn't get enough sleep.

Plus, it gives you a macaronic head-rhyme with "douche".
posted by Sallyfur at 8:54 PM on March 3, 2010


Other ones that haven't been mentioned here which I like a lot are toolbox, goofball, dorkus and (when you're feeling really extravagant) dorkus maximus.
posted by little light-giver at 9:07 PM on March 3, 2010


Say it with your eyes and a deep sigh.
posted by Bonzai at 9:18 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Phrases, honey, phrases. I use those to replace the single-word insult, and it's intensely satisfying:

“Ain’t got the good sense God gave gravel”.
“She’s dumb as a sack of hair”.
“Dumb as a box of rocks.”
“He’s dumber than a day old pig.”
“He’s so dumb, he couldn’t pour piss out of a boot”.
“She’s about as bright as a 10-watt bulb”.
“He couldn’t drive a boot up a mule’s ass with the directions written on the toe.”
“He’s so dumb he couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were on the bottom”
“She’s so dumb, she couldn’t find her ass with two hands and a flashlight”
“He’s one ass-kicking away from being a pretty nice fella”.
“He is ten pounds of stupid (shit) in a five pound bag.”
“If you put her brains in a thimble they’d rattle like road apples in a bushel basket”
“He didn’t get here on a paved road”
“Couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with a bass fiddle”
“Couldn’t fall off a fence in a wind storm”

Etc., etc.
posted by magstheaxe at 9:49 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Please don't use any of the "Palin" terms. You might be mean Sarah but it could come across as referring to her young son, who is one of the best-known people with Down Syndrome.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:22 PM on March 3, 2010


Noodlebrain
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:02 PM on March 3, 2010


Failtard or just failure. As in, "Can't even turn on his computer without calling two IT guys and 911. What a failure."
posted by Night_owl at 11:07 PM on March 3, 2010


Lots of good suggestions here *takes notes* My personal favourite is "dipshit dumbfuck", or, if you need to keep it clean, "dumber than a pile of posts."
posted by Tamanna at 1:10 AM on March 4, 2010


Fuckwit.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:02 AM on March 4, 2010


Dingaling is my favorite. And thank you for making the effort.
posted by pammeke at 3:33 AM on March 4, 2010


I just wanted to point out "idiot" was originally a Greek word for individual, lay person, commoner, so anytime you use the word you're actually insulting ancient Greek peasants.

Don't listen to us etymologizing nymwits.

Which reminds me, has anybody mentioned "piss-ant" yet?
posted by nangar at 6:00 AM on March 4, 2010


Debil is polish for polak?
posted by nangar at 6:07 AM on March 4, 2010


Debil is polish for polak?

Actually, "polak" is Polish for "Pole". The Polish word for "dickwad" is "nangar".
posted by ellenaim at 6:16 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd like you to consider the cool, crisp, old-timey elegance of "dummy." "That is because you, sir, are a dummy." They'll never be expecting it.
posted by troywestfield at 6:20 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lameo
posted by stormpooper at 6:23 AM on March 4, 2010


I was kidding, ellenaim. I guess this explains why the OP wants avoid using "retard." Despite dickwads like me kidding around about it.

Your response was beautiful, by the way.
posted by nangar at 6:26 AM on March 4, 2010


Swine.
Meatsack.
Pinhead.
F*cking Child. (Spoken in the manner of Al Pacino in "Glengarry Glen Ross"
posted by BigLankyBastard at 7:03 AM on March 4, 2010


In Canada, maroon seems to be the polite way of calling someone or something a moron. Because it's funny.

You can also call someone a "hoser," though mostly ironically ever since the Mackenzie Brothers popularized it. Also a good verb: "Oh, great, we're hosed now."

The Scots apparently get to call someone "a great girl's blouse." I love that.
posted by musofire at 7:27 AM on March 4, 2010


Lameo

Along the same lines as 'spazz', a person trying to cut 'retard' out of their vocabulary probably doesn't want to pick up 'lame' instead :)
posted by heyforfour at 7:33 AM on March 4, 2010


Pissant.
posted by him at 7:39 AM on March 4, 2010


Thank you for posting this. First, because it's making me laugh, and second, because it's nice to stop using retard. Mental retardation sucks, and, while it's sort of natural to call someone mentally retarded, it's hurtful to people who have mental retardation, and to their families and friends.

My current favorite is bonehead.
posted by theora55 at 7:44 AM on March 4, 2010


Seconding leotarded.
posted by Skwirl at 8:48 AM on March 4, 2010


First, try honing in on what actually separates the people you're insulting with the people you want to stop inadvertently insulting (the mentally handicapped) -- the difference is intellectual laziness. Someone who could know better but doesn't bother to. Therefore, the best insult strikes at the intended's lack of a work ethic. In the US, at least, a poor work ethic is a greater insult than inborn dumbness.

Second, just about every great and terrible slur in English has a K or G sound.

Third, appeal to the powerful and universal emotion of disgust.

Based on these principles, you should start calling people slugfucks.
posted by condour75 at 8:55 AM on March 4, 2010 [7 favorites]


In Canada, maroon seems to be the polite way of calling someone or something a moron. Because it's funny.

I was going to suggest this but wasn't sure if it was just something I made up to call my dog. Nice to know there's similar weirdos out there.
posted by KathyK at 10:30 AM on March 4, 2010


Maroon was popularized by Bugs Bunny. More (but not much) here.
posted by condour75 at 11:25 AM on March 4, 2010


Git.
posted by meggie78 at 1:12 PM on March 4, 2010


Smeghead (already mentioned upthread) and all its variations: smeg-for-brains. Actually I can only think of the one variation at the moment. Goit, git and gimboid are good too.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 3:42 PM on March 4, 2010


I've grown partial to "horse's ass."
posted by kjackelen05 at 3:49 PM on March 4, 2010


I'm really fond of "dipshit."

Also shit-for-brains, but that's bordering on rude.
posted by Ouisch at 5:51 PM on March 4, 2010


Ridiculous.

Same unstressed-stressed-unstressed pronunciation, but you linger on "dick" instead of "tard." Which can be useful.
posted by callmejay at 7:16 PM on March 4, 2010


Cuntflap works for me.
posted by armoured-ant at 7:41 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've also used plague-boy or girl as in "if you'd been around in Moses time, you would have been a plague." though that's more for the ignorantly annoying.
posted by eleanna at 8:43 PM on March 5, 2010


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