Bigot, The All-Purpose Insult
Bigot, a word usually associated with religion, has expanded its meaning considerably. Its original sense was “a person who shows excessive religious zeal, a religious hypocrite.” Here are some (unedited) examples of its current use:
Obama: Close-Minded Economic Bigot
Sailor Calls Romney a ‘narrow-minded bigot’
Jehmu Greene: Portrait of Black Bigotry
Liberals are some of the most bigoted people in America
There are simple minded bigots on both sides of the isle.
Kirstie Alley Slams Leah Remini as a “Bigot” After Anti-Scientology Remarks
Elisabeth Hasselbeck flung a hefty tar ball in the direction of Joy Beharon Tuesday morning’s The View Hot Topics segment, calling the carrot-topped co-host a ‘bigot’.
[Arne] Duncan’s a bigot, a bully, an elitist and a foot-in-mouth fool all rolled into one
The word bigot has been in the language since the Middle Ages. Of uncertain origin, it entered the language from French and quickly became a term of abuse. In modern usage, bigot, together with its other forms, bigotry and bigoted, is not confined to religious contexts. These definitions from the OED and Merriam-Webster illustrate the expanded usage.
bigot: noun. a fanatical adherent or believer; a person characterized by obstinate, intolerant, or strongly partisan beliefs. –OED
bigot: noun. a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: a person who regards or treats the members of a group (such as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance. –Merriam-Webster
Bigot is a strong word, especially useful in today’s close-minded social and political climate. Its force is diluted by speakers who employ it as a knee-jerk term of abuse to fling at anyone who merely voices a different opinion on some matter.
opinion: a view held about a particular issue; a judgement formed or a conclusion reached; a belief; a religious or political conviction.
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