What is a word that is commonly thought to be derogatory but actually isn’t?

What is a word that is commonly thought to be derogatory but actually isn’t?

What do you think?

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  1. I feel like you’re looking for safe derogatory words to use and excuse to go with it. If someone is uncomfortable with a word and feels affronted, why use it at all? Unless you like name calling then I guess go ahead but take responsibility for using it with intention to harm/offend/annoy. For instance, you’re a jerk for collecting derogatory words to use in daily conversation. If I’m wrong and this is truly quest for knowledge, I apologize.

  2. C*nt.
    This work gets its roots from the Hindu goddes Kunthi, and when it first circulated in vernacular, it was meant a compliment. It roughly translated to strong woman.
    As time went on and the Anglo Saxon started settling, and women fell into the roll of being subservient- almost looked at as property- the word shifted to have a negative connection because a strong woman who refused to submit to a man was a foolish woman who would die alone.

  3. Evangelical. It was actually the term Martin Luther wanted to use to differentiate his church as not being part of the Catholic Church. However, unfortunately many hyperactive churches have highjacked that term and they use it very loosely (and as a misnomer), and people hear the word “Evangelical” they think zealot and bigot.

    There are some mainline churches that have the word “Evangelical” in their title and some want to drop it because of the abuses how some Christians (who are certainly not acting Christian) misuse that word. But the word Evangelical is not a bad word at all, even though some people are trying to turn it that.

  4. A decent amount of people in NZ seem to think the term “Pākehā” (basically meaning non-Māori/white people) is a derogatory term.

    Some claim it means house of fleas, because “pā” means house and keha means fleas.

    Of course that’s a false etymology. For one, it’s “pā**kehā**” not “pā*keha*”. Kehā doesn’t mean flea. Their translation of pā is a bit off too.

    A recent joke has been to call people who moan about it “turnip slappers”, because “pā” also means to slap, and “keha” also means turnip.

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