Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
List of political epithets
Many political epithets are obtained by joining an otherwise neutral description of a political movement or group with a pejorative term questioning the groups's sanity or motives, or associating the group with hated political movements or leaders of the past.
Arguments about the use of these epithets often follow a pattern in which proponents of the epithets insist that the term is intended to be construed so narrowly as to be inoffensive while opponents insist that the term as heard by a typical listener will be construed more broadly. Examples of such arguments are visible in the sections below, but a general pattern may include, for proponents:
- The claim that a term (e.g., feminazi) is not intended to apply to all members of the group (feminists), but only those who exhibit some of the attributes suggested by the pejorative part of the term ("Nazis").
- The claim that the pejorative part of the term is intended to be construed narrowly (e.g., Nazi as short-hand for anybody who shows contempt for individual rights or the democratic process) rather than with its full connotations (e.g., Nazi as in Nazi Party).
Others claim that whatever the stated intent of the users of the term, combining a term identifying a group with a pejorative necessarily creates an association between the group and the pejorative. This claim is arguably based on a associationistic view of human cognition. This is the basis of many standard techniques in public relations; the use of an epithet by persons trained in public relations techniques is interpreted as an attempt to create such an association while maintaining deniability: a subtle example of the fallacy of equivocation.
Regardless of intent, the possibility that political epithets will be construed more broadly than expected creates the danger of alienating a large part of one's audience. Thus, except in cases where the epithet is being used as a shibboleth to closely identify the author with a particular political movement, a wise writer or speaker will generally adopt more neutral terminology.
In classical rhetoric, the principle of charity demands that when making an argument one assumes the most generous interpretation of one's opponent's statements, so that one's own argument is not derailed by simply claiming that the opponent's statements were misconstrued. This suggests that the most principled response to epithets is to ignore them, accepting at face value the user's claim to a narrow interpretation while again adopting more neutral terminology in one's own arguments.
A list of political epithets and pejorative political slogans with a brief description of each
Abortion on Demand
Aid and comfort to the enemy
U.S.: Term used for people that are perceived as supporting the enemies of the United States through their actions and their abilities to influence others through the popular media. This term was often expressed towards liberal members of the entertainment industry. Derives from the definition of traitor within the U.S. Constitution.
U.S.: Judges whose decisions overturn traditional legal interpretations, or who craft decisions to produce a specific outcome.
A political epithet when used to refer to those who support immigration reduction but are not opposed to immigrants. This is distinct from the correct usage of Anti-immigrant, when it refers to those who denigrate, fear, or oppose immigrants. Anti-immigration is sometimes used interchangeably, although it has a distinct meaning.
From (Soviet) Russian terminology, meaning simply a member of the political organisational apparatus of Soviet Russia, it now has a meaning in English which implies bureaucratic over-zealousness and/or slavish (to the point of mindlessness) devotion to a cause.
A recent example from the Washington Times: "Mr. McCain said commission Vice Chairman Ellen Weintraub is an "apparatchik" of the Democratic Party [...]"
In the 1960s, some opponents of the Vietnam War used this term to denigrate military personnel. Later, some in the anti-abortion movement used the same term against doctors who perform abortions, and against other supporters of legal abortion.
Bible-basher or Bible-thumper
- Someone who tries in a forceful or enthusiastic way to persuade other people to believe in the Christian religion and the Bible.
- An evangelical or fundamentalist Christian who believes the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that its enclosed laws and precepts should strongly guide public policy.
Big Business Party
A term used to refer to the United States Democratic Party and United States Republican Party as being two different wings of the same party, implying that the U.S. has a one-party government whose main concern is not The People but corporate profits.
U.S.: Used by conservatives to refer to liberals, in particular people liberal on social issues such as the death penalty or the drug war. Conservatives see these people as "soft on crime," thus enabling crime and causing harm to society, through wilfully ignorant naïveté and/or gullibility.
U.S.: Used in late 19th Century, implying that the Democrats were responsible for provoking the Civil War. A speaker or writer expounding this viewpoint was said to "wave the bloody shirt." Some claim term originates from scene in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in which Caesar was betrayed and murdered by Brutus and Cassius.
Blue Dog Democrat
U.S.: Term frequently used to describe Democrats that maintain their party affiliation, but frequently vote for Republicans or Independents. This usage became popular after many Southern Democrats cast their votes for Ronald Reagan in two presidential elections.
See also Blue Dog Coalition, which describes a group of conservative Democrats.
A member of the Liberal Party of Canada who leans farther right than the average member.
U.S.: Derogatory term applied to members of the far left. It also implies a connection with Communism
In Nazi Germany the phrase was used against enemies of Nazism, for example in Nazi propaganda posters.
Borrow and Spend Republican
U.S.: Used by liberals to label conservatives as favoring a cycle of continually reducing taxes without corresponding restraint in government spending, the result being "deficits as far as the eye can see." Contrast Tax and Spend Liberal.
U.S, civil war era: Term used by opponents of slavery to denote the various groups of pro-slavery or simply opportunist bandits and militants who raided and killed people in the Arkansas, Missouri, and other areas in the Bleeding Kansas period.
People's Republic of China: Used against Deng Xiaoping by radicals in the Chinese communist party (the Gang of Four in order to purge him 3 times; he was later rehabilitated into the party thrice and led China in the 1980s and 1990s).
Used by anti-capitalists to refer to capitalists, invoking a connection between pigs and greed.
Card-carrying member of the ACLU
U.S.: Used most often by conservatives to insult liberals who may advocate policies similar to that of the American Civil Liberties Union, which include defending First Amendment principles of separation of church and state and free speech. The term became popular during the 1950s, and was used again in the 1988 presidential election, in which then-Vice President George H.W. Bush called then-Governor Michael Dukakis a "card-carrying member of the ACLU," which Dukakis proudly acknowledged.  It now serves as a jocular recruitment slogan for the ACLU. 
Post-Civil War U.S.: Original usage by white Southerners for the Northerners that came south after the Civil War, viewed as "carpetbaggers" - opportunists and exploiters bent on grabbing economic and political benefits. 
Contemporary Usage in U.S.: Politicians who move to a new jurisdiction in order to meet a residency requirement for holding public office.
U.K.: Supporters of the conversion of mutual building societies into banks purely for reasons of personal financial gain.
U.K.: The phrase refers to politicians that are perceived as having socialist tendencies in their ideologies but disregard socialist ideals in their daily life. The term generally is used as an attack by opposing politicians to portray and ridicule their opponents as hypocritical.
Used to describe a man as having a prejudiced belief in the superiority of his own gender; often extended to describe a man as one who hates women. Also Pig, Male Chauvinist, and Male Chauvinist Pig.
U.S.: A descriptive phrase used to mock France for their famous surrenders in the Franco-Prussian War, World War Two, North Africa, and Indochina, and for their reputation as gourmets. Coined by writers of the animated television show, The Simpsons, the phrase was repeated by the political right in the United States in the run-up to the war in Iraq, especially by Jonah Goldberg.
U.S. An epithet used to criticize a politician, bureaucrat, or commentator who votes for war, supports war, commands a war, or develops war policy, but has not personally served in the military. More pointedly may refer to men who were of draft age during the Vietnam War but avoided service, yet later professed support for that war.
A person sympathetic to the Communist Party and Russia during the Cold War but not an outright Communist. These persons were seen as apologists for Communism, or as "soft" on Communism. Probably very similar in meaning but more insulting than "Fellow Traveller". Widely used in the USA and other countries.
Corporate Feudalism or Neofeudalism
A term used to describe policies of various right-wing politicians, particularly those in the United States Republican Party, that are seen as radically increasing the wealth gap between the rich and the poor while increasing the power of the rich and decreasing the power of the poor. See also: Neofeudalism and wealth condensation
Corporate welfare is a term used by opponents of special privilages given to corporations such as tax breaks or subsidies. It is implied that the corporations are less deserving than the poor, the traditional recipients of welfare. The recipients of corporate welfare are sometimes called corporate welfare bums.
Used in communist countries, especially the People's Republic of China during the Cultural Revolution, to refer to people whom others felt were betraying the communist revolution. Also used in the Soviet Union. Notice, however, that the term is not necessarely an insult in and of itself
A prefix used to imply that a person secretly holds certain political beliefs. The commonest examples of this usage are probably cryptocommunist (a closet communist) and cryptofascist (a closet fascist).
U.S.: Conservatives have branded Democratic opponents of the 2003 Iraq War as traitors in the War on Terrorism and thus referred to them as dhimmicrats (from dhimmi) — variations include Dummycrat, Demonrat, and Dumbacrat.
U.S.: Used by conservatives to refer to certain liberals. Comes from the mode of dress of many hippies during the 1960s and 1970s, including unshaved beards, long hair, and no bras.
U.S.: Term used by civil rights activists to describe southern Democrats who enacted and enforced the Jim Crow laws, and obstructed equal rights for African Americans and racial integration.
Terms used to describe people who favour negotiation or appeasement as the solution to political problems rather than war. (opposite: Hawk, Hawkish)
U.S.: refers to one or more stereotypes of left-leaning denizens of the Eastern Seaboard, particularly journalists or academics. During the 2004 election, John Kerry was called a "Massachusetts liberal", which carried the same connotations plus negative connotations among conservatives about Massachusetts' gay marriage policy.
Environmentalist Wacko, Econazi and Ecoterrorists
U.S.: Environmentalist wacko and Econazi and Ecoterrorists are phrases that right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh uses to describe what he considers to be extremely radical environmentalists. See also: Environmentalist Wacko, Econazi and Ecoterrorists
A term designating either of the two far ends of the traditional political spectrum.
Originally, a member of the Spanish Falange, now sometimes used as a synonym for "fascist".
1930s: Used to describe people who were thought to support Hitler, Mussolini, and other authoritarian right-wing rulers (not all of whom easily identified with Fascism in the strict sense of the term).
Late 20th century: Used by leftists to refer to conservatives, arguing that many conservative policies and philosophies resemble those of the fascists. Also used to refer to members of the Ku Klux Klan. The term "left-wing fascist" is used by conservatives to describe radical liberals. In these cases, "fascist" is intended to mean statist policy in general rather than the "capital F" Fascism originally set forth by Mussolini and other rightist ideologues of his time.
George Orwell argued that "as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless... I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else." Because of the wide variety of contradictory usages, the word "fascist" often carries little specific meaning.
U.S.: Term used to describe those who spent time with communists, during the McCarthy Era. Conservative artist Norman Rockwell made a pun of this phrase with a painting of two children walking in the country, entitled 'Fellow Travellers '
U.S.: Feminazi is a term coined by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh to refer to women he perceives as feminists. To Limbaugh, a feminazi was originally a woman to whom "the most important thing in life is seeing to it that as many abortions as possible are performed". The term "Feminista" is also used by other political pundits.
Others now use the term more loosely to describe almost any active and militant feminist. The term is also sometimes used to describe politically correct movements, such as those who draw attention to supposedly sexist language in daily life.
One who "sits on the fence", ie, refuses to commit himself to either one side of a political issue or the other, preferring to waver in the middle.
U.S., Germany: Used by the political left to demonize Neo-Nazis (in Germany) or political conservatives generally, especially those actually in power (in U.S.). Term is intended to convey the idea that those so characterized share common views, at least to some degree, with the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler.
U.S.: Phrase used by conservatives to oppose any new extension of legal rights and privileges to homosexuals, on the grounds that homosexuals are seen as working gradually to abolish all sexual morality.
U.S.: Term used by California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger to describe his political opponents as "Economic Girlie Men." This term was first popularized by faux bodybuilders Hans & Franz on Saturday Night Live.
U.S.: Used by right-wingers in an attempt to discredit communists, referring to the fact that Marx referred to religion as the "opiate of the people" and State support of atheism and oppression of organized religion have been the policies of most communist countries, including the People's Republic of China , and the former Soviet Union.
US: Term used by opponents of wealth redistribution as a synonym for the government's alleged largess. This term is also used by supporters of wealth redistribution as a synonym for the government's alleged parsimony. Also used in urban slang to refer to people on welfare. See "government handouts."
Term used by opponents of wealth redistribution to imply that tax relief and aid for the poor is unjust. Also used by opponents of corporate subsidies to imply that tax relief and aid to for-profit corporations is unjust. See also: Corporate Welfare
A colloquial term for a member of the Liberal Party of Canada.
U.S.: An accusatory term used by gun owners to refer to gun control advocates or opponents of legal gun ownership. See Gun politics in the United States.
U.S.: used by advocates of gun control or opponents of gun ownership to characterize gun owners as irrational and obsessive. See Gun politics in the United States
Terms used for those who favour the resolution of political problems through war, rather than through negotiation or appeasement. (opposite: Dove, Dovish)
Used by virtually all sides of all debates with the hope of discrediting opposing viewpoints. Conservatives claim that anti-war activists are similar to those who appeased Hitler in the 1930s. Liberals claim that conservatives are similar to those who helped Hitler. Like "fascist," the strong connotations of "Hitler" often obstruct substantive dialogue.
See also Godwin's law.
Term sometimes used to disparage persons and organizations that condemn homosexuality out of moral or religious beliefs
International Jewish Conspiracy, International Jewry
An idea particularly favored by Hitler, Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and other anti-Semites, that said that there was an international conspiracy of Jews to dominate the rest of mankind. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, allegedly written by Jews, has been used as evidence but was actually a forgery written by a German agitator and widely used by the Okhranka (Czar's secret police). International Jewry is occasionally used non-pejoratively to refer to Jews worldwide, e.g. .
- Main article: Islamofascism
See also: Islamophobia
Judeofascism and Zionazism are terms used by anti-Zionists and some anti-Semites who advocate the view that aspects of Judaism, Zionism, or Israeli government policy and war against Arabs and Muslims are fascist or similar to behavior thought typical of Nazis. Most Jewish people find terms like Judeofascism and Zionazism to be deeply offensive to their heritage and to the memory of the victims of the Nazis.
International: Pejorative term for legal procedings where some parties may claim that the verdict or finding was predetermined.
U.S.: Pejorative term for the American Party, an 1850s political party that was opposed to the Free Soilers, the Whigs, the Democrats, and the Republicans. When asked about its activities, members were directed to answer "I know nothing," providing seed for an insulting double entendre.
U.S.: Term used by Rush Limbaugh and some other conservatives when referring to the many liberals who live on the West Coast of the United States. Often used in a non-political context; not always considered pejorative when discussion is apolitical. Originated from the view of a map of the U.S. -- the West Coast is on the left.
See champagne socialist.
A term referring to the far left, principally used by British newspapers in the 1980s to refer to the Labour Party, especially in local government, accompanying accusations that some Labour-run councils seemed more interested in advancing left-wing positions on sexism, racism and gay rights than on providing services to local residents.
U.S.: Term used by some feminists to refer to male members of the left wing who hold fast to several conservative viewpoints on women, and their worth and role in society, tending to the misogynist.
U.S.: Used to refer to the aggressive investigation of those who held or were said to support Communist agendas based on associations with Communist or leftist groups. In a more general sense, attempting to remove someone from their position by exposing past political or other associations (a reference to Senator Joseph McCarthy)
France: Term for the extreme left of France. Name derived from their seats in the Legislative Assembly in Revolutionary France. The most extreme members of the Left sat in the highest seats on the left side of the chamber. As such, they became known as "Montagnards" (Mountain dwellers in English). Correspondingly this is also the origin of the political terms "Left" and "Right", as the more left leaning members of the assembly sat on the left side of the chamber, and vice versa.
Journalists who are said to spend too much time digging up nasty details, usually of people or organizations that wield much power. Derives from a quote from Theodore Roosevelt about early 1900s journalists like Ida Tarbell and others, who felt the social cost of Industrial Revolution needed to be met by a Progressive Movement of politics and culture. Some "muckrakers" take pride in the title despite its sometimes pejorative usage. See also: Yellow journalism
Term sometimes used by conservatives instead of the more common "Nazi" appellation. Its usage is intended to remind liberals and socialists that the Nazi party was founded as the "National Socialist German Workers' Party". This term is sometimes just used in place of "Nazi" to try to avoid hyperbole or potential violations of Godwin's law (see below).
Nattering Nabobs of Negativity
U.S. From a famous quote of Vice President Spiro Agnew decrying what he described as the liberal bias of the mainstream media. More recently, American conservatives have used the term to represent the same perceived over-representation of left wing viewpoints in the media.
The term "Nazi" is overused by people of all political stripes to describe or insult their opposition. The multiple atrocities and extremist ideology that the Nazis followed have made them notorious in popular grammar as well as history. The term "Nazi" is used in various ways. The terms are often used to describe individuals or groups of people who try to force an unpopular or extreme agenda on the general population, and also commit crimes and other violations on others without remorse. The terms are often simply used as an insult. The overuse of this term is best expressed by Godwin's Law, in which any debate is lost by the first party to use the terms "Nazi" or "Hitler" in their argument.
U.S.: When many prominent members of the George W. Bush administration were identified as neoconservatives by the press, the terms "neoconservative" and "neocon" became ephitets applied to the Bush administration and its supporters, regardless of the more precise meaning of the term.
U.S.: Sometimes used as a disparaging term for persons who look favorably upon the American South or southern culture . Accurately used for groups and persons that advocate certain positions associated with the Confederate States of America (See article: Neo-confederate).
Pejorative terms referring to neoliberal economics or those who advocate it, when used by those who oppose it. Often interchanged with: Thatcherism, in reference to former prime minister Margaret Thatcher (UK). Rogernomics, in reference to former Finance Minister Roger Douglas (NZ). Reaganomics, in reference to former president Ronald Reagan (U.S.).
Serbia and Montenegro (and, possibly, other Orthodox countries): Those who want to introduce to everyday life religious practices supposedly in similar way as Taliban did, for example, religious education to schools or ban of abortion.
See also Taliban wing of the Republican Party
U.S.: 1960s Term used by Southern Democrats to refer to activists from outside their states sent to help African-Americans exercise their civil rights. Typically applied to instigators of the activity, such as organizers, leaders, and so forth. The term briefly saw use outside the south (e.g. the Kent State University demonstration in 1970.
A merging of the words mujahideen and pajamas, used by members of the traditional media to describe bloggers attempting to publicise errors and inadequacies in traditional reporting, especially on political issues. The most notable example of this was uncovering by bloggers of fraudulent memos (the Killian documents) used by CBS in a story during the 2004 U.S. Presidential Campaign. Pajamahadeen was chosen as one of the American Dialect Society's words of the year for 2004. Some bloggers use the title about themselves to give the impression that they are a kind of uprising against the mainstream media.
Originating in the U.S. it is applied to advocates of U.S. withdrawal from the Vietnam War, to pacifists in general, and later to advocates of Western rapprochement with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, for instance through arms control. The Russian -nik makes reference to beatnik, implying the individual is impractical in outlook, but particularly the Soviet satellite Sputnik, implying the indivdual is a communist or sympathetic to that cause.
Used to refer to a person allegedly sympathetic to the Communist Party and Russia during the Cold War but not an outright Communist. Often used by people on the right to describe leftists. Similar in meaning to "fellow traveller". The identification of Communism with "Socialist" red (and with red being the primary color of the flag of the Soviet Union) led to such Cold War phrases as "the Red Menace" and "Red China".
Hence "Pinko," pink being a light red. Also "pinko commie." Also "commie pinko fag". 
Political correctness is an effort to remove "prejudicial" terms from common usage. As an epithet, it implies that such an effort is so broad as to stifle uninhibited expression or marginalize historically-dominant groups.
A derogatory label for an individual who profits by acting as an "advocate" for his ethnic group or social class, without having their best interests at heart (alleged example - Al Sharpton)
U.S.: An insult used by the Pro-Life movement against people who support the legal right to abortion. The term is meant to imply that those who support legalized abortion necessarily support and even encourage the practice of abortion.
Race-baiters allegedly abuse charges of racism as political epithets in an attempt to stifle debate, stir up controversy, or to shame political opponents.
This word usually describes a person or a policy to the extreme left of the political mainstream. However, it is also used to describe people or policies of any political bent with whom the speaker disagrees.
Derogatory term applied to the supporters of Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party by pro-slavery Democrats in the 1860s.
Outspoken right-wing opponent of socialist or left-wing ideology. Often used by members of the left to refer to right-wingers in general. Refers to the concept of "progressive" (leftward) social and economic changes vs "reactionary" changes, or those that are seen as reversing progress. Coined by Karl Marx to refer to opponents of Socialist revolution.
U.S.: Used by opponents of the Republican Party to equate their policies and ways with those of former president Ronald Reagan. The "Great Communicator" had a reputation for obfuscation, toughness, aggressiveness, and a tendency to be politically divisive. His use of hardline tactics to effect the end of the Cold War were also widely criticized by his opponents. His economic policies were also derided as Voodoo Economics by the American left. This term has been appropriated by some American conservatives, who wear the adjective as a badge of honor. See also: Neoliberal, Neoliberalism
Used to describe communists, or people and institutions believed to be communist, or people and institutions supporting communism. Typical examples of usage include Red Dean Acheson, or Red China.
U.S.: early-to-mid 1900s. Used to refer to those perceived as leftist radicals. Less often used to refer to people who were trying to form labor unions or to help African-Americans get their civil rights. Typically applied to instigators of the activity, such as organizers, union representatives, leaders, and so forth. See Bolshevik.
A member of the more left-leaning wing of any of the Conservative ("Tory") parties in Canada. More often used as a neutral or positive descriptor or self-description than an epithet. See also Blue Tory.
Republicrat, Big Business Party
Rightist, Rightist Opportunist
People's Republic of China: used by the communist party to refer to right wingers. Especially during Mao's Anti-rightist campaign .
U.S.: Used to insult president Ronald Reagan by those who felt he was obsessed with high-tech weaponry and overt and covert military action.
Soviet Union: The Stalinists used this phrase to describe certain Jews during 1948-1953.
Running dog of the imperialists, Running Dog
People's Republic of China: Enemies seen as doing work against China for the benefit of, or on the orders of, capitalist countries. Used globally to refer to anyone seen as serving Capitalism or the wealthy.
U.S./UK: term used to describe Jews who either hide or understate their ethnicity. Also used to describe Jews that are not supporters of Israel. 
Soft on Crime
U.S.: A term for civil libertarians used by law and order interests. This term suggests that civil libertarians are more concerned with the rights of criminals than the rights of crime victims or law abiding citizens.
U.S.: A term for third party candidates that are seen as "spoiling" the chances of election for Democratic or Republican candidates. The "spoiling" comes from dividing the base of prospective voters. Ralph Nader has been called a spoiler by Democrats, and Ross Perot Sr. has been called a spoiler by Republicans.
UK: Historical British term for a secret court no longer in operation within the British system of jurisprudence. This court could hear all cases short of capital crimes. Use of this term now connotes secret political dealings, or a lack of transparency in politics or government. Used by persons of all political stripes to defame their opponents. See also "Troika".
Taliban wing of the Republican Party
U.S.: Used by detractors of the religious right, to associate the social policies favored by parts of the United States Republican Party with the radically repressive social policies of the Taliban. The term was less widely used after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks, when comparisons to the Taliban, with which the United States was soon at war, became more inflammatory.
Tax and Spend Liberal
U.S.: Used by conservatives to label liberals as favoring a cycle of continually increasing taxes and government spending, without regard to effectiveness or efficiency. High federal budget deficits during the Reagan Administration afforded Democrat Michael Dukakis the opportunity to label his opponents "spend and spend Republicans." The George W. Bush Administration 's deficits inspired the coinage Borrow and Spend Republican.
UK: a term used by opponents of the Conservative party to equate their policies with those of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher. The "Iron Lady" had a reputation for her abrasive personality, toughness, agressiveness, and tendency to be politically divisive. Thatcher was also called a "warmonger" by the Labour Party for Britain's military defense of the Falkland Islands from Argentine invasion/occupation. See "Reaganite."
UK: Originally the Whigs were proponents of, and Tories the opponents of, moves to exclude the future King James II and his Roman Catholic heirs from succession to the throne of England; Tory is derived from the Irish word, "toraidhe", which translates as 'pursuer' and means an outlaw or rebel, specifically a Roman Catholic who preyed on the Protestant Settlers. The name stuck to the conservative side of British politics even beyond the formation of the British Conservative Party in 1830. Today, the term is used widely to refer to that party or its members, and also in Canada to refer to members of the various Conservative parties. In neither case is the name pejorative.
The term Whig was originally used to mean a Scottish Presbyterian, particularly a Covenanter in rebellion against the Crown. The origin of the word is obscure but it may refer to a group of seventeenth century Scottish rebels whose attack on Edinburgh is called the Whiggamore Raid. Alternatively "whigmaleerie" is an old Scottish word meaning a silly idea.
U.S.: Tory was also used in U.S. to describe the loyalists during the American Revolution, and during postwar reprisals. There was also a Whig Party in the United States during the nineteenth century.
Someone who betrays or is seen as betraying their country. This term is often used by staunch supporters of their government's actions in a war or international conflict to stigmatize opponents. For example, before the 2003 Iraq War, conservative radio host Sean Hannity claimed that anti-war protestors were traitors.
Used to refer to environmentally minded activists, and appropriated in most circumstances. It originated from people chaining themselves to trees to prevent logging.
Historical Russian term for secret tribunals no longer in operation within the Russian system of jurisprudence. In Soviet times, these tribunals could hear any case and frequently pronounced the death sentence. Use of this term now connotes secret/sinister political dealings, or a lack of transparency in politics. Used by persons of all political stripes to defame their opponents. See also "Star Chamber".
The term translates as "threesome" and is used in this context to refer to the three Foreign Ministers of the European Union representing the previous, current, and future Presidents of the Council of Ministers.
Used by many orthodox Communists to insult party members who didn't toe the orthodox party line. Named for Leon Trotsky, a Soviet Bolshevist opposed to Joseph Stalin and his "betrayal" of the Russian Revolution. Trotsky believed that revolution should be continuous, this angered the entrenched leadership, eventually leading to his death in Mexico City from a political assassination. The more polite (and preferred) adjective for followers of Trotsky is "Trotskyist." In the United States, the term has also been applied by paleoconservatives to refer to neoconservatives, in reference to several neoconservative leaders having converted to conservatism.
Often use by people in power to insult people who criticize those in power. Examples include labor union organizers, in which the phrase is in the spirit of 'red agitator'. However it was also used by the Chinese Communist government to refer to dissidents such as Harry Wu, who wrote a book entitled Troublemaker.
Used by some leftists and socialists to denigrate members of small, sectarian groups even further to the left. The implication is that the groups are overly dogmatic or so far to the left that they are politically irrelevant. Often used to refer to groups on the left espousing anarchism, DeLeonism, council communism, or syndicalism, groups whose ideology is mostly informed by figures considered by other leftists to be marginal such as Kim Il Sung or Enver Hoxha, or groups with a minuscule membership which nonetheless claim "vanguard party" status. See also "Van Party" and "Trotskyite".
U.S.: a black American whose political views or allegiances are seen as detrimental to black Americans as a group. This term was used in the 1960s by certain black militants to refer to Martin Luther King, Jr. and any similar protest movements, which had a philosophy of non-violence. The original reference is to a character in an anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. 
This term was coined by Vladimir Lenin to refer to those who assist some moves towards Communism while in ignorance or denial of its full programme. Contemporary usage is predominantly by conservatives such as talk show host Michael Savage and Mona Charen (author of a book titled Useful Idiots) who use it to refer to liberals.
Van party or Taxi party
A political party that is supposedly so small that their entire membership could fit into a van or a taxi. Expression "van party" (kombi stranka) is used in Serbia and Montenegro, "taxi party" (partido do táxi) in Portugal. "Telephone booth party" has been used in the United States to mean the same thing.
Vast right-wing conspiracy
An alleged conspiracy espoused by Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats. See main article: Vast right-wing conspiracy.
Pejorative term used by feminists and others on the left to refer to right-wing opponents of feminist policies and ideology. View as highly inflammatory; roughly equivalent to the right-wing term Feminazi.
Term coined by American communists to describe the Soviet Union of the early 20th-Century. Quickly exposed as false, especially after the death of Lenin. Now used as an term of ironic derision by conservatives to describe overly optimistic or unrealistic utopian schemes proposed by liberal activists and politicians.
A New Zealand term, almost obsolete. Originally it meant an alcohol Prohibitionist. It also came to mean a killjoy, someone whose opposition to alcohol extended to all social jollity. Also in Western Australia, describes someone who tries to stop people from having fun, used mostly for politicians and people in power.
Yellow Dog Democrat
U.S.: Term frequently used to describe die-hard Democrats so fervently loyal that they overlook issues and attributes of the candidates. In colloquial speech it is used as "He would vote for a Yellow Dog, if it was a Democrat." Use of this term, usually in the southern U.S., is now in decline along with the fortunes of local Democrat parties.
U.S.: see Muckracker. Derives from the yellow color of pages that the early 1900s newspapers used to print Muckracking journalism articles. Used as an insult by people who tend to be targets of this journalism. An example would be William Randolph Hearst
A young usurper, but more commonly in current useage refers to a younger person within a corporate environment pushing for major change.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details