spastic

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin spasticus, from Ancient Greek σπαστικός (spastikós, drawing in). Confer French spastique and see also spasm.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

spastic (comparative more spastic, superlative most spastic)

  1. (pathology) Of, relating to, or affected by spasm.
  2. (pathology) Of or relating to spastic paralysis.
  3. (slang, pejorative) Clumsy.
  4. (slang, pejorative) Hyperactive, excited, and acting in a random manner.

Usage notes[edit]

See the usage notes about the noun, below.

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

spastic (plural spastics)

  1. (now offensive, especially in the UK) A person affected by spastic paralysis or spastic cerebral palsy.
  2. (slang, offensive especially in the UK) A stupid, clumsy person.
    • I'm Alan Partridge (TV series), To Kill a Mocking Alan
      Jed Maxwell: See you next week then. We'll have that pint.
      Alan Partridge: Yep.
      Jed Maxwell: ...go and see my brother.
      Alan Partridge: No way, you big spastic! You're a mentalist!

Usage notes[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

The offensiveness of spastic and spaz differs considerably between the US and the UK. In the United States, the terms are inoffensive; in the UK, they are typically taken as denigrating references to those with cerebral palsy, and consequently University of Sussex linguist Lynne Murphy has described spastic as "one of the most taboo insults to a British ear"[1] and in a 2003 survey by the BBC it was voted the second-most offensive word relating to disability (after retard).[2][3]

Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Murphy, M Lynne (2007-02-28), "spastic, learning disability", Separated by a Common Language. URL accessed on 2007-08-17.
  2. ^ BBC worst word vote
  3. ^ The s-word, by Damon Rose, BBC News, 12 April 2006

Anagrams[edit]