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Alternative forms[edit]



From spastic.


spaz (plural spazzes)

  1. (slang, pejorative, offensive) A stupid person.
  2. (slang, pejorative, offensive) A hyperactive person.
  3. (slang, pejorative, offensive) An incompetent person.
    • Tiger Woods, 2006
      “I was so in control from tee to green, the best I’ve played for years… But as soon as I got on the green I was a spaz.”
  4. (slang, pejorative, offensive) A tantrum, a fit.

Usage notes[edit]

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In addition to being insulting to the target, the term itself is offensive to some due to associations with disability (especially cerebral palsy in the UK); compare retard, tard.

Offensiveness differs between the UK and the US: it is quite offensive in the UK, while completely inoffensive in the US, acting as a synonym for silly/hyper.

It is most widely used as a playground term of abuse, both of people with disabilities and children generally. Among adults, particularly in the United States, it can be seen as gentle ribbing or self-deprecation, as in the Tiger Woods quote, but can cause offense, and is recommended against in public.[1]


Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]


spaz (third-person singular simple present spazzes, present participle spazzing, simple past and past participle spazzed)

  1. (slang, pejorative, offensive) To have a tantrum or fit.
  2. (slang, offensive) To malfunction, go on the fritz.

Usage notes[edit]

The sense “to malfunction” is the only sense that is not insulting to the object, and is cognate to spasm (compare seize up), but still may cause offense due to connections with spastic.



  1. ^ The s-word, by Damon Rose, BBC News, 12 April 2006