Spastic - United Kingdom and Ireland

United Kingdom and Ireland

The medical term "spastic" became used to describe cerebral palsy. The Spastics Society, a UK charity for people with cerebral palsy, was founded in 1951.

However, the word began to be used as an insult and became a term of abuse used to imply stupidity or physical ineptness: one who is uncoordinated or incompetent, or a fool. It was often colloquially abbreviated to shorter forms such as "spaz". As a neighbouring English-speaking country, the insult spread to Ireland also and became one of the most prominent and insulting terms used in playgrounds.

Its derogatory use grew considerably in the 1980s. This is sometimes attributed to the BBC children's show Blue Peter. During the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981), several episodes featured a man with cerebral palsy (described as a "spastic") named Joey Deacon. Phrases such as "joey", "deacon", and "spaz" became popular insults amongst children at that time.

The Spastics Society changed its name to Scope in 1994. The words then gradually dropped out of common usage as the majority of British society came to regard them as offensive and politically incorrect.

The current understanding of the word is well-illustrated by a BBC survey in 2003, which found that "spastic" was the second most offensive term in the UK relating to disability (retard was deemed most offensive). In 2007, Lynne Murphy, a linguist at the University of Sussex, described the term as being "one of the most taboo insults to a British ear".

Read more about this topic:  Spastic

Other articles related to "united kingdom and ireland, ireland, united kingdom, kingdom":

Philosophy, Politics And Economics - List of Universities Offering PPE - United Kingdom and Ireland
... University of Warwick University of York National University of Ireland, Maynooth Royal Holloway, University of London ...
Kingdom - Science
... Kingdom (biology), a category in biological taxonomy. ...
List Of Electronic Toll Collection Systems - Europe - United Kingdom and Ireland
... Ireland - eToll national standard Ireland - Eazy Pass National Toll Roads implementation of eToll United Kingdom - Dart-Tag for the Dartford Crossing United Kingdom - London congestion charge in London United Kingdom ...
Kingdom Of Holland
... The Kingdom of Holland 1806–1810 (Dutch Koninkrijk Holland, French Royaume de Hollande) was set up by Napoleon Bonaparte as a puppet kingdom for his third brother, Louis Bonaparte, in ... In 1807 Prussian East Frisia and Jever were added to the kingdom but in 1809, after a British invasion, Holland had to give over all territories south of the river ... to serve Dutch interests instead of his brother's—and the kingdom was dissolved in 1810 after which the Netherlands were annexed by France until 1813 ...

Famous quotes containing the words ireland, united and/or kingdom:

    They call them the haunted shores, these stretches of Devonshire and Cornwall and Ireland which rear up against the westward ocean. Mists gather here, and sea fog, and eerie stories. That’s not because there are more ghosts here than in other places, mind you. It’s just that people who live hereabouts are strangely aware of them.
    Dodie Smith, and Lewis Allen. Roderick Fitzgerald (Ray Milland)

    Hollywood ... was the place where the United States perpetrated itself as a universal dream and put the dream into mass production.
    Angela Carter (1940–1992)

    I suddenly realized that the devout Russian people no longer needed priests to pray them into heaven. On earth they were building a kingdom more bright than any heaven had to offer, and for which it was a glory to die.
    John Reed (1887–1920)