Pejorative  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A word or phrase is pejorative if it implies contempt or disapproval. The adjective pejorative is synonymous with derogatory, derisive, and dyslogistic (antonyms: meliorative, eulogistic, noun eulogism). Dyslogisms such as "pea-brain" and "bottom-feeder" are words and phrases pejorative in nature. Although pejorative means much the same thing as disparaging, the latter term may be applied to a look or gesture as well; in the evocative language of gesture, it may not be easy to distinguish a disparaging gesture from a dismissive or merely skeptical one, however.

Pejorative expressions that are not inherently dyslogisms may also be used in a non-pejorative way, however, and determining the intent of the speaker is problematic — as with any implied meaning. Conversely, a common rhetorical ploy is to apply "pejorative" to a factual descriptor — as "toxic" might be applied to poison — and then decry it as "pejorative" to suit the agenda of those defending the substance as harmless.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pejorative" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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