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Thread: dwarf/midget

  1. #1
    milan2003_07's Avatar
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    dwarf/midget

    Hi,

    In the medieval times in Europe there were often people at the courts of kings who worked as servants and also entertained and amused guests during different receptions. These people usually had low stature and were sometimes ugly (physically awkwrd). As far as I know they were called "dwarfs". I'd like to ask you if we can also call them "midgets" without any offence?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: dwarf/midget

    Midget - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The politically correct (non-offensive) term to use today is "little people."

  3. #3
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Re: dwarf/midget

    As I am thinking of it now, I don't think I remember hearing anyone describe another person as a dwarf. Well, I must have heard it since I know the word, but I can't recall any particular occasion. I do hear the word used as a modifier though. "Midget" is offensive, but I have heard it many times.

    (Please note that these are just my personal observations, which may have little to do with the actual usage. I hope someone confirms or denies them.)

  4. #4
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    Re: dwarf/midget

    In the UK, it was very common for little people to be described as both midgets and dwarves. Thankfully, not any more!

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: dwarf/midget

    Restricted growth is also used.

  6. #6
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    Re: dwarf/midget

    Dwarfism is the medically-used term. There are many types of dwarfs (or dwarves if you prefer). Achondroplastic dwarfs (those with normally sized head and torso) are often called midgets in lay parlance these days.
    But apparently this wasn't always the case:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midget
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarfism

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