I used the term "lackey" to describe my much younger self in a professional situation, while commenting on a former colleague's Facebook post. After I posted the comment, I looked up the word to make sure I had spelled it correctly and used it as intended. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:
lackey (1) a: footman, servant; b: someone who does menial tasks or runs errands for another; (2) a servile follower, toady.
Yep, I pretty much had it right... though the definition is even less-glamorous and somewhat more demeaning than I was thinking. But I was not wrong, not inaccurate, and not being slanderous or ignorant. People do that all the time with words, surely without even realizing it. The name that immediately comes to mind is "bugger." If you or anyone else has ever said, "Come here, you little bugger" to a child, please take note of the actual definition and origination of the word-- and you will NEVER use it again:
bugger (noun, British, vulgar slang) (1) used as a term of abuse especially for a man; (2) a person who sodomizes another.
Sorry, but you shouldn't stay in the dark any longer. Now, you will never say that again. And, if you want to know more about bad words you should not use, those you should not speak aloud and certainly should not write down on sticky notes that a classmate is likely to find no matter how mad you are at your teacher, just ask our son. He's learning the hard way.
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