Posted: 12 Jan 2014 08:36 PM PST
Bigot, a word usually associated with religion, has expanded its meaning considerably. Its original sense was “a person who shows excessive religious zeal, a religious hypocrite.” Here are some (unedited) examples of its current use:
The word bigot has been in the language since the Middle Ages. Of uncertain origin, it entered the language from French and quickly became a term of abuse. In modern usage, bigot, together with its other forms, bigotry and bigoted, is not confined to religious contexts. These definitions from the OED and Merriam-Webster illustrate the expanded usage.
Bigot is a strong word, especially useful in today’s close-minded social and political climate. Its force is diluted by speakers who employ it as a knee-jerk term of abuse to fling at anyone who merely voices a different opinion on some matter.