do you find the term "spaz" offensive?

Lucy - posted on 07/20/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )




Hi guys, i've joined this community only to ask this question.
I came across a thread on the breastfeeding community titled "help my daughter nurses like a spaz" i was immediately shocked and offended at the use of the term and replied saying so, however is seems that i'm the only person that thinks like this.

I live in the UK and work in a primary school where there are a number of children with learning difficulties and physical impairments and over here the term spaz or spastic just isnt used anymore and i know that many of our parents would be deeply upset and offended if there child was reffered to in this way.

Is this just a British thing? Is the term spaz considered acceptable elsewhere in the world?


Angie - posted on 08/10/2009




I've never thought of the term spaz as offensive. It is a socially acceptable term in the US, refering to hyperactive/clumsy behavior, not disabled people. (Thank you wikipedia).


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Elizabeth - posted on 12/10/2012




As an adult with cerebral palsy, I do find the word " spaz " offensive. It comes from

" Spasticity". Someone who has Spasticity cannot control the tightening of their muscles, at times or sometimes all of the time. Spasticity also has to do with involuntary muscle movement as well as inability to use parts of the body. I live in the U.S.A. where the word spaz is used all over the place. It's so tiresome! However most people who use it don't think about what it really means or don't know what it actually means, or whom it might hurt and offend. Yes disabled children are hurt by it. Yet the use of it is so common!

Last night I watched a Hallmark Cards christmas show on T.V. The show itself was fine, if a bit emotionally sugary. Well it's Hallmark. During a commercial which Hallmark produced themselves, the actors used the word " Spaz ". Today I rang up Hallmark corporate headquarters. Very calmly, I told them the meaning of the word " Spaz " . I defined it, and told them why it is unacceptable. I explained that physically disabled children know what itmeans and would be hurt. I love children, have none of my own but don't want to have children with cerebral palsy or other disabilities hurt. What children deal with, without choice, is painful enough already.

Melanie - posted on 04/25/2010




I must admit i find the term offensive esp when talking about your own child. My son is disabled and i wouldn't dream of calling him anything offensive. xx

Katty - posted on 04/23/2010




i personally dislike all the nasty words people use like retard, sped, spaz, mong n others i have actually snapped to severe degree at people who have used these terms wheter directed at my son or not i live in australia n i find these words r absolutly revoulting

[deleted account]

It is not politically correct to say it. I use it more as an adjective (spazzing out) than to call someone a "spaz." I have an ADHD, Bi-Polar and Asperger challenged child. We just try to keep it light hearted and friendly.

[deleted account]

I live in the US and agree with Angie (1st reply). I can see how your definition would be offensive though. It would be like saying, "my child nurses like a disabled person." This would be so offensive in many ways. Our word "spaz" is a word that came up through our pop culture in the 1970s. Please see University of Pennsylvania site if you want even further information:


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