A bigot is a person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities that are different from their own. Mostly, the person's opinions are based on prejudice.
The origin of the word bigot in English dates back to at least 1598, via French. It started with the sense of "religious hypocrite", especially a woman.
The word bigot is often used as a pejorative term against a person who is obstinately devoted to negative prejudices, even when those prejudices are proven to be false.
Forms of bigotry may have a related ideology.
Etymology[change | change source]
The exact origin of the word is unknown, but may have come from the German bei and gott, or the English by God. William Camden wrote that the Normans were first called bigots, when their Duke Rollo, who receiving Gisla, daughter of King Charles, in marriage, and with her the investiture of the dukedom, refused to kiss the king's foot in token of subjection, unless the king would hold it out for that purpose. And being urged to it by those present, Rollo answered hastily, "No by God", whereupon the king turning about, called him bigot; which name passed from him to his people. This is likely fictional, however, as Gisla is unknown in Frankish sources.
Related pages[change | change source]
- Religious persecution
References[change | change source]
- Word Histories And Mysteries: From Abracadabra to Zeus. Houghton Mifflin Company. 2004. ISBN 0-618-45450-0. p 24.
- Ayto, John. Dictionary of Word Origins: The Histories of More Than 8,000 English-Language Words. New York: Arcade Publishing. 1990.