List of religious slurs
The following is a list of religious slurs or religious insults in the English language that are, or have been, used as insinuations or allegations about adherents of a given religion or to refer to them in a derogatory (critical or disrespectful), pejorative (disapproving or contemptuous), or insulting manner.
- Bible beater (also "Bible basher" in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand)
- a dysphemism for people who believe in the fundamentalist authority of the Bible, particularly those from a Pentecostal or fundamentalist denomination;  It is also a slang term for an evangelising Christian. Commonly used universally against Christians who are perceived to go out of their way to force their faith upon others.
- Bible thumper (mainly US)
- Someone perceived as aggressively imposing their Christian beliefs upon others. The term derives from preachers thumping their hands down on the Bible, or thumping the Bible itself, to emphasis a point during a sermon. The term's target domain is broad and can often extend to anyone engaged in a public show of religion, fundamentalist or not. The term is most commonly used in English-speaking countries.
- Cafeteria Christian
- used by some Christians, and others, to accuse other Christian individuals or denominations of selecting which Christian doctrines they will follow, and which they will not.
- God botherer (Australia, UK, New Zealand)
- Predominantly tagged to a Christian, usually one who openly declares their faith, especially when unwelcome.
- Rice Christian (primarily from East Asian countries)
- Someone who has formally declared himself/herself a Christian for material benefits rather than for religious reasons.
Historically, Catholics would label members of certain Christian churches (also certain non-Christian religions) by the names of their founders, either actual or purported. Such supposed founders were referred to as heresiarchs. This was done even when the party thus labeled viewed itself as belonging to the one true church. This allowed the Catholic party to claim that the other church was founded by the founder, while the Catholic church was founded by Christ. This was done intentionally in order to "produce the appearance of the fragmentation within Christianity"–a problem which the Catholic side would then attempt to remedy on its own terms.
- Ecclesial community
- This term is used in place of the word "church" by Catholics to label Protestant churches which they do not want to regard as fitting the definition of "church", but is considered offensive by some Protestants. In 2001, several leaders from the Church of Denmark released a public statement, saying in part,
However, it has a destructive effect on ecumenical relations if one church deprives another church of the right to be called a church. It is just as destructive as if one Christian denies another Christian the right to be called a Christian.
- Holy Roller (US)
- an enthusiastic Protestant prone to rolling on the floor, suffering from fits or "speaking in tongues" (Pentecostals during worship or prayer). The term holy roller, however, is applied to some Evangelical Protestants, especially charismatics, if they are vocal about their own religious views or critical of individuals who do not meet their moral standards. Similar to Bible thumper.
- Jaffa (Ireland/UK)
- a Protestant (see Orangie); named after a common orange-flavoured cake/biscuit in the ROI and UK.
- Orangie (Ireland/UK)
- a pro-British Ulster Protestant, referring to supporters of the Orange Order.
- Prod, proddy dog (Australian Catholics; Scottish and Irish Catholics, particularly school children)
- a Protestant, particularly a rival child from a Protestant school. "Proddywhoddy" and "proddywoddy" are used in children's school rhymes in Cork.
- Shaker (US)
- a member of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing. Originated as "Shaking Quakers", in reference to their similarity to Quakers as well as their charismatic worship practices, which involved dancing, shouting, and speaking in tongues. The term was originally derogatory, but very early on was embraced and used by the Shakers themselves.
- Soup-taker (Ireland)
- a person who has sold out their beliefs, referring to the Irish potato famine when some Catholics converted to a Protestant faith in order to gain access to a free meal.
- Left-Footer (especially Ireland and Scotland)
- an informal phrase for a Roman Catholic.
- Mackerel Snapper
- a Roman Catholic; the term originated in the U.S. in the 1850s and refers to the custom of Friday abstinence. The Friday abstinence from meat (red meat and poultry) distinguishes Catholics from other Christians, especially in North America.
- Mick (Australia; Canada; UK; US)
- a Roman Catholic — usually Irish Catholic (a reference to the common "Mc'" patronymic of Irish surnames, or a hypocorism of Michael)
- Papist (Northern Ireland and Scottish Protestants)
- a Roman Catholic person — usually Irish Catholic.
- Roman Catholic
- a term brought into use by adherents of the Church of England in regard to Branch Theory as well as distaste to the Catholic Church’s association with the term Catholic.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day SaintsEdit
- Jack Mormon
- a non-faithful LDS person or a non-Mormon altogether. Jack Mormon is usually used by non-Mormons to describe Mormons that do not follow the Word of Wisdom (dietary and health practices that exclude the use of tobacco or alcohol) and by Mormons to describe members that do not sufficiently follow practices. It is also used by Mormons to describe those who were Mormon but remain friendly to the Church. It may be applied to ex-Mormons who have repudiated the Church and its teachings but that is a rare usage.
- Abbie, Abe, and Abie (North America)
- a Jewish male. From the proper name Abraham. Originated before the 1950s.
- a Jew, from the Hebrew Chaim ("life"). Also used in the term "Hymietown," a reference to New York, and in particular, Brooklyn, popularized by Jesse Jackson.
- Ikey, ike, ik
- a Jew [from Isaac]
- Ikey-mo, ikeymo
- a Jew [from Isaac and Moses]
- a young Jewish male, originally young Jewish boys who sold counterfeit coins in 18th century London 
- the Yiddish word for "circle" is kikel (// KY-kəl)—Illiterate Jews who entered the United States at Ellis Island signed their names with a circle instead of a cross because they associated the cross with Christianity.
- Mocky, moky, moxy, mockey, mockie, mocky (U.S.)
- a Jew. First used in the 1930s, possibly from the Yiddish word makeh meaning "plague".
- Moch (U.S.)
- a Jew [first used in the 1960s as an abbreviated form of mocky (q.v.)]
- Red Sea pedestrian (mainly Australian)
- a Jew, from the story of Moses leading the Jewish people out of Egypt.
- Jewish people as shrewd and money-loving; named after the famous character from Shakespeare's play "Merchant of Venice".
- Yakubian (Nation of Islam)
- Jewish people; it is often mistaken as describing white people, as the Nation of Islam believes all white people are descended from Yakub, the biblical Jacob. Therefore white people and Jewish people are considered one and the same.
- Corruption of the word "Muslim".
- Quran thumper
- an excessively zealous Muslim.
- Hajji, Haji or Hodgie
- Originated as military slang, now commonly used by non-military personnel to refer to Muslims or Middle Easterners in general. Originating from the word Hajji, an honorific title for Muslims who successfully completed the Hajj to Mecca.
- a term once frequently used in English in a non-pejorative sense, but nowadays considered by Muslims to be offensive because of the suggestion that they worship Mohammed rather than Allah.
- Raghead, Towelhead
- from Islamic wearing of turbans.
- from Osama bin Laden.
- a term used generally for non-believers.
- a person who does not belong to a widely held religion (especially one who is not a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim) as regarded by those who do.
- a person who holds religious beliefs that differ from main world religions. Synonymous with heathen.
Religious practitioners in generalEdit
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Yet a danger does still remain. It is the danger of "cafeteria Christianity," which lets people mix and match traditions any way they want, without discipline and without accountability. Unless we transcend cafeteria Christianity, our practices will be more sarabaite or gyrovague than Benedictine.
- "Archbishop calls on Costa Ricans to abandon "cafeteria Christianity" and defend life". San Jose: Catholic News Agency. 29 March 2005.
Archbishop Hugo Barrantes Urena of San Jose, Costa Rica, told Costa Ricans in his Easter message to embrace the faith without conditions or short-cuts and to defend the life of the unborn against efforts to legalize abortion. The archbishop warned that “based on a relativistic understanding of the Christian faith and a conditional adherence to the Church, some Catholics seek to construct a Christianity and, consequently, a Church to their own liking, unilateral and outside the identity and mission that Jesus Christ has fundamentally given us.”
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- Making Christians: Clement of Alexandria and the Rhetoric of Legitimacy by Denise Kimber Buell, 1999
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark's reply to the Catholic Church
- "roller, n1", definition 17b,[dead link] The Oxford English Dictionary (account required for online access). See also the sermon "Why I Am a Holy-Roller" Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine by William Marrion Branham, August 1953.
- Hughes, Brendan (18 April 2017). "'Sponger' is slang for Catholic, says PSNI language guide". The Irish News. Archived from the original on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
- Share, op. cit. p. 231.
- Share, op. cit. p. 253.
- "Russellite - Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias". enacademic.com. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
Russellite /rus"euh luyt'/, n. Offensive. a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses. [1875-80, Amer.; after C. T. Russell; see -ITE1]
- "russellite - Useful English Dictionary". enacademic.com. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
russellite ˈrəsəˌlīt noun (-s) Usage: usually capitalized Etymology: Charles Taze Russell died 1916 American religious leader + English -ite : one of the Jehovah's Witnesses — often taken to be offensive
- "Shaker Farms Country Club - Westfield, MA". www.shakerfarmscc.com. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
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- ""Let us labor": The Evolution of Shaker Dance". Shaker Heritage Society. 4 April 2012. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
- Hughes, "Ireland" p. 78
- The Chambers Dictionary, Edinburgh 1993, p. 1662
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- The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English Archived 9 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine p. 1250 (2005 Taylor & Francis)
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So finally abstinence from meat on Friday became just a kind of badge of the fact we were Catholics
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- Simpson, "papist" op. cit.; Share, op. cit. p. 237.
- Appleton, William (Reporter). "Wise v Dunning 1901 KB 169". In Pollock, Frederick; Stone, Arthur Paul (eds.). The Law Reports. 1902. Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales.
At the meeting the appellant called Roman Catholics "rednecks," a name most insulting to them, and challenged them to get up.
- "Roman Catholic" Archived 1 April 2019 at the Wayback Machine at Catholic Encyclopedia online.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 February 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Simpson, "teague"
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- Spears (2001), "Jack"
- Spears, p. 1.
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- Hymie, Eric Wolarsky, Rhetoric of Race Dictionary Project, College of New Jersey. Retrieved 6 November 2007.
- John A. Simpson, Oxford Dictionary Of Modern Slang ISBN 0-19-861052-1. "ikey", "ikeymo", "mock"
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mocky adj. (Offensive slang) Jewish, of or pertaining to the Jewish religion or race in a derogatory manner
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ORIGIN 1930S: perhaps from Yiddish makeh, 'a plague'.
- Red Sea pedestrian - Green's Dictionary of Slang. Oxford University Press. 2010. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199829941.001.0001. ISBN 9780199829941.
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The word "shylock," [...] is an eponym from a Jewish character in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. [...] Today, "shylock" is considered an antisemitic slur.
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- Compare: T.L. Brink (2008) Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach. "Unit 13: Social Psychology". pp 320  Archived 26 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine - "Cult is a somewhat derogatory term for a new religious movement, especially one with unusual theological doctrine or one that is abusive of its membership."
- Chuck Shaw – Sects and Cults Archived 25 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine – Greenville Technical College. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- Bromley, David Melton, J. Gordon 2002. Cults, Religion, and Violence. West Nyack, New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Richard A. Spears, Slang and Euphemism, (2001)
- John A. Simpson, Oxford Dictionary Of Modern Slang ISBN 0-19-861052-1
- John A. Simpson, Oxford English Dictionary Additions Series ISBN 0-19-861299-0
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