This term is widely considered to be
This term is generally agreed to be offensive toward a person or group of people. We strongly recommend you do not use this term and instead use a term not usually thought to be offensive. While it is possible that some people will not be offended by this term, just as some people will be offended by other terms when no harm is intended, it is best to avoid. Remember that what is considered offensive can also change over time, by scenario, and by relationship. We provide this library of terms for informational purposes and we welcome feedback to help us get it right.


Derogatory term for a person that appears to have unusual characteristics.


This word is often used to describe exceptionally rare or abnormal events or circumstances, like a "freak accident," but should not be used to describe a person.

Some forms of the word seem to have been around in different dialects and languages for 500 years or longer. It was in the 1700s that the term is recorded as meaning "unusual thing, fancy," and it was in the 1800s that the term is recorded to mean "abnormally developed individual or production," according to the Online Etymology Dictionary.


If a person's disability or perceived disability is relevant, state it specifically. If speaking in general terms, you might opt for "people with disabilities."