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Words You Shouldn't Say in The United States

Actualizado: 3 feb 2023

Before visiting or moving to the USA or anywhere in the world, it is important to research how you can avoid offending anyone in the culture you plan to experience. Here is a list we created, to help you learn what words NOT to use in the United States and why.


This is slang used to describe a homeless person. Nowadays saying it makes you sound insensitive and ignorant. Simply calling someone homeless is a much better approach.


Unless you are talking directly about someone with retardism, calling someone retarded because they did something stupid is very offensive to many people. Its a social justice issue in the sense that people who have downs syndrome should not be described as stupid.


Here is another word that could be very offensive to many because of social justice issues. It is used as slang for people with dwarfism. It's considered rude by most people in the USA now so it's best to call those with dwarfism dwarves or a more recent word is little people.


This word is often used to describe people who don't belong anywhere. It began when people began immigrating from Northern India to Europe and many people thought that they were outcasts from egypt. It's best to avoid this word because not everyone will be offended by it but you may say it to the wrong person who is aware of the history of the word, and they won't be happy. Some people use it to describe themselves as a free spirit, not realizing that the origin of the word means outcast, or thief.

Slaving away

Once again. Not everyone will become annoyed at you for saying this, but with the new wave of social justice in The United States many people are more aware of the history of some of these terms. Slaving away is just one of many terms that is rooted to slave owners in the United States. Thankfully, owning slaves is illegal in the United States now, but many people had ancestors that suffered the consequences of that horrible time in US history.

Exotic This is a common term that people use for people of Asian heritage in the states. Often women are described as exotic beauty, and even if it's meant as a compliment it often isn't taken as one. It's almost like being described as an exotic animal, it's pretty obvious why many women would not appreciate that.

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