There are old terms that are used in a variety of situations: in relation to representatives of the animal world, as well as to the interlocutor. Depending on the context or intonation, their meaning changes dramatically. And if in everyday conversation a mongrel is a derogatory reference to a dog, then completely unexpected interpretations appear within the framework of slang. In what situation is it possible to pronounce a capacious concept, and when is it better to remain silent? Find all the answers in dictionaries!
How did the definition come about?
Some linguists refer to Vasmer's research, which indicates the Belarusian and Ukrainian languages as a possible source for the word "mongrels". This option is allowed because of the similarity in sound, hypothetical borrowing through onomatopoeia. In the original, the speaker implies one of four decodings tied to specific actions:
So this is an indiscriminate bark, the reasons for which are also unclear.
Is there a positive meaning?
Despite the much-needed negative connotation, the word can be devoid of negative connotations. Just a couple of centuries ago, any city dweller could explain what “mongrel” means:
- small dog;
- Spitz name variant.
The base term is quite broad. Such a dog could be domestic or yard, thoroughbred or mongrel. Most sources are inclined in favor of the cur, and overgrown, shaggy. Sometimes they focus on excessive love for barking passers-by. This is attributed to the animal's compact size and an attempt to appear formidable in order to protect itself from a potential offender.
How are they interpreted in a negative way?
Gradually, the concept was extended to people. If some person seems insignificant, unworthy, this is a mongrel in the eyes of society. The definition demonstrates obvious neglect, and in the form of an allegory it breaks down into synonyms:
Usually, the list is supplemented with mean kind and cowardice. And in recent years, a slang word has emerged that members of radical nationalist groups use to refer to opponents from fringe anti-fascist movements.
How is a dog different from a human?
Speak with the utmost care. Even if a small, limp dog is a mongrel, such a classic characteristic may not appeal to its owner. Over the centuries, the term has become strongly associatedwith something bad, unacceptable in cultural communication.
Moreover, you should not talk about people like that, because in this case it will be a direct insult without the slightest way to justify yourself. Politeness and restraint will always help to negotiate even with those who resemble small aggressive dogs!