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Is Butthurt a Bad Word?

March 14, 2018

(image via wikimedia)

I never put much thought into the word butthurtButthurt is kind of recent.  I never said it as a kid.  I’d never even heard of it until recently, and if I’d never heard of butthurt when I was a kid, then it must not have been a thing.

But butthurt is a word now. I’ve heard adults and kids say it.  I can’t believe adults say the word butthurt, but I guess it’s been around long enough for opinions to have been formed about it.

I overheard somebody at work respond to the word butthurt by saying that butthurt was homophobic.  I wanted to eavesdrop, but conversation just shut down after that.  I didn’t even have to enter the room to kill the discussion myself (I have that talent).  Nobody in the room asked why butthurt was homophobic.  Instead, I eavesdropped on uncomfortable silence.  Nobody at work, including me, wants to be homophobic.  Even the guy who said butthurt got shut down by the accusation of homophobia.

Even though I don’t want to be homophobic, I don’t want to be a chump either.  I don’t want to limit my vocabulary just because somebody has made up a reason to be offended.  If a word is offensive, there has to be a logic behind it.  Emotion alone shouldn’t make a term offensive.

Since I can’t get fired from my own blog, I’m going to try to figure out butthurt.  I always thought (when I thought about it, which just started maybe a couple days ago) that butthurt meant a person had a stick up his/her butt, that he/she was cranky or whiny.

Having a stick up your butt would hurt.  A stick is rough and can break skin, and a jagged edged stick could shred the skin in the sensitive area pretty bad.  I don’t have to experience that to know it.  I have imagination.  A person with a stick up his/her butt would be sore, grouchy, and in a bad mood (at the very least).

I t makes sense to me that butthurt is just a shorter version of stick up his/her butt.  Or maybe it means that the butthurt person had just been spanked.  Either way, being accused of being butthurt wouldn’t have been meant as homophobic.

I don’t know.  Maybe it’s homophobic to think that butthurt is homophobic.  Why would somebody assume that only a certain group of people would be butthurt?  Anybody is capable of having a hurt butt.

It’s not the first time I’ve disagreed with others about a word’s offensiveness.  I don’t think crap should be a bad word.  I don’t think the phrase “throw like a girl” is sexist.  I don’t think hell is a bad word either because it’s a place, and a lot of people don’t believe in it anyway.

I’ve never used butthurt because it’s kind of crude and if I’m going to be crude, I use the classics.  But nobody over the age of 16 should say butthurt.  I think it’s okay for kids to say it because the word butt is okay and hurt is okay.  It wouldn’t make sense to forbid a kid from saying butthurt when those two words are okay by themselves.  Besides, you have to give kids something they can say.

Butthurt might not be a bad word, but it sounds stupid when an adult says it.  There’s a local sports talk show host who uses the term for anybody who disagrees with him.  For one thing, I don’t think anybody cares enough about his opinion to get emotionally worked up to the butthurt stage, so I stopped listening to him.

To be fair, it wasn’t just butthurt.  He did/said a bunch of immature stuff (shocking for a sports talk host, I know).  I’m not boycotting him because he says the word.  I’m not calling all his sponsors and demand they stop advertising on his show.  I’m not telling him not to say butthurt.  I’m not plugging my ears, screaming really loudly, and rolling on the floor in a fetal position (doing all three simultaneously is kind of tough).  I just stopped listening.  And now I’m writing about butthurt.

The sports talk show host probably wouldn’t care that he lost this one listener.  He’d just say that I was butthurt.


What do you think?  Is butthurt a bad word?  If so, what am I missing?

From → Pop culture

  1. I think this link will help. He’s talking about all the ways the word “ass” is used. I think people say butthurt because there’s EMPHASIS on how hurt you are when you bring the butt into it. I don’t think it’s talkimg about literal pain in the butt. It might just be a hip new way to say pain in the butt. It might just be that people like to use ass and butt as adjectives to really emphasize the word they are modifying. Even if you don’t agree with me, and there’s no partoicular reason why you should, do watch the clip. It will make you laugh out loud a buttload.

    • Thanks! That was a pretty good routine!

      And I’d forgotten that Conan has a talk show. There are so many of them now that I can’t keep track of them.

  2. I would say there are worse words out there, keep on doing your thing. Could really use your feedback. Come check out my shorts and let me know what you think

  3. abinyaraja permalink
    I think it’s good and very helpful

  4. H. L. Jaden permalink

    Maybe I’m locked away in my office too long, but I can honestly say that I haven’t heard the word ‘butthurt’ until this post… Maybe it hasn’t made it to my part of the woods yet.

  5. It’s not an obscene word (to me, at least), just not super polite… so I wouldn’t use it with a sweet old lady at church, but it’s about as bad as “jerk,” I think.

    I definitely don’t find it homophobic and think it’s homophobic to see it that way (as if gay men must run around with sore butts all the time).

    • “I definitely don’t find it homophobic and think it’s homophobic to see it that way…”-

      Thank you. I’m glad I’m not the only person who thinks that.

  6. Think of the alternatives: Pain in the butt, pain in the ass, feeling ass-kicked,…

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