Is The Word ‘Dwarf’ Derogatory?

Status: Not to my knowledge.
Since my upcoming book is titled Hippo Eats Dwarf, this brief article in The Sun caught my attention:

PANTOS of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs are being censored — to outlaw the word DWARF. A shocked village drama group sent off for a script and found Dopey and his pals — played by kids — had to be called “gnomes” instead. Ray Lionet, 73, of the Coxheath Players in Kent, said the ban was to avoid offending short people. He said: “It’s madness.”

I never thought the word dwarf was considered to be derogatory. I hope it's not, because it's way too late to change the title of my book. Though when I was considering the title, I kept thinking that no one has ever claimed "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" to be offensive, so the word must be okay. Now, that's no longer true. But anyway, wouldn't it have to be less offensive to call a little person a dwarf, than to call them a gnome?


Posted on Mon Oct 17, 2005


Dwarf is the actual medical term, so it can't be derogatory. Give me a break. Midget? Now, that's derogatory. If dwarf is going to be now derogatory, let's just make the words people, men, women, humans, etc. derogatory. They ARE dwarves. I'm an interpreter for the Deaf, and the word Deaf is becoming "derogatory". Are you kidding me???????? They ARE deaf! It won't be long before we simply won't be able to SPEAK!!

If you're a dward, you're a dwarf. If you're deaf, you're deaf. It's just a word, and a REAL word at that, not something made up in an attemtp to offend, with a real English meaning. Get over it.
Posted by Shannon  in  USA  on  Thu Aug 16, 2007  at  05:23 PM
i am currently doing a study on design for those dealing with Dwarfism. I would be really happy if those with the direct experience of dealing with Dwarfism would contact me. im simply looking for advise and also to make sure i do not offend anyone by using incorrect terms.

Many thanks

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Posted by Niki  in  staffs, UK  on  Fri Apr 25, 2008  at  06:55 AM
I am a short person--not a 'little person' by any means but if you call an african american the n word--this is how it is when you call a 'little person' a drawf!! Think of how they feel--they are human beings just like you and have human emotions. Come on people
Posted by rasmine  in  connecticut  on  Mon Jun 21, 2010  at  06:24 PM
'dwarf' i mean
Posted by rasmine  in  Connecticut  on  Mon Jun 21, 2010  at  06:26 PM
I'd like to know as many words used to describe a normal sized person that a angry dwarf would use to insult a tall person. Like maybe a BIGGER! There has to be angry little people out there that hate normal sized people...if so, I am looking for your perspective for a possible film.
Posted by Vito  in  United States  on  Sun Aug 22, 2010  at  07:16 PM
If anyne taliking here is actually short you would know the differnece. A dwarf and a midget are both under 4'10". The difference is a midget is properly(legs, arms and mid section). A dwarf has smaller limbs compared to there mid-section.
Posted by askum68  in  wereever  on  Sun Dec 19, 2010  at  07:54 AM
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