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Is it offensive that I call my son a midget???

November 9, 2012

Midget is generally defined as a small person who is otherwise normally proportional.

I understand the word “midget” is considered to be a derogatory word especially to those with dwarfism. What does the word midget actually mean:

Well let’s start with the history of the word Midget and how it was formed. It was formed from the word midge, meaning “small fly”and the suffix “-et”, meaning little or small, so that a midget is in fact a “very small fly”.  We first find midget in 1848 in Canada with the meaning “sand fly”.

While no one wants to be called a very small fly or a sand fly, the term “midget” became offensive because it was associated with putting short people on display for the public to stare at and ridicule.

I understand how this could be offensive but is anyone going to be offended if I call by boy a midget??? Look at him in the above picture, he is super small but proportional. He won’t get a offended – he does not even speak English – and generally does not mind being stared at by strangers. He is the cutest little midget I have ever seen but I probably should stop calling him midget in public. Wifey calls him “Munchie” – short for munchkin. I am pretty sure most people including the people at Dunkin Donuts are not going to get offended by Munchie and I would hate to be in a situation where a little person/height disadvantaged person/smaller than average person/vertically lower person/dwarf lectures me in public for calling my son the m-word. It is just that at 16 months midget seems like a much more appropriate name than baby for Zachary.

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