Top 45 Slang For Bullying – Meaning & Usage

Bullying, unfortunately, remains a prevalent issue in schools and online spaces. But fear not, we’ve got your back. Our team has compiled a list of the most common and harmful slangs used in bullying to help you recognize and address this behavior. Stay informed and empowered as we shed light on this important topic.

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1. Belittle

To belittle someone means to make them feel small or insignificant. It involves using words or actions to diminish someone’s self-worth or confidence.

  • For example, a bully might belittle a classmate by saying, “You’re so stupid, you’ll never amount to anything.”
  • In a workplace setting, a coworker might belittle another by constantly criticizing their work and undermining their abilities.
  • A person might belittle someone’s achievements by saying, “Oh, that’s not a big deal. Anyone could have done that.”

2. Mock

To mock someone means to imitate or mimic them in a way that is intended to ridicule or make fun of them. It involves making sarcastic or derisive comments or gestures.

  • For instance, a group of kids might mock another student by imitating their voice or gestures and laughing at them.
  • In a social setting, someone might mock another person’s appearance or clothing choices to make them feel embarrassed or insecure.
  • A person might mock someone’s ideas or opinions by saying, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Do you actually believe that?”

3. Bully

A bully is someone who habitually seeks to harm, intimidate, or control others, often through physical or verbal aggression. They use their power or influence to assert dominance over others.

  • For example, a bully might physically push or hit someone to exert control over them.
  • In a school setting, a bully might verbally abuse or threaten a classmate to make them feel scared or powerless.
  • A person might bully someone online by sending them hateful messages or spreading rumors about them.

4. Coerce

To coerce someone means to use pressure, threats, or manipulation to make them do something against their will. It involves exerting control or influence over someone to make them comply.

  • For instance, a person might coerce their partner into doing something they don’t want to do by threatening to end the relationship.
  • In a workplace setting, a manager might coerce an employee into working overtime by implying that their job is at risk.
  • A person might coerce someone into giving them money by blackmailing them with sensitive information.

5. Victimize

To victimize someone means to deliberately single them out for mistreatment or harm. It involves targeting someone for negative actions or behaviors.

  • For example, a group of students might victimize a classmate by excluding them from social activities and spreading rumors about them.
  • In a community, someone might victimize a vulnerable individual by taking advantage of their trust or exploiting their weaknesses.
  • A person might victimize someone online by cyberbullying them or sharing their private information without consent.

6. Torment

Torment refers to the act of subjecting someone to intense and prolonged harassment or abuse. It involves causing emotional or physical pain to the victim.

  • For example, “He was tormented by his classmates every day after school.”
  • In a discussion about bullying, one might say, “Torment is a serious issue that can have long-lasting effects on the victim.”
  • A victim might share their experience by saying, “I went through years of torment before I finally stood up for myself.”

7. Humiliate

Humiliate means to embarrass or degrade someone publicly, often with the intention of asserting power or control over them.

  • For instance, “The bully humiliated his classmate by mocking him in front of the entire school.”
  • In a conversation about bullying, one might say, “Humiliation is a common tactic used by bullies to exert dominance.”
  • A victim might share their story by saying, “I still remember the day when I was humiliated in front of all my friends.”

8. Alienation

Alienation refers to the act of making someone feel isolated or excluded from a group or community. It involves creating a sense of separation and detachment from others.

  • For example, “The bully used constant teasing and exclusion to alienate their victim from their friend group.”
  • In a discussion about the impact of bullying, one might say, “Alienation can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.”
  • A victim might express their emotions by saying, “The constant alienation made me question my self-worth and identity.”

9. Cyberbully

Cyberbully refers to the act of bullying or harassing someone online, typically through social media platforms, messaging apps, or online forums.

  • For instance, “She was cyberbullied by anonymous users who sent her hateful messages.”
  • In a conversation about online safety, one might say, “Cyberbullying has become a major concern, especially among teenagers.”
  • A victim might share their experience by saying, “I had to deactivate my social media accounts due to relentless cyberbullying.”

10. Gaslight

Gaslight means to manipulate someone into doubting their own sanity or perception of reality. It involves psychological manipulation and often leads to the victim questioning their own thoughts and emotions.

  • For example, “The bully would constantly gaslight their partner by denying their experiences and making them feel crazy.”
  • In a discussion about emotional abuse, one might say, “Gaslighting is a harmful tactic used by bullies to gain control over their victims.”
  • A victim might describe their situation by saying, “I was gaslighted for years, and it took a toll on my mental health.”

11. Exclude

To intentionally leave someone out or not include them in a group or activity. It can be a form of bullying when someone is purposely excluded from social events or gatherings.

  • For example, a group of friends might exclude someone from a party by not inviting them.
  • In a school setting, a student might say, “They always exclude me from their lunch table.”
  • In a workplace, an employee might feel excluded from team activities, leading to feelings of isolation.
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12. Ostracize

To exclude or reject someone from a group or community. Ostracizing someone is a form of bullying that can lead to social isolation and emotional harm.

  • For instance, a student might be ostracized by their classmates for being different.
  • In an online community, users might ostracize someone by ignoring their posts or comments.
  • A person might feel ostracized at work if their colleagues intentionally exclude them from team meetings or social events.

13. Ridicule

To make fun of someone or something in a cruel or mocking way. Ridiculing someone is a form of bullying that can damage their self-esteem and cause emotional harm.

  • For example, a group of kids might ridicule another child for their appearance or clothing.
  • In a social media context, users might ridicule someone’s post or comment by making sarcastic or hurtful remarks.
  • A person might be ridiculed at work for making a mistake or having a different opinion.

14. Gossip

To talk about someone behind their back, often spreading rumors or sharing negative information. Gossiping can be a form of bullying when it harms someone’s reputation or causes emotional distress.

  • For instance, a group of friends might gossip about another friend’s personal life or secrets.
  • In a workplace, employees might engage in gossip about their colleagues, leading to a toxic and hostile environment.
  • In a school setting, students might gossip about a classmate’s relationship or academic performance, causing them emotional harm.

15. Shun

To deliberately avoid or ignore someone as a form of punishment or exclusion. Shunning someone is a form of bullying that can cause feelings of isolation and social rejection.

  • For example, a group of friends might shun someone who has made a mistake or gone against their group’s norms.
  • In a family setting, relatives might shun a family member who has made choices they disapprove of.
  • In a workplace, colleagues might shun a coworker who is perceived as different or difficult to work with.

16. Stigmatize

Stigmatize refers to the act of labeling or branding someone in a negative way, often leading to discrimination or exclusion. It involves attaching a negative stereotype or perception to an individual or group.

  • For example, “She was stigmatized by her classmates for being different.”
  • In a discussion about mental health, one might say, “We need to stop stigmatizing people with depression.”
  • A person advocating for acceptance might argue, “Stigmatizing others only perpetuates ignorance and prejudice.”

17. Harassment

Harassment refers to persistent and unwanted behavior intended to disturb or upset someone. It can take many forms, including verbal, physical, or online harassment.

  • For instance, “She experienced ongoing harassment from her coworkers.”
  • In a conversation about online bullying, one might say, “Cyber harassment is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.”
  • A person discussing workplace dynamics might note, “Harassment can create a hostile work environment and impact mental health.”

18. Intimidation

Intimidation involves using fear or threats to make someone feel afraid or inferior. It is often used as a means of controlling or manipulating others.

  • For example, “He used intimidation tactics to silence his opponents.”
  • In a discussion about bullying, one might say, “Intimidation is a common tactic used by bullies to assert power.”
  • A person advocating for empowerment might argue, “We need to teach children how to stand up to intimidation and assert their rights.”

19. Teasing

Teasing refers to the act of mocking or making fun of someone, often in a playful or hurtful manner. It can range from harmless banter to cruel and hurtful remarks.

  • For instance, “She was constantly teased about her appearance.”
  • In a conversation about childhood experiences, one might say, “Teasing can have a lasting impact on a person’s self-esteem.”
  • A person discussing the line between teasing and bullying might note, “Teasing becomes bullying when it is repetitive and intended to cause harm.”

20. Taunting

Taunting involves provoking or challenging someone with insulting or offensive remarks. It is often done to provoke a reaction or to assert dominance over someone.

  • For example, “He taunted his opponent during the game.”
  • In a discussion about sportsmanship, one might say, “Taunting is considered unsportsmanlike behavior.”
  • A person discussing the impact of taunting might argue, “Taunting can escalate conflicts and lead to further aggression.”

21. Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying refers to the act of using electronic communication to bully or harass someone, typically through social media platforms or messaging apps. It can take the form of spreading rumors, sending threatening messages, or sharing embarrassing photos or videos.

22. Exclusion

Exclusion refers to intentionally leaving someone out or isolating them from a group or activity. It can be a form of bullying because it can make the person feel unwanted or ignored.

23. Name-calling

Name-calling involves using offensive or derogatory terms to insult or belittle someone. It is a common form of bullying that aims to degrade the person’s self-esteem.

24. Mocking

Mocking involves imitating or making fun of someone in a mean-spirited way. It can be done through gestures, facial expressions, or sarcastic remarks.

25. Belittling

Belittling involves making someone feel small or insignificant by minimizing their achievements, opinions, or abilities. It is a form of bullying that aims to undermine the person’s confidence.

26. Bullycide

This term refers to the act of someone taking their own life as a result of being bullied. It combines the words “bully” and “suicide” to highlight the connection between bullying and the tragic outcome.

  • For example, “Bullycide is a devastating consequence of relentless bullying.”
  • In a discussion about the impact of bullying, someone might say, “We need to raise awareness and prevent bullycide.”
  • A news article might report, “The community mourns the loss of a teenager who fell victim to bullycide.”

27. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation where someone tries to make another person doubt their own thoughts, feelings, or experiences. It involves distorting the truth, denying facts, or even fabricating events to make the victim question their sanity or memory.

  • For instance, “She was constantly gaslighted by her partner, making her doubt her own judgment.”
  • In a discussion about toxic relationships, someone might share, “Gaslighting is a common tactic used by emotional abusers.”
  • A self-help article might provide tips on “Recognizing and dealing with gaslighting behavior.”
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28. Coercion

Coercion refers to the act of using force, threats, or manipulation to make someone do something they don’t want to do. It can be done through physical, emotional, or psychological means.

  • For example, “She faced coercion from her classmates to participate in a harmful prank.”
  • In a conversation about abusive relationships, someone might say, “Coercion is a form of control often used by abusers.”
  • A news article might discuss “The legal implications of coercion in cases of sexual assault.”

29. Victim-blaming

Victim-blaming occurs when the blame or responsibility for an incident or harm is placed on the person who suffered from it, rather than holding the perpetrator accountable. It often occurs in cases of bullying, assault, or harassment, where the victim is unfairly blamed for the actions of the aggressor.

  • For instance, “She experienced victim-blaming after reporting the assault, with people questioning her choices.”
  • In a discussion about rape culture, someone might say, “Victim-blaming perpetuates harmful stereotypes and discourages survivors from seeking justice.”
  • A blog post might address “The damaging effects of victim-blaming and how to combat it.”

30. Physical aggression

Physical aggression refers to the act of using physical force to cause harm, injury, or intimidate others. It can include actions like hitting, pushing, or any form of physical violence.

  • For example, “He was expelled from school for engaging in physical aggression towards his classmates.”
  • In a discussion about workplace harassment, someone might say, “Physical aggression is never acceptable, regardless of the circumstances.”
  • A news report might highlight “The consequences of physical aggression in youth sports.”

31. Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking refers to the act of using the internet or other electronic means to stalk, harass, or intimidate someone. It can involve sending threatening messages, spreading false rumors, or monitoring someone’s online activities without their consent.

  • For example, someone might say, “She’s been cyberstalking me for months, constantly sending me hateful messages.”
  • In a discussion about online safety, a user might warn, “Be careful about sharing personal information online to avoid becoming a victim of cyberstalking.”
  • A news article might report, “A celebrity has filed a lawsuit against her cyberstalker for invasion of privacy and emotional distress.”

32. Rumor-spreading

Rumor-spreading refers to the act of spreading false or unverified information about someone, often with the intention of causing harm or damage to their reputation. It can occur in person, through social media, or other communication channels.

  • For instance, someone might say, “She’s been rumor-spreading about me, spreading lies to everyone she knows.”
  • In a discussion about the impact of rumors, a user might comment, “Rumor-spreading can have serious consequences, leading to social isolation and emotional distress.”
  • A news article might report, “The school is taking action against students involved in rumor-spreading, implementing anti-bullying measures.”

33. Ganging up

Ganging up refers to the act of multiple individuals coming together to target and harass someone. It often involves a group exerting power and dominance over an individual, leading to feelings of isolation and vulnerability.

  • For example, someone might say, “They’re ganging up on him, constantly belittling and excluding him from social activities.”
  • In a discussion about the dynamics of bullying, a user might comment, “Ganging up can amplify the impact of bullying, making it harder for the victim to defend themselves.”
  • A news article might report, “The workplace is implementing policies to address the issue of ganging up, promoting a supportive and inclusive environment.”

34. Ostracism

Ostracism refers to the act of intentionally excluding or ignoring someone, often as a form of punishment or social control. It can involve excluding someone from social activities, ignoring their presence, or refusing to interact with them.

  • For instance, someone might say, “She’s experiencing ostracism at school, with her classmates deliberately avoiding her.”
  • In a discussion about the psychological impact of ostracism, a user might comment, “Ostracism can lead to feelings of loneliness, depression, and low self-esteem.”
  • A news article might report, “A study has found that workplace ostracism can have detrimental effects on employee well-being and productivity.”

35. Verbal abuse

Verbal abuse refers to the act of using words to demean, belittle, or harm someone emotionally. It can involve insults, name-calling, threats, or derogatory language, and can occur in person, online, or through other forms of communication.

  • For example, someone might say, “He’s been subjected to verbal abuse at home, with his parents constantly criticizing and berating him.”
  • In a discussion about the impact of verbal abuse, a user might comment, “Verbal abuse can have long-lasting psychological effects, leading to low self-esteem and mental health issues.”
  • A news article might report, “The government is implementing measures to address the issue of verbal abuse, raising awareness and providing support for victims.”

36. Social alienation

Social alienation refers to the act of excluding someone from social groups or activities, making them feel isolated or left out. It can be a form of bullying where individuals are intentionally ignored or excluded by their peers.

  • For example, a student might say, “I feel social alienation because no one wants to sit with me at lunch.”
  • In a workplace setting, someone might experience social alienation if they are consistently left out of team activities.
  • A person discussing the effects of bullying might mention, “Social alienation can have long-lasting negative impacts on a person’s mental health.”

37. Emotional manipulation

Emotional manipulation involves using someone’s emotions to control or manipulate them for personal gain. It can be a form of bullying where individuals exploit another person’s feelings to gain power or control over them.

  • For instance, a manipulative person might say, “If you really cared about me, you would do what I ask.”
  • In a romantic relationship, emotional manipulation can involve guilt-tripping or gaslighting the partner.
  • A person discussing toxic friendships might explain, “Emotional manipulation is a common tactic used by bullies to maintain power and control over their victims.”

38. Psychological abuse

Psychological abuse refers to the act of inflicting mental or emotional harm on another person. It can be a form of bullying where individuals use tactics such as humiliation, intimidation, or manipulation to control or harm their victims.

  • For example, a victim of psychological abuse might say, “I constantly feel belittled and worthless because of the things they say.”
  • In a domestic violence situation, psychological abuse can involve threats, insults, or isolation from friends and family.
  • A person discussing the impact of bullying might mention, “Psychological abuse can lead to long-term emotional trauma and damage to a person’s self-esteem.”

39. Troll

Troll refers to a person who deliberately provokes or harasses others online for their own amusement or to incite a negative reaction. Trolling can be a form of cyberbullying where individuals engage in disruptive or offensive behavior with the intention of causing emotional distress.

  • For instance, someone might comment on a social media post, “You’re so stupid, I can’t believe you actually believe that.”
  • In an online gaming community, trolls might intentionally disrupt gameplay or harass other players.
  • A person discussing internet safety might warn, “Beware of trolls who seek to bully or harass others online.”

40. Gang up

Gang up refers to the act of joining together as a group to target or intimidate someone. It can be a form of bullying where multiple individuals collaborate to harass or harm a single person.

  • For example, a victim of gang up bullying might say, “They all started spreading rumors about me and excluding me from social events.”
  • In a school setting, a group of students might gang up on a classmate by spreading rumors or physically intimidating them.
  • A person discussing the dynamics of bullying might explain, “Ganging up can make the victim feel overwhelmed and powerless, as they are outnumbered by their aggressors.”

41. Hazing

Hazing refers to a process or ritual that new members of a group or organization are subjected to in order to gain acceptance or prove their loyalty. It often involves physical or psychological abuse and can be considered a form of bullying.

  • For example, in some college fraternities, hazing may involve excessive drinking, physical challenges, or humiliation.
  • A student might say, “I’m nervous about joining the soccer team because I’ve heard they have a hazing tradition.”
  • A news article might discuss the consequences of hazing and state, “Hazing incidents have led to serious injuries and even fatalities in some cases.”

42. Badger

To badger someone is to repeatedly and persistently harass or annoy them. It involves constantly bothering or pestering someone, often to the point of making them feel uncomfortable or threatened.

  • For instance, a bully might badger a classmate by constantly teasing or taunting them.
  • A victim of badgering might say, “He won’t leave me alone. He’s always badgering me with insults.”
  • A parent might tell their child, “If someone is badgering you, don’t be afraid to speak up and seek help.”

43. Heckle

Heckling is the act of interrupting or taunting someone, usually during a public event or performance, in order to disrupt or criticize them. It involves making derogatory comments or jeering at someone, often with the intention of humiliating or belittling them.

  • For example, a heckler might shout insults or sarcastic remarks at a comedian during their stand-up routine.
  • During a political debate, a participant might heckle their opponent in an attempt to throw them off balance.
  • A news article might discuss a recent incident where a public speaker was heckled by the audience.
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44. Push around

To push someone around is to exert power or control over them in a forceful or aggressive manner. It involves intimidating or mistreating someone, often physically or verbally, with the intention of asserting dominance or causing harm.

  • For instance, a bully might push a smaller student around by shoving them or taking their belongings.
  • A victim of being pushed around might say, “I’m tired of letting him push me around. I need to stand up for myself.”
  • A teacher might address the issue of students pushing each other around and say, “Bullying will not be tolerated in this school.”

45. Pester

To pester someone is to continuously annoy or bother them, often by making repetitive requests or demands. It involves persistently nagging or irritating someone, causing them frustration or discomfort.

  • For example, a child might pester their parent for a new toy by asking repeatedly and whining.
  • A person might say, “My coworker constantly pesters me with unnecessary questions.”
  • A news article might discuss the effects of pestering and state, “Persistent pestering can lead to strained relationships and increased stress levels.”