Top 31 Slang For Slave – Meaning & Usage

“Slang for slave” may not be a topic discussed openly, but it’s important to recognize and understand the language used in various contexts. Dive into our listicle to uncover the nuances and meanings behind some of the most commonly used slang terms related to this sensitive subject. Trust us, you’ll want to stay informed and enlightened on this important topic.

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1. Bondman

A bondman is a term used to refer to an individual who is legally bound to provide labor or service to another person or entity. It often implies a situation of involuntary servitude.

  • For example, “In ancient Rome, bondmen were often used as agricultural laborers.”
  • A historian might explain, “During the Middle Ages, bondmen were considered the property of their lords and were obligated to work the land.”
  • In a discussion about historical slavery, someone might say, “The life of a bondman was filled with hardships and lack of freedom.”

2. Chattel

Chattel refers to an individual who is considered as someone’s personal property and can be bought, sold, or owned like any other possession.

  • For instance, “During the era of American slavery, enslaved people were treated as chattel.”
  • A legal expert might explain, “In many societies, slaves were legally classified as chattel and had no rights.”
  • In a discussion about human rights, someone might argue, “Treating humans as chattel is a gross violation of their dignity and freedom.”

3. Thrall

Thrall is a term used to describe an enslaved person or servant who is completely under the control and authority of another.

  • For example, “In Norse society, thralls were often captured prisoners of war who were forced into servitude.”
  • A literature enthusiast might reference, “In Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ Gollum was once a thrall of the One Ring.”
  • In a discussion about historical servitude, someone might say, “The life of a thrall was characterized by hard labor and little autonomy.”

4. Serf

A serf is a peasant who is legally bound to work on a specific piece of land owned by a lord. They are not considered free and have limited rights and freedoms.

  • For instance, “During medieval times, serfs were the lowest class in the feudal system.”
  • A historian might explain, “Serfs were obligated to provide labor and resources to their lord in exchange for protection and the right to live on the land.”
  • In a discussion about social hierarchy, someone might argue, “The system of serfdom perpetuated inequality and limited social mobility.”

5. Peon

Peon is a term used to describe a low-ranking worker or laborer, often in a manual or menial job. It can also carry connotations of exploitation and low social status.

  • For example, “In some countries, agricultural workers are referred to as peons.”
  • A labor rights activist might argue, “The system of hiring peons perpetuates exploitative working conditions.”
  • In a discussion about social inequality, someone might say, “Peons often have limited access to education and opportunities for upward mobility.”

6. Helot

In ancient Greece, a helot was a slave who was owned by the state and forced to work for their Spartan masters. Helots were considered to be the lowest class of people in Spartan society, and they were treated as property rather than as human beings.

  • For example, a historian might write, “The helots were an integral part of the Spartan economy, providing labor for agriculture and other tasks.”
  • In a discussion about ancient Greece, someone might ask, “What were the conditions like for the helots?”
  • A student studying ancient history might be assigned a paper on the topic of helotry in Sparta.

7. Vassal

In feudal society, a vassal was a person who was bound to serve and support a lord in exchange for protection and land. Vassals were essentially feudal serfs, and they were obligated to provide military service, pay taxes, and perform other duties for their lord.

  • For instance, a medieval historian might explain, “Vassals were granted fiefs, or parcels of land, in exchange for their loyalty and service.”
  • In a discussion about feudalism, someone might ask, “What were the rights and responsibilities of vassals?”
  • A student studying medieval history might be assigned a project on the role of vassals in the feudal system.
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8. Captive

A captive is a person who has been captured and is being held against their will. This term can refer to someone who has been taken as a prisoner in a war or conflict, or it can be used more broadly to describe someone who is being held in captivity for any reason.

  • For example, a journalist reporting on a hostage situation might write, “The captives were held in a secret location for several months.”
  • In a discussion about human rights, someone might say, “No one should be kept as a captive without due process.”
  • A person discussing the treatment of prisoners might argue, “We must ensure the humane treatment of captives in our criminal justice system.”

9. Subjugate

To subjugate means to bring someone or something under one’s control or domination, often through force or coercion. When applied to people, it can mean to enslave or oppress them.

  • For instance, a political scientist might explain, “Dictators often use violence and intimidation to subjugate their populations.”
  • In a discussion about colonialism, someone might ask, “How did European powers subjugate the indigenous peoples of Africa and Asia?”
  • A person discussing power dynamics might argue, “We must challenge systems that seek to subjugate certain groups based on race, gender, or other factors.”

10. Subordinate

A subordinate is a person who is in a lower position or rank in a hierarchical structure. This term can be used more broadly to describe someone who is under the authority or control of another person.

  • For example, a manager might say, “I expect my subordinates to complete their tasks on time.”
  • In a discussion about workplace dynamics, someone might ask, “How can managers create a positive relationship with their subordinates?”
  • A person discussing power dynamics might argue, “It is important to listen to the perspectives and ideas of subordinates, as they often have valuable insights.”

11. Bondservant

A bondservant is a person who is legally bound to work for someone else, often in exchange for something such as passage to a new country or payment of a debt. The term “bondservant” implies a voluntary agreement, but it can also refer to someone who is enslaved or forced into servitude.

  • For example, in historical discussions, one might say, “Many immigrants in the 17th century became bondservants in order to pay for their passage to America.”
  • In a religious context, someone might mention, “The Apostle Paul referred to himself as a bondservant of Jesus.”
  • A person discussing labor rights might argue, “The system of bondservants allowed for the exploitation of vulnerable individuals.”

12. Peasant

While not exclusively a term for slaves, “peasant” can be used to describe someone in a position of low social status who is forced to work for others. In some historical contexts, peasants were essentially slaves who worked the land owned by nobles.

  • For instance, in discussions about feudalism, one might say, “Peasants were the backbone of the feudal system, providing labor and food for the nobility.”
  • In a fictional setting, a writer might describe a character as a “peasant slave” to emphasize their oppressed status.
  • A person discussing social inequality might argue, “Throughout history, peasants have been at the mercy of their wealthy overlords.”

13. Indentured servant

An indentured servant is a person who signs a contract, or indenture, agreeing to work for a specific period of time in exchange for something such as passage to a new country or payment of a debt. While not technically a slave, indentured servants often faced harsh conditions and limited rights.

  • For instance, in discussions about colonial America, one might say, “Many early settlers in America were indentured servants seeking a better life.”
  • In a historical context, someone might mention, “Indentured servitude was a common labor arrangement in the 17th and 18th centuries.”
  • A person discussing labor exploitation might argue, “Indentured servitude was a form of legalized slavery that exploited vulnerable individuals.”

14. Captivity

While not specifically slang for slave, “captivity” can refer to the state of being held captive or imprisoned against one’s will. In the context of slavery, it can describe the condition of being owned and controlled by another person.

  • For example, in discussions about the transatlantic slave trade, one might say, “Millions of Africans were forcibly brought to the Americas and subjected to a life of captivity.”
  • In a historical context, someone might mention, “Escaping from captivity was a dangerous and often deadly endeavor for slaves.”
  • A person discussing human rights might argue, “The abolition of slavery was a significant milestone in the fight against captivity and oppression.”

15. Enthrall

To completely captivate or hold someone’s attention and interest. It can also refer to someone being under someone else’s control or influence.

  • For example, “The magician’s performance was so mesmerizing that the audience was completely enthralled.”
  • A person might say, “I was enthralled by the book and couldn’t put it down until I finished.”
  • In a discussion about cults, someone might mention, “Members of the cult were enthralled by the charismatic leader.”

16. Enslave

To make someone a slave or to exercise complete control and dominance over someone.

  • For instance, “During the era of slavery, many Africans were enslaved and brought to the Americas.”
  • In a conversation about oppressive systems, someone might argue, “Society should strive to eliminate systems that enslave certain groups.”
  • A person discussing modern-day human trafficking might say, “The criminals behind human trafficking are enslaving innocent people.”

17. Bondage

The state of being physically or emotionally restrained or captive. It can also refer to the practice of consensual BDSM, involving the use of restraints and power dynamics.

  • For example, “The prisoner was kept in bondage, unable to escape.”
  • In a conversation about sexual preferences, someone might mention, “I enjoy exploring bondage with my partner.”
  • A person discussing the psychological effects of abuse might say, “Survivors of abuse often struggle with breaking free from the emotional bondage.”

18. Oppressed

To be subject to unjust treatment, control, or hardship. It can refer to the systematic mistreatment and discrimination of a particular group.

  • For instance, “Throughout history, marginalized communities have been oppressed by those in power.”
  • In a discussion about social justice, someone might argue, “We need to stand up against the oppression of marginalized groups.”
  • A person discussing the effects of colonization might say, “Indigenous communities have been oppressed for centuries.”

19. Subjugation

The act of bringing someone or a group under one’s control or domination, often through force or coercion.

  • For example, “The subjugation of one nation by another is a common theme in history.”
  • In a conversation about power dynamics, someone might argue, “The ruling class maintains control through the subjugation of the working class.”
  • A person discussing the effects of imperialism might say, “Colonizers sought to establish subjugation over the native populations.”

20. Servitude

Servitude refers to a state of being enslaved or in bondage, where a person is forced to serve another. It implies a lack of freedom and autonomy.

  • For example, “During the era of colonialism, many indigenous people were subjected to servitude.”
  • In a discussion about human rights, one might say, “We must work towards abolishing all forms of servitude.”
  • A historian might explain, “Servitude was a common practice in ancient civilizations, where slaves were used for labor and domestic tasks.”

21. Subjection

Subjection refers to the act of being made subservient or enslaved to someone else’s authority or control. It implies a loss of personal freedom and autonomy.

  • For instance, “The subjection of an entire population to oppressive rulers is a violation of human rights.”
  • In a conversation about power dynamics, one might say, “The subjection of one group to another is a recurring theme throughout history.”
  • A political analyst might discuss, “The subjection of marginalized communities to systemic discrimination.”

22. Yoke

Yoke is a metaphorical term that refers to a form of control or restraint imposed on someone, similar to the physical yoke used to control animals. It implies a loss of freedom and agency.

  • For example, “Under the yoke of an oppressive regime, the people had no say in their own governance.”
  • In a discussion about social structures, one might say, “The yoke of societal expectations can limit individual expression.”
  • A philosopher might argue, “Breaking free from the yoke of societal norms is essential for personal growth.”

23. Shackles

Shackles are physical restraints, typically in the form of metal chains or cuffs, used to bind someone’s hands or feet. The term is used metaphorically to represent the loss of freedom and captivity.

  • For instance, “The slaves were kept in shackles, unable to escape their captors.”
  • In a conversation about oppression, one might say, “Breaking free from the shackles of systemic discrimination is a constant struggle.”
  • A poet might write, “The weight of the shackles of the past still lingers in our collective memory.”

24. Chains

Chains are physical links made of metal that are used to restrain or confine someone’s movement. The term is often used metaphorically to represent the loss of freedom and autonomy.

  • For example, “The chains of slavery bound generations of people in captivity.”
  • In a discussion about liberation, one might say, “Breaking the chains of oppression is a collective effort.”
  • A civil rights activist might proclaim, “We must unite to break the chains of injustice and create a more equitable society.”

25. Enthrallment

Enthrallment refers to the state of being controlled or dominated by someone else. It implies a loss of freedom and agency.

  • For example, “She lived in a constant state of enthrallment, always under the control of her master.”
  • In a discussion about historical oppression, one might say, “Enthrallment was a common experience for slaves in the 19th century.”
  • A person describing an abusive relationship might say, “I was trapped in a cycle of enthrallment, unable to break free.”

26. Enchain

Enchain means to physically or metaphorically restrain or bind someone. It implies a loss of freedom and movement.

  • For instance, “He enchains his slaves to prevent them from escaping.”
  • In a conversation about human rights, someone might argue, “Enchaining another human being is a violation of their dignity.”
  • A person describing their experience of oppression might say, “I felt enchain by societal expectations and cultural norms.”

27. Bondswoman

A bondswoman is a female slave. The term emphasizes the gendered nature of slavery and the specific experiences of enslaved women.

  • For example, “She was born into a life of bondage and grew up as a bondswoman on the plantation.”
  • In a discussion about the history of slavery, one might say, “Bondswomen faced unique challenges and forms of exploitation.”
  • A person researching their family history might discover, “My ancestor was listed as a bondswoman in the census records.”

28. Lackey

Lackey refers to a person who serves or acts as a subordinate to someone else. While it does not specifically denote slavery, it can be used in a derogatory manner to imply subservience.

  • For instance, “He treated his employees like lackeys, expecting them to cater to his every whim.”
  • In a conversation about workplace dynamics, someone might say, “I refuse to be treated as a lackey; I deserve respect.”
  • A person describing an unequal power dynamic might say, “He always treated me like his lackey, never acknowledging my contributions.”

29. Menial

Menial refers to tasks or jobs that are considered lowly, unskilled, or degrading. While it does not explicitly refer to slavery, it can be associated with the types of labor performed by enslaved individuals.

  • For example, “She was forced to perform menial tasks such as cleaning and cooking.”
  • In a discussion about social inequality, someone might argue, “Menial labor is often undervalued and underpaid.”
  • A person describing their experience of exploitation might say, “I was treated as nothing more than a menial worker, forced to do back-breaking labor for little pay.”

30. Thrallhood

Thrallhood refers to the state or condition of being enslaved or in bondage. It is often used to describe a person’s subjugation or servitude.

  • For example, “The captured warriors were forced into thrallhood by their conquerors.”
  • In discussions about historical slavery, one might say, “Many people lived their entire lives in thrallhood.”
  • A person discussing modern-day exploitation might argue, “Thrallhood still exists in various forms around the world today.”

31. Drudge

Drudge is a term used to describe a person who performs menial, repetitive, or tedious work. It often implies a sense of being overworked or exploited.

  • For instance, “The drudges toiled in the fields from dawn till dusk.”
  • In a conversation about unfair working conditions, one might say, “Workers in sweatshops are treated as mere drudges.”
  • A person discussing social inequality might argue, “The lower class is often relegated to drudge labor, while the wealthy reap the benefits.”