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The term “teabaggers” is a derogatory nickname used to refer to supporters of the conservative “Tea Party” movement.

As CBS News notes:

It’s the sort of word you might expect to hear from a smirking 14-year-old boy: Critics of the Tea Party movement like to refer to its members as “teabaggers,” a reference to a sexual act known as ‘teabagging,’ which we’re going to refrain from explaining here.

To give you an idea of both the meaning of the word and the juvenile way it gets used, consider this comment from MSNBC’s David Shuster: ‘…the teabaggers are full-throated about their goals. They want to give President Obama a strong tongue-lashing and lick government spending.

According to the Huffington Post, CNN’s Anderson Cooper also had fun with the term, noting: “It’s hard to talk when you’re teabagging.”

It’s important to note that the term “teabaggers” is mostly used as a derogatory term to describe members of the Tea Party movement.

While the term was initially adopted by some supporters, it quickly gained negative connotations and is considered disrespectful.

Interestingly, President Barack Obama is quoted using the word in Jonathan Alter’s book The Promise: President Obama, Year One, noting that the unanimous House Republican vote against his economic stimulus bill “helped to create the teabaggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where it now controls the agenda for the Republicans.”

Use of “Teabaggers” in a sentence

  • The use of the term “teabaggers” emerged as a controversial, often derogatory, label for activists in the Tea Party movement, a decentralized populist conservative force that gained prominence in 2009.
  • Critics of the Tea Party employed the term “teabaggers” to highlight what they saw as a lack of depth or coherence in the movement’s agenda.
  • Despite the derogatory connotation, some Tea Party members initially embraced the term “teabaggers,” only to distance themselves from it later as its pejorative meaning became more widely recognized.