weirdo vs deviant

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Fireice958

Senior Member
English
What is the difference between a weirdo and a deviant? <-----Question from original thread title added to post by moderator (Florentia52)----->

They both mean the same thing, both words indicate that they do not follow the norm, so I was wondering is there a slight difference between the two words.
 
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  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "Weirdo" sounds less technical or academic than "deviant", Fireice958. "Weirdo" would be more likely in the ordinary speech of many speakers.

    "Deviant" is likely to be used in semi-serious discussions about a subject's deviance from what the speaker believes to be normal sexual behavior.

    If it helps, Fireice958, I hear "weirdo" far more often than "deviant" in other people's speech. I use "weirdo" far more often than I use "deviant" in my own speech. In fact, I may never have used that noun in a conversation with anybody. But I have occasionally heard other people use it.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    In BE, "weirdo" is colloquial, almost slang, and describes anybody whose behaviour (or even dress) is thought to be a bit strange or "not normal".

    So it's wider in scope than "deviant", which is strongly suggestive of sexual behaviour outside the generally accepted norm.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    They both mean the same thing, both words indicate that they do not follow the norm, so I was wondering is there a slight difference between the two words.
    I'd say that they do not mean the same thing at all. There are potentially huge differences between the words, even from the dictionary definitions.

    First, we should know why you are asking and if you propose to use these words in a context.
     

    Fireice958

    Senior Member
    English
    "Weirdo" sounds less technical or academic than "deviant", Fireice958. "Weirdo" would be more likely in the ordinary speech of many speakers.

    "Deviant" is likely to be used in semi-serious discussions about a subject's deviance from what the speaker believes to be normal sexual behavior.

    If it helps, Fireice958, I hear "weirdo" far more often than "deviant" in other people's speech. I use "weirdo" far more often than I use "deviant" in my own speech. In fact, I may never have used that noun in a conversation with anybody. But I have occasionally heard other people use it.
    Oh, I see, thank you.
    "Weirdo" sounds less technical or academic than "deviant", Fireice958. "Weirdo" would be more likely in the ordinary speech of many speakers.

    "Deviant" is likely to be used in semi-serious discussions about a subject's deviance from what the speaker believes to be normal sexual behavior.

    If it helps, Fireice958, I hear "weirdo" far more often than "deviant" in other people's speech. I use "weirdo" far more often than I use "deviant" in my own speech. In fact, I may never have used that noun in a conversation with anybody. But I have occasionally heard other people use it.
    Thank you for your response, but I was wondering, in your opinion if you please, what would a "weirdo" be to you?
    I'd say that they do not mean the same thing at all. There are potentially huge differences between the words, even from the dictionary definitions.

    First, we should know why you are asking and if you propose to use these words in a context.
    I would be grateful if you please explain how both words are different? Also for the context in social behavior.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thank you for your response, but I was wondering, in your opinion if you please, what would a "weirdo" be to you?
    "Weirdo" is a loose word, Fireice, but I'd use it freely in talk about anybody whose behavior seemed strange to me. It's not a deadly insult, but a lot of people don't like to be called "weirdos". I've been called "a weirdo" quite a few times by various friends of mine. That doesn't bother me at all. Instead, it usually makes me laugh.

    It's more likely in talk about somebody rather than to somebody, especially somebody you don't know well and who just might punch you in the nose for making him mad.:cool:
     
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    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I have never used either word and would have major problems with using them these days. The difficulty is, what on earth is 'normal'?
    'Weirdo' seems to me a slang word from my youth, while 'deviant' came to my attention more recently as a word being used out of some clinical context, as in 'deviant art'.

    'Weirdo' doesn't mean anything, except 'them what's not like me an' me pals'. Stephen Hawkings, perhaps?

    'Deviant' has a strong sexual connotation to my mind.
    These days, what exactly do people call 'deviant'? It sounds like a Victorian euphemism used by mealy-mouthed far-right baptists.

    Both words are way past any 'Use By Date' and deserve to be trashed. (As far as I can see!)
     

    Fireice958

    Senior Member
    English
    "Weirdo" is a loose word, Fireice, but I'd use it freely in talk about anybody whose behavior seemed strange to me. It's not a deadly insult, but a lot of people don't like to be called "weirdos". I've been called "a weirdo" quite a few times by various friends of mine. That doesn't bother me at all. Instead, it usually makes me laugh.

    It's more likely in talk about somebody rather than to somebody, especially somebody you don't know well and who might just punch you in the nose for making him mad.:cool:
    Oh, all right, I understand it now. So a "weirdo" is someone whose strange in social behavior and a "deviant" is someone whose sexual behavior is different from the norm, correct?
    I have never used either word and would have major problems with using them these days. The difficulty is, what on earth is 'normal'?
    'Weirdo' seems to me a slang word from my youth, while 'deviant' came to my attention more recently as a word being used out of some clinical context, as in 'deviant art'.

    'Weirdo' doesn't mean anything, except 'them what's not like me an' me pals'. Stephen Hawkings, perhaps?

    'Deviant' has a strong sexual connotation to my mind.
    These days, what exactly do people call 'deviant'? It sounds like a Victorian euphemism used by mealy-mouthed far-right baptists.

    Both words are way past any 'Use By Date' and deserve to be trashed. (As far as I can see!)
    I agree, I never hear the word "deviant" and the only time I hear "weirdo" is when a women/girls find males they perceive to be "creepy". But nonetheless, thank you for responses.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Oh, all right, I understand it now. So a "weirdo" is someone whose strange in social behavior and a "deviant" is someone whose sexual behavior is different from the norm, correct?
    That's roughly true, Fireice. Remember, though, that it certainly wouldn't sound strange to me if you said that somebody with an odd sexual fetish was a "weirdo" rather than a "deviant."

    Both words are highly subjective, and you'll have to decide for yourself how you want to use "weirdo" and "deviant" if you decide to use those nouns when you're referring to somebody.

    Every reply in this thread looks honest and meaningful to me. Perhaps the information will help you make up your own mind.

    I'm sorry that a collection of opinions leads, once again, to no clear answer for you. That's just how it is in a language forum. People have their own opinions about words, and you're going to receive those in any answer about the meaning and suitability of various words and phrases that you ask about in here.
     
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    Forero

    Senior Member
    For me, "weirdo" can be simply individualist, which is a good thing, but "deviant" usually means something is wrong, except in certain science fiction settings.

    That's about all I can say without more context.
     
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