11th March 2011 at 00:00

Neg (v)

Means To put down or undermine someone publicly

Usage Teacher: "I think your homework could do with a bit more 'work' and a little less 'home'." Pupil: "Miss, did you just neg me? That was a proper negging there, I swear."

"Neg" is such a perfect abbreviation that, like the best Yoofspeaks, it takes on a life of its own, growing to be more than its humble beginnings. Somewhat innocuously derived from "negative", it is quick-fire shorthand for any act of undermining in a public space. Been bad-mouthed in front of your friends? You have just been negged. Yet it is not a new word, and was popularised in the Noughties for an older generation by pick-up artist extraordinaire Neil Strauss and his dating bibleexploitation guidebook (delete as appropriate) The Game, which championed the act of "negging" for all single males - pointing out flaws in attractive women to undermine their confidence. Obviously, this kind of cynical manipulation is right up the Yoofs' street, and so it has been co-opted to explain all forms of aggressive negativity, to be ranked alongside "hating" as the defensive verb of choice.

Matt Hill.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now