The term 'bigots' was used at Station X as code for those in the know about the date and general plans for D-Day.

Bigoted people were sometimes a little over enthusiastic about their knowledge, including one WREN who underlined all the landing beaches on a large map of France. Other members of the hut had to underline every other beach before any of the cleaners saw the annotations, and figured out what was going on with Overlord.

The modern notion of a bigot extends beyond mere prejudice. Everyone has prejudices and prejudgements about other groups, because it's easier to have a prejudice than to spend time getting to know an individual. This is a normal and expectable, if not necessarily excusable, way for the human brain to conserve processing time.

Bigotry goes above and beyond this, however. A bigot takes his prejudices and adheres to them, stubbornly and without apology. He maintains that his prejudices are true and right, without giving any consideration to the alternative. The difference between mere prejudice and outright bigotry is the difference between unconscious thought habits and conscious decisions of belief.

"Bigot" is usually synonymous with "racist" these days, but it's not restricted to any one form of prejudice. I've known one who describes all homosexuals as "faggots", and another who regards all Christians as "creationist dupes". I've known an Irishman who thinks of all Americans as self-centered and liberitarian. And, in more recent weeks, I've encountered a zealous anti-Communist who perceives anyone with a liberal slant as being part of a vast pinko conspiracy.

It doesn't have to be anything as big as racism or "gay bashing" or misogyny. It comes down to a person's willful choice to believe anyone who falls into a particular group as possessing certain traits, and an obstinate refusal to believe otherwise. Bigotry is prejudice to the power of egotism.

bignum = B = binary four

bigot n.

[common] A person who is religiously attached to a particular computer, language, operating system, editor, or other tool (see religious issues). Usually found with a specifier; thus, `Cray bigot', `ITS bigot', `APL bigot', `VMS bigot', `Berkeley bigot'. Real bigots can be distinguished from mere partisans or zealots by the fact that they refuse to learn alternatives even when the march of time and/or technology is threatening to obsolete the favored tool. It is truly said "You can tell a bigot, but you can't tell him much." Compare weenie, Amiga Persecution Complex.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Big"ot (?), n. [F. bigot a bigot or hypocrite, a name once given to the Normans in France. Of unknown origin; possibly akin to Sp. bigote a whisker; hombre de bigote a man of spirit and vigor; cf. It. s-bigottire to terrify, to appall. Wedgwood and others maintain that bigot is from the same source as Beguine, Beghard.]

1.

A hypocrite; esp., a superstitious hypocrite.

[Obs.]

2.

A person who regards his own faith and views in matters of religion as unquestionably right, and any belief or opinion opposed to or differing from them as unreasonable or wicked. In an extended sense, a person who is intolerant of opinions which conflict with his own, as in politics or morals; one obstinately and blindly devoted to his own church, party, belief, or opinion.

To doubt, where bigots had been content to wonder and believe. Macaulay.

 

© Webster 1913.


Big"ot, a.

Bigoted.

[Obs.]

In a country more bigot than ours. Dryden.

 

© Webster 1913.

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