Why did some of the tags get merged? got merged with , and I can't use the tag anymore. There is a difference. "origin" is used for where the phrases came from, "etymology" is used for single words, but occasionally can be used for more than one word.

What about and ? Pejorative is now part of offensive-language. The thing is, Pejorative refers specifically to words used as insults, but "offensive-language" could be anything from rude words to obscenity.

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    The obvious answer that comes to mind for me is that this merging process is a result of the fact that currently there are too many tags. In consequence, people don't always choose the "right" one, and that prevents the system from working as well as it should. Personally I not only think merging origin and etymology is a good idea - I think history should be thrown in there as well. Just because it can make a finer distinction, doesn't justify it being around to confuse things for most contexts. Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 13:40

2 Answers 2


Not being responsible for the merges, I couldn't tell you the exact reasons, but I can surmise the reasoning behind these and I'll offer my guess here.

As it were, the concepts here are quite similar. and both cover the origin of a word or phrase, while and both cover negatively-inclined word choice. While one could consider that there is a distinct difference between what is a pejorative specifically versus the whole of offensive language, is that a distinct enough difference that it warrants a separate tag?

There was an earlier discussion in chat we had about tagging articles, which we have three tags for: , , and . We all know and acknowledge that indefinite articles and definite articles are different constructs, but, I'll quote myself from chat with some added emphasis,

[...] is there an important enough distinction to warrant separate tags for them?
In the scope of how the site can grow, is there value in keeping the questions about definite articles and indefinite articles separate on the tag level? Or is it more than sufficient to contain both of them within a singular articles tag?

The lack of an actual merge is due to the fact no one who was present at the time of this discussion actually had any ability to vote up the proposed synonyms. Probably should amend that at some point.

My understanding is that the approach to these two merges is the same - users believed that the concepts represented in the two separate tags, while indeed can be identified distinctly, did not warrant a good utility as being separate tags.

If you believe that this should be unmerged, it would be wise to make a strong case as to not simply why the tags represent different things, but why their being separate (and thus fragmenting the results for the otherwise super-tag) is beneficial to the site's utility.


With regards to and , this was discussed in the following meta thread:

Getting our dirty words into one place

The TL;DR version is that we had a whole bunch of partially-overlapping tags for different kinds of taboo or vulgar language, and we decided to sweep them all together into one tag in order to cut down on the duplication.

A similar logic applies to : there are numerous different tags that could be used for etymology questions, but we've made them all synonyms of so that we have one tag rather than a dozen. Previous meta discussion has agreed that is appropriate even when discussing the origin of a phrase or something other than single words.

In both cases you could argue that there is a subtle difference between the two meanings, but the difference is not significant enough to pollute the tags list with all of those variations.

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