Nazi is Not Dead, They Became an Adjective

As you know, the Nazis were a totalitarian government that controlled Germany from 1933 to 1945. They are a totally awful group of people who made Germany lived under strict totalitarian rules. If you don’t like the Nazis, I share your view. However, there’s a catch for that. The word did not die. It lives to become an adjective to describe a considered annoying or awful group of people.

One of the early use of the word Nazi to become an adjective is from Seinfeld 116th Episode “The Soup Nazi.” In the episode, the word is used to describe Yev Kassem, played by Larry Thomas, strict regimentation he demands of his customers. When he does not like a customer, he immediately shouts and kicks out the customer. The customers, however, keep coming back due to the fantastic taste of the soup. So, if you want the soup, you better obey him.

The modern incarnation of the word came from the internet. When the internet does not like a group of people, they will compare them to the Nazis. The famous examples are Grammar Nazi and Feminazi. Grammar Nazi describes a group of people who correct your grammar on any platform or website. Meanwhile, the term Feminazi is used to describe a group of hardcore feminists who seek power and thinks men aren’t necessary.

This phenomenon comes from Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies. According to Oxford English Dictionary Godwin’s Law is:

A facetious aphorism maintaining that as an online debate increases in length, it becomes inevitable that someone will eventually compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis. Also in extended use.

In a more straightforward explanation, as an internet debate is heating up, you will hate your opponent and eventually compare it to the worst group available, The Nazis.

In a nutshell, the Nazi is still one of the most hated groups in the world. Even it has become a standard to describe how awful someone is. Should we continue using the word to degrade someone or a group of people? Or should we forget the word to forget their atrocities during World War II?



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