fighting words


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fighting words

n. words intentionally directed toward another person which are so nasty and full of malice as to cause the hearer to suffer emotional distress or incite him/her to immediately retaliate physically (hit, stab, shoot, etc.) While such words are not an excuse or defense for a retaliatory assault and battery, if they are threatening they can form the basis for a lawsuit for assault.

References in periodicals archive ?
Consequently, even if slurs might be interpreted as fighting words, they are more than likely to receive First Amendment protection by the courts, thus preventing any punishment of those who utter slurs in public.
Founded in 2009 by The Barrytown Trilogy author and Sean Love, Fighting Words aims to provide primary and secondary level students with the chance to explore their imagination through creative writing.
A speech-based criminal-harassment conviction passes First Amendment muster if it is based on fighting words that target the victim, are capable of inciting an immediate fight, and seriously alarm the victim,'' Gail Johnson's lawyer, Valerie DePalma, wrote in a legal brief.
appealed and the case made its way to the Supreme Court, which is when the term fighting words
Cocaine Market Via Link to Mexican Cartel [ProPublica] Beirut Bank Seen as a Hub of Hezbollah's Financing [NYT] Hezbollah's Hypocritical Resistance [NYT] Nasrallah's Fighting Words [NYT Latitudes] A New Home for Hamas?
What I wanted to say seemed like fighting words, and I held it back until I got the Sept/Oct issue of American Handgunner.
Do their fighting words actually inspire fans to put down their remotes and become politically active?
Perhaps sensing the increased scrutiny of his candidacy over everything from his jobs record to his views on evolution, Perry ended his remarks with fighting words for the "liberal pundits," advising his supporters about how they should reply when the media downplays the Texas way: "I want you to say, 'That dog won't hunt
He acknowledged that Lebanese hummus "is very good" but boasted that "Abu Gosh is the hummus capital of the world" -- fighting words to rival fans.
Sources: Paul Dickson, War Slang: American Fighting Words and Phrases since the Civil War (2d ed.
The self-confessed atheist has just opened a creative writing centre called Fighting Words.
The Fighting Words author is more of a happy warrior than a cold ideological enforcer.