Alternatives for "crippled" for "deliberately made worse"

Sure, we all know the alternatives for calling a person crippled: e.g. disabled, handicapped, a specific disease name, etc. No need to get into those.

But I just was talking about how a new version of a particular piece of software had decided to deliberately made an aspect of it worse to push people to pay for the more expensive option. My normal word for that is “crippled” – “I don’t think people should have to pay more due to a deliberately crippled experience.”

I’m not interested in people saying “it’s okay to still say crippled.” Maybe it is, but it hits me wrong, so I’m wanting something else. Nor is this an argument about whether such tactics as I describe are legitimate. I’m just drawing a complete blank on synonyms for this, and I’m pretty sure that they exist.

I chose IMHO because I’m open to people explaining their opinion about which synonym is the best, more natural, etc.


or hobbled.

Disabled. Hobbled. Compromised. Minimized.

I would think the type of difference would give a better idea. Made it worse how?

Slowed. Abbreviated functions. Reduced customization.

In that specific context, crippled software performance, I think I like “deliberately downgraded” or “deliberately degraded”.

But in most other contexts, I think I’d usually prefer other synonyms that have been mentioned above.


Every time I hear that word, I recall the hobbling scene from Misery.


The book or the movie?

Good question. Movie.

I’m just being an SK snob. (Book is worse!)

When I was a young teen, if my brothers or I wanted to go to a movie that there was a book on already, such as Misery or Rome and Juliet, my parents required us to read the book first, and then give them an oral book report without notes before they would give us permission to go to the flick. I discovered a few years back that my parents weren’t the only ones with that policy. Initially, I did not like it; however, thanks to my parents, I really got more out of the film than my friends did.

But there’s no way I could’ve made it through reading Misery.

“Sunset” is a related verb for when the company just stops supporting it. While the intent may not be to worsen it, that is the effect.

derated; decontented; abridged; limited

How about “unabled”?

Any number of slang terms regarding fixing a racehorse eg “nobbled” could apply.

I have been using the word “hobbled” and I’m glad that others suggested it.

On a parallel note, where traditional industry terminology is now distasteful: It’s common in technological frameworks to have a primary system which holds most data, drives critical processes, and makes key decisions, and secondary systems which largely mirror the primary system and follow its lead. The usual way to describe this arrangement is “master” and “slave.”

I hate hearing this, every time it comes up. It’s traditional, it’s accurate and understood in the industry, but it always rubs me the wrong way. When I’m talking about these system relationships in my work, with clients or co-workers, I do my best to avoid this, using alternatives like “primary/subservient” and such.

Am I alone? Does anyone else do this? Has new terminology been introduced and gained any level of wider acceptance?

I’ve seen ‘nerfed’ used in contexts similar to this (usually when certain important features are rendered unusable, either as a marketing scheme for the higher-price option, or by accident).

When data (not software) is deliberately rendered impotent, the term is ‘munged’ - this is often done for example to create test user profile data that doesn’t actually relate to real-world people or addresses


Maybe think instead of hobble skirts?

“Hobble” seems a good word for the OP. The second definition here is closest, “tie or strap together (the legs of a horse or other animal) to prevent it from straying”.

First word that sprung to my mind.