Before the Nazis zoomed to being a buzzword

Everyone you do not agree with is a Nazi (2020)… I believe that before the Nazis became infamous, perhaps Bolshevic was used in the same way. I don’t know. But is there in history other terms that were used to deride folks with another opinion?

Can’t say I have every heard Nazi being used the way suggested. One does hear it overused to describe any overly authoritarian behaviour. “Little Hitler” is another similar phrase.

Bolshevism is more associated with revolution. The phrase “getting a bit Bolshy” was used in days past to describe behaviour of someone or a group that were generally being troublesome or a pest. Even children. But more seriously rooted in groups such as trade unions.

There was a previous thread on this subject based on the name ‘Hitler’.


I knew a guy whose father belonged to the American Nazi party during the depression. Apparently it was considered by some to be just another political party.

This questions comes up a lot. Prior to Nazi being used for generic bad guy, people commonly used Hun.

Not really. A Philistine is someone indifferent or hostile to the arts. Now that may be true of Nazis, but that word mainly signifies a brutal authoritarian.

Hun used to be such a term. Similar ones might be Tsar or Cossack. An even older term for a cruel ruler would be a Turk.

We wouldn’t have Godwin’s Law if there hadn’t been some people who reflexively call everyone they disagree with a Nazi or compare them to Hitler. And it’s not new; Godwin’s Law was coined 30 years ago during the Usenet days.

I remember those days. Watched many such threads degenerate. Usually the association with Hitler or Nazism still came down to either comparisons to politics or policy, or via accusations of authoritarian behaviour. The conversations had almost always long since departed from the original disagreement. When people are yelling down their keyboard it is grimly amusing just how predictable their lines of argument are. Some things never change.

“Fascist” is lamentably popular (including among a faction of this board) for describing virtually any remotely authoritarian proposal or statement with which one disagrees.

“Communist” was a popular expletive used against those supporting a greater government role on any matter, largely supplanted now by “socialist”.

Do you have an example? See, I do not agree with that statement. So, yeah… example, please.

The political dialogue has included this epithet innumerable times. Easiest one, current President Trump. Even though he is the greatest friend Israel has ever had among US presidents. Another example, one out of many:

Well that’s just… not correct. Not correct at all.

“…as well as to his abortive attempt to bring on tech writer Quinn Norton (the hiring was quickly reversed after Twitter posters exposed a friendship with a neo-Nazi). …”
Well, OK, a few steps removed from nazihood. I can see why he’s sensetive. Close to home and all that. Anyway, your OP said it was everyone you don’t agree with. I don’t agree with that, and I’m not calling that to which I disagree a nazi. So it’s a false statement But I asked for an example and got one.

The Master did a column on something similar but I can’t find it. IIRC he said that Pharoah was the evilest bad guy before Hitler.

British soldiers disparagingly called Germans “The Hun” throughout both worlds wars.

I asked a similar question on another messageboard. It was pointed out to me that (as anyone in the UK familiar with the TV sitcom Dad’s Army should know, which is most of us), before “little Hitler” there was “little Napoleon”.

“When people are yelling down their keyboard it is grimly amusing just how predictable their lines of argument are. Some things never change.”

Indeed. So very true.