godbag n. a person who espouses or promotes a religion, especially in politics or the public sphere. Editorial Note: A different “god bag” is a device for relieving psychological burdens: it is a receptacle that holds pieces of paper on which one has described one’s troubles. The 2001 citation is probably an unrelated nonce usage, as the writer has used the word “God” to replace obscenities throughout the post. Etymological Note: Perhaps patterned after “windbag,” “dirtbag,” “douchebag,” or “scumbag.” (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. I appreciate that to you “godbag” means what you’ve posted here and on your web site, but my definition is based on an examination of how the term is used by many people, not just you, and not just in the cites I chose to include in my entry. As is often the case with slang, across the broad pattern of usage the meanings’s sharp edges are beveled down so that it becomes less derogatory, more generalized, and more bland as it spreads among more people and across a longer expanse of time. Also, since the term is relatively new, there is not a clearcut consensus as to the severity or specificity of its meaning. My definition is all-inclusive and covers the broad range of uses, from people who use it merely to mean “a believer in God” to those who might choose your definition. Perhaps in a few years when the term has had a chance to spread further and be more widely used I will reexamine the definition to see how it settled out.

  2. tigtog says:

    Many lexicographers differentiate between how a term is used as jargon and how the word is used as broad slang. In fact, doing so is almost the definition of a superior dictionary.

    e.g. in theological jargon, atheists are simply not theists (and thus agnostics are also atheists), whereas in common slang atheists actively deny the possibly of god (which theologically is referred to as anti-theism).

    Off to see what your entry says there.

  3. tigtog says:

    Also, the two 2005 references explicitly refer to authoritarian intolerance (anti-abortionists, creationists) when using the term.  The 2006 reference is pure faux-etymology from an unqualified pundit: surely you know the problems with etymological speculation based on homophones?

  4. Yep, I’m aware of it. That’s why that etymology is not supported in the etymological note.

  5. tigtog says:

    Wrong, I’m afraid.  A godbag does not merely espouse or promote a religion, a godbag is an intolerant authoritarian zealot, who uses religious language to persecute others who make choices the godbag doesn’t like.

    Religious people who respect the right of others to make their own choices are not godbags.

  6. tigtog says:

    Sorry for three in a row – you don’t have an entry for atheist, and I understand why as you’re covering emerging language.

    Still, when “focusing on slang, jargon, new words,”, isn’t differentiating between jargon and slang important?

  7. Note that I have neither marked the term as jargon, nor as slang.

  8. tigtog says:

    Fair enough: I do understand that the term is still emerging, and my point is made.

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