The main types of teasing

Children use three levels of words. These depend on your culture, language, the school and your community. Although some words seem meaningless, they may carry a nasty connotation at your school.

Level 1: These are the words you may find easier to share with your parents and teachers:

• dumb, imbecile, dummy, weak, moron, idiot, loser, bimbo, mental

• shortie, shrimp, unco(ordinated), spaso (spastic), fatso, four eyes, tram tracks, retard, freckle face, feral, girl, surfboard (flat-chested), pindick (small penis)

• sook, hopeless, pest, nuisance, pathetic, baby, crybaby, shut up

• you smell, go away, I don't want to catch your germs, germinated

Level 2: This list usually includes swear words. You know they are bad words because you look anxious, ashamed or embarrassed; you blush, squirm, jiggle, lower your head and avoid eye contact. You don't like telling them to adults. These are the hidden words that most bullies use:

• ching-chong boy, wog, dago, slant-eye, Jew, monkey (people with dark skin), dog (to a Muslim), city snob, mainlander, peasant.

• dickhead, wanker, little dick

• bullshitter, arsehole, fart face, pile of shit/poo/diarrhoea, shithead

• bitch, bitch lips, bastard, slut, prostitute

• homosexual, homo, poofter, (leso) lesbian, gay

Level 3: These words are the worst: although most primary-age children hear them at school, they are scared to tell adults. These words elicit the greatest amount of sensitivity, a stunned silence or anger from adults who deny them, or hilarity when children and adults laugh while releasing pent-up, painful feelings about bullying. These are the 'f' word and the 'c' word, e.g.:

• fucking bitch, fuck face, fuckwit, fuck you, fuck off, fuck your mother

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