How Did the Word “Stigma” For a Negative Perception Originate and What Does the Term Mean?

People held in low esteem are stigmatized for their actions by some outward sign or symbol of weakness.

Although stigma is a Greek word meaning “puncture,” we get the word from the Romans, who called the scar branded on a slave’s forehead a stigma.

In Hawthome’s The Scarlet Letter, the letter A stigmatized Hester Prynne and made a public example of her adultery.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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