Nonce

From Academic Kids

  • Nonce means 'for the present time' or 'for a single occasion or purpose', although the word is not often found in general use. A dictionary may note nonce words, those for which there is only a single textual instance.
  • In the UK, the term nonce is a slang word used to refer to a sex offenders, especially paedophiles, and thus as an insult. Folk etymologies for the origins of this word state that the word derives from Not Of Normal Criminal Ethos, used to mean an offender whose motivation was different from the purely acquisitive, or possibly Not On Normal Courtyard Exercise, for prisoners that were not to be mixed with the general population for their own safety. As with most cases, these folk etymologies are examples of backronyms and should not be taken seriously. The actual origin of this word is unknown, but it is probable that it is derived from nancy, a derogatory term referring to homosexual males.
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