EtymologyFrom Tamil paraiyar. Parai refers in Tamil to a type of large drum designed to announce king's notices to the public. The people who made a living using the parai were called paraiyar; in the caste ridden society they were in lower strata, hence the derisive paraiah and pariah. Now, the term is used to describe an outcast in English.
n. [Tamil. paraiyan, drummer, from parai, drum: a pariah was a hereditary drumbeater.]
- 1842 --
William Makepeace Thackeray, The Fitz-Boodle Papers
(Fitz-Boodle's Confessions, preface
- What is this smoking that it should be considered a crime? I believe in my heart that women are jealous of it, as of a rival. They speak of it as of some secret, awful vice that seizes upon a man, and makes him a pariah from genteel society.
- 1985 — Robert
Holmes, The Two Doctors, p 14
- 'I'm a pariah, outlawed from Time Lord society.'
Pariah, (Tamil language) or Paraya in Malayalam, is the name of the Pariah caste of Indian Hindu society. The word has gained widespread use as an analogy, especially in the phrases "social pariah" and "pariah nation" or "pariah state", as a term for anyone considered an outcast, isolated, or different by others. The word is considered to be offensive to the Pariahs (Pariah drummers). More recently, they have taken to calling themselves Sambavas.
Pariah may also refer to:
- Pariah dog, a breed of canine
- Pariah (comics), a DC Comics character.
- Pariah, a founding member of The Threshold, an organization in Doctor Who comics, as featured in Doctor Who Magazine
- Pariah (video game)
- Pariah (album), a 2005 album by the band Naglfar
- Pariah (song), a song by the band Lamb of God.
- Pariah Dark, a fictional character from the Danny Phantom animated series.
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