I have faced it in the political news. For example here in the comments under the article:

Rowhani's 'path of moderation' also shows limits

What does it mean exactly and why is it called like this?


"Teabagger" is yet another shining example of "civil discourse" by left wingers in America.

The etymology of the word "teabagging" involves a slang term originating in American homosexual subculture (ref-NSFW) involving a specific (typically humiliating based on context) sexual activity between two homosexual males. I won't bother going into clinical details, for Urban Dictionary does that for you. The term first entered popular culture via a gay bar scene in a 1998 comedy/drama movie called "Pecker" and then video game players imitating the act.

The supposedly cultured, civil and enlightened members of left wing political culture (up to and including President Obama, who three days earlier publicly decried the lack of civility in American politics) and supposedly professional journalism (CNN and MSNBC main anchors and PBS senior correspondent, not just some random blogs or forum commenters) decided that this term would strongly elevate American civil discourse if it was publicly and massively applied to members of Tea Party (which was, of course, a political movement named after a famous historical event wherein a quantity of tea cargo was destroyed in protestation of British tax policies).

The nominal reason for this shining beacon of an example of civil, polite and dignified example of political engagement of one's opponents from the American left wing was the fact that Tea Party in 2009 advocated sending - in reminder of said Boston Tea Party - tea bags to elected officials as a "Taxed Enough Already" (TEA) sign.

  • let us continue this discussion in chat – user4012 Jun 18 '13 at 14:52
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    I don't see any link here to suggest that the homosexual practice is linked to the use of the term bagger to describe Tea Party members by the Left. This answer cannot be canon for SE Politics. It's absurd. There is a cited link below showing the Tea Party themselves used the term first. – Venture2099 Feb 25 '17 at 15:31
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    This is the same Tea Party who engage in "civil discourse" by comparing ACA to Nazi policy, going on about Barrack ☭HUSSEIN☭ Obama's heritage, putting up tasteful billboards, etc. etc. etc. It seems to me there are plenty of problems with "civil discourse" on both sides. I agree with your general description and dislike the term as well, but attempting to frame lack of civil discourse as a problem with just "left wingers" is just nonsense. – Martin Tournoij Feb 27 '17 at 12:56
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    Well, the general tone of your answer really comes across as overly partisan and even borderline hostile, which really takes away from the otherwise excellent answer. As mentioned, I dislike hurling insults in any condition, but these are the same people that literally go around calling Obama Hitler and much worse. Without this important context the answer is incomplete at best. – Martin Tournoij Feb 27 '17 at 18:02
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    Lol this is a terrible answer – WakeDemons3 Oct 5 '18 at 20:08

(I'll try and post a less overtly biased and editorialized answer. We'll see how it flies...)

The term 'teabagger' is slang (typically used in the pejorative sense) to refer to those that associate themselves with the Tea Party, which is a movement primarily (but not exclusively) associated with the Republican Party in the United States.

It's a double entendre as it refers to a sex act/prank as well.

UPDATE: It appears some contest the statement that the Tea Party is primarily affiliated with the Republican Party. It's not necessarily germane to the question, but did offer some context as to where the Tea Party sits on the US political spectrum. That statement is based on the fact that of the 100+ US Politicians that claim affiliation with the Tea Party Movement, all are Republican. In addition, of the 66 members of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress, all were republican. As for supporters, per a Gallup poll, "Tea Party supporters are decidedly Republican".

  • I assume they're also unaffiliated with the Communist party. But so what? I'm sticking with the numbers. – user1530 Jun 19 '13 at 3:25
  • let us continue this discussion in chat – user1530 Jun 19 '13 at 3:52

Moreover, as Jay Nordlinger at National Review admits, the term "teabagger" was introduced to the political lexicon by Tea Party movement leaders:

The first big day for this movement was Tax Day, April 15. And organizers had a gimmick. They asked people to send a tea bag to the Oval Office. One of the exhortations was “Tea Bag the Fools in D.C.” A protester was spotted with a sign saying, “Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You.” So, conservatives started it: started with this terminology. But others ran with it and ran with it. — (source)


"Teabagging" is when a male dips his scrotum upon another person's face as an insult. It's commonly simulated in FPS video-games where a victorious player crouches up and down over a player that he's killed.

In the scope of politics, It's a pejorative term for a member of the "Tea Party" which is a movement which is known for it's fiscal conservatism.

one uses the term "teabagger" is used to put extra emphasis on the fact that he/she doesn't take that particular member of the tea party seriously.

The reason they use the word "teabagger" is simply because both Tea Party and Teabag have the word Tea in them

  • I'm not sure if I should downvote for incorrectly getting the definition (it's not "waving at"), or upvote for the videogame origin story (which is as far as I know somewhat correct, bit not relevant enough that I was too lazy to chase it down to include in my own answer) – user4012 Jun 18 '13 at 4:51

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