[Ads-l] less than, adj.

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jul 15 22:36:10 UTC 2017

This has long been a part of self-help-speak. I see examples on Google
Books going back to the '90s -- it appears to have developed from
"(feeling) less than others" to the elliptical "(feeling) less than".

Beverly Engel, _The Emotionally Abused Woman: Overcoming Destructive
Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself_ (1992)
No matter how successful, how intelligent, or how attractive she is, she
still feels "less than" other people.
Ed Rubenstein, _An Awakening from the Trances of Everyday Life: A Journey
to Empowerment_ (1999)
When you are feeling more-than you feel superior, or better, than another
person. When you feel less-than you are feeling insecure or inadequate.

On Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 5:46 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>

> 'Inferior.'
> Calif. woman on CNN:
> "You don't want to be at a business meeting, and someone says something
> that makes you feel less than."
> JL

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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