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Difference Between Dwarf and Midget

dwarf-and-midget_sDwarf vs Midget

Dwarf and midget are sometimes used synonymously. That is because these two terms refer to people that are vertically challenged. However, the terms dwarf and midget are not similar. They are totally different from each other. Here are some major differences between a dwarf and a midget.

First of all, you have to be careful when using these terms when referring to vertically challenged individuals. Midget is considered not politically correct and has derogatory connotation. Among the community of vertically challenged individuals, the term dwarf is not offensive.

In terms of physical characteristics, the term dwarf refers to very short individuals with disproportionate body. A dwarf could have a normal sized head but with very short arms and small hands. In contrast, a midget is an individual with very short stature but has proportional body. Because of these distinguishing characteristics, there is no associated problem with the growth of a midget while the growth of a dwarf can cause disability.

A dwarf person has a medical condition called dwarfism. This is caused by a genetic disorder. Meanwhile, a midget usually inherits the condition from his or her parents. It can also be caused by malnutrition.

Because dwarfism is a specific medical condition, a dwarf can suffer from lots of physical and health problems. It should be noted that a midget is a person in perfect health. A dwarf can suffer from malformed bones and joints, nerve compression, and possible disorientation of the organs. These conditions will not happen to midget people.

A dwarf can correct the condition through surgery. A procedure called limb lengthening surgery is usually performed. A midget can add more inches to his or her height by taking hormonal supplements and proper nutrition.

These are the characteristics that distinguish a dwarf from a midget. Do take note that the socially acceptable term for vertically challenged individuals is dwarf and not midget.


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8 Comments

  1. It’s a bit rough to be called a dwarf when you don’t suffer from dwarfism. If midget is offensive then there should be a more acceptable term than dwarf to describe these perfectly proportioned people. If I were one of them I would hate people to insinuate that I’m not just vertically challenged but could also be suffering from poor health.

    • I think that this term shouldn’t be considered offensive simply because it is a medical condition. Although I am not a dwarf, and cannot speak for them, I believe that if i were in the same position it wouldn’t offend me.
      Besides, most people wouldn’t assume it’s from malnutrition.

  2. “Vertically challenged”? Seriously? Is there something wrong with the word “short” or “small” or “little”?

    And as already pointed out, how can it make sense to call someone a “dwarf” when they are not, in fact, a dwarf?

    • And some people who are vertically challenged are horizontally successful!!!

      • Sooo… the whole point is that the two Are in fact different yet can’t be called different things. Great. Thanks for clearing that up …..btw…..the horizontal comment is laugh out loud funny! I love it!
        sincerely, a vertically “average” person
        average sounds so .. average. perhaps I need a new name… hmm ive been called & somehow lived through, bean pole, tomboy, brainy, bimbo…oh & I’m a 2nd child :) life goes on Anyway

  3. Well being a Dwarf, I have had to deal with this my whole life. I used to get upset when someone called me a midget, for the simple fact that the person using the term was calling me something im not. But honestly its just another way of people labeling you, it doesn’t matter what they call you, it happens in all sizes and all races of people. I now try and focus on getting rid of all that crap, I don’t care what you call me, just don’t call me late for dinner! LOL If society feels it necessary to put a label on me, by all means if that’s what makes you feel better have at it, if you wanna ask me what i am or what you should call me, my friends and family call me Brandon or Lil B, I have no problems with shorty or short stuff or whatever, but realize this, I am just a human being trying to get along in this world just like everyone else, we are all tied together in the great chain of life. So when you have an issue as what to call another person, whether they be short, tall, skinny, thick, black, white, brown, or purple, just ask them their name! God Bless!

  4. A tall person says what..

  5. So if there are characteristic differences between a person who has dwarfism and the people deemed ‘midget’ (meaning Dwarf=diproportionate body parts vs Midget=proportioned just small) what do we really call the ‘midget’ if he or she is not a dwarf? because you said that the word doesn’t fit both but the word midget is offensive. I am not using the word to be offensive so please no one take it that way. I genuinely want to know. Is it just a matter of they are a small person? or is their a term better suited that isn’t revolving around ‘vertically challenged”? I like someone who is ‘small’ but he doesn’t see himself as a dwarf and nor do I. I just don’t want to say the wrong thing.

    Thanks
    V

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