it first emerged as a way of describing handicaps, but later came to be used as an insult to one’s intellect because of its association with handicaps. but the thing here is that nobody has the handicapped community in mind when they use retard to insult someone else. it has taken on a different meaning, a different intent. the word “bad” was once used as an old english insult describing effeminate men, centuries ago. is “bad” a slur?