Sped is a derogatory expression, used mostly to signify one’s sentiments about the mental capacities of someone else.
The word itself is used to refer to Special Education, though it is also the past tense of the word speed, which makes the insult multi layered; a comment on the extraordinary needs of the person, as well as the restricted processing power of his brain, while mimicking the misspelling of the word speed.
Origin of the term
Special education schools have been present in Western Europe since the 18th century, with the first school for deaf people opening in Edinburgh in 1760, with education for the visually impaired starting five years after that.
The origin of the term Sped used for special education comes from North America.
Spread of the term
The term became an insult somewhere in the late 20th century, though there is no concrete date to the first use of it. It is commonly used on chatrooms and forums on the internet. The expression has been present on Urban Dictionary since 2003.
- Urban Dictionary – Sped