Research Article

Name Calling as a Strategic Communicative Tool: An Analytic Study of Jacques Pauw’s Text “The President’s Keepers”


  • Lutendo Nendauni Academic Excellence Coordinator, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
  • Masindi Francinah Sadiki Lecturer, Department of Communication and Applied Language Studies, University of Venda, South Africa


Names are vital in social construction since the process of naming is a linguistic act which is linked with anticipations, values, qualms and events in people’s lives (De Klerk, 1996:18). Apart from proper name acquired from birth, humans are at times bestowed with names based on their appearance, background or deeds and this is termed name-calling. Politicians often resort to name calling to gain advantage over their oppositions (Ebeogu, 1993:133 cited in Kofi 2006:19). The purpose of this study was to explore how name-calling serve as a communicative tool in textual discourse with a distinct focus on Jacques Paw’s text entitled “The president’s keepers”. The objectives of the study were to flag out discourse segments exhibiting name-calling in the text and to highlight the socio-cultural interpretation derived from the bestowed names of the name-bearer. The study applied qualitative approach and discourse-textual analysis as the research methodology. “The president’s keeper’s text served as a secondary instrument of data collection”. Discourse segments from the text displaying name-calling served as the population of the study, whereas purposive sampling was used to reduce the population into workable number of names. Critical Discourse Analysis was used to analyse the purposively selected names. Coding was then employed to arrange data for analysis and interpretation. The findings of the study reveal that name-calling is mostly used as verbal abuse that connotes negativity demonstrated by the source towards the target; subsequently socio-cultural clues give rise to name-calling and people are bestowed with names based on their general deeds.

Article information


Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies

Volume (Issue)

1 (5)





How to Cite

Nendauni, L. ., & Sadiki, M. F. . (2019). Name Calling as a Strategic Communicative Tool: An Analytic Study of Jacques Pauw’s Text “The President’s Keepers”. Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies, 1(5), 85–91. Retrieved from



discourse, name-calling, strategic communication, Social construction the president’s keeper, derogative, diminutives