Professional Teacher
Gaslighting What is it ? Its a very popular term right now. It means, "when people are abused there are signs that you can point to that are much more obvious. Someone who has been hit or threatened for instance - it's easy to see and understand how they have been hurt. But when someone is manipulating you, you end up second-guessing yourself and turning your attention to yourself as the person to blame".
Jun 5, 2018 1:50 AM
Comments · 14

You should watch the movie the phrase comes from.  It is a wonderful classic.

Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer

June 5, 2018

Aliph, I'm not sure I would agree with the OP -- I don't think many people today would know the term.  The last time I heard it used in pop culture was in the '90's.  The movie is all but gone and the concept behind it is hard to implement - especially among friends!

I have a soft place in my heart for "Gaslight".  One college term I really went out of my way to get home at the end of the term as early as possible, a lot of effort to get home and when I arrived ready to celebrate I found out all my friends would still be a day or two before they arrived.  Ugh!

So I sat on the couch depressed and complained to my mom about the problem and I told her to top it off the only thing on TV that night was some stupid old black and white movie called "Gaslight".  She told me to watch it, that I would enjoy it.  At 19 years of age, how could I enjoy an old movie in black and white?

Well I did watch it, and that movie opened up a whole world of wonderful old movies to me that I enjoy to this day :-)

Now my kids wonder if my TV shows anything in color at all!

June 5, 2018
NealC - omg, I just realized something! What if people were thinking it was lighting farts on fire, and that's why it peaked out during the election? If I remember correctly, there was a bit more hot air being released at that time...
June 6, 2018

Bluebottle - gaslighting someone has a subtle shade of meaning, the deliberate approach, the implied relationship, the cruelty.  But it is certainly not a necessary piece of vocabulary, that is why I had thought that without the film the concept was nearly gone.

Aegis - your comment about the oligarchs certainly rings true but I just don't remember the use of the term during the election.  Who was saying the other side was gaslighting who?

Could the rise of the term be a sign of the rise of the Turner Classic Movie network?  They claim to be doing well with a young audience.  Or is that theory silly?

June 6, 2018
What if you wanted to light the gas, could you then be said 'to gas light'? I liked the film (with Angela Lansbury), but would not use the verb as, presumably, it happens seldom enough, and why confuse? We already have 'to send someone mad' or 'to drive someone mad'. It 
June 6, 2018
Show more