How to Say “Bullying”: Formal and Informal Ways, Tips, and Examples

When it comes to expressing the concept of “bullying,” it’s important to have a variety of words at your disposal. In this guide, we will explore formal and informal ways to say “bullying” and provide you with numerous tips and examples to enhance your understanding of this sensitive subject.

Formal Ways to Say “Bullying”

If you prefer a more formal tone when discussing bullying, here are several alternatives to the word itself:

1. Harassment

Harassment is a legal term often used in formal settings to address any unwanted behavior that causes distress or harm. It can be verbal, physical, or even psychological in nature.

Example: The company has strict policies against workplace harassment.

2. Intimidation

Intimidation refers to the act of instilling fear or threatening someone through various means, such as physical aggression, verbal abuse, or manipulation.

Example: The defendant was charged with intimidation and assault.

3. Victimization

Victimization refers to the mistreatment or abuse of someone, often on a repetitive basis, causing them significant distress and harm.

Example: The child’s victimization at school led to a decline in academic performance.

Informal Ways to Say “Bullying”

If you prefer a more casual tone or wish to discuss bullying in less formal contexts, here are some alternatives to consider:

1. Teasing

Teasing refers to playful or mocking actions or remarks that may cause someone discomfort or distress.

Example: Some children engage in teasing as a means of establishing social hierarchy.

2. Picking on

The phrase “picking on” implies repeatedly targeting someone for criticism, mockery, or harm.

Example: Stop picking on your little brother; it’s not fair.

3. Bullying behavior

Instead of using the specific term “bullying,” you can refer to someone’s behavior as bullying behavior to address their harmful actions.

Example: The teacher addressed the issue of bullying behavior in the classroom.

Tips for Addressing Bullying

Regardless of the words you choose to describe bullying, it’s crucial to address this issue effectively. Here are some tips to consider:

1. Be empathetic

When discussing bullying, try to put yourself in the shoes of the person being bullied. Empathy creates understanding and can help facilitate meaningful discussions or interventions.

2. Encourage open dialogue

Creating a safe space for victims and witnesses of bullying to share their experiences is essential. Encourage open dialogue to gain better insight and develop solutions.

3. Teach conflict resolution skills

Providing individuals with the necessary skills to resolve conflicts peacefully can help prevent bullying situations from escalating.

4. Promote awareness and education

Raising awareness about the signs, effects, and consequences of bullying can help prevent future occurrences. Education on empathy, respect, and kindness is crucial in fostering a positive and inclusive environment.


Using alternative expressions for the term “bullying” allows for a deeper understanding and discussion of this important issue. Whether you opt for a formal or informal approach, remember to maintain a warm and compassionate tone when addressing bullying. By utilizing empathy, encouraging dialogue, teaching conflict resolution skills, and promoting awareness, we can work towards a world free from the harmful effects of bullying.

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