Abstract : In this article, words/terms that are exchanged over time are studied. Words/terms referring to the concept ‘person with intellectual disability' are discussed. The main data has been extracted from information brochures and web pages 1959–2009. The theoretical perspective combines cognitive linguistics and discourse analysis. The methodology makes use of image schemas as known from Lakoff & Johnson (1980) in order to evaluate the terms. Further, discourse analysis is used in order to reveal implicit presuppositions about authorities related to the concept (doctors, politicians etc.). The results show that all terms used during 1959–2009 exhibit various difficulties. Terms containing efter ‘after' and ner ‘down', such as efterbliven and person med funktionsnedsättning, will give rise to negative associations. Specific terms, such as barn som i sitt fortsatta leverne behöver mycket stora resurser för att kunna fortsätta sin utveckling 'children, who in their life from now on need very great resources in order to be able to continue their development' have great depth in terms of intention, but are difficult to use more generally. Concerning authorities, early texts (during 1950's and 1960's) express a strong confidence in authorities such as doctors and experts, while later texts (during 1990's and 2000's) show that the competence about ‘person with disabilities' is to be found in persons working close to the group (on a daily basis) or in the very group.