Discussion in 'Gay and Lesbian at Disney' started by Caropooh, Apr 7, 2006.
or at least I hope I'm one!
How did the term "gay" come to mean someone homosexual?
I found this ...
Gay meaning homosexual, dating back to the 1930s (if not earlier), became established in the 1960s as the term preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. It is now the standard accepted term throughout the English-speaking world. As a result, the centuries-old other senses of gay meaning either carefree or bright and showy, once common in speech and literature, are much less frequent. The word gay cannot be readily used unselfconsciously today in these older senses without sounding old-fashioned or arousing a sense of double entendre, despite concerted attempts by some to keep them alive. Gay in its modern sense typically refers to men ( lesbian being the standard term for homosexual women), but in some contexts it can be used of both men and women.
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One funny thing about waiting on the English.
Ever so often one will come up to you and ask "Do you know where I can buy a ***?"
And I always want to reply..."I hear Orange Blossom Trail is the best place!"
I had heard that the usage of Gay for Homosexual goes even further back, and can probably be traced to the late 1880's in London, when a woman having gone gay meant she was a prostitute,
It comes to us from Gay Polari, which was a language of code used by homoseuxal men in the UK during the 20's and onward (it is making a resurgence of sorts).
So in code, gay meant homosexual, omi was a man, palone was a woman, omi-palone was a homosexual, etc.
Bona to vada your dolly old eek (Good to see your pleasant face).
Bona latty (Nice house)
Vada that omi's bona lallys (Look at that guy's nice legs)
It was a way that gay men could talk without being understood by others.
If any one is interested in Polari here are some links:
Polari - A Cinderella Among Languages (http://members.aol.com/frij/)
Hugh Young's Lexicon of Polari (http://www.homeusers.prestel.co.uk/cello/Polari.htm)
Well, I'll be!! That bit of information is totally new for this CSP...I love languages, hence why I became an interpreter. This is so interesting...wow!
Thanks iankh for sharing with us!!
I can definitely see me getting a lot of use out of this phrase on my next Disney trip!!
Now to convince my bencove (close friend) to learn it so we can cant (talk) privately in public while there.
I knew a woman who's first name was Gay. When she was named that it didn't mean what it does today. She always gets strange looks when she introduces herself and says "Hi I'm Gay"
In the 30's and 40's my great-uncle refered to the couple next door as the "Jewel bedecked gentlemen" I thought that sounded hilarious.
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