Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Topic Options
#210795 - 05/06/13 10:50 AM on the diverse meanings of gay
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
From the ca.1425 Medulla grammatice (MS Stnh A.1.10) 36a/b: Laciuus: gay. The Medulla grammatice is a collection of 15th century Latin-Middle English glossaries. Latin lascivus had good and bad senses. For the former 'wanton, petulant, sportive, playful, frolicsome, frisky' and for the latter 'licentious, lewd, lustful, lascivious'.

Eric Partridge in his A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (in two volumes), Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961:

Gay. (Of women) leading an immoral, or a harlot’s, life: 1825, Westmacott (OED), In C. 20, coll., on verge of SE.—2. Slightly intoxicated; ob. C.19–20; Perhaps orig. a euphemism.—3. Impudent, impertinent, presumptious: US (—1899), anglicized in 1915 by PG Wodehouse, OED (Sup.).

Also, gay house ‘brothel’, gay in the arse ‘(Of women) loose’, to lead a gay life ‘to live immorally’, the gay instrument ‘the male member’, gaying it ‘sexual intercourse’.

So, it seems that "gay" has multiple meanings since at least the 15th century, and that some from the last century or more have had to do with sex. So, why all the hubbub over the last 40 years or so with an additional meaning? One can only wonder.
_________________________
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

Top
#210805 - 05/06/13 12:12 PM Re: on the diverse meanings of gay [Re: zmjezhd]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Right, I'm glad we can still call a horse a horse, a wheel a wheel and language language. wink

Top

Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8738 Members
16 Forums
13807 Topics
215138 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
KatieC, ashishsum, ackcat, mayne, Yesurbius
8738 Registered Users
Who's Online
0 registered (), 35 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
endymion6 86
LukeJavan8 82
wofahulicodoc 66
A C Bowden 37
Tromboniator 4
May 4
FoFong 3
LadyReader 2
TitoMatito 1
tsuwm 1
Top Posters
wwh 13858
Faldage 13803
Jackie 11609
tsuwm 10522
Buffalo Shrdlu 7210
AnnaStrophic 6511
LukeJavan8 6490
Wordwind 6296
of troy 5400
BranShea 5282

Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 2014 Wordsmith