Talk:gay

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2004[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

Don we now our gay apparel

This appears to be less than straight forward and very Yoda-like.


  • Many gay people prefer not to be referred to by this noun, feeling that being known as "gays" depersonalises them and reduces them to little more than their sexual orientation. The terms they prefer use gay as an adjective only (as in "gay men").

I hardly think that the use of "gay" for homosexual can be considered slang anymore. It has become over the past 30 years the primary meaning of the word and today the previous meanings can be considered obsolete. "gay" as a synonym for "lame" or "boring" or "uncool" certainly should be labelled as slang.



I don't see any difference between meanings 3 and 4, 'homosexual' and 'pertaining to homosexuals'. We should combine them. The translations are all the same, too. RSvK 02:59, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The difference is slight but there is one. A "gay bar" is one intended for homosexuals but is not itself homosexual. Some of the translations do differ - see the Finnish (assuming these are correctly numbered). Some languages use a prefix for the "intended for homosexuals" sense but a separate word for the "homosexual" sense. So I feel this distinction is justified. — Paul G 08:35, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I very much doubt that gay in (the former) definition 4 is an adjective at all. It is a noun. Consider something like salad dressing, which is a dressing intended for salads, but salad certainly isn't an adjective. Ncik 10 Mar 2005

"while others feel that political correctness is hindering the natural progression of the language."

Oh, honestly... If someone is so irked by the statement that a pejorative usage actually does offend the people it is intended to insult, as to raise the tired old bugbear of "PC"... I suggest deleting the entire paragraph, and changing meaning 5 to indicate that it is pejorative slang, so that bigots may read this entry free from moral chastisement. Or would that yet be too "PC?" Baixue June 17th, 2005

Etymology[edit]

I've been looking up the etymology of the word. i don't see anything that supports the idea that it comes from gaudium--tho no one really knows and i didn't find anything that says the meaning homosexual comes from arabic and then french. i might not have looked in the right places so i didnt want to delete those statements. but if someone does get a chance to research some more that'd be great.

Arabic word[edit]

(Though the homosexual sense of the term is said to have come from an Arabic word via French.) 11 mar 2004

Funny, according to the archive on wikidtionary this sentence has been added the day of the terrorist attack in Madrid. I would like to know what is this arabic word.

  • gay
1178, "full of joy or mirth," from O.Fr. gai "gay, merry," perhaps from Frank. *gahi (cf. O.H.G. wahi "pretty"). Meaning "brilliant, showy" is from c.1300. Slang for "homosexual" (adj.) is first recorded 1951, apparently shortened from gey cat "homosexual boy," attested in N. Erskine's 1933 dictionary of "Underworld & Prison Slang;" the term gey cat (gey is a Scot. variant of gay) was used as far back as 1893 in Amer.Eng. for "young hobo," one who is new on the road and usually in the company of an older tramp, with catamite connotations. But Josiah Flynt ["Tramping With Tramps," 1905] defines gay cat as, "An amateur tramp who works when his begging courage fails him" Gey cats were also said to be tramps who offered sexual services to women. The "Dictionary of American Slang" reports that gay (adj.) was used by homosexuals, among themselves, in this sense since at least 1920. Ayto ["20th Century Words"] calls attention to the ambiguous use of the word in the 1868 song "The Gay Young Clerk in the Dry Goods Store," by U.S. female impersonator Will S. Hays. The word gay in the 1890s had an overall tinge of promiscuity -- a gay house was a brothel. The suggestion of immorality in the word can be traced back to 1637. Gay as a noun meaning "a (usually male) homosexual" is attested from 1971.

2005[edit]

Archaic[edit]

Is the "happy, joyful, and lively" usage for gay archaic? 24 22:09, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

No, I don't think it is. It still meant that less than fifty years ago. I'm going to remove the tags. --84.71.118.198 12:37, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Why appending homosexuality to 'gay'; how did it come to that homosexuality was being placed under 'gay' term (with its foremost meanings of 'being lively, joyful, bright, merry')? Implying that not-gay men are then not-lively, not-bright, not-...? --193.95.200.174 08:08, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Because homosexual is what it usually means in Modern English. It is rarely used in the meaning of joyful and merry anymore except in a few stock phrases and traditional songs, and even those are usually avoided because they tend to be misunderstood. —Stephen 08:49, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Homosexual as a medical term[edit]

I disagree that homosexual is a medical term. This word was the first word to be invented to identify gays, back in the 1860s. I feel that gays reject homosexual because it sounds too old-fashioned and old-school clinical (i.e. prior to the 1970s when homosexuality was technically considered a mental problem). The word used for gays in the medical community is Men who have sex with Men

  • That would be a phrase rather than a word, but I can see this may be intentful sarcasm. Ty 03:47, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

2007[edit]

"Pejorative"?[edit]

I feel like adjectival sense 6 doesn't say quite what it's trying to. Firstly, it's labeled "pejorative", which seems very obvious from its content (is there a non-pejorative way to call someone annoying, boring, negative, or unappealing?); I think the intent was to indicate that it's an offensive extension of senses 3–5, but it's too much to expect the word pejorative to convey this. Secondly, I don't think the word means "disliked" in any real sense; to call something gay is to express one's own dislike for it, certainly, but that's really not the same as saying that it's disliked. I think the solution to this is to completely remove the content of the sense, and only give a label; perhaps something like the following:

6. (By extension) (offensive) used to express dislike.

Thoughts? —RuakhTALK 05:36, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't. Part of what a dictionary does is mark the obvious, which is why dictionaries are gay. I think marking it vulgar slang or slang alone is fine. Compare lame.--Halliburton Shill 01:17, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Eh? Are you saying you want to change it back to how it was when I posted my comment? At the time, it read thusly:
6. (pejorative) (slang) Annoying, boring, negative, unappealing; disliked.
RuakhTALK 02:21, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
No, but it's more pejorative than it is offensive. I'm saying that the "offensive" is over-doing it and vulgar may be a better alternative. It seems to be less offensive than being called lame, which is more like being called gay and a poser simultaneously.--Halliburton Shill 04:45, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Oh! We've been mis-communicating. The term is offensive in that it's offensive to gay people to use a term for us as a generic pejorative. I see how that could be confusing, though; can you think of a less ambiguous sense label for that? —RuakhTALK 07:15, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
No, I was going to ask you. The thing is that gays, at least from the references provided so far, have no problem with and may even like the sense. My opinion is basically formed from how we've marked other terms. Nigger is marked normally offensive, often vulgar. Poser is (maybe was as I think I'm about to change it) marked derogatory (maybe pejorative would be better there as it's not applied to a fixed group but to anyone). Faggot (including fag), the equivalent for gays of calling someone black a nigger, is marked only as pejorative. Fairy and queer are marked as derogatory (and probably are offensive 90% of the time to gays). Bitch is marked as derogatory, vulgar, and slang, son of a bitch as pejorative slang, redneck as slang, motherfucker as strongly vulgar. Spic is marked derogatory and an ethnic slur, but not offensive. Chink is marked as an ethnic slur and pejorative slang, but not offensive. Nip is marked as ethnic slur, but derogatory and not as slang or offensive. I guess I'm saying from this brief study that there's a lot of inconsistency in Wiktionary in how words I view as worse than gay and as easy candidates for offensive are marked. All slurs, racial or otherwise, should at a minimum be marked derogatory or pejorative, and probably vulgar. Whether they are derogatory seems to depend on whether it includes a group by definition. Whether they are offensive or not seems to depend more on the perception of the group that's at the receiving end.--Halliburton Shill 11:17, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Re: "The thing is that gays, at least from the references provided so far, have no problem with and may even like the sense.": Eh? I can't speak for anyone else, but I find it offensive when people treat the word gay as an insult, because what they're really doing is using the word in sense 3, and consider it an insult to call someone homosexual. I think that the reference provided implicitly recognizes that it's offensive to use the word gay as an insult, because otherwise it would be meaningless to speak of "reclaiming" the phrase. It's like how the n-word is offensive, but black people have reclaimed it, and some use it among themselves both as a compliment and as an insult.
Re: "I guess I'm saying from this brief study that there's a lot of inconsistency in Wiktionary in how words I view as worse than gay and as easy candidates for offensive are marked.": Well, is this inconsistency a problem? As long as each is labeled acceptably, even if different acceptable labels are used, I think that's fine. (Consistency would of course be preferable, but would probably require a Wiktionary:Beer parlour discussion, and I'm currently getting a bit sick of those; recently they've tended not to accomplish much, either because people don't participate, or because people dig in their heels.) - RuakhTALK 19:58, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
(moving back to the left...) Alright, I think I see what you're saying. If John calls Richard (a random heterosexual person) gay due to Richard being totally lame, John doesn't mean it as an offensive (ie, ‘I'll never speak to you again!’) remark, and Richard doesn't take it that way; it's only mildly negative — hence the label pejorative. However, it is offensive to the homosexual community if John uses the word in the described manner, because it equates gay (= homosexual) with stupid, lame, bad, unwanted, disliked, etc. Personally, I think that the context labels in the definitions of words should reflect their immeadiate connotations, whereas wider implications should go in usage notes. So, what do the two fo you think of giving the definition ‘# {{context|slang, pejorative}} An adjective used to express dislike of something.’ (re-written as such, by the way, because our current definition suggests that a ‘gay film’ is a ‘film used to express dislike’!), and then pointing out in a usage note that this usage is offensive to homosexuals? — Beobach972 20:28, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes to the definition, no on the usage note, at least as worded. I'm not aware of gays requesting that "gay" no longer be used as a generic pejorative. It hasn't been cited yet anyway. I agree with Ruakh in principle that it would seem potentially offensive and at least derogatory, but that doesn't apppear to be the case. Marking it as pejorative slang, however, is enough warning to lamers that they probably don't want to use it that way in court or a job interview.--Halliburton Shill 21:45, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, but "gay" isn't a noun meaning "An adjective used to express dislike of something", either. If we're just going to describe the sense (as I originally thought necessary; see above), then I think an italicized Used to express dislike is sufficient. That said, it does seem possible to define the sense as something like "Lame, uncool, crappy", and I think that's probably the ideal. As for the sense label, I really don't think it's necessary to label a term "pejorative" whose definition makes that clear. The label "pejorative" is really mostly useful for something like the n-word, where the (ordinary) definition is simply "black person"; it's not a pejorative because of its definition, but because it's a pejorative word with that definition. (That said, I don't particularly object to labeling it such, if you think we should.) And as for the usage note, it's probably best to say that this use can be offensive to homosexuals. As the Salon.com article notes, some urban gays and allies had started to reclaim the term in 2000, but that's not (in my experience) its most common use, and I'm sure that even those people who have reclaimed it would be offended if they heard someone use it and mean it — in the same way that blacks who have reclaimed the n-word would still be offended if they heard a white person use it pejoratively. (By the way, in comparing this use to the n-word, I'm in no way claiming that it's as offensive; I'm just drawing a comparison to a clearer-cut case.) —RuakhTALK 02:08, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
By the way, another thought would be to define it as disliked by the speaker or such. Or dislikable (hmm, on second thought, maybe not). — Beobach972 02:30, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
As for the pejorative label, I almost agree with you — but then, I suppose there are non-pejorative ways to express dislike. You actually make this point (‘it's not a pejorative because of its definition, but because it's a pejorative word with that definition’) with regard to nigger... John could say Richard and his disagreeable suggestions! or Richard and his gay suggestions!, but one of those sentences is pejorative (and if you were a non-native speaker who had never before encountered the sentences, you couldn't figure out which one). To address Halliburton Shill's concerns: if we don't include a pejorative tag, I think the slang tag will alert speakers to the term's register, and stop them from using it in a job interview. —This unsigned comment was added by Beobach972 (talkcontribs) at 02:33, 14 June 2007. (Sorry, I forgot to sign both paragraphs. — Beobach972 18:09, 14 June 2007 (UTC))
Re: the "pejorative" label: I'm not sure I see the difference; "Richard and his disagreeable suggestions!" also seems to be "disparaging" and "belittling" — to use terms from our definition of pejorative. (I'd also say it's "derogatory" in the traditional sense, but that word has taken on connotations of bigotry or chauvinism, and disagreeable does not fit that bill.) If you see a difference, though, then I must reiterate that I really don't object to a "pejorative" label, it just seems unnecessary to me. —RuakhTALK 03:15, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Disagreeable is disparaging, and perhaps belittling, but gay is somehow more so... disagreeable doesn't exactly merit a disparaging label, because it's a formal word (and therw isn't a non-disparaging way to disparage somebody), but gay might — or perhaps all of the connotations are covered by slang. I'm indifferent but could support including the pejorative label, and Halliburton Shill has included it, so I suppose we'll leave it. — Beobach972 18:32, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Changed for now. I'm not 100% on pejorative. It may be that slang is enough, but I guess the point is that it's being used outside it's standard meaning and in a negative way. In terms of connotations/usage, it's more like a statement that the gay thing has something wrong with it as opposed to perception only. Check out ghey, which I noticed browsing Category:Pejoratives.--Halliburton Shill 04:40, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Good point. I do find it amusing that no one of us is really in support of the pejorative label, yet we seem to agree on placing it there... :-p heh. — Beobach972 18:32, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Good job on the example sentence for the disliked sense, Halliburton Shill. I've added a ‘translation’ of sorts, like we do for foreign language quotations, to address (my own) concerns about misunderstanding of the definition. I've also added the more gay adjective forms to the entry, on the model of homosexual, after verifying that they are in use (NB: for all senses, not just the homosexual sense). — Beobach972 18:32, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Page protection[edit]

Should we semi-protect this entry? (Then users would have to register and log in in order to edit it.) The Wiktionary:Protected page guidelines say that "unless there is good reason to protect a page, it should be unprotected"; I'm not sure if "vandalized by anons about once a week" is a good enough reason, especially since anons (possibly guests from the other Wiktionaries) do occasionally help by adding translations. Any thoughts? —RuakhTALK 02:46, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

The definiton is fixed enough and the abuse, though almost always silly and obvious, is frequent enough that if it's annoying you enough to ask because of the reversions necessary, semi-protect. It's probably too much to create some sort of guideline, but for articles that are essentially finished and the targets of those that should be spending a lot more time reading than writing, I support semi-protecting them all.--Halliburton Shill 06:07, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, unlike at Wikipedia, no entry here will ever be "finished", because there are thousands of languages we'd need to add translations for. —RuakhTALK 17:05, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
I say don’t protect, for two reasons : firstly, as you said, anonymous contributors do add useful, helpful information; secondly, making the vandals log-in wouldn't help, because as it is, we can block the IP addresses for a few days and (I believe, but I could be wrong) prevent them from creating accounts to continue vandalising stuff, whereas a user whose username is blocked can (again, I could be wrong) log-out and create another. (The first reason should be enough to leave the article unprotected.) As for vandalism concerns : currently, the vandalism is easy to revert, so I don't think it merits protection... if editors were vandalising this article every five minutes, I'd be of a very different opinion. — Beobach972 19:48, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
O.K., I'm convinced. Thanks. :-) —RuakhTALK 20:48, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

2010[edit]

Dated and slang[edit]

I noticed that some of the older uses of the term are tagged 'dated', as to imply they are not in use. One thing I found about the emergence of the pejorative use of 'gay' was that it seems the larger populace was trying to find uses for the term of their own volition outside of homosexual reference. I believe this includes (perhaps in a whimsical fashion) the resurgence of the use of traditional definitions such as happy as people take an interest in the etymological roots.

I believe we may be making terms seem more outdated than they actually are by the age of some of the reference, like going back to the 1800s, when clearly Fred Estaire was in the 'Gay Divorcee' so it was still in use in the traditional fashion for some time prior to the sexual revolutions of the 60s/70s. Furthermore I am wondering: when the term 'gay' initially developed as a positive expression of self-identification for the homosexuals, wouldn't it have been slang? Do we not consider the application of gay to homosexuality slang anymore because it has been use for so long? What I am wondering is, how do we determine what the Wiktionary policies should be in terms of how long and how popular slang must become before we consider it a standard part of the language and not slang anymore? I imagine there might be people who would contest both adding 'slang' (indicating newness or improperness' to the third numerical bullet (homosexuality) but that I would similarly face opposition adding 'outdated' to it. It seems like a complex issue: how long do we need to observe the pejorative use of 'gay' until that ceases to be slang and becomes as valid a use for the word as homosexual? Ty 03:47, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

2012[edit]

Footnote[edit]

The second footnote for the adjective is too long, so i think it should be shortened. Also the footnote makes stereotypes and generalized sweeping statements which can be offensive to some. I will make an edit to address that. Pass a Method (talk) 05:38, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

It is not a footnote, it is an example of usage. It does not matter if an example makes stereotypes or sweeping statements, or even if it is offensive to some. It is only there to serve as an example of how the word is used in that sense. —Stephen (Talk) 08:25, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Actually it does matter if it uses stereotypes or is offensive to some. Should we illustrate women with a sentence "Women are generally less intelligent then men."? Why we need made-up sentences to illustrate when we could and should have citations in their place is beyond me, but if we are to have example sentences, they must be good examples, and the instant you've offended the reader or made them start arguing with your example, you've distracted them from their usage of the dictionary. Unlike a citation, you can't distance yourself from an example; a Wiktionarian wrote it, and other Wiktionarians didn't edit it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:54, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks prosfilaes for seeing my point. Pass a Method (talk) 09:12, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
And the offensive stereotype would be what, exactly? (BTW, you've repeatedly edited this page to try to introduce the term hetero. That seems to have been your main goal. If you give up on that, then I for one will be much more inclined to listen to any other points you might have.) —RuakhTALK 13:49, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
The stereotype is that young people today would rather end up as domestic partners. That is an offensive stereotype to me. 78.144.245.127 06:22, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't see where you're getting that from. The sentence mentions neither "young people" nor "domestic partners", and the whole sentence is about how not everyone is doing the same thing — almost the exact opposite of a stereotype.
That said, I'm not terribly attached to the sentence. As I recall, my main goals when I wrote it were something like (1) to exemplify the phrase gay wedding, whose entry was being discussed at RFD (and was soon deleted — see Talk:gay wedding); (2) to exemplify both the phrase gay and lesbian and the word gay alone, to drive home the point (made in the definition) that this sense of gay sometimes means same-sex and sometimes means both-male; and (3) to exemplify some common modificand of gay and lesbian. I still think that those are all good goals for an example sentence for this sense, and I'd prefer that if it's changed, the new sentence fulfill those goals as well; but I'm open to other ideas for what the sentence should do instead. There are always trade-offs; a single sentence can never do absolutely everything we might want.
RuakhTALK 13:23, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Almost every edit that "Pass a Method" makes is to promote his own view or to (silently, without warning) remove any legitimate content that opposes his view. He is dangerous and I agree with his block. Equinox 21:00, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
@Equinox, i mainly discourage the use of the word "straight" because it indirectly implies that gays are crooked. I have actually seen people use it in that way. Not sure how you could interpret that as a dangerous view. Pass a Method (talk) 20:16, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
What would you think if I decided that the work gay is offensive (because it implies that heterosexuals people aren’t gay (happy, joyful)), and started changing every occurrence of the word gay to homo? You can’t just decide out of the blue that something is offensive and start changing it. It might be, I don’t know, but at least discuss in the Beer Parlour. — Ungoliant (Falai) 21:03, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
Thats actually a good point you made there. Hadn't thought of it that way. Pass a Method (talk) 11:44, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

RFV[edit]

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"Sexually promiscuous (of either gender)" was added as a definition of gay recently. I suspect that even if there is a citation or two, they can be interpreted as a use of another sense.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:37, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Can it really? Being promiscuous and being homosexual are not the same thing. On the other hand there seemed to be quite many "homosexual" senses. --Hekaheka (talk) 03:19, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
I probably should wait to see the citations before questioning them; there may be some perfectly clear citations here.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:39, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
I've added some citations that I think cover this. I also found a nice citation that points to the origin of this sense at [1]. But at this point, the meaning is still along the lines of "filled with joy." Is there a way to include this to illustrate how the meaning changed? BenjaminBarrett12 (talk) 10:47, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Passed.​—msh210 (talk) 19:32, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

2013[edit]

70s[edit]

Was reading here:

The use of "gay" in this particular way was first recorded at the end of the 1970s and developed among US high school students, says Mr Throne. It's not only youngsters in the UK who have recently adopted it, the same has happened to the German equivalent, schwul, he adds.

Not sure who Throne is, only mentioned once, but this "first recorded" thing interests me. I'm wondering if we could get more info like a specific date. This is for gay#Adjective number 7 (pejorative) either 1 or 2, not sure. We're really lacking of literary examples of the pejorative used in this non non-sexual schoolyard fashion, with earliest being late 90s rather than 70s. Etym (talk) 21:11, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

(It's Thorne, not Throne.) He comments in the article that "every generation grows up with a whole lexicon of homosexual insults, in my day it was 'poofter' or 'bender'" — so it seems he agrees about the origins not being from the "merry, happy" sense. Equinox 22:31, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Is this really dated?[edit]

Under English - Etymology 1, on definition #4, is it really true that calling something "gay" instead of "uncool" or "lame" is a dated use of the word? I personally find myself using it, and I have seen many others use it, especially on YouTube.

RudeGuyGames (talk) 19:51, 23 May 2013 (UTC)