Talk:fabulous

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Valley girls earlier?[edit]

I'm pretty sure gay men were using it long before there was any such thing as a valley girl --121.73.188.171 21:51, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Gay community sense of the word[edit]

I'd like to know the connotations / meanings of the word 'fabulous', as used in the gay community. Would such a definition for the word 'fabulous' be appropriate in wiktionary? —This unsigned comment was added by Silpheed tandy (talkcontribs) 2006-07-14 22:48:53.

The second definition listed here ("Very good; wonderful") seems to be a pretty close approximation. Is there a different nuance you were thinking about? Rod (A. Smith) 04:33, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Fabulous = Gay?[edit]

I'm not convinced by this new sense of "fabulous": "camp and flamboyant; appearing to be gay." Three examples are cited, and none of them clearly support this sense, IMO. The previous sense, including "wonderful", is followed by a usage note indicating the association of the word with gay men, but doesn't suggest a separate and distinct meaning. Just because gay men are likely to use the word, or because the word is often used as a hint that a man is gay, doesn't mean that the word itself carries specific meanings such as "camp", "flamboyant", or "gay".

All three examples seem to be using "fabulous" in the most vague manner possible; the first two examples seem to fit under sense 5, while the third one seems to be employing sense 2. Even though gayness forms the context in which all three examples are used, I just don't see that the word itself implies a specific meaning distinct from the existing senses. In other words, the word may have been chosen because the topic involved gay men, but the word itself doesn't convey the meaning of "camp," "flamboyant," or "gay" in a manner that can be distinguished from "incredible, extreme, or exaggerated," and "wonderful." P Aculeius (talk) 23:40, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

For the first citation: you're suggesting that "Michael was totally fabulous, slightly effeminate and possibly gay" means that he was "very good, outstanding, wonderful"? I wouldn't say so. Good at what? Good morally, or very friendly and kind, or...? In context, this "fabulous" Michael very clearly is camp or flamboyant. Equinox 01:14, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
I'd say that "wonderful" is exactly what's meant in this context. You can't infer "camp, flamboyant, or appearing to be gay" from this use of the word without the subsequent additions of "slightly effeminate and possibly gay." Eliminate that part of the sentence and there's no semblance of "camp, flamboyant, or appearing to be gay" in the word "fabulous" by itself. P Aculeius (talk) 16:54, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
That is really hard to believe. The sentence seems to be saying "he is gay in every way except actually being gay" — so it probably isn't typical, and might have been hunted down by someone to try to support this sense. But you can't "eliminate the part of the sentence" without eliminating the context. It obviously is about being gay. Equinox 21:34, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
The main discussion is currently at Wiktionary:Requests_for_deletion#fabulous. However, with respect to this specific point, "fabulous" can't mean "gay" or "appearing to be gay" in this sentence, because then the writer would have said, "Michael was totally gay, slightly effeminate, and possibly gay" or "Michael totally appeared to be gay, slightly effeminate, and possibly gay." And those don't make any sense. The whole point of the sentence is that the writer wasn't sure if Michael's behaviour or appearance indicated that he was gay. If "fabulous" means "gay" or "appearing to be gay" then the rest of the sentence is pointless, even meaningless. There's really no way to determine exactly what meaning the writer was assigning to "fabulous" in this sentence; it could be "flamboyant", as the proposed definition suggests, but it could just as easily be any number of appropriate adjectives such as "friendly", "enthusiastic", or "effervescent", to say nothing of "amazing", "wonderful", or "delightful". There's no way to know what the writer intended by this specific word, or even if she had a clear meaning in mind, or whether she was just using the word ambiguously because she was about to suggest that Michael might be gay. That's why the sentence doesn't support the proposed definition; it's impossible to determine exactly what the author had in mind, or to exclude all of the existing senses of the word. P Aculeius (talk) 02:32, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
I don't agree. We will never know exactly what any author meant by any sentence, and have to use our common sense. The intent is very plain to me here; evidently not to you. The fact that a sentence may seem redundant when phrased another way does not make it a failed sentence in its original form. Equinox 16:28, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
The proposed meaning of "appearing to be gay" makes no sense in the sentence if it's followed by "slightly effeminate, and possibly gay". It's not "phrased another way," it's one part of the sentence swallowing the other, if read the way you want it to be. It'd be like saying, "it seemed to be a red Toyota Camry, ...and it might have been some sort of automobile." While it's not inconceivable that people might say things that make no sense, it's not appropriate to assume that's what they mean in the absence of any evidence. There are many logical things that "fabulous" could mean in this sentence, and no evidence whatsoever of exactly what the writer had in mind. In order to support the proposed definition, it must be apparent that the only logical meaning of the word in this sentence is what the definition would have it mean. Not merely that it's possible to interpret it that way. Beyond your personal opinion, you're offering no evidence of the meaning, and that's not good enough to support the definition in question. P Aculeius (talk) 21:06, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
"camp and flamboyant" seems accurate; "appearing to be gay" doesn't seem accurate, necessary, or particularly meaningful for this sense and should probably be removed from the definition imho. —Pengo (talk) 01:46, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
I don't see how the quotations presented support the case for adding "appearing to be gay" as part of this new sense. And the word 'camp'—in the context of this particular definition—is effectively synonymous with "appearing to be gay". 'Flamboyant', on the other hand, seems accurate. Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 12:45, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
But that seems to be covered by senses 2 and 5; marvelous, extreme, exaggerated; outstanding, wonderful. Other words in each example provide the meaning here being ascribed to "fabulous." Example 1 doesn't really support "flamboyance" or "camp" at all; only "appearing to be gay", which meaning derives entirely from the words "slightly effeminate and possibly gay," not from "fabulous," which can't be assigned any really clear meaning by itself in this sentence. Example 2 relies on "rainbows", "glitter", and perhaps the word "parade" to imply that the word was chosen due to its association with gay men; even then it's the word's associations that suggest why it was chosen; the word itself doesn't clearly mean "flamboyant." The third example certainly doesn't mean "flamboyant," it seems to imply "extreme or exaggerated." While the word was again clearly chosen for its association with gay men, it doesn't carry that meaning by itself. Eliminate the citation to "the Gay Marriage Cases" and perhaps the word "meltdowns" and suddenly there's no hint of "camp, flamboyant, or appearing to be gay" in the word. The word doesn't acquire a new definition from other words in a sentence or paragraph that supply that meaning by themselves. P Aculeius (talk) 16:54, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
True. Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 18:03, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

Deletion discussion (RFD-sense)[edit]

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The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.


fabulous[edit]

Rfd-sense: gay

Requesting deletion of current sense 6 under fabulous: "camp and flamboyant; appearing to be gay". This was discussed mainly on the entry's talk page, with notice given at the Tea room, and a little additional discussion there. IMO, the definition in question can't really be ascribed to the word. "Fabulous" is certainly associated with gay men, as the usage note already explains; but that's not enough to supply a new and precise definition of the word. Three examples were provided, but in each case, "fabulous" seemed to be used for other, existing meanings: specifically "wonderful" or "extreme" or something along those lines. The word was certainly chosen in each example because the sentence was describing someone or something associated with gay men or gayness; but in each case that meaning had to be supplied by other words indicating that the person or thing referred to was or might be gay. Each sentence reads pretty much the same if only the usual definitions of "fabulous" are applied. So I really don't think we've got a new or distinct meaning here; just the existing definitions with additional context. P Aculeius (talk) 02:28, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

  • As creator of the entry, keep. I have to disagree with P Aculeius here; the citations don't make sense if fabulous only means "wonderful" or "extreme". When the author of the 2013 quote describes her "slightly effeminate" son as "totally fabulous", she is absolutely suggesting that he was camp and flamboyant (that's why she thought he was gay). Similarly, Obergefell v. Hodges is described as the "most fabulous" Supreme Court case precisely because it is about gay rights. Here's another example I found from the Guardian: the headline (which has to stand alone without context) is just "20 most fabulous". Click through, and you'll find it's "a celebration of pop's landmark gay moments". The Guardian clearly trusts that enough people understand that "fabulous" = "gay" to be hooked by the headline and read on. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:34, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
(By the way, I changed the title to "fabulous", just to make sure the section link still works) Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:40, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
I've definitely heard "fabulous" used of an object, TV show, etc., to mean "campy, appealing to gays", though I haven't heard it used of a person to mean "gay". But I don't think I'd be able to find CFI-compliant cites for it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:58, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
No, none of the examples used clearly demonstrate the meanings you propose. Let's have a look.
  • "Michael was totally fabulous, slightly effeminate and possibly gay at a time and in a place where it wasn't discussed, let alone embraced."
In this case, the word is so vague that it's impossible to know what the speaker is talking about without the additions of "slightly effeminate" and "possibly gay", which supply the entire meaning of the sentence by themselves. Eliminate "fabulous" and it says exactly the same thing. Eliminate the other phrases and suddenly he's just "wonderful." That's all the word can logically mean in this sentence, no matter what associations its use in a specific context may have.
  • "We have everything you’d expect from a small-city parade — except a lot more fabulous, with rainbows and glitter."
Again, "rainbows and glitter" are what seem to matter here. Substitute "fireworks and confetti" and suddenly you have a different sentence without a hint of gayness. "Fabulous" doesn't change the sentence from thing A to thing B. I'm not saying that "rainbows and glitter" mean "gay" either. If you tried to put that gloss on "rainbow" you'd be just as wrong. Simply because a word is associated with something doesn't mean that said thing is a proper definition of the word.
  • "Of the cases pending on the docket, two will cause the biggest meltdowns. Here, we examine the most fabulous case."
By itself, the ordinary definition, "extreme or exaggerated" seems to be the most logical here. Of course the reference to "meltdowns" seems out of place, but without more information there's no clear indication that gayness is involved. You have to see that the quotation is lifted from an article entitled "A Guide to the Gay Marriage Cases." And once more, the meaning you're assigning to the word comes entirely from other things in the sentence/paragraph/citation.
  • "This could be Jeremy Kyle’s most fabulous guest yet. Glam Sam, a transvestite desperate to be accepted by her father, said she felt ashamed of herself on the show because of her cross dressing." Here, the meaning is clearly "wonderful" or "amazing". Simply because the person being described is a transvestite doesn't mean that "fabulous" means "transvestite", much less "gay" (or are we now equating the two?).
This last quotation was just added after the discussion of eliminating this definition was well underway. And it adds a new wrinkle to the discussion. We have five ordinary definitions of the word, all of which are attested in dictionaries and which require no special justification; and one questionable definition that includes all of the quotations, and as suggested above may require more, which risks the impression that somehow this definition is more important than all of the others. But ultimately this is just an association of a word with a particular concept. The word may be widely used by or of gay men, but it's not being used to mean that they're gay, or camp, or flamboyant. It's used to mean that they're wonderful, great, incredible, amazing, and soforth. If you substitute other meanings for that just because of the association with gayness, then you're arbitrarily changing what is actually being said. The mere association of a word or phrase with a particular context is best addressed with a usage note, like "fabulous" has been for years. P Aculeius (talk) 12:48, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Interpreting all language requires context – if we didn't have the context, how could we work out which meaning of any word applied? In each, the context the lens that shows us that fabulous means gay or camp. What ways of being "fabulous" were not "discussed, let alone embraced"? How does a gay pride parade differ from any other "small-city parade"? What makes the gay marriage case different from the other (often also controversial) cases on the docket at the time? How does Glam Sam differ from the dozens of other Jeremy Kyle guests who don't like their parents? In each of these cases, the common denominator is LGBT (You are correct that a better definition would mention transvestite and other forms of trans* separately, or simply use the LGBT initialism – the "appearing to be gay" part is currently a bit clunky. Perhaps they should even be split, as per this Daily Mail articleCara Delevingne is openly bi, but Jagger says she's "not fabulous" because she's tomboyish, not flamboyant or glamorous.) Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:35, 22 September 2015 (UTC)gy
It's not enough that the context renders a certain meaning conceivable. In order to demonstrate that a word does mean something, it has to be possible to use it unambiguously for that specific meaning, not just something in the ballpark. Let's look at the examples again, bearing in mind that the definition proposed is "camp, flamboyant, or appearing to be gay."
  • "Michael was totally fabulous, slightly effeminate and possibly gay at a time and in a place where it wasn't discussed, let alone embraced." Do any of the words used in the proposed definition clearly and unambiguously fit? From the outset we can rule out "appearing to be gay". If that were what the writer intended, then she would be saying, "Michael appeared to be gay, slightly effeminate, and possibly gay." Which would make no sense at all. "Appearing to be gay" is close to what the writer meant by "slightly effeminate, and possibly gay." Except that she meant "appearing to be possibly gay," which is not quite the same thing. So did she mean "Michael was camp" or "Michael was flamboyant?" You simply can't tell. She could have meant "Michael was wonderful, amazing, exuberant, ebullient, effervescent, energetic, delightful, vivacious, cheerful, happy, pleasant, polite, courteous, demure, domestic, deferential," or any one of three dozen other adjectives that would be equally appropriate to the context. How do you know that she meant "camp" or "flamboyant?" You don't. Those are no better than guesses. Example no. 1 completely fails to demonstrate that "fabulous" means anything specific, much less one of the proposed words or phrases.
  • "We have everything you’d expect from a small-city parade — except a lot more fabulous, with rainbows and glitter." So, which meaning applies here, and how can you tell that it means that one thing, and not something else within the ordinary meaning of the word? "Except a lot more appearing to be gay" doesn't make much sense. "Except a lot more gay" might make some sense, but then fabulous would be defined as meaning gay. Is that what the proposed definition really means? "Except a lot more camp" doesn't make any sense at all. A small-city parade is camp by definition. Rainbows and glitter make it less campy, not more. Maybe "except a lot more flamboyant" might make sense, but then it wouldn't mean "gay" or "appearing to be gay." How do you know which meaning was intended? Can you demonstrate that "wonderful" or "amazing" was not the meaning intended by the writer? They both fit perfectly well in this sentence, as do other similar adjectives. Can you show that the word "fabulous" definitely means gay or appearing to be gay or flamboyant? How can you tell? Is that simply the meaning you want it to have?
  • "Of the cases pending on the docket, two will cause the biggest meltdowns. Here, we examine the most fabulous case." Here, once again, "appearing to be gay" doesn't make any sense. First of all, a case can't appear to be gay. It can't even be gay. The case is about gay marriage; it doesn't appear to be gay. And it's one of several cases being referred to, all of which are about gay marriage. One of them can't be any more gay than the others. So "appearing to be gay" doesn't fit at all in this example. "Here, we examine the most camp case" makes no sense either. How about "we examine the most flamboyant case?" I can just barely imagine someone describing a legal case as "flamboyant," but I think that would be a poor choice of words, when "flamboyant" would more logically apply to the people or facts of the case than to the case itself. In this example, the ordinary meanings of "extreme", "absurd", or "exaggerated" make much more sense than any of the words or phrases in the proposed definition.
  • "This could be Jeremy Kyle’s most fabulous guest yet. Glam Sam, a transvestite desperate to be accepted by her father, said she felt ashamed of herself on the show because of her cross dressing." Here, "appearing to be gay" doesn't make any sense. Then the sentence would say, "Glam Sam appears to be more gay than any of Jeremy's other guests". Which would be quite inappropriate, since it would imply that being a transvestite makes one appear to be extremely gay. But aside from the rudeness of it, the sentence doesn't say that Glam Sam appears to be gay. It says she's a transvestite. So that can't be the meaning of "fabulous" in this example. "Glam Sam is campier than any of Jeremy's other guests" could make sense, but not if she's a transvestite, which is about the least campy thing she could be. Wearing a poodle skirt, bobby socks, and a beehive hairdo would be camp. Transvestism isn't. "Glam Sam appears to be more flamboyant than any of Jeremy's other guests" would also be a logical statement, but probably not in this context. It's a young woman dressing in men's clothes, which would almost certainly be much less flamboyant than women's clothes. So it doesn't look like the speaker is describing Glam Sam as "camp, flamboyant, or appearing to be gay." Some other meaning must be intended in order to make sense in this context.
So what are we left with? In example 1, "camp" or "flamboyant" are possible meanings, but so are many other words that would make just as much sense in the context provided. There's no basis for concluding that the writer meant either "camp" or "flamboyant". In example 2, the parade could possibly mean "gay" (but perhaps not "appearing to be gay") or "flamboyant," but those words mean different things, and it can't really be shown that "wonderful", "amazing", or some similar word isn't the intended meaning. In example 3, "flamboyant" is the only word that could possibly be applied to a legal case, even one involving gay marriage, but even that doesn't really fit as well as "extreme", "absurd", or "exaggerated". Someone or something involved in the case might be flamboyant, but probably not the case itself. In example 4, none of the words or phrases in the proposed definition make any sense in the context of the sentence. None of the examples clearly show that the words or phrases in the proposed definition are more likely intended by the writer or speaker than those already included in the first five senses of "fabulous."
In other words, you can't infer that "fabulous" has a specific meaning merely because someone or something mentioned or alluded to is gay (or transvestite) or associated with gay people. It's not enough that there be "gayness in the air". The meaning has to be clear, not vague and ambiguous, or the examples don't support the definition. If the definition is justified, then there ought to be examples that clearly have the meaning proposed by the definition, and for which the other, established meanings of the word do not seem to apply. If those meanings make just as much sense in the same context, then the proposed definition hasn't been demonstrated. P Aculeius (talk) 02:51, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
"It's a young woman dressing in men's clothes..."—to be fair, the person on the photos is clearly biologically male. Which doesn't change the fact that this latest quote doesn't support the definition proposed either. Just a small note. Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 08:16, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Almost missed this comment because of where it was placed. I'll admit, I was relying on the quotation to tell me what it was about, so it wasn't apparent that the person in question was a man dressing as a woman. That makes a slight difference with respect to the idea of "flamboyance," although not based on the photos in the article, which don't depict anything particularly flamboyant. But the quotation is that much more problematic, in that it implies that the person is a woman, addressed as "she". It says that "she's" a transvestite, not a transsexual, which means that if "she's" clearly a man, the appropriate pronoun is "he", no matter what clothes he chooses to wear. That makes the example even more confusing, since you can't tell what the word "fabulous" could possibly mean from the sentence; you need to resort to the original article, and frankly even knowing that it's a man, not a woman, you still can't tell what "fabulous" is supposed to mean in this case. It can't mean "gay" or "appearing to be gay", because it's about transvestism, not sexual identity; there's nothing campy about the way he's dressed; and it's not particularly flamboyant (although arguably more so than a tweed jacket with elbow patches would have been). I feel as though the only logical conclusion is that "fabulous" is being used with some other meaning in mind, although the way the word is used seems so casual in cases like this, that it's unclear whether any particular meaning is intended. P Aculeius (talk) 12:57, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
First off, you spent SEVEN THOUSAND CHARACTERS responding to my vote. In a couple weeks, I'll have a DYK on Wikipedia for an article that ain't even that long. Of course you can have a specific meaning that is allusion to the gay lifestyle. It's called a euphemism, and we have hundreds of definitions like that. If you don't believe the present citations support a definition such as this, you can take it to RfV and somebody will find other citations that do. Perhaps the word "camp" needs to go (or at least be replaced by something else), but not the rest of the definition should stay as is: even the citations given clearly support a hint or veneer of the gay lifestyle and/or the drag queen lifestyle (which should perhaps also be mentioned in this definition). As for ambiguity, the word DOES have five other definitions. Purplebackpack89 04:21, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't actually responding to your vote at all. I was responding to previous comments, but I didn't want to place my response between those comments and your vote, and risk them being mistaken for old material (if I had been responding to your vote, I might have pointed out that the definition at issue hasn't been reworded at all). Your work on Wikipedia is stupendous? Good for you. I'm just trying to make a clear point about what a word means or doesn't mean in a case that seems ambiguous at best, and unverifiable at worst. I'm not doing it for thanks or acclaim. I posted this here on the advice of experienced editors after discussing the matter in two other places. I understand that you disagree. But that doesn't mean this discussion needs to be ended and changed into a request for better proof. My argument is that there may not be any proof, and that without it a controversial definition can't meet the standard for inclusion. P Aculeius (talk) 04:35, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
This isn't the place to discuss proof or verifiability, though. RfV is. Purplebackpack89 15:43, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Delete sense, which does not correspond to citations, as Aculeius' exemplary, careful analysis shows. DCDuring TALK 17:43, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring Can't those issues be solved with either a) a slightly different definition, or b) different citations? Does the definition have to be completely deleted? Purplebackpack89 18:12, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
The definition should be deleted if it doesn't seem to be a valid, verifiable definition. I know that a lot of entries don't have citations supporting them, but they're relatively uncontroversial. My contention is that this definition doesn't make sense. Sure, the word is loosely associated with gayness and gay-related issues (if there's a simpler way of saying that, it would be welcome). The usage note already explains that. But that doesn't mean that any specific concept in the orbit of GLBT/transvestism/etc. is clearly a definition of fabulous. If you think you can come up with a clear and logical definition (preferably one that doesn't mix three totally different concepts, like the current one) that can be supported with unambiguous examples, or which at least we can agree on, go ahead and propose one. Maybe we'll come up with something that covers the same general concept but in a logical and verifiable manner. Or maybe the attempt is doomed by its sheer broadness and inability to be pinned down to a specific meaning that necessarily excludes the existing ones. But there's no harm in trying. P Aculeius (talk) 23:02, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
The problem, as I see it, is that associations, connotations and allusions aren't normally lexical in nature. For instance, there are all kinds of inferences (mostly sexual) that can be drawn from famous w:Mae West lines like "why don't you come up and see me sometime", most of which derive from knowledge of the type of characters she portrayed. That doesn't necessarily mean that the phrase should have an entry. Or how about "do you feel lucky" as uttered by w:Clint Eastwood? And if I say "shiver me timbers", one can infer that I'm imitating a pirate- but that's not what it means.
In the same way, if someone says fabulous a certain way, that alludes to all kinds of gay stereotypes, but doesn't explicitly carry the lexical meaning that someone is gay. I suspect that the word is used more by women in regular speech, so it's starting to gain an association with female speech, and the type of gay speech most people are familiar with tends to borrow a lot from female speech. That's all pretty indirect, though: I do hear heterosexual men use it from time to time without any hint that they're trying to sound gay. I'm sure a lot of it depends on whether one adopts certain vocal mannerisms that play into the gay stereotypes. Come to think of it, one can say almost anything and make it sound "gay".
To sum it up: there are layers of meaning there- but they're not dictionary material. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:22, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Well, this has escalated quickly. Delete. For reasons—see posts of editors with the same opinion above. Pfftallofthemaretaken (talk) 08:16, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Keep, either two senses like this if there are enough citations to support that, or perhaps one like this. The definition needs work but is on the right track. Delete the "gay"/"appearing to be gay" sense, but add an "effeminate" sense or, if you prefer to think of it in these terms, keep the "effeminate" part of the existing sense. The "Glam Sam" and "Cara D" citations discredit the suggestion that this implies / connotes "being gay (being a flamboyant gay male)". However, I think it outright denotes "feminine, effeminate" in some citations, especially the Cara one and google books:"fabulous gay men". In the phrase "fabulous gay men", it doesn't mean "gay", or the writer of the phrase wouldn't have proceeded to specify "gay" in the very next word, but it also doesn't mean "mythical", "extraordinary, extreme like in a fable", "fictional", or "unreliable". - -sche (discuss) 03:35, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, but it clearly doesn't mean "effeminate" in any of the examples given. In example 1, "Michael was effeminate, slightly effeminate, and possibly gay" makes no sense. In example 2, a parade is not being described as "effeminate". In example 3, gay marriage cases are not effeminate. In example 4, it's possible that Glam Sam is effeminate, but he's hardly likely to be "the most effeminate guest yet," since other than wearing women's clothes, he's not doing anything to make himself appear female. The meaning of "effeminate" isn't carried by the word. There is no "Cara D" example; no idea what you're referring to. You can't cherry pick from the definitions and then say, "it's not senses 1 or 2, therefore sense 6 must be a valid definition." Sense 5 clearly fits in the context in question; there's no basis for asserting that the word fabulous clearly carries the meaning of "effeminate." At most what we have in most of these examples is "wonderful for reasons to be given by subsequent words or phrases." And if the reasons for being wonderful can't be determined from the word fabulous, but depend entirely on other words or phrases to list them, then they are not definitions of fabulous. If we followed that logic, then a sentence like "the zebra was utterly fabulous, with the most hypnotic pattern of stripes shading subtly from white to brown to black," would make "striped" a definition of fabulous. That's what's being done here. P Aculeius (talk) 12:16, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
The Cara D citation is given further up in this discussion: "Cara Delevingne is a tomboy and not very fabulous at all". Your "it's not senses 1 or 2, therefore sense 6 must be a valid definition" is a straw man; my point is that senses 1-5 all don't apply, and that sense 6 needs modification but is going in the right direction. In fact, it may merit splitting, since "(of a person) effeminate" and "(of e.g. an inanimate court case) pertaining to or appearing to be gay" are somewhat different things. Nonetheless, reading the citations as "This could be Jeremy Kyle’s most wonderful guest yet" / "Here, we examine the most wonderful case" is improbable. "Cara Delevingne is a tomboy and not very wonderful at all" in particular is strained to the point of being a sense-3 fabulous (=made up, not believable) interpretation of the citation. - -sche (discuss) 19:32, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Your argument was that the word doesn't mean A, B, C, D, therefore it must mean E. But before you started deleting parts of the existing definition (ignoring the fact that Webster's gives those precise words as part of the definition), there were certainly other words it could possibly have meant in the sentences in question other than the ones you're convinced it means. And even with the new example, "Cara Delevingne is a tomboy and not very fabulous at all" there's still no clear definition. What does it mean? "Not a tomboy?" "not feminine?" Feminine and effeminate aren't the same thing at all. But if you ignore that for a moment, you're inferring from nothing more than the fact that she is one thing and isn't the other that the two things are definitional opposites. If "fabulous" means the opposite of being a tomboy, then you're saying that the sentence means, "Cara Delevingne is not feminine and not very feminine at all". Which isn't a logical way for it to read at all. So is there any basis for concluding that "fabulous" in this sentence specifically means "effeminate"? No. All we have is that it means something that a tomboy is not. Figuring out what requires us to get inside the speaker's head, which we can't do. Does the speaker mean that tomboys aren't cool? Aren't hip? Aren't nice? Aren't pretty? Aren't desirable? Any of those words and many others would make just as much sense in this sentence. How do you know that it means 'effeminate'? Of course, since the subject of the sentence is a woman, she's not effeminate. So again, the example does not support the proposed definition. P Aculeius (talk) 00:46, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
I really have to object to being accused of "edit warring" by -sche, who keeps adding more and more examples that still don't demonstrate any particular meaning for "fabulous" while this discussion is still underway, at the same time as he deletes valid and attested meanings without any discussion or consensus, apparently because he doesn't like them. This is some of the most anti-collaborative behaviour I've seen on Wiktionary, circumventing an ongoing discussion and carrying on as if there were no issue to be resolved. It's becoming apparent that "fabulous" means whatever -sche wants it to mean, as long as anything in the sentence has anything at all to do with gayness, femininity, effeminateness, women, tranvestism, campiness, flamboyance, or flying green aardvarks. There need be no evidence whatever of what the writer or speaker actually intended the word to mean. At the same time, it's perfectly okay to say that it doesn't mean things that unreliable fringe dictionaries like Webster's Third New International Dictionary says that it means, and to dismiss people who believe that it might just happen to mean those things as slaves to Webster, because, well, he darn well feels like it! So, forget it. This whole discussion was a waste of time, because definitions on Wiktionary don't need to have any relationship to the actual meanings of words. P Aculeius (talk) 03:47, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
DCDuring removed some of the obsolete and inaccurate vocabulary that had been copied from Webster; you reverted him, but I felt his edit was correct, and removed a portion of the inaccurate information again (including the use of "unbelievable" in sense 2 which seems to stem from confusion of that sense and sense 3). As for the edits to the "effeminate" sense: all of the users who think the sense should be kept think it could benefit from being worded differently, so one of them (me) took a stab at rewording it and adding some better citations, as routinely happens in RFDs. You oppose any existence of the sense; can you see why your efforts to stonewall (no pun intended) and prevent improvement of it aren't being accepted? - -sche (discuss) 04:07, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
What's so galling about this process is that the double standard you're applying. When I wanted to delete a controversial and unattested use, I started a conversation on the entry's talk page, at the tea room, and here, and tried to build consensus. No consensus to keep the proposed definition has been established, and it really hasn't changed, except for the substitution of "effeminate" for "flamboyant". Meanwhile, you're deleting parts of the definition that are uncontroversial and attested by the very best sources there are, and claiming without any evidence (or discussion) that they're "inaccurate" and "obsolete" (by the way, obsolescence of a definition is not grounds for removing it from this or any other dictionary, since the purpose of a dictionary is to tell people what a word can or could have meant at any point in the past). So, I have to build consensus to delete unattested meanings, but you don't need consensus to delete well-attested ones over the objection of other editors. Instead of starting a discussion here or on the entry's talk page, you assert that it's the responsibility of anyone disagreeing with your changes to start one, and that the discussion shouldn't be held in a public area like this or the talk page, but on your private talk page. And in the most blatant example of the pot calling the kettle black, you accuse another editor (whom you've already dismissed in an edit summary as a "slave to Webster") of "edit warring" at the same time as you carry out an edit war yourself! But apparently the rules don't apply to administrators, only to other people.
You still don't have consensus, and your edits aren't so much "rewording" the proposed definition as they are just moving the words around and adding more words that still aren't supported by any of the examples given, and exchanging one of the examples for another, that also doesn't demonstrate the meaning of the word. The proposed definition was "camp and flamboyant; appearing to be gay", but now it reads "Pertaining to (stereotypically camp) gay people; in particular, camp/effeminate." The phrase "pertaining to gay people" simply describes the adjective "gay". But you're saying that it doesn't simply mean "gay", it means "gay in the sense of 'camp' or 'effeminate'." 'Camp' and 'effeminate' have very different meanings, and neither of them apply to the examples formerly or currently given:
  • Example 1: "Just like the rationale for a show on national television about five fabulous gay men who provide a valuable makeover service to heterosexual men[...]" How can you tell that the word "fabulous" here means 'camp' or 'effeminate'? Which one is it supposed to mean, anyway? It can mean one or the other, but not both. If there's no basis for determining which it means, how is it possible to say that it means either one? And how can you exclude the possibility that it means anything else that "fabulous" normally means, such as "wonderful" or "amazing", or even related words like "delightful" or "exuberant"? The former proposed definition, "flamboyant", which you've deleted, would make more sense here than either "camp" or "effeminate" in this example. But there's still no basis for determining which of these or many other possible meanings is assigned to "fabulous" in this sentence, so it doesn't support the proposed definition.
  • Example 2: "We have everything you’d expect from a small-city parade — except a lot more fabulous, with rainbows and glitter." Here, we know that "camp" isn't a possible meaning, because you can't get any more campy than a small-town parade, and "rainbows and glitter" aren't campy at all. They might be (but aren't necessarily) associated with "effeminate" things, but a parade can't be 'effeminate'. And again, it's impossible to show that the word "fabulous" in this sentence doesn't mean "wonderful" or any similar term; that meaning would make just as much sense in this sentence. The fact that rainbows and glitter in combination with a parade suggest the theme of "gay pride" doesn't tell you exactly what the speaker intended the word "fabulous" to mean.
  • Example 3: "This could be Jeremy Kyle’s most fabulous guest yet. Glam Sam, a transvestite desperate to be accepted by her father, said she felt ashamed of herself on the show because of her cross dressing." The subject, a man dressed as a woman, is obviously not campy, and other than wearing women's clothing is not in the least bit 'effeminate'. He could hardly be "Jeremy Kyle's 'most fabulous guest yet'..." if "fabulous" means 'effeminate'. Of course, you can't tell any of this from the sentence itself; you have to actually view the pictures or video to know that neither of these definitions can logically apply here. It's also confusing in that it refers to the subject, a man, as "she". Since he's wearing women's clothes and the sentence describes him as a transvestite and says that he's cross-dressing, we know that it doesn't just look like a man, it is a man, despite the opposite personal pronoun being used. So this is a terrible example to illustrate anything to do with the proposed definition; the meaning is not at all apparent from the sentence, and can't really be determined even from the original source.
  • Example 4: "Of the cases pending on the docket, two will cause the biggest meltdowns. Here, we examine the most fabulous case." The case can neither be 'camp' nor 'effeminate'. But as it's about gay marriage (a fact not apparent from the sentence, which makes it a bad example), we already know that 'camp' can't apply. We have no idea whether the people involved are 'effeminate'.
So, after all of this, what can we say with certainty about the word "fabulous" in connection with either the former or current proposed definition? We can say that none of the former examples have anything to do with campiness, and if the new Example 1 does, it's not apparent from the sentence; and even if 'campy' is a possible interpretation in that example, nothing in the sentence allows us to exclude other possible meanings. We can say that 'effeminate' doesn't apply any more than 'flamboyant' applied before it was removed from the definition. It's a possible interpretation in Examples 1 and 2, but so are many other words, and there's no way to tell exactly what meaning is intended in either case. It's not a logical interpretation in either Example 3 or Example 4.
The current wording of the definition is: "Pertaining to (stereotypically camp) gay people; in particular, camp/effeminate." The second clause limits the first one; it no longer means "pertaining to gay people," it means "camp or effeminate" in a gay context. But Examples 2 and 4 don't involve people at all, but things; a parade, a court case. So even though 'effeminate' is awkwardly possible in Example 2, neither example can be used to support this definition in its present wording. Example 3 doesn't involve gay people; transvestites aren't necessarily gay; implying that "transvestite = gay" is a negative stereotype. Just as importantly, nothing in the sentence tells us that Glam Sam is gay. Glam Sam is neither campy nor effeminate, but you can't tell that from the example either. So if we have no reason to believe that Glam Sam is gay, and it's clear from the context that the word "fabulous" applied to him cannot be intended to mean either 'campy' or 'effeminate', then the example really has nothing to do with the proposed definition and should be deleted. The only example left standing is the new Example 1; and that's only because 'camp' or 'effeminate' are possible interpretations; not because they're the 'only' possible interpretations. Many other words could be substituted for 'camp' or 'effeminate' in this sentence and make just as much sense. 'Campy' and 'effeminate' don't mean the same thing at all. If it's impossible to tell from the sentence which is meant, or to exclude other possible definitions of "fabulous", then how does the example support the proposed definition?
At the end of the day, all that we have here is the unproven assumption that if the word "fabulous" is used in a context where someone or something is gay, or associated with gay people, or gay icons, or gay mannerisms, or gay marriage, or transvestites, or tomboys, then that word must carry the meaning of 'gay, or something related to gayness, maybe campiness, maybe flamboyance, maybe effeminateness, maybe femininity, and if all of those fail, then cross-dressing; but definitely not any other meaning that doesn't imply one of those.' In other words, the ultimate wishy-washy definition, utterly impossible to pin down to a precise meaning, and in most cases completely opaque from the examples given. And that's why the definition fails. P Aculeius (talk) 13:14, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
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re "no consensus to keep the proposed definition": 3 users voted 'delete' -- you; DCDuring based on the inadequacy of the citations in the entry at the time; and Pfftallofthemaretaken -- and 1 implicitly favours deletion: Chuck Entz, who says "associations, connotations and allusions aren't normally lexical in nature". 4 users voted to keep the sense and if possible improve it and its citations -- Smurray, Purplebackpack, me, Prosfilaes -- and 1 implicitly favours keeping: Angr, who says "I've definitely heard [it ...] But I don't think I'd be able to find CFI-compliant cites for it" (he can correct me if I'm wrong, but I take that to mean he'd keep it if there were citations, which have -- subsequent to his comment -- been provided). For better or for worse, the RFD process is by default inclusionary. There's no consensus to delete this sense, and if you Ctrl+F "no consensus" and peruse this page and you'll see what happens where there's no consensus to delete a term or sense altogether: it's kept. Modifying and improving senses and adding better citations during an RFD in an effort to better show that the sense is idiomatic and/or attested is routine: #put_on_one.27s_dancing_shoes further down this page is only the most recent example. (In turn, improving definitions that aren't even RFDed, like DCDuring and I did over the objections of only one user, is the basic work of the dictionary.)
re "How can you tell that the word 'fabulous' here means 'camp' or 'effeminate'? Which one is it supposed to mean, anyway? It can mean one or the other, but not both." That's a curious claim, given that our entry [[camp]] has (for over a year) defined it as "(of a man) Ostentatiously effeminate" and other dictionaries, if you prefer them, do likewise: Merriam-Webster defines the adjective camp as "of, relating to, being, or displaying camp [noun]", and defines the noun as "exaggerated effeminate mannerisms exhibited especially by homosexuals"; Collins defines the adjective as "1. effeminate; affected in mannerisms, dress, etc. 2. homosexual".
re "and "rainbows and glitter" aren't campy at all" and re "a parade can't be" effeminate/campy: a large number of books that describe glitter and glittery things as campy, and describe various (often gay) parades as campy. A few examples from Google Books: "Robinson stars in campy parade to mark Toronto's gay pride day", "(London's Gay Village) sponsor the Soho Pink Weekend, a charity event that includes a campy parade through Soho", "he finds a job in fashion without even leaving, and the wharf becomes a runway for a campy parade of typically Newfoundland queer fashions"; "he threw campy glitter-fraught award ceremonies", "via campy glitter-and-drag dress", "Anne, who took dowdiness to the same passionate peak Elton John took campy glitter, might have been a born princess, but she achieved her status as fashion pauper on her ornery own".
- -sche (discuss) 22:22, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • @-sche I like the splitting idea. A few more hits to support the separate gay sense:
  • 2006 June 9, Mark K. Bilbo, “Re: Losers”, in alt.atheism, Usenet[1]:
    Barbie is going to be very disappointed to discover Ken is fabulous...
  • 2006, Jon Jackson, "Frozen in the closet", The Advocate
    Why don't those fabulous Olympic figure skaters come out?
  • 1995, David Bell, Gill Valentine, Mapping Desire: Geographies of Sexualities, Psychology Press (ISBN 9780415111645), page 14
    Of course, a Pride march—or at least one where anti-fabulous rulings don't apply—is important in that it creates an erotic ludic topography along its route.
Smurrayinchester (talk) 15:17, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Excellent finds! But how do you know Barbie isn't just disappointed that Ken is "wonderful" and that the rulings aren't just "anti-wonderful"? I'd be disappointed if someone were "wonderful". ;) And plenty of rulings are described as google books:"anti-wonderful rulings" while none are described as google books:"anti-gay rulings". ;) </tongue-in-cheek> - -sche (discuss) 22:22, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Keep "Cara Delevingne is a tomboy and not very fabulous at all".--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:31, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

The idea that "camp" or "campy" has to do with being effeminate seems quite novel, considering that it's all about corniness. Deliberately affecting corny mannerisms may be characteristic of gay culture, but it's very odd for the word to be defined as the exact opposite of "corny" because of that. A parade that's deliberately corny in an ironic manner would be corny in the usual definition; and not at all the kind of parade dominated by glitter and rainbows. Cross-dressing isn't campy in that sense either, unless someone is deliberately dressing up like the stereotypical drag queen, which might just be considered campy. But even supposing that the definition of camp has now been extended to the exact opposite of its usual meaning, you still haven't shown that the word "fabulous" here has a specific meaning that can be determined with reasonable certainty from the example sentences themselves. All that's been done is show that some vague notion of gayness is somehow involved with the topic under discussion. Which is what Chuck Entz seems to have put much more succinctly. At the risk of sounding repetitive, it's not enough that there be "gayness in the air." You have to show that the meaning you propose is the only logical interpretation of a word in a given sentence (without reference to external facts; the whole point of using sentences to attest disputed uses is to prove what the word means), because if other, unrelated meanings could also be possible, then it's anybody's guess what the word means, and no definition can be based on that example. P Aculeius (talk) 03:16, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

@P Aculeius It's not novel at all. The OED records "camp" meaning "effeminate; characteristic of homosexuals" as early as 1909, and that meaning is still definitely current (one example that comes to mind: the Simpsons episode where Homer worries that Bart is gay was originally called "Bart Goes to Camp"). The idea that it meant "corny, kitschy" only came decades later, largely as a result of Susan Sontag's essay Notes on "Camp". I recommend reading the Wikipedia article Camp (style), particularly the Origins and development section. Smurrayinchester (talk) 07:41, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Suppose we concede that "camp" can mean "effeminate" or "gay". This isn't a debate about what "camp" means, but about what "fabulous" means. It still has to be apparent from each example sentence that "fabulous" can only make sense if it means camp, effeminate, or gay. If it could just as easily mean other things, then the example sentence fails to demonstrate the meaning of "fabulous" for attestation purposes. And it's not enough that someone or something being discussed is gay, a transvestite, or a woman. That doesn't tell you what the word "fabulous" means. Are the "five fabulous gay men" campy? Effeminate? Exuberant? Wonderful? How can we tell which of these meanings, or other similar meanings, is intended? How about a parade with rainbows and glitter? Is it possible to say that the word "fabulous" used to describe it does not mean "wonderful, amazing," or even "flamboyant" (which seems to have been deleted from the proposed definition)? If any of these meanings make sense, then we don't know that it means "campy" or "effeminate" or "gay".
The Jeremy Kyle example still doesn't fit with any of these meanings, and you have to look at pictures of Glam Sam to have any idea what might be intended. It doesn't matter whether whether you define "camp" as corny or effeminate. Glam Sam, a man wearing women's clothing, is neither corny nor effeminate. He certainly isn't the "corniest guest ever", nor the "most effeminate guest ever", and as there's nothing in the sentence to indicate whether or not he's gay, there's no basis for asserting that he's the "gayest guest ever" (which would certainly be hard to judge, wouldn't it?). And with respect to the gay marriage cases, a court case still can't be gay, effeminate, or campy, even if the people involved in the case are. Worse, just like the previous example, it's the "most fabulous" case. So it's "gayer" than other court cases? "The most effeminate case?" If campy means effeminate then it makes no sense; if it means corny then it seems unlikely to apply to gay marriage controversies.
The Cara Delavingne example hasn't been added as an example sentence, but as she's a woman, it doesn't make a lot of sense to describe her in terms of how "effeminate" she is. The allegation is that she's a tomboy. That may mean that she isn't very feminine, but feminine and effeminate are two very different words. I can see where the word "feminine" has been added to the definition of "effeminate," but that's not how the word is generally used. It's used of men or boys exhibiting characteristics of girls or women, not of girls or women behaving in stereotypical gender roles. At any rate, the example sentence certainly isn't calling her gay or corny. But what "fabulous" does mean is still an open question. Is the sentence saying that being a tomboy makes her unattractive? Undesirable? Less admirable than other models or women? These are perfectly sensible interpretations, which means that the sentence fails to demonstrate what "fabulous" actually means in this case.
Now, I can't really say that the Ken and Barbie example isn't a pretty clear example of "fabulous" being used synonymously with "gay", because that's an example where the meaning is fairly unavoidable. Ditto with the figure skaters and the "anti-fabulous" rulings. In those cases the meaning seems to be demonstrated as "gay" (but not effeminate, campy, or flamboyant). Those would make sense as substitutes for the current example sentences, because the meaning really is apparent from the sentences themselves. But it's going to be hard to find a sentence in which "fabulous" is specifically equated with effeminate or campy, and so far all of the examples provided are ambiguous.
Lastly, can the editors who decided that "unbelievable, extreme, or exaggerated" should be deleted from sense 2 (characteristic of fables) please justify doing so over solid dictionary attestation of these meanings, and the objection of other editors? P Aculeius (talk) 13:54, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
I moved those terms to under the Synonyms header. Our definition style generally does not rely on a cloud of synonyms to define a word. The synonym-cloud style was used by MW1913, from which many of our definitions were taken. I'd guess that's where some of the definitions on [[fabulous]] came from. If someone finds our definition inadequate, they have the option of looking at usage examples, citations, and synonyms for additional perspectives on the word's use.

...I've always thought of such synonym-cloud definitions as needing cleanup to fit our style rather than rfd or rfv. I certainly don't think that an entire entry need be frozen while one sense is being rfved or rfded. When part of an entry is the object of some kind of request may be the only time its content is likely to be read by active contributors. DCDuring TALK 13:20, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

No consensus to delete, as reworded; of course, definitions can always be improved and made more precise to accord with citations. Cheers! bd2412 T 14:09, 19 October 2015 (UTC)