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Etymology of the word "GAY" Options · View
TonyZ
Posted: Tuesday, October 08, 2013 8:27:15 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/1/2013
Posts: 231
Location: United States
When did the word "GAY" cease to mean "HAPPY"? I will never forget that the theme song of the Flingstones finishes by saying "You'll have a gay old time." When and why did the word "GAY" change its original meaning to a person that likes another person of their same gender?

By the way, I am lucky that I fit both definitions of the same word :)
sprite
Posted: Tuesday, October 08, 2013 8:29:53 PM

Rank: Her Royal Spriteness

Joined: 6/18/2010
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Location: My Tower, United States
Liz
Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 2:18:46 AM

Rank: Scarlet Seductress

Joined: 1/22/2013
Posts: 4,536
Location: In the sweet shop, United Kingdom
sprite wrote:
it STILL means happy to me! flower


You're totally gay! icon_biggrin


dpw
Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 6:09:09 PM

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Location: Liverpool, United Kingdom
Started out life as bright and showy back in 13c, by 18c it had come to mean lewd and lacivious. About this time prostitutes were called gays and gay boys were the male prostitutes, in the late 19c they were called gay cats in USA, probably street boys that would do anything for money. 1920's homosexuals refered to themselves as gay, in the original meaning of bright and showy. The use of it meaning prostitute was by then in decline. The homosexual meaning entered the Oxford English Dictionary(the bible of the English language over here) in the mid 1950's. Although other meanings still exist, the primary useage now is homosexual.
TonyZ
Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 9:18:20 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/1/2013
Posts: 231
Location: United States
sprite wrote:
it STILL means happy to me! flower


I, just like Sprite, will always have a GAY old time ;)
TonyZ
Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 9:21:28 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/1/2013
Posts: 231
Location: United States
dpw wrote:
Started out life as bright and showy back in 13c, by 18c it had come to mean lewd and lacivious. About this time prostitutes were called gays and gay boys were the male prostitutes, in the late 19c they were called gay cats in USA, probably street boys that would do anything for money. 1920's homosexuals refered to themselves as gay, in the original meaning of bright and showy. The use of it meaning prostitute was by then in decline. The homosexual meaning entered the Oxford English Dictionary(the bible of the English language over here) in the mid 1950's. Although other meanings still exist, the primary useage now is homosexual.


Thank you for the explanation. It was very informative and interesting 3601
1nfinitesexuallity
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013 2:32:59 AM

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Joined: 6/10/2013
Posts: 162
Location: kissimmee, United States
Gay does mean happy in my book.
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