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Author Topic: When did 'Gay' stop meaning 'Jolly' and start meaning 'Queer'?  (Read 1059 times)

Offline P-Kasso2

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Who first coined the word ‘Gay’ as in meaning 'Queer'?  It is not often we get to see a word do a total somersault in meaning in our own lifetime, usually it takes centuries! But the word ‘Gay’ has gone from always meaning ‘light-hearted and carefree’ ever since the 11th century to suddenly meaning ‘queer and homosexual’ in half a lifetime.

What is the story behind ‘Gay’ and its meteoric flip-flop in meaning?

Did it just begin as trendy street slang that caught on?  Was it coined by a gay protagonist or gay journalist back in the 1960s?  If so, who was that person?  When and where did the new ‘Gay’ first appear?

Does anybody have any theories or suggestions?  I bet you could have a gay old time finding out.

"I live in hope"