“First applied to licentious behavior… later adapted into an adjective for homosexuals…”
When did the word gay start becoming an adjective for “stupid”, “weird”, “awful” “annoying” and many other things that people find offensive to the senses?
Merriam Webster provides 4 separate definitions for the term gay:
Of these four definitions, I find it difficult to determine why exactly society has adapted the word “gay” into their daily discourse when describing situations, events, songs, people and other instances that they do not particularly like.
Asking someone how a particular movie was and receiving the response “It was so gay” makes absolutely no sense unless the movie was about a group of homosexual men, or if it was a very light and happy film.
So my particular inquiry is whether or not people who are gay find this offensive. I asked one particular gay man how he felt about this and he said that he does find it offensive when people use the term so loosely. While I am not going to go on a huge fact-finding mission and interview a ton of gay men, I encourage you to leave comments on this post and enlighten the ignorant.
But, the fact of the matter is, we do call everything gay and the term appears to have lost all meaning.
It’s funny because the word gay actually did not come to be associated with homosexuality until long after the word was originally put in place. According the the Online Etymology Dictionary “The suggestion of immorality in the word can be traced back to 1630s. Gay as a noun meaning “a (usually male) homosexual” is attested from 1971.”
Isn’t that so weird? The term first was applied to licentious behavior and than later adapted into an adjective for homosexuals. So, the word gay should be offensive to gay people because its roots have derived from an earlier use that implied licentiousness (behavior which lacked morals). In the 1890′s, a gay house was a brothel.
Damn. Are we as a human race so indignant about what constitutes moral behavior that we have actually allowed our language to evolve to reflect bigoted views?
I predict that the dictionary will have a 5th meaning in the future “gay – a term used to describe a distasteful person, place or thing”.
That’s pretty sad.