Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 09:14:03 -0500

From: Jesse T Sheidlower jester[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PANIX.COM

Subject: Re: WOTY from David Barnhart

Ron Butters wrote:

On Thu, 21 Dec 1995, Beth Lee Simon wrote:

Is the WOTY one that's hit it big, or one that's new and hit it big.

Because I know gaydar from, hmm, fourteen years ago.

Me too. AT least 14 years ago. But maybe it has been a cult term until

now? Though I thought Algeo had it in ANW several years ago (maybe I'm

misremembering). It iSn't in Bruce Rodgers' THE QUEENS' VERNACULAR (1972).

I don't believe it's ever been in ANW.

The earliest concrete example we have in the Random House Dictionary

of American Slang files is 1994, and we've read a moderate amount of

gay sources. We do have several attestations of earlier use, such

as Beth's and Ron's above. However, I've also asked a number of

people who have been active in the New York gay community for years

who've said that they just learned it six months ago. I'd suggest,

therefore, that while probably dating back to the 1970s, its wide

dispersal--even within some gay communities--is very recent.

Jesse Sheidlower

Random House Reference