Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 18:24:39 -0500


Subject: No subject given

Al Futrell is right, of course, about GAYCAT dating from the earlier part of

the century than GAY 'homosexual' (as I recall, the OED recortds it)--and he

is definitely right that new words and meanings are used in speech long

before they are written down (though I don't think that any lexicographer I

know of would dispute that). However:

1. I think it extremely unlikely that GAY 'homosexual' is related to the term

GAYCAT that Al describes; and

2. Even written transcripts of likely conversations from the 1930s and

earlier do not use GAY 'homosexual'--nor do any of the gay cult novels of the

1920s and 1930s--though they do use GAY often in other senses. (RANDOM HOUSE

DICTION ARY OF SLANG lists one possible cite from such a novel, but I dispute

it and it is at gesrt ambiguous.)

For all of those who have asked for a copy of my article ("What Did Cary

Grant Know and When; Did He Know It?"): I will post it as an attached file

later on this month when I get home from Florida. I'm flattered at your