Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 09:05:10 -0500 From: Jesse T Sheidlower Subject: Re: Flaming Ron Butters wrote: > On Wed, 17 Jan 1996, Kathleen M. O'Neill wrote: > > > Anyone know the etymology of the term "flaming" > > as it applies to homosexuals? > > The idea of 'heat' is often associated with male homosexual acts, e.g., > the common German term is SCHWUL, derived (as I recall) from a phrase > meaning 'hot brothers'. It was, I believe, Andy Warhol who made a movie > in the 1960s (?) called FLAMING CREATURES with a queer theme. Bruce > Rodgers in THE QUEENS' VERNACULAR: A GAY LEXICON (1972) does not list > FLAMING, but he does list FLAME (IT UP), which he defines as 'to > overemphasize, often deliberately, . . . the effeminate." He derives it > (or maybe just associates it--it is hard to tell) from/with the phrase > TURN UP THE FLAME (which he dates from 1972; I'm sure FLAME is much > older). He lists CAMP as a synonym. The earliest example we have found in the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang is from Gershon Legman's homosexual glossary in Henry's Sexual Variations: _Flaming queen,_ a homosexual who attempts to...attract attention and drum up trade. This is from 1941. Our next examples are from 1958-9 and 1969. (This is for _flaming_ '(of a homosexual, esp. a man) blatant or conspicuous'.) Jesse Sheidlower Random House Reference