End of ADS-L Digest - 2 Mar 1996 to 3 Mar 1996 ********************************************** There are 9 messages totalling 340 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. GAY (Changes to the English Language) 2. Hoya (3) 3. Re(2): Re(2): Preserve the English language! 4. Toni Morrison lecture March 25 5. Survey of e-usage (2) 6. Semitic languages and peoples; Anti-Semites ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 4 Mar 1996 09:50:21 EST From: Larry Horn Subject: Re: GAY (Changes to the English Language) If anyone wants documentation on the earlier (Victorian and pre-) use of GAY for non-homosexual varieties of marked sexuality, a good place to start is Farmer & Henley (SLANG AND ITS ANALOGUES, 1890-1904, reprinted by Arno Press, 1970): GAY, adj. (colloquial) 1. Dissipated; specifically, given to venery: As in the French, avoir la cuisse gaie = to be addicted to the use of men. Hence GAY WOMAN or GIRL or BIT = a strumpet; GAY HOUSE = a brothel; TO BE GAY = to be incontinent [!]; GAY IN THE LEGS, IN THE GROIN, IN THE ARSE = SHORT-HEELED (q.v.); GAYING INSTRUMENT = the penis; GAY MAN = a wencher [clearly, the pro- posed gloss 'to be addicted to the use of men' is too restrictive]; GAYING IT = copulating. Glosses range from Chaucer, 1383 What eyeleth you? Some GAY girl, God it wot, Hath brought you thus upon the very trot. through someone named Leech, 1854 How long have you been GAY? to this one, from the Sunday Times, sounding like Pat Buchanan (mutatis mutan- dis) today As soon as ever a woman has ostensibly lost her reputation, we, with a grim inappositeness, call her GAY. Other meanings include 2. (common) In drink. For synonyms, see SCREWED. ALL GAY, ALL SO GAY. adv. phr. (common) All right, first rate. TO FEEL GAY. verb phr. (colloquial) Inclined for sport, veneral or other; TO FEEL NAUGHTY (q.v.). GAY TYKE BOY, subs. phr. (old) A dog fancier. --Larry