Evolution of “Gay”

March 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Gay, throughout the ages

1. Noble, beautiful, excellent (c.1325-1802)
2. a. Bright or lively-looking, colourful (a.1375-)
b. Showily dressed (a.1387-) 
3. a. Carefree, light-hearted, merry (c.1400-)
4. a. Wanton, lascivious (c.1405-a.1450)
b. Dedicated to pleasure, uninhibited, promiscuous (1597-)
c. euphemistic (Of a woman) living by prostitution (?1795-1967)
d. originally US slang (Of men, at first, then also women) homosexual (1941-)
e. slang Foolish, stupid; socially inappropriate (1978-)

Taken from The Life of Slang by Julie Coleman

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