Discussion in 'English Only' started by andersxman, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. andersxman Senior Member

    I was reading and came across the following sentence:

    (...) men do not airkiss, unless they are very camp guys, and even then it is done rionically..

    After having consulted 2 online dictionaries I've found that "camp" as an adjective means:

    providing sophisticated amusement by virtue of having artificially (and vulgarly) mannered or banal or sentimental qualities; "they played up the silliness of their roles for camp effect"; "campy Hollywood musicals of the 1940's

    I expected to also find that "camp" as an adjective is used to refer to homosexuals, but maybe I am mistaking? I was of the idea that it was a pejorative way of refering to homosexuals, ie. something not to use - but valid to know.

    But maybe I'm just far off target?
  2. I've never heard it as a term for gay men, although, I have known some pretty campy gay men. Either the -y got left off, or the word has evolved to lose the y, but probably still just means silly in a theatrical way....
  3. Aupick

    Aupick Senior Member

    Strasbourg, France
    UK, English
    The Concise Oxford gives the following for camp(2):
    1 affected, effeminate. 2 homosexual. 3 done in an exaggerated way for effect.

    Only the last one corresponds to the definition you found.

    British vs American differences?
  4. nycphotography

    nycphotography Senior Member

    I do be learnin stuff
    John-Paul Miller, NYC
    Well many of #2 exhibit a lot of both #1 and #3 as personality traits.
  5. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Yes, Aupick,

    AE would place #1 first, and omit #2, and perhaps drop 'effeminate' from #1.

    Here is one AE dict. (Amer. Heritage) definition:
    n. 1. An affectation or appreciation of manners and tastes commonly thought to be outlandish, vulgar, or banal. 2. Banality or artificiality, when appreciated for its humor. --adj. Having the qualities or style of camp.
  6. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    As do many people who are clearly not #2.
  7. superjules Senior Member

    german / Germany. location: Puerto Rico o
    Nonetheless, as the 'gay culture' has gained a lot more open acceptance, 'camp', while not #2 as such, has acquired a strong association with it.

    A very 'conservative' dictionnary still might not even mention the 'h'-word...
  8. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    English / England
    Camp isn't exclusively gay, but gay men of a certain type do specialise in it. I don't think it has particularly negative connotations. It is "fun" and gay men might play up to it.
  9. nycphotography

    nycphotography Senior Member

    I do be learnin stuff
    John-Paul Miller, NYC
    True. But that "many" is far less statistically significant, at least as applied to interpreting the meaning of "camp".
  10. In the UK, gay men who behave in an overtly exaggerated, feminine manner are said to be camp. I have several gay friends whose company I enjoy enormously. None of them is camp but when speaking of a gay man who is they will say (camping it up a bit themselves) - 'Ooh, her, dear, she's as camp as a row of tents.'


Share This Page