camp

Discussion in 'English Only' started by _forumuser_, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. _forumuser_

    _forumuser_ Senior Member

    New York City
    Italian
    Can anyone please explain to me what the adjective camp means in this sentence:

    the way he walks is camp?

    If you could give me some close synonyms that would be great. Thanks!
     
  2. difficult cuss Senior Member

    English England
    In this sentence it could suggest a feminine gait, although not nessecarily. Campness is usually an affectation, suggestive of over-the-top attention grabing.
     
  3. mrtom2985 New Member

    English, UK
    Hi,

    A fairly close synonym for "camp" would be "effeminate". It is generally applied to a man who is doing something in a lady-like way. It is often used to describe the way a (stereotypical) homosexual man walks or talks, and might also apply to his hand gestures.

    "Camp" can also describe the way someone dresses - for example, some well-known British homosexual celebrities such as Graham Norton and Julian Clary dress in a camp way when they appear on TV shows. They wear very brightly-coloured clothes, often made of shiny material. Do a search for them on Google Images and you will see what I mean!
     
  4. _forumuser_

    _forumuser_ Senior Member

    New York City
    Italian
    Thank you all. I get it. ;)
     
  5. MissFit

    MissFit Senior Member

    I've never heard that meaning of "camp." I've ony ever heard it used to refer to something that is appealing although tacky, and usually nostalgic--and old-fashioned bowling shirt, for example.
     
  6. mrtom2985 New Member

    English, UK
    I think the UK and US versions of the word have developed different meanings. I don't know anything about the origins of the term, but it definitely has more effeminate connotations over here! I'm sure the possible meanings extend beyond this, though.
     
  7. guixols Senior Member

    San Francisco
    USA / English, German
    I've also heard it used in a theatrical context -- an actor using unnecessary or exaggerated gestures/expressions, or doing bits of business (performing actions) that had nothing to do with the character or the scene.
     
  8. Qcumber Senior Member

    UK English
    Hence the pun:
    Plato was as camp as a village of tents.
     
  9. difficult cuss Senior Member

    English England
    Modern reference...
    A camp character in the American TV show "The Simpsons" (Homers Phobia 4F11) who was gay and had a shop containing kitsch nostalgia, wore bowlng shirts, this combines both the US "camp" meaning "tacky, kitsch" and the UK version..."affected and effeminate". Oh, and Marge, who prefered to skirt the issue of his homosexuality refered to him as "festive". There is an expression in UK English "as camp as a xmas tree".
     

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