Gay

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AndrasBP

Senior Member
Hungarian
Hello,

The English word 'gay' used to mean 'happy' and 'cheerful'.

The Hungarian PC term for 'gay' is 'meleg', a word whose primary meaning is 'warm/hot'.

One of the Russian terms for 'gay' is 'goluboy', which means 'light blue'.

What did your word for 'gay' originally mean?
 
  • Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    In French: gai [ɡɛ]
    According to the Wiktionary, English gay comes from French gai, itself coming from Old High German gahi (sudden, fast, impetuous).
     

    Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    Do you mean that the French word 'gai' is now also used meaning 'homosexual'?
    No, we use the English word gay in the context you mention.
    Sorry, I thought your thread was only about gay in the sense of cheerful, and the way to say it in other languages.

    There's another thread about whether French speakers pronounce the two words differently. Do you?
    As for me, I pronounce gai (cheerful) and gay (homosexual) the same, and this is what the Wiktionary indicates.

    gay is an example of a word which went back and forth between French and English, with deformation.
    Due to the geographical proximity and turbulent history of England and France, there are a number of words in the same case.
    For example, the French tenez (hold, in the imperative tense) gave the English tennis, which is of course also used in French to speak about the sport.
     
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    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    One of the Russian terms for 'gay' is 'goluboy', which means 'light blue'.
    Note that it's not politically correct, though (colloquial, neutral to mildly derogatory, occasionally can be used by gays themselves).

    Most Russian words for "gay person" are loanwords, starting from Church Slavonic "мужеложец" (muzhelózhets, i.e. ~"man-lay-er"). The most widespread derogatory words (also frequently used simply as swear words), "пидор" (pídor) and "пидорас" (pidorás), are distorted "педераст" ("pederást", from Greek, likely through French). "Гей" (géy), favoured by the Russian-speaking gay community, is an obvious recent loan from English. Some more occasional euphemisms and descriptive definitions are widely used, in particular thanks to the prison culture (which has a pronounced tendency to avoid the words that can get you into trouble in prison). Mildly derogatory "гомик" (gómik) is a diminutive derived from formal "гомосексуалист" (gomoseksualíst).

    P.S.: I'd also note a curious PC attributive: "нетрадиционной сексуальной ориентации" (netraditsiónnoy seksuál'noy oriyentátsii - "of a non-traditional sexual orientation"; obviously it consists of loanwords anyway). Needless to say, it doesn't impress the gay community.
     
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    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Dutch: homo, flikker (rude), janette (rude, Flemish)

    In Flanders, flikker means penis. It's a false friend. Janette (with a French J and silent E at the end) is also a women's name.

    Opflikkeren is a verb.
    Flikker op! = Go away! / Get lost!
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    In French: gai [ɡɛ]
    According to the Wiktionary, English gay comes from French gai, itself coming from Old High German gahi (sudden, fast, impetuous).
    French must have taken it from either Picard or Occitan/Catalan, in which it also means/used to mean 'joyful'. Otherwise it'd have been *jai.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Gay can also mean "merry, cheerful, giddy" in English too. This was the original meaning, and is still around. It is now the secondary meaning though. Think of the use in the Flintstone's cartoon. "We'll have a gay old time together". The 1890's were referred to as the "gay nineties". etc.

    Now another meaning is slowly emerging among the young, which is kind of the opposite of the original: "undesirable, not cool, weird, disgusting". "Those shoes you bought look totally gay!"

    As for me, I pronounce gai (cheerful) and gay (homosexual) the same, and this is what the Wiktionary indicates.
    I think they are pronounced the same here too. I also believe people write increasingly "gai" for both. The active LGBT association here is called "couleurs gaies".
     
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    S.V.

    Senior Member
    Español, México
    In Korean, it used to be 이반인 iban-in, a play on 일반인 ilban-in, 'normal person.'
     

    Stoggler

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Now another meaning is slowly emerging among the young, which is kind of the opposite of the original: "undesirable, not cool, weird, disgusting". "Those shoes you bought look totally gay!"
    That usage was around in the 1980s (around where I grew up) when I was a kid.
     

    Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    I also believe people write increasingly "gai" for both
    If that's the case, it is still a mistake. One has to write gay for homosexual (only), and gai for cheerful (only).

    The active LGBT association here is called "couleurs gaies".
    It's a play on words. "couleurs gaies" only means "cheerful colors", and it's the sound which obviously refers to the gay community. But "gai(e)(s)" written like this cannot mean homosexual.

    The fact is gai in the sense of cheerful is still a quite common word in French. This is why it's important to distinguish the two spellings.
     
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    Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    What did your word for 'gay' originally mean?
    I stll don't really understand what is your original question. In French, there are a huge number of words used to refer to an homosexual.
    Almost all of them are argotic, pejorative and have become politically incorrect except gay and homo(sexuel).
    Here are those I can remember (there must be many others), trying as best I can to sort them from most common to less common:
    • pédé (and pédale): (pédé, masc.) abbreviation of pédéraste, originally meaning someone who loves young boys (nowadays we would say pédophile), and by extension homosexual. (pédale, fem.) deformation of pédé.
    • enculé (and enfoiré): (masc.) "bottom" homosexual, the receptive partner during anal sex penetration. enfoiré comes from the verb enfoirer which formerly meant "to cover with excrement" (in this sense it was synonymous with current emmerder).
    • tapette: (fem.) literally meaning "petite tape" (little slap) because homosexuals were said to give little slaps with their hands.
    • tante (and tantouze, tata): (fém.) effeminate homosexual, refering to the family word for aunt. tantouze = tante + pejorative suffix -ouze. tata, colloquial abbreviation for tante (also in family context).
    • tarlouze: (fem.) coming for Quebecois tarla (meaning silly/stupid) + pejorative suffix -ouze
    • folle: (fem.) literally mad/crazy in the feminine, meaning an effeminate and parodic homosexual.
    • de la jaquette: (fem.) formerly, jaquette was a dress worn by little boys.
    • fiotte: (fem.) deformation of fillette (little girl).
    • lope and lopette: (fem.) abbreviation of lopaille, itself deformation of copaille, slang for pal/friend.
    • bougre: (masc.) formerly (XIIIth century) meant sodomite, but not used anymore in this meaning. Nowadays, affectionately and colloquially means fellow/chap, or used in pejorative expressions like "bougre d'imbécile" (bloody idiot).
     
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    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I stll don't really understand what is your original question.
    I didn't expect French to have so many words... :)
    I thought there would be a term which is more common than others (like gay in English) and I assumed that it would have an older meaning, before acquiring the meaning "homosexual". For instance, I've just found out that schwul, the German word for 'gay' comes from a Low German form of 'schwül', a word meaning 'sultry, hot and humid'.
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    In Spanish the colloquial neutral term is gay which comes from English obviously. Out of the colloquial pejorative terms, the most common are marica and maricón, which come from María. There is a growing tendency for gay people to reappropriate them, but I'd still rather not used them as a heterosexual person.
     

    H-406

    Banned
    Français
    There is a growing tendency for gay people to reappropriate them, but I'd still rather not used them as a heterosexual person.
    It's very much the same with the French term pédé--on the one hand, it's severely offensive if used by a straight person but on the other you'll hear gay men referring to each other with it.
    I seem to recall hearing something similar about the Italian finocchio.
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Spanish mariquita and Catalan marieta, mildly offensive and a bit dated, also mean ladybug, so there might be some associations at a given time. All of them in origin are but affectionate forms of the name Mary (María in Spanish, Maria in Catalan).
     

    Welsh_Sion

    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern
    Cymraeg/Welsh.

    gay (adj.) = 'hoyw' (Earliest citation: 13th century)
    alert, agile, nimble, sprightly, lively, vivacious, brisk, jaunty, gay, cheerful, rejoicing; beautiful, fine, elegant, neat, tidy, well-dressed, flourishing

    gay (n.) = 'person hoyw' (for either sex) or 'dyn hoyw' (male gay person), 'merch hoyw' (female gay person).

    I'm avoiding less PC terms.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Mildly derogatory "гомик" (gómik) is a diminutive derived from formal "гомосексуалист" (gomoseksualíst).
    P.S.: And yes, I forgot "гомосек" (gomosék), which sounds considerably more derogatory.
    I wonder why that particular colour ... :confused:
    No one knows for sure. May be potentially related to the fictional Blue Oyster bar from the Police Academy (which was a bit mistranslated as "light blue oyster"). The slangish usage certainly came to use only after WW2, most likely in the 1980s, so it's fundamentally possible. On the other hand, it could have been the other way around, so the already existent usage might have influenced the translation of the name.
    It also may come from the similarly sounding and remotely related affective words "голубок" (golubók, lit. "little pigeon", usually used in plural for "a lovely couple") and "голубчик" (golúbchik, "my dear"), or from the expression "blue blood".
    Rus. "голубой" basically means bright, bluish shades of cyan (it's considered a rainbow color), but many light shades of blue will be also percieved as this color, which is a prototypical color of the sky in Russian.
     
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    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Macedonian:

    The modern term is геј (gej) ['gɛj]. For females is also used лезбејка (lezbejka) ['lɛzbɛjka] and лезбијка (lezbijka) ['lɛzbijka]. The terms хомосексуалец (homoseksualec) [xɔmɔsɛksu'alɛt͡s] for a male, and хомосексуалка (homoseksualka) [xɔmɔsɛksu'aɫka] for a female, are used too. Colloquially, the term хомо (homo) ['xɔmɔ] is used too, for both males and females.

    Another term used for a male is топол брат (topol brat) ['tɔpɔɫ 'brat] lit. "warm brother". The term, that is most widespread, педер (peder) ['pɛdɛr] is considered derogatory.

    The most offensive terms for a male are: давајгаз (davajgaz) ['davajgaz] lit. "giving-ass", двоцевка (dvocevka) ['dvɔt͡sɛfka] lit. "dual-tube", "shotgun". The offensive term for a female is машкуданка (maškudanka) [maʃ'kudaŋka] lit. "male wannabe", "tomboy".
     
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