pufta / poofter (offensive?)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by csicska, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. csicska Senior Member

    Hello. Could you please tell me if "pufta" or "poofter" are offensive terms for a homosexual or simply informal terms? Thank you.
  2. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    These terms emphasize effeminate behavior and appearance more than just sexual orientation. Much of the offensiveness of terms like this is in the intent with which they are used. In my experience, these terms are generally used by people who want to use an offensive term. Among all my gay friends, there is one I've known for about 20 years and whom I consider a particularly close friend. I'd never use this word (with either spelling) to describe him.
  3. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australian English
    I've only ever seen the word spelt as 'poofter' or 'pooftah' and agree with Egmont that they are offensive. However, the terms are occasionally used jokingly by one gay man to another.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  4. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    I've heard other varieties of "poof" to refer to effeminate behavior among males.

    There are hundreds of words that are offensive when used insultingly, that are harmless or affectionate when used by people about themselves or to people they like. "Poof" is probably one of those.
  5. csicska Senior Member

    Thank you.
  6. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    Yeah, it's the same with the N-word. It's OK if black people use it, but when the rest of us do, it's deemed a racial slur. It's unfair and discriminatory curtailment of freedom of speech, so it is. Somebody should write to The Times about it.
  7. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    I'd also add that it's probably one of the least offensive of all the offensive terms available.:)

    See also: B.E. "poof"
  8. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australian English
    I've called most of my gay friends "big, fat poofs" in fun at some stage or another. Except the ones who are what most people consider overweight. Is that being discriminatory? :eek:
  9. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I've never seen it spelt pufta before, and it would make me want to pronounce it like the first syllable of puffin.

    I think also that You little ripper! has a good point. Poofter can be used by gay men, and in a kind of convivial mixed sexuality setting, where heteros might be called breeders.
  10. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    Of course it is. Though with the best of intentions, i.e. to avoid causing offence, you are discriminating between your friends on the basis of their fatness. Mind you, if you were overweight yourself, you'd probably be more comfortable with calling your fat friends fat.
  11. csicska Senior Member

    Thank you.

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