The Gay Nineties

Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Mon Apr 24 13:06:49 UTC 2000

> This is a real goody -- another gleaning from my word-of-the-semester
> project in HOTEL:  A student whose word was "gay" said that before
> this semester she had always assumed that "the Gay Nineties" was a
> reference to the 1990s, when "so many people came out of the closet."
>    --Natalie Maynor (maynor at

She's not entirely wrong--the phrase was used to refer to the 1990s a
lot (especially in the early part of the decade) in the gay press.  It
might have made some inroads into the mainstream press.


Dr M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

phone +44-(0)1273-678844
fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

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