Arnold Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed Feb 19 16:45:10 UTC 2003

larry horn:
 >I don't have enough first-hand knowledge of the application of
 >either "skank" or "skanky" to know if it's universally female-only;
 >I was just struck by the fact that (at least among UCLA students)
 >when one sexually pejorative term applying only to women is
 >generalized, another one is born.  (The usual prediction would be
 >that even if "skanky" can be applied to men in some circumstances,
 >only a woman can be "a skank".  But it might be interesting to see
 >if these words--even the noun-- can apply to men within the gay
 >community.  I suspect that this was a factor in the growing
 >sex-neutrality of "slut".)

in my experience, "slut" is the everyday label used by gay men
to refer to a promiscuous gay man (for some value of "promiscuous").
i used it myself, in the newsgroup soc.motss, only two days ago.

i don't recall a parallel use of "skank" or "skanky", but i'll
ask around.  it's possible that these labels are used, but mostly
by young gay men.  we'll see.

arnold (zwicky at

More information about the Ads-l mailing list