"gay" again

Matthew Gordon gordonmj at MISSOURI.EDU
Mon Jul 31 17:54:21 UTC 2006

I just noticed this one in an episode of the Simpsons. Lisa says to Bart,
"You're gay for Mole Man," and Bart replies, "No, YOU'RE gay for Mole Man."
Then the camera pans to Mole Man who mopes,"Nobody's gay for Mole Man," or
something like that. At first I was a little shocked by the potentially
homophobic tone of Lisa's line - it was meant as an insult - but Bart's
reply suggests the phrase has indeed been bleached of the sexual
orientational content.

On 7/31/06 12:23 PM, "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> wrote:

> On Jul 29, 2006, at 2:59 PM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
>> Not sure if this has been noted here before, but one recent semantic
>> development on the "gay" front is the construction "be gay for" =
>> 'have an unseemly or exuberant affection for (someone or
>> something)'...
> i don't recall having seen this one -- i might just not have noticed
> it -- but i have noticed "be queer for" in this sense.  an
> interesting sense development: the component of attraction remains,
> while the sexual component vanishes.
> arnold
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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