queer, n. (1896)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Jul 7 14:51:44 UTC 2007

The sense here is "peculiar individual," which, though once current, isn't in OED:

  1895 Charles G. Leland _Songs of the Sea and Lays of the Land_ (London: Adam & Charles Black) 17:  The Albatross/ Is the captain and boss..../The sea-gull queers/ Are the officeers.

  (Well, ya gotta admit it rhymes.) Leland was an American, once known for his humorous _Hans Breitmann Ballads_, but more familiar here as co-editor of Barr'ere and Leland's _Dictionary of Slang_.


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