queen = "male homosexual", 1729

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Aug 4 21:15:49 UTC 2010

I include considerable context to permit the usage to be well-evaluated.

[42] The greatest Criminal has some People that may drop some pitying
Expressions for his unhappy and untimely Fate and condole his dismal
Circumstances; while those persons who fall by the Laws for _Sodomy_,
can expect neither Pity or Compassion.  It would be a pretty Scene to
behold them in their Clubs and Cabals, how they assume the Air and
affect the Name of the _Madam_ or _Miss_, _Betty_ or _Molly_, with a
chuck under the Chin, and _O you bold Pullet I'll break your Eggs_,
and then frisk and walk away to make room for another, who thus
accosts the affected Lady, [43] with _Where have you been, you saucy
Queen?  If I catch you strouling and Caterwauling, I'll beat the Milk
out of your Breasts I will so_, with a great many other Expressions
of Buffoonry and ridiculous Affection.  If they can procure a young
smug-fac'd Fellow they never grudge any Expence, and it is remarkable
these effeminate Villains are much fonder of a new _Convert_ than a
Bully would be of a new _Mistress_.

Hell upon Earth: or The Town in an Uproar.  Occasion'd by the late
horrible Scenes of Forgery ... .
London: Printed for J. Roberts ... and A Dodd ..., 1729.
Pages 42-43.

[This is available in ECCO, and in a facsimile reprint of 1985 (Garland).]

Antedates "queen", n., sense 13., [1893] and 1919.

I gratefully and freely acknowledge that I found the core of this
(Where have you been, you saucy Queen?"") in Rictor Norton's _Mother
Clap's Molly House: The Gay Subculture in England 1700 -- 1830_
(London: GMP Publishers, 1992), page 104.

On page 103 Norton also alleges the quotation "The Motley Race of
Hervey queenies / And Courtly Vices, Beastly Venyes", from _Bounce to
Fop. An heroic epistle from a dog at Twickenham to a dog at court_
(Norton apparently gives a short title), attributed variously to Pope
and Swift (1736).  However, I have not found this text in any of
several publications viewable via Google Books; others may be more
successful.  I can check a printed copy at Harvard (it's also listed
as at Yale/ Beinecke, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and 2
libraries in Ireland).  While Norton does not give a page reference,
it's only 7, [1] pages.


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