queenie = "male homosexual", 1736

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Aug 5 18:38:08 UTC 2010

I see now (after failures to find "Harvequinies" in print that I
won't bore you with):

1)  The OED has for "queenie", sense 1, "An effeminate male, a
homosexual (used esp. as a form of address).
   In quot. 1736, probably a jibe at the effeminate manners of Lord Hervey."
And its earliest quote is:
      [1736 POPE Bounce to Fop 7 The motly, squinting Harvequini's,
Shall lick no more their Lady's Br{em}, But die of Looseness, Claps, or Itch.]

(Its next quotation is 1933, from a dictionary, and then 1936.  Like
"queen", "queenie" is another word that seems to have disappeared
from the early decades of the 18th to the early decades of the 20th!)

2)  Google Books reveals in _New Light on Pope_, p. 346 (but does not
reveal the title page to me) the following:
"The piece also contains attacks on one of Pope's latest enemies,
Lord Hervey, which he ... had every incentive to make.  These are
seen in the intentional 'misprint', Harvequini's for Harlequini's,
and its correction (in the MS version it is spelt "Hervey queenies',
and not corrected) ...

So the "queenies" quoted by Norton presumably came from the
manuscript.  If verified, "Hervey queenies" might be a better
quotation than "Harvequinies", and remove the brackets from the date.

(I note that Norton's two lines are different textually from both the
OED quotation and all the printed copies I have seen.  Although I
have not yet seen two other, presumably later, 1736 editions,
"reprinted by T. Cooper", which are available in ECCO.)

In any case, the OED already has this "queenie" from [1736].


At 8/4/2010 05:15 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

>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.

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

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