[Ads-l] Pan = pansexual

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat May 30 02:47:21 UTC 2015

Then there's the usual difference between adjectives and nouns.  "A homo", I venture to speculate, was always pejorative, even in "Are you a homo?" On the other hand, "homo or hetero" below could even be a prefix:  "Are you homo- or hetero- ?", with the "sexual" implicit.  Not particularly pejorative in that case, I'd agree.  But the adjectival use of "homo" is relatively rare.


> On May 29, 2015, at 10:33 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> On Fri, May 29, 2015 at 8:23 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>> On Fri, May 29, 2015 at 5:46 PM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
>>> the now-offensive "homo".
>> When was it inoffensive? Was its use different from that of "lezzie"?
> I haven't looked too deeply into this, but my impression is that
> "homo" could once be used as a not-necessarily-pejorative alternative
> to "hetero". One early (reported) example occurs in _My Father and
> Myself_, the memoir of J.R. Ackerley (1896-1967), in which he recalls
> a conversation with a Swiss friend named Arnold Lunn in 1918:
> "Almost the first mischievous question he shot at me was 'Are you homo
> or hetero?' I had never heard either term before; they were explained
> and there seemed only one answer."
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__books.google.com_books-3Fid-3DhxerchUMqXAC-26pg-3DPA153&d=AwIBAw&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=-51k3JYHDAY9TiZdxsa2jAoI4Zk3nFqXJ11JAw9n_rU&s=KctaAHErEVuNGSO-AB3mQcNDz8uKA2GM8hK_TdZPJ4Q&e= 
> Then again, Ackerley describes Lunn as "a mocking and amusing fellow"
> (who was hetero), so perhaps it was derogatory even then.
> --bgz
> -- 
> Ben Zimmer
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__benzimmer.com_&d=AwIBAw&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=-51k3JYHDAY9TiZdxsa2jAoI4Zk3nFqXJ11JAw9n_rU&s=AiOpvXioV6KzITZY3if98eJTWBt6k9okz_jhoKCZ4qc&e= 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIBAw&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=-51k3JYHDAY9TiZdxsa2jAoI4Zk3nFqXJ11JAw9n_rU&s=9Z8hoTcM7A4WbBsOgrEHJ-agAp55RZi1umgYGWeEM4I&e= 

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list