OutIL Fwd: Request from an Illinois TV station

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Tue Jun 22 22:24:21 UTC 1999


Enquiring minds want to know why these women were called faggots? Burning
off calories? What's the connection?

My favorite phrase all day (I've been proofreadiung and am a little fuzzy)
is "term of insult for fat women," the last part of which would appear to
be a term of insult (at least for many).

Gosh, y'all (or "ya'll"), ain't langauge a kick. Aren't you glad you woke
up one day during Shakespeare class (or whatever), said "What the hell am I
doing here," and wandered off to the linguists. Imgaine what your life
would be like now if you hadn't!


>The origins of the word "faggot" have been much discussed because of an
>erroneous folk etymology in which male homosexuals in the Middle Ages were
>used as faggots, or kindling wood, in the burning of witches. As applied
>to male homosexuals, the term is first attested in the United States in
>the early part of the twentieth century. It stems from a term of insult
>applied to fat women. - David Greenberg, Sociology Department, New York
> On Tue, 22 Jun 1999 RonButters at aol.com
>> Can anybody help with this?

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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