Light in the Loafers

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sat Aug 11 09:31:10 UTC 2001

>Been seeing the phrase "a little light in the loafers" as a euphemism for
>gay lately. Is this new? And how come this phrase?

This seems to be an elaboration of "light-footed", which Chapman dates to
1955 or so. I believe the idea is that the effeminate man (supposedly)
walks lightly or gently. Alternative (perhaps related) explanations which I
find less cogent: (1) the effeminate man is stereotypically
small/slim/weak/womanish, thus light in weight; (2) a fairy (here applied
to a homosexual or effeminate man), traditionally a flying creature, can
reduce his effective weight by fluttering his notional wings.

-- Doug Wilson

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