Antedating of "Queer" as Adjective

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Thu Sep 11 17:14:54 UTC 2003

On Thu, 11 Sep 2003, George Thompson wrote:

> Thanks to the doings of the infamous Random House company and the
> unspeakable Bertlesmann, we do not have the volume of HDAS that might
> contain "606".  I suppose the word "queer" must have been found in this
> sense well before 1914.

Actually, "queer" is the notable antedating in what you posted.  OED has
1922 as its first use of "queer" 'homosexual' as an adjective.  It is
interesting that I recently posted a 1914 antedating for "queer"
'homosexual' as a noun, with both antedatings coming out of Southern

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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