Origin of "flamer"?

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Thu Dec 14 15:41:12 UTC 2006

On Dec 14, 2006, at 7:26 AM, Scot LaFaive wrote:

> I know of "flamer" as a gay man and I remember first hearing it
> sometime in
> the mid-90's, though I never heard a good reason why that word was
> chosen.

i *think* i recall "flaming queen" and "flaming faggot" as even older
than "flamer".

> If I had to guess I'd say it came from "flamboyant," since that's
> what it's
> always meant to me: a man who is flamboyantly gay. HDAS has it to
> 1972.

and that's in "Bruce Rodgers's" Queens' Vernacular, a dictionary of
sorts.  so it was in use for some time before 1972.


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

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