Origin of "flamer"?

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Thu Dec 14 16:09:53 UTC 2006

On Dec 14, 2006, at 7:45 AM, Larry Horn wrote:

> At 9:26 AM -0600 12/14/06, Scot LaFaive wrote:
>> I know of "flamer" as a gay man
> more accurately = overtly effeminate gay man?  As
> far as I can tell from the sources (including
> Bruce Rodgers's _Gay Talk_ lexicon), it didn't
> pick up on orientation as such, at least within
> the gay world, but on effeminacy.  I could be
> wrong, though.

in my experience, "flamer" and "flaming" pick up on effeminacy *and*
extravagance.  there are plenty of gay men who are effeminate but not
extravagant/flamboyant; they can even be shy and modest.  such men
are not flamers or flaming queens.

"flamer" has certainly not extended to gay men in general in the
circles i inhabit (which include lesbians and gay men from their late
teens through their 70s).  i suspect that scot merely meant to say
that he knows of "flamer" as a *type of* gay man.  but he can speak
for himself.


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list