more "brokeback"

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Mon Feb 6 19:44:34 UTC 2006

On Feb 6, 2006, at 10:59 AM, Indigo Som wrote:


> this usage of "brokeback" ["brokeback alpha dog"] would seem to be
> the "hyper-masculine +
> unconscious/repressed/closeted gay" meaning, as opposed to just
> meaning "gay", but hard to tell if that was intended or just happened
> to coincide w/ the context.

it's often impossible to judge the intended meaning from context, and
even the person who uttered or wrote it can't fully explicating it.

there's a general problem here, because meanings in three domains are
closely associated in the folk mind:

deficient masculinity, unmanliness

gayness, homosexuality

effeminacy, sissiness

vocabulary denoting one of these quickly picks up tinges of the others.


The American Dialect Society -

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