Theriomorphism in a Los Angeles Gay Community

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 12 14:28:41 UTC 2010

On Tuesday's _Millionaire Matchmaker_ (Bravo), Patti branched out to include
gay millionaires.  A  twentysomething interviewee explained that potential
partners are designated according to the following _schema_:

Bears: lots of body hair
Cubs: younger or smaller than bears, less hairy
Otters: mustache
Twinks: young, innocent, none of the above

HDAS files have _twink_ from 1962. (But astoundingly a lone British source
from 1874/75 where it means literally and simply "a child.")

FWIW, GB provides this from 1946 (allegedly):

Starkle, starkle little twink,
Who the hell you are I think.
I'm not under the alcofulence [sic] of incohol.
I'm not as drunk as some thinkle peep I am
And besides, I've only had tea martoonies,
And anyway, I've all day sober to Sunday up in.

Variants can be found for a number of years following, esp., it seems, as a
filler in industrial publications.


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

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