Theriomorphism in a Los Angeles Gay Community

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Fri Feb 12 16:49:52 UTC 2010

1. There is nothing "astounding" about an unrelated 19th century use of a 20th term that surely was independently derived by clipping from "twinkle"

2. The 1946 doggerel likewise has nothing whatever to do with 20th century gay slang.

3. Bruce Rogers records TWINK in 1972 in his lexicon of queer slang. He calls it "rare," but the listed meaning is quite close to the meaning that has been VERY common in gay lingo since the 1980s.

In short, a pointless posting.
------Original Message------
From: Jonathan Lighter
Sender: ADS-L
ReplyTo: ADS-L
Subject: [ADS-L] Theriomorphism in a Los Angeles Gay Community
Sent: Feb 12, 2010 9:28 AM

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 -

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

The American Dialect Society -

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