[Ads-l] Further Thoughts on the 1931 Use of "Go Gay"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed Oct 14 20:36:09 EDT 2020


A few days ago I posted about a 1931 headline using the phrase "go gay," in an article that was very much about homosexuality in the publication New Broadway Brevities.  I opined that this was the earliest known use of the term "gay" meaning homosexual.

Some cooler heads have suggested that this was not a specific reference to homosexuality, but rather simply an instance of a general usage of "go gay" meaning to become flamboyant.  Upon reflection, it seems to me that the cooler heads are correct.  I am not one who clings to pet theories when others point out that my theories are implausible.

Fred Shapiro

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


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