gay

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    The word "gay" seems to have radically changed in meaning in recent years.
    The is a fairly well-known Christmas song (Deck the Halls) with a line "don we now our gay apparel", meaning put on party clothes for Christmas.
    In the 1930's there was a Fred Astaire - Ginger Rodgers move "The Gay Divorcee", where the woman wanted a divorce from a boring husband. At the end Ginger hooks up with Fred.
    In both examples "gay" meant carefree or somewhat risque.
    However nowadays the term seems to have narrowed to homosexuals, even more narrowly to males (see LGBTQ). How this happen?
     
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Language changes - across time and space - in a great many ways. You'd be puzzled by expressions in England today or in the US 150 years ago. You would likely not be able to understand English as spoken in England 500 years ago.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    It has not narrowed; it's just that one application has become widely popularized.
    The original meaning is still in use.

    I personally use the term in sentences such as "Until last Monday's lockdown, we were free to shop with gay abandon."
     
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  7. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    G'day! In my day the young blokes and sheilas were always mostly gay. Even when using the dunny after some tucker, whether at brekkie or a cuppa in the arvo, my gayness was always prevalent. Sometimes though if hitting the booze too much, and feeling crook, I may just chuck a sickie until I started feeling bonza again and gay. But I would always put in the hard yakka the next day and make up for lost time, thereby making the Boss also gay after perhaps calling me a lazy bugger.
    Other then that watching the footy or the cricket at the Gabba, and then drive home again in my trusty old ute, would see out a bonza day, fair dinkum! Then relaxing with a few tinnies and ready finally ready for the cot.

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  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Good day, eh? Up here, we keep our houses warm with Hydro so we can cook our KD while we drink our pop. And we use Robertson screwdrivers to fix things.

    Uh, that's all I got. Sorry.
     
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  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Even if their combi was fried out, and they ended up chundering their vegemite sandwiches on a hippie trail.
     
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  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I have been know for the occasional technicolour yawn when pissed.

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  11. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    I think Gay still means what it means in regards to your examples, it's just that Gay has now become a Homonym. From that time, some words fall out of favor in regards to their definitions; Dough, for example. It used to be referred to as money, but I've not heard the term in a long time.
     
  12. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Is this Australian? Slang tends to be a lot more ephemeral. Old movie (Ball of Fire) is a good example.
     
  13. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Yep, much of it still commonly used today...chucking a sickie: having a day off work. Bonza..in good health.Hard yakka...hard work. Feeling crook...not the best, feeling ill. A Technicolour yawn...vomiting [not in common use] bloke and sheila...bloke very common, sheila not so much today. Fair dinkum...totally true and commonly used. Brekkie, breakfast and arvo, afternoon both commonly used.
    Aussies have a tendency to "shorten" words.

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