faggot : Gay & Black Glossary


faggot
A derogatory term for a male homosexual. It implies frivolousness and ineffectiveness. I have heard two explanations for the dervation. One is that the word comes from a derogatory English/Scottish dialect word for a fat, slovenly woman or baggage. According to Wayne Dynes Homolexis: A Historial and Cultural Lexicon of Homosexuality, faggot was first used for gay male in 1914. The other explanation is that it is derived from the Christian habit of burning gay people at the stake. Gays were considered no better than firewood, faggots. The term is commonly used in situations where violence is threatened, so modern users may actually have the second meaning more in mind even if it is not lexicographically correct.

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