MovieChat Forums > Lady in a Cage (1964) Discussion > Use of the word 'gay' in 1964

Use of the word 'gay' in 1964


Couldn't help noticing the use of the word "gay" in a derogatory way.


Essie: (reading mockingly from Malcolm's letter) How about that? This whole letter. It sounds real...what you might say...gay!

Randall: Is your little boy married?



I had no idea that usage went back so far. I am sure it didn't have that meaning in the UK in 1964

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I think that indicates the beginning of the transition from the word meaning "happy" to it meaning "homosexual". In both films, I think it's used to mock feminine-type happiness.

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The word gay connotating homosexuality goes way further back. Look it up.

Swing away, Merrill....Merrill, swing away...

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How about citing some sources.

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The internet is a font of information, with a keyboard right at your hands.

Swing away, Merrill....Merrill, swing away...

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So, you're saying that you haven't used said font to prove your point. Typically, when someone states something as fact, they offer proof. They don't say, "it's a fact, go look it up".

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Bringing Up Baby 1938. Cary Grant is wearing a woman's negligee. When an old aunt asks why he's dressed that way, he replies he decided to "gay" all of a sudden. The word gay was a code word for gay men as far back as the 20's. And yes there are numerous source. One is a book called Gay New York, about homosexuality in NYC from the turn of the last century on.

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I disagree that he meant it in the slang way.

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The use of "gay" to mean homosexual was slang among homosexuals well before 1964. Its appearance in LIAC shows that the meaning was starting to creep into mainstream use.

This is common knowledge among people who know anything about the subject. You can google "how 'gay' came to mean homosexual" or not as you wish.

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Another expert who claims no need to cite. I disagree.

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Another expert who claims no need to cite. I disagree.


So do I. Regarding the debate about the word gay, in West Side Story, Maria sings "I Feel pretty and witty and gay." The word, "gay" was used as "I feel happy." So obviously, gay=homosexual wasn't commonly used during the 1960s. It may have started to pick up then, but it wasn't common. If it had been, there's no way those lyrics would've been left in the movie. They would've been changed.

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Emojis=💩 Emoticons=

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay

The sixties marked the transition in the predominant meaning of the word gay from that of "carefree" to the current "homosexual".

In the British comedy-drama film Light Up The Sky! (1960) directed by Lewis Gilbert about the antics of a British Army searchlight squad during World War II, there is a scene in the mess hut where the character played by Benny Hill proposes an after dinner toast. He begins, "I'd like to propose..." at which point a fellow diner, played by Sidney Tafler, interjects "Who to?", suggesting a proposal of marriage. The Benny Hill character responds, "Not to you for start, you ain't my type". He then adds in mock doubt, "Oh, I don't know, you're rather gay on the quiet."

By 1963, a new sense of the word gay was known well enough to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. Similarly, Hubert Selby, Jr. in his 1964 novel Last Exit to Brooklyn, could write that a character "took pride in being a homosexual by feeling intellectually and esthetically superior to those (especially women) who weren't gay...



http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/site/comments/gay/

In recent years, however, this traditional sense of gay has been driven out of the language by the newer sense meaning homosexual. Many believe this new sense of gay to be quite recent, when in fact it dates at least to the 1920s and perhaps even earlier. This early existence is as a slang and self-identifying code word among homosexuals, only entering the mainstream of English in the late 1960s.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/gay

Gay meaning ‘homosexual,’ dating back to the 1930s (if not earlier), became established in the 1960s as the term preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves
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So, as I said, by 1964 the use of "gay" to mean homosexual was well established in the homosexual community and creeping into the mainstream. The lowlifes who broke into Mrs Hilyard's house would be expected to be familiar with dodgy slang; their use of it was meant to make the scenes even more sordid. Whether everyone in the audience got the reference is another matter. No doubt some did not, but certainly some did. The point is that it is simply wrong to assert that "gay" for homosexual was not in use by the time this film was made.

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Key word: TRANSITION. If it meant strictly homosexual, it wouldn't have been used in a song in 1961 to mean happy. Mad Men also uses it to mean happy. Calm down and accept that people disagree with you.

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LOL at "calm down." If I were any calmer at the moment, I'd be asleep.

You complained about a lack of sources; it was a reasonable complaint, so I provided sources.

Yes, the word was in transition. If you read back over the thread, you'll see that we are saying the same thing.

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Be careful calling Wikipedia a source...unless you've double-checked the footnotes.

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It was probably a word that few people knew about or used in that context. It reminds me of a Facts of Life episode in 1987 where Blair talked about a cellular phone. I thought: What's a cellular phone?

I don't think Malcolm was really going to kill himself. He was just being dramatic.

They never said what happened to Sade.

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