Res facta quae tamen fingi potuit (pauamma) wrote in linguaphiles,
Res facta quae tamen fingi potuit
pauamma
linguaphiles

"flitting around like a gay homosexual"?

I came around that phrase in a short story published in 1968, and I'm curious about the exact meaning of "gay" in that context (or at that time). It looks like it doesn't mean homosexual or male homosexual (the current meaning), and I have no way to figure out which of the possible other meanings below is correct (or if any is)
- "male", when used as a qualifier for "homosexual" (but we already know the character this is applied to is a man).
- some other qualifier gthat would make sense applied to "homosexual" - eg, maybe the character acted like a flaming queen - but I'm not sure which.
- "merry" (the older meaning), but that sounds unlikely in that context.

Any clue? Or timeline of the shift in meaning of the word "gay"?
Tags: american english, gay speech, vocabulary
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