gay ​Definitions and Synonyms

gay ​Definitions and Synonyms ​

Gay men and were represented in almost equal numbers.

gay ​Definitions and Synonyms ​

Why is a man „gay“ (adjective) but a woman is „a lesbian“ (noun)? Is there a linguistic reason for this?

I’m not quite sure if this is the right place for this question. If not, please direct me elsewhere.

As the title says, I was just wondering why we use different language when talking about gay men vs. women. For example, it’s offensive to say „He’s a gay,“ but it’s normal to say „She’s a lesbian.“ Any thoughts?

Edit: Yes, I know both words can be adjectives and nouns.

„Lesbian“ is both an adjective and a noun, but the etymology of lesbian comes from the demonym of the island of Lesbos, for which Sappho of Lesbos was known for her poems about women. Demonyms ending in -ian are often nominalized (an American, a Canadian, a Peruvian, a German) in English without being offensive (why?), while others are more so (a Chinese, an English, a French).

Another thing: gay is also a noun, too. They’re both both adjectives and nouns.

There seems to be some confusion in this thread about the status of „lesbian“ as an adjective.

It seems to me that „lesbian“ can certainly be used as an attributive adjective:

However, its use as a predicative adjective seems to me very unnatural. („*“ denotes grammatical unacceptability, according to my intutions.)

By contrast, gay can be used both attributively and predicatively:

(I also agree with others that „gay“ can be used to refer to a homosexual female.)

I hear it used as a predicative adjective all the time, just as much as „gay“ is.

It should be noted that in Victorian times (and probably earlier), describing a woman as „gay“ meant just that she was a prostitute. This term is used in an infamous piece of erotica, „My Secret Life“ penned in those times. Note that even back in Victorian times, it was not unknown for two women to live together in a kind of wedlock. How they would describe themselves, I do not know.

I have no idea how long this other usage of „gay“ lasted and when homosexuals started being referred to as gay and wonder whether there was an intention to avid confusion.

Ladies can be gay too, as long as they’re lesbians.

Hopefully, I’m understanding the question correctly. Linguistically, it’s better to understand that there isn’t a reason for us to use them both as nouns or adjectives, because they aren’t complimentary terms (at least, originally.) They aren’t like „man“ and „woman“ or „clean“ and „dirty,“ a lesbian is just a kind of gay person.

Lesbian as it is used now was originally used to describe a subculture of homosexuality in the early twentieth century. Most ideas about homosexuality revolved around male love and not female, and the term lesbian was important in distinguishing the two. Once we had a word that specifically meant female homosexuality, it polarized the two words. „Gay“ is less ambiguous, because if you meant a gay woman, you would have said „Lesbian.“ It’s just more specific.

Gay in it’s most common sense is an adjective. „A gay man“ is attributive: you’re adding that he is gay to the idea that he’s a man. „A gay“ is like saying „One of the gays.“ There’s a special term for it, but I can’t recall it. But essentially it’s a label and is distancing, which is why it has become pejorative.

Linguistically, it’s important to know that these changes are often niche-driven. Words compete with other words for meaning, because people will always try to use the most specific word they can, in relationship to other words. „A gay“ feels slightly worse than „A gay man,“ so in people’s minds, it’s the worse one.

Linguistically, it’s better to understand that there isn’t a reason for us to use them both as nouns or adjectives, because they aren’t complimentary terms (at least, originally.) They aren’t like „man“ and „woman“ or „clean“ and „dirty,“ a lesbian is just a kind of gay person.

In any human language, even if the terms for comparison had the semantic content you are talking about, we wouldn’t be able to know that they would have the same syntactic distribution or that they would be members of the same lexical class necessarily. Antonyms do not have to have the same syntactic behavior as their semantic opposites. For example, in Japanese „fat“ is a stative verb that is usually in the progressive aspect (太ている [ɸɯᵝ.töɾɯᵝ]) and „skinny“ is just a adjective (細い [hö.sɔʏ̯]).

The more isolating tendencies a language has, the less lexical class distinctions are clear-cut or really mean anything concretely. If agreement or case marking were obligatorily used on English lexical items than you wouldn’t have to ask whether „gay“ is lexical class x of if „lesbian“ is lexical class y. You could just see what kind of affixes are there in the higher level nodes of the phrases that use them and that would be you’re answer. But this is not the case in English and „she is lesbian“ and „she is a lesbian“ are both valid. Situationally one could analyze „lesbian“ in the former phrase as a adjective and in the latter phrase as a noun. But this is only for modeling purposes and I wouldn’t presume that the lexeme „lesbian“ is one or the other in any absolute sense.

I agree with you. You could also ask r/askanthropologyr/anthropology to get their perspective as well.

Why is a man

Gay meaning

An example of gay is a bouquet of flowers with many brilliant colors.

An example of gay is a man who is only attracted to other men.

She imprudently forms the acquaintance of a „gay girl“ living in the same street.

„As nothing could be more gay, i.e., debauched, than Zeno’s court, so the ladies of gay disposition had great sway in it; particularly one, whose name was Fausta, who, though not extremely handsome, was by her wit and sprightliness very agreeable to the emperor.

Her decor is quite gay just in time for the new season. = Her house is decorated fabulously and tastefully.

.. is possible for people to be diseased without being prostitutes or gay women; it is possible for people years ago to have spent a gay life and to have not got rid of their disease, or they may have become diseased by their husbands or lovers.

Gay (common, loose, dissipated; a „gay woman“ or „gay girl,“ a prostitute. „All gay,“ vide All gay.

Gay meaning

Example sentences from the Web for gay

“I do not support gay marriages being recognized in Florida,” he wrote Andrew Walther of Sanford.

That man was Xavier Cortada, a gay man who wrote of his frustration that he and his partner of eight years were unable to marry.

Some gay apps, like the newer Mister, have not subscribed to the community/tribe model.

Meanwhile, in Florida, Bush was flooded with questions about whether gay marriage could possibly come to the Sunshine State.

In the 70s, this myth kept openly gay people out of teaching positions.

Am I not in France—gay, delightful France—partaking of the kindness and civility of the country?

After a moment’s silence, the cavaliers both burst into a gay laugh.

Never had Tom seen his gay and careless cousin in such guise: he was restless, silent, intense and inarticulate.

If it had not been for the presence of Mademoiselle Stéphanie, it would not have been gay for Aristide.

The box of the diplomatic corps was just opposite us, and our gay little Mrs. F. sat in it dressed in white satin.

Example sentences from the Web for gay

Cultural definitions for gay

The Most Surprisingly Serendipitous Words Of The Day

Gender Neutral / Gender Inclusive Pronouns

A gender neutral or gender inclusive pronoun is a pronoun which does not associate a gender with the individual who is being discussed.

Some languages, such as English, do not have a gender neutral or third gender pronoun available, and this has been criticized, since in many instances, writers, speakers, etc. use “he/his” when referring to a generic individual in the third person. Also, the dichotomy of “he and she” in English does not leave room for other gender identities, which is a source of frustration to the transgender and gender queer communities.

People who are limited by languages which do not include gender neutral pronouns have attempted to create them, in the interest of greater equality.

Gay Sentence Examples

She thought her too fashionably dressed, frivolously gay and vain.

He was „gay and sprightly, with a turn for wit and humour.“

During the dull day, in the course of which he was entertained by his elderly hosts and by the more important of the visitors (the old count’s house was crowded on account of an approaching name day), Prince Andrew repeatedly glanced at Natasha, gay and laughing among the younger members of the company, and asked himself each time, What is she thinking about?

Usage of Homosexual

The adjective homosexual has been decreasing in use in published, edited text since the late 20th century, and is now sometimes considered offensive, since the word can be seen as evoking negative stereotypes and outdated clinical understandings of homosexuality as a psychiatric condition. The term has largely been replaced by gay, which can describe sexual or romantic attraction or activity between men or between women; by lesbian, which applies only to the latter; or by inclusive abbreviations such as LGBT („lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender“).

Usage of Homosexual

The noun homosexual has seen a decrease in use in published, edited text since the mid-1990s and is now often regarded as offensive, since the word can be seen as evoking negative stereotypes and outdated clinical understandings of homosexuality as a psychiatric condition. Phrases that employ the adjectives gay and lesbian tend to be preferred, as in „a gay man,“ „a lesbian couple,“ „gay people,“ etc.

Medical Definition of homosexual

Note: The adjective homosexual has been decreasing in use in published, edited text since the late 20th century, and is now sometimes considered offensive. The term has largely been replaced by gay, which can describe sexual or romantic attraction or activity between men or between women; by lesbian, which applies only to the latter; or by inclusive abbreviations such as LGBT („lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender“).

Note: The noun homosexual has seen a decrease in use in published, edited text since the mid-1990s and is now often regarded as offensive; instead, phrases that employ the adjectives gay and lesbian tend to be preferred, as in „a gay man,“ „a lesbian couple,“ „gay people,“ etc.

What made you want to look up homosexual? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Usage of Queer

The adjective queer is now most frequently applied with its meanings relating to sexual orientation and/or gender identity, as outlined at sense 2 above. When these meanings were developing in the early 20th century, they were strongly pejorative, echoing the negative connotations of the word’s older meanings, which included „weird,“ „suspicious,“ and „unwell.“ But the adjective today is commonly used as a positive or neutral self-descriptor, and also has wide use as a neutral broad descriptor for a large and varied group of people. Contemporary Black activism has also largely been informed by the concurrent agitation surrounding trans and queer rights … — Nelson George Through interviews, mapping, and an examination of local history and present developments, this paper concludes that gays, lesbians and other members of the queer community often create the liberating social spaces that attract further settlement by „non-conformists.“ — Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting The term is also prominent as a neutral term in academic contexts that deal with gender and sexuality. Current neutral and positive uses notwithstanding, the word’s long history of pejorative use continued into the current century, and some people still find the word offensive in any context.

Usage

Gay meaning ‘homosexual’ became established in the 1960s as the term preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. It is now the standard accepted term throughout the English-speaking world. As a result, the centuries-old other senses of gay meaning either ‘carefree’ or ‘bright and showy’ have more or less dropped out of natural use. The word gay cannot be readily used today in these older senses without arousing a sense of double entendre, despite concerted attempts by some to keep them alive. Gay in its modern sense typically refers to men (lesbian being the standard term for homosexual women) but in some contexts it can be used of both men and women

Origin

Middle English (in gay (sense 2 of the adjective)): from Old French gai, of unknown origin.

Usage

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. It is now the standard accepted term throughout the English-speaking world. As a result, the centuries-old other senses of gay meaning either ‘carefree’ or ‘bright and showy,’ once common in speech and literature, are much less frequent. The word gay cannot be readily used today in these older senses without sounding old-fashioned or arousing a sense of double entendre, despite concerted attempts by some to keep them alive. Gay in its modern sense typically refers to men (lesbian being the standard term for homosexual women), but in some contexts it can be used of both men and women

Origin

Middle English (in gay (sense 2 of the adjective)): from Old French gai, of unknown origin.

Princeton’s WordNet(5.00 / 1 vote)Rate this definition:

someone who practices homosexuality; having a sexual attraction to persons of the same sex

„a cheery hello“; „a gay sunny room“; „a sunny smile“

„when hearts were young and gay“; „a poet could not but be gay, in such a jocund company“- Wordsworth; „the jolly crowd at the reunion“; „jolly old Saint Nick“; „a jovial old gentleman“; „have a merry Christmas“; „peals of merry laughter“; „a mirthful laugh“

given to social pleasures often including dissipation

„led a gay Bohemian life“; „a gay old rogue with an eye for the ladies“

„girls decked out in brave new dresses“; „brave banners flying“; „`braw‘ is a Scottish word“; „a dress a bit too gay for her years“; „birds with gay plumage“

„a festive (or festal) occasion“; „gay and exciting night life“; „a merry evening“

Wiktionary(0.00 / 0 votes)Rate this definition:

Etymology: : From Pitman kay, which it is derived from graphically, and the sound it represents. The traditional name gee was considered inappropriate, as the Pitman letter never has the sound of that name.

. Also a shortened form of Gabriel, Gaylord and similar names, or transferred from the surname.

Etymology: : From Pitman kay, which it is derived from graphically, and the sound it represents. The traditional name gee was considered inappropriate, as the Pitman letter never has the sound of that name.

An English surname, originally a nickname for a cheerful or lively person.

A female given name from English from the word gay, „joyful“; rare today.

A male given name from English. Also a shortened form of Gabriel, Gaylord and similar names, or transferred from the surname.

– – – my father’s father, Gaetano Talese, was an atypically fearless traveler,

Freebase(5.00 / 1 vote)Rate this definition:

Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being term was originally used to refer to feelings of being „carefree“, „happy“, or „bright and showy“. The term’s use as a reference to homosexuality may date as early as the late 19th century, but its use gradually increased in the 20th century. In modern English, „gay“ has come to be used as an adjective, and as a noun, referring to the people, especially to males, and the practices and cultures associated with the end of the 20th century, the word „gay“ was recommended by major LGBT groups and style guides to describe people attracted to members of the same sex. At about the same time, a new, pejorative use became prevalent in some parts of the world. In the Anglosphere, this connotation, among younger speakers, has a derisive meaning equivalent to rubbish or stupid. In this use, the word does not mean „homosexual“, so it can be used, for example, to refer to an inanimate object or abstract concept of which one disapproves. This usage can also refer to weakness or unmanliness. When used in these ways, the extent to which it still retains connotations of homosexuality has been debated and harshly criticized.

Suggested Resources(0.00 / 0 votes)Rate this definition:

Quotes by gay — Explore a large variety of famous quotes made by gay on the website.

What does GAY stand for? — Explore the various meanings for the GAY acronym on the website.

Examples of GAY in a Sentence

Other countries should follow and allow the registration of organizations advocating for the human rights of lesbian, , bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

I never wanted to be the lesbian actress, i never wanted to be the spokesperson for the community. Ever. I did it for my own truth.

The Netherlands is a country of freedom, one that stands for the equal value of men and women, and straight people, black and white people, those who support these values, will feel at home in the Netherlands. But those who do not, do not belong here.

It seems Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert Ernie are ness.

By killing another living being, I have also killed part of myself. What is gone is the part of me that wondered if Islam would accept me… it is up to me, as a Muslim, to accept Islam.