"male homosexual," 1914, American English slang (shortened form fag is from 1921), probably from earlier contemptuous term for "woman" (1590s), especially an old and unpleasant one, in reference to faggot () "bundle of sticks," as something awkward that has to be carried (cf. baggage "worthless woman," 1590s). It may also be reinforced by Yiddish faygele "homosexual," literally "little bird." It also may have roots in British public school slang fag "a junior who does certain duties for a senior" (1785), with suggestions of "catamite," from fag (v.). This also was used as a verb. He [the prefect] used to fag me to blow the chapel organ for him. ["Boy's Own Paper," 1889] Other obsolete senses of faggot were "man hired into military service simply to fill out the ranks at muster" (1700) and "vote manufactured for party purposes" (1817).
The oft-reprinted assertion that male homosexuals were called faggots because they were burned at the stake as punishment is an etymological urban legend. Burning was sometimes a punishment meted out to homosexuals in Christian Europe (on the suggestion of the Biblical fate of Sodom and Gomorrah), but in England, where parliament had made homosexuality a capital offense in 1533, hanging was the method prescribed. Any use of faggot in connection with public executions had long become an English historical obscurity by the time the word began to be used for "male homosexual" in 20th century American slang, whereas the contemptuous slang word for "woman" (and the other possible sources or influences listed here) was in active use. It was used in this sense in early 20c. by . Lawrence and James Joyce, among others.
7. In England, Smokey the Bear is not the forest fire prevention representative. They have Smacky the Frog. It's a lot like a bear, but it's a frog. I think that's a better system. I think we should adopt it. Because bears can be mean, but frogs are always cool. Never has there been a frog hopping toward me, and I thought "Man, I'd better play dead. Here comes that frog." I would never say "Here comes that frog" in a horrifying manner. It's always, like, optimistic. Like, "Hey, here comes that frog, all right. Maybe he will settle near me and I can pet him, and put him in a mayonnaise jar, with a stick and a leaf, to recreate what he's used to." [ Listen ]
is a Sports fan web site and is in no way affiliated with any media organization, any professional sports league, team, organization, or its Properties. This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. is not an official web site for any media organization, professional sports league, team, or organization.
Copyright © 2017 - All Rights Reserved - Trademarks used herein are property of their respective owners.
is part of the NESN digital network.