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Re: query: distorted languages?

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Thursday, August 31, 2000, 2:36
Leo Caesius wrote:
> Padraic responded:
Actually, that was my response.
> My first exposure to "the word" came from watching the American cartoon > series "The Flintstones," as it occurs in the theme song: "Have a yabba, > dabba, doo time/ A dabba doo time/ We'll have a gay, old time!" I'm not > sure what it all means, although Barney and Fred were awfully chummy at > times...
It simply meant "happy", the original meaning.
> In Eric Partridge's _A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English_, he > notes that "the word was first published in the O.E.D. in 1825 but was in > circulation well before that date.
Actually, it was in the OED in the 17th century, where a secondary meaning was listed "living a loose or immoral life", i.e., promiscuous.
> Another possible origin is the late nineteenth century slang usage of gay > to mean promiscuous. A gay house meant a brothel. This sexual sense of the > term could have become associated with homosexuals and the heterosexual > sense lost."
That seems pretty weak to me.
> Lately, a similar > shift seems to be occuring to the word "partner" (in the Kevin Smith film > "Dogma," Ben Affleck tells Linda Fiorentino that he and Matt Damon are > "partners" and she automatically assumes that the two of them are gay).
Well, I don't think that was because she thought "partner = homosexual relationship", but an in-joke related to rumors about the two being gay.
> The word shifted in meaning from "a member of any group engaged in some sort of > joint enterprise (be it sports, business, dancing, etc.)" to "an individual > officially registered in a "domestic partnership" with another individual, > often of the same sex" to "significant other in a (usually monogamous) > same-sex relationship."
I haven't seen that yet. It may happen in the near-future, but I don't think that it's happened yet. -- "Only two things are infinite - the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe." - Albert Einstein ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor