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Is it okay to say faggot?

glithertglithert Snortin' KLuthor's towerRegistered User regular
edited February 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
I got into an argument with a friend of mine about this. I said it wasn't cool, and his position was more or less
this

I'm not trying to win the argument, but is this a common sentiment? That it doesn't actually mean gay? Because I thought that's all it ever meant (In modern American slang, before anyone pulls out a dictionary on me.)

glithert on
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Posts

  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    No, it totally means gay. Yes, some people may be trying to change the word or spewing shit like Louie CK, whom I love and respect, but it's bullshit. Everyone knows what it means and pretending it means something different is just asinine.

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  • RaernRaern Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    It's not acceptable in Canada anyway: http://www.rockaaa.com/news/money-for-nothing-banned-25-years-after-release-1821

    I think public opinion is turning against the use of the word overall.

  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle and you're not happy, but you're funny and I'm tripping over my joyRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I don't say it, but growing up in the midwest in the 90s, it didn't really mean gay for us either (see Louis C.K. skit). It just meant... dumb.

    Now that I am out of Jr. High and the internet has made not knowing the connotations of something pretty impossible, well... if you say that, you gotta know what people will take it as.

    I'm a published writer and have a very unique and interesting writing style. I'm also sharp and witty. My profile is well-written and hilarious. My messages are likewise brilliant. And I've been doing this stuff for...four or five years. I know what "works" in terms of good internet dating writing. "Works" in the sense of leading to a "date" with a human female.
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    In language, you have what you are trying to convey and what is actually conveyed to others. Unfortunately, your intentions are only clear to yourself, so no matter what you meant by a particular phrase, people are going to take from it what they will.

    If you want to say someone is acting like a douchebag, perhaps that is a better word to employ than one where the majority of people will take it to mean something else entirely.

    ,

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  • InvisibleInvisible Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    No.

    It's the same as jap, chink, the n-word, or any other slur for a group of people you can think of. Sorry, people like Louis C.K. and the South Park guys can try to make it anything they want, but they're wrong and just ignoring that it's still used as a slur against gay people, it will have the connotation for a long time if not always and trying to normalize it's use ignores that (see the response you'd get if you tried the same thing with the other slurs).

    Take the commercial with Wanda Sykes. You might think calling something "gay" instead of "stupid" is OK, but it's not and whether intentionally or not, you're putting down an entire group of people.

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  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle and you're not happy, but you're funny and I'm tripping over my joyRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I have a very deep love affair with how words sound, and I'll just tell you guys right now in this thread that the word "faggot" divorced of its meaning is the BEST insult I can think of. It just sounds... perfect. I think it's the "got" on the end for emphasis.

    Fuck and cunt are really good words too. The "n" word is not potent sounding so it's good I'm never tempted to say it for effect.

    /mini-rant about how words sound

    I'm a published writer and have a very unique and interesting writing style. I'm also sharp and witty. My profile is well-written and hilarious. My messages are likewise brilliant. And I've been doing this stuff for...four or five years. I know what "works" in terms of good internet dating writing. "Works" in the sense of leading to a "date" with a human female.
  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Its not okay to call someone that, even if you're gay. Its very offensive and in general an insensitive thing to say!

    There's a lot of movement to "take back words" (for instance, I'm in the vagina monologues and my particular piece is about taking back the word "cunt") but if someone is just going to offhandedly use hurtful words there's no way to butter that up and suddenly make it alright

    Your friend might not like think its a big deal, and I think a lot of people agree with him, but its just not okay to use slurs of any kind

  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Fuck and cunt are really good words too. The "n" word is not potent sounding so it's good I'm never tempted to say it for effect.

    /mini-rant about how words sound

    cunt is the best, I hate to say it, but its an awesome word to say and I get to yell and scream it for totally legit reasons!! (win)


    edit: ffffff I double-posted noooo

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Meanwhile I really don't like to even type out the c-word because I find it vulgar.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I have a very deep love affair with how words sound, and I'll just tell you guys right now in this thread that the word "faggot" divorced of its meaning is the BEST insult I can think of. It just sounds... perfect. I think it's the "got" on the end for emphasis.

    Fuck and cunt are really good words too. The "n" word is not potent sounding so it's good I'm never tempted to say it for effect.

    /mini-rant about how words sound

    Weirdly, I know what you're talking about. Something about the hard "F" at the front of the word, plus a nice hard G or T or K sound, very satisfying to say.

    I'm not about to use the word "faggot" in speech though, because as other people have said, its meaning goes beyond just a generic insult.

    "Fuck" is universal though, so I'm all about using it.

    The c-word I don't find as satisfying for some reason. Occasionally I'll use "fag" but only ironically and in company where I'm sure people know I'm using it ironically.

  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle and you're not happy, but you're funny and I'm tripping over my joyRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Meanwhile I really don't like to even type out the c-word because I find it vulgar.

    But it sounds so gooooooooood.

    Elsewhere, in a raspy tone: give in to your hate, VoC.

    It isn't spine-chilling like the word panties at least. Shudder.

    So yeah, to stay on topic, the word cannot be divorced from its context so it is not appropriate to say in public. Among friends, who all know that you are not insulting a giant group of people, shrug. No one can stop you anyway.

    I'm a published writer and have a very unique and interesting writing style. I'm also sharp and witty. My profile is well-written and hilarious. My messages are likewise brilliant. And I've been doing this stuff for...four or five years. I know what "works" in terms of good internet dating writing. "Works" in the sense of leading to a "date" with a human female.
  • EWomEWom Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Absolutely it is ok to say faggot , cunt, and whatever else you want. Just don't be surprised if someone gets pissed off, or people start calling you racists or homophobe or whatever else if you say them.

    (also don't be surprised if you get jailed for it....)

    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

    The goal of our founding fathers was freedom. The goal of our current politicians is control.
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited February 2011
    EWom wrote: »
    Absolutely it is ok to say faggot , cunt, and whatever else you want. Just don't be surprised if someone gets pissed off, or people start calling you racists or homophobe or whatever else if you say them.

    (also don't be surprised if you get jailed for it....)

    Considering how long the The Glorious Edict has been around you would have to be a real big silly goose to do that on PA.

  • EWomEWom Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I knew all about the glorious edict, and said what I wanted knowing the consequences.

    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

    The goal of our founding fathers was freedom. The goal of our current politicians is control.
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    You should only use "faggot" as an insult against straight people. Using it as an insult against gay people is just lazy.

    There's nothing worse than lazy, uncreative insulting.

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  • ceresceres Humming hallelujah in the dark Lost with a compass in the fogSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited February 2011
    In real life you can be namecalling dicks all you want, but you can rest assured that it is still not acceptable here.

    I don't think it's okay to use words like "faggot", period. No I don't care if you're gay. If you are using a word that can even loosely be interpreted as describing a group of people, in any kind of pejorative or stereotyping manner, I don't find it acceptable. I also don't find it acceptable just because you are a member of that group. I used to when I was younger, but I've seen enough now that it's no longer the case.

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  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I have a very deep love affair with how words sound, and I'll just tell you guys right now in this thread that the word "faggot" divorced of its meaning is the BEST insult I can think of. It just sounds... perfect. I think it's the "got" on the end for emphasis.

    Fuck and cunt are really good words too. The "n" word is not potent sounding so it's good I'm never tempted to say it for effect.

    /mini-rant about how words sound

    This is so very, very true.

    But yeah, don't use 'em. Just because Louis C.K. and your friend interpret them one way doesn't mean anyone hearing them is going to interpret them another way.

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    You should only use "faggot" as an insult against straight people. Using it as an insult against gay people is just lazy.

    There's nothing worse than lazy, uncreative insulting.

    It's still not okay, just like it's not okay to call your white neighbour a n----. You also can't call your Italian baker a dirty sp--- or a stupid ch---.
    Its not okay to call someone that, even if you're gay. Its very offensive and in general an insensitive thing to say!

    There's a lot of movement to "take back words" (for instance, I'm in the vagina monologues and my particular piece is about taking back the word "cunt") but if someone is just going to offhandedly use hurtful words there's no way to butter that up and suddenly make it alright

    Your friend might not like think its a big deal, and I think a lot of people agree with him, but its just not okay to use slurs of any kind

    I don't think "cunt" really applies here because, although I find it vulgar myself, it's not necessarily used to identify a group of people. If I use the word in a public place, no one is going to turn around and say, "Hey! I take offence to that! My Aunt is a cunt!"

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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Oh man Figgy. As much as I really hate that word I am laughing so hard over here.

  • glithertglithert Snortin' K Luthor's towerRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Well, this is more or less the response I expected. I hope none of you guys think too harshly of my friend, or anything. It's not like he runs with the Phelpses or anything crazy like that.

    And he's totally not me! Because I just realized that's what this thread looks like!

    Edit: If anyone remembers, this is the same guy that I got into an argument with about the ten-point scale with seven set as the average

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  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Figgy wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    You should only use "faggot" as an insult against straight people. Using it as an insult against gay people is just lazy.

    There's nothing worse than lazy, uncreative insulting.

    It's still not okay, just like it's not okay to call your white neighbour a n----. You also can't call your Italian baker a dirty sp--- or a stupid ch---.
    See, now you're talking about nonsensical insults, which is even worse.

    Insulting people is becoming a lost art. I blame XBox live.

    The point is, if you're going to insult someone, be creative and aim for the jugular. Just throwing around random slurs isn't creative.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    You should only use "faggot" as an insult against straight people. Using it as an insult against gay people is just lazy.

    There's nothing worse than lazy, uncreative insulting.

    It's still not okay, just like it's not okay to call your white neighbour a n----. You also can't call your Italian baker a dirty sp--- or a stupid ch---.
    See, now you're talking about nonsensical insults, which is even worse.

    Insulting people is becoming a lost art. I blame XBox live.

    The point is, if you're going to insult someone, be creative and aim for the jugular. Just throwing around random slurs isn't creative.

    So your arguement is that calling someone a faggot is creative if they're not into sucking dick? I don't get your point, but this isn't D&D so I won't carry it further.

    I still don't think it's acceptable to use the word, whether the insultee is straight, gay, bi, or whatever other label you want to attach to them based on how they like to incite ejaculation.

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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited February 2011
    glithert wrote: »
    Well, this is more or less the response I expected. I hope none of you guys think too harshly of my friend, or anything. It's not like he runs with the Phelpses or anything crazy like that.

    And he's totally not me! Because I just realized that's what this thread looks like!

    Edit: If anyone remembers, this is the same guy that I got into an argument with about the ten-point scale with seven set as the average

    Man, why bother explaining anything to this kid then? Some people just don't get things.

  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Figgy wrote: »

    There's a lot of movement to "take back words" (for instance, I'm in the vagina monologues and my particular piece is about taking back the word "cunt") but if someone is just going to offhandedly use hurtful words there's no way to butter that up and suddenly make it alright

    I don't think "cunt" really applies here because, although I find it vulgar myself, it's not necessarily used to identify a group of people. If I use the word in a public place, no one is going to turn around and say, "Hey! I take offense to that! My Aunt is a cunt!"

    lol well cunt was just an example

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Anyone who says they don't think faggot isn't a gay slur is either an idiot or lying.

    The illuminating thing about that lous ck bit is that he can't actually offer another meaning, and the ultimate payoff is only funny because oh hey, the only way we actually use faggot is as a synonym for gay.

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  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Figgy wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    You should only use "faggot" as an insult against straight people. Using it as an insult against gay people is just lazy.

    There's nothing worse than lazy, uncreative insulting.

    It's still not okay, just like it's not okay to call your white neighbour a n----. You also can't call your Italian baker a dirty sp--- or a stupid ch---.
    See, now you're talking about nonsensical insults, which is even worse.

    Insulting people is becoming a lost art. I blame XBox live.

    The point is, if you're going to insult someone, be creative and aim for the jugular. Just throwing around random slurs isn't creative.

    So your arguement is that calling someone a faggot is creative if they're not into sucking dick? I don't get your point, but this isn't D&D so I won't carry it further.
    Depends, I guess. It could be a good, biting insult against someone who is homophobic.

    But if it's not "okay" to call someone a faggot, is it also not okay to call someone a motherfucker? I mean, you're actively trying to insult them and are presumably picking words that have bite. Sure, it might be rude to insult someone. But I don't see the difference in picking one word over the other, in terms of "okayness."

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • glithertglithert Snortin' K Luthor's towerRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    glithert wrote: »
    Well, this is more or less the response I expected. I hope none of you guys think too harshly of my friend, or anything. It's not like he runs with the Phelpses or anything crazy like that.

    And he's totally not me! Because I just realized that's what this thread looks like!

    Edit: If anyone remembers, this is the same guy that I got into an argument with about the ten-point scale with seven set as the average

    Man, why bother explaining anything to this kid then? Some people just don't get things.

    I don't know, some statistics majors said a bunch of stuff that I didn't understand at all that sorta indicated his scale made sense depending on how you look at it. I think.

    Judge for yourself? http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=107133

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  • EndomaticEndomatic Registered User
    edited February 2011
    I agree with Louis C.K, as another part of that same standup at a different point he says that saying "N-word" is just as bad because you make the person think it, then everyone knows the intention and connotation anyway. Just say the actual word. Or don't even refer to it at all.

    I realize it's the rule here, but the whole stigma is ridiculous.

  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Hmmm. Im not sure. I mean if you yourself divorce the meaning of the word from being negative to Gay folks, I dont really see a problem with you using it. After all, you cant control what other people think of a word.

    I could decide the work Bike is a slang insult against Polish people and be offended, but that doesnt mean you shouldnt use the word Bike for fear of offending me.

    I have a hard time believing someone can really divorce faggot from its derogatory towards gay people meaning. Its just...so tied to that.

    Whats strange is I use the word gay all the time. Or, well I used to. Not sure anymore. But either way, I never once actually thought of homosexuals when using it. It was literally just slang to mean something I didnt like.

    Heck Ive even said "man thats homosexual." to mean the same thing and the thought of two people of the same sex together was not remotely involved. It was literally just "something I dont like = stupid = gay = homosexual" without any actual introspection into the words themselves. So, Ive been able to divorce gay and even homosexual from the sexual meanings.

    I suppose its possible with faggot.

    Then again I can divorce black from skin tone a lot easier then I could ever divorce the n-word from that meanining.

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  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Disrupter wrote: »
    Hmmm. Im not sure. I mean if you yourself divorce the meaning of the word from being negative to Gay folks, I dont really see a problem with you using it. After all, you cant control what other people think of a word.

    No, but you can understand and empathize with what other people think of a word. What is a gay person gonna think when you use his sexuality as a synonym for "stupid"?
    I could decide the work Bike is a slang insult against Polish people and be offended, but that doesnt mean you shouldnt use the word Bike for fear of offending me.

    "I just decided" != decades of derision and hate crammed into a syllable.

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  • EvigilantEvigilant Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    It'd only be acceptable as a community/society, if we came up with a new language and the word had a completely different meaning. So until the that day, it's still a slur against a group of people.

    But I mean, tell your friend they can say it all they want, use it to their complete satisfaction, let it all out: but don't be shocked to find that people don't want to talk to them, don't want to do business with them, and think they're an idiot and a homophobe.

    Anecdote:
    In my Drill Sergeant unit, one of the other Drill Sergeants lost his rank, his drill sergeant hat, and badge for calling a private a 'faggot'. The private reported him to his superiors, and the drill sergeant goes in front of the UCMJ board and has to explain himself. The Drill Sergeant printed out the entire definition of the word, any and all definitions and usages it may have had in the entire history of the word, and started to go down the list saying that he meant all these other definitions rather than how the private perceived it and took it. The board found: 1) the drill sergeant wasn't good enough to just own up to the mistake (anger and not thinking properly); and 2) regardless how the drill sergeant meant to use the word, the most common accepted usage in society is that of a slur, and that it was still perceived as hostile and an insult, and that was grounds enough for loss of rank, hat, badge.


    Edit: Just to be clear, when I say that his friend should go and say it all they want, it's mostly so they learn that it is completely unacceptable.

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  • tehmarkentehmarken BrooklynRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Only skimmed the thread, so sorry if this was already posted:

    The word "faggot" literally means a stick, or bundle of sticks; usually used for starting a fire. In England, "fag" or "faggot" is a very common slang term for cigarrettes.

    The reason "faggot" can be used as a slur for homosexuals is because in ye olden days, homosexuality was a crime. A crime similar to witchcraft; by which I mean homosexuals used to be burned at the stake (this woulda been during the middle ages).
    Thus, the term was sticks used as kindling, "faggot", became a slur for homosexuals.

    So unless you live in England and are talking about a cigarrette, faggot is not an acceptable word in civilized conversation.


    edit: I was told this etymology by my history teacher back in 10th grade, almost 10 years ago, so it may be a bullshit story.

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    ceres wrote: »
    In real life you can be namecalling dicks all you want, but you can rest assured that it is still not acceptable here.

    I don't think it's okay to use words like "faggot", period. No I don't care if you're gay. If you are using a word that can even loosely be interpreted as describing a group of people, in any kind of pejorative or stereotyping manner, I don't find it acceptable. I also don't find it acceptable just because you are a member of that group. I used to when I was younger, but I've seen enough now that it's no longer the case.

    I respectfully disagree. By using the term amongst ourselves, it weakens the impact when it is used against us with hostility. I have experienced this, both before (a lot before, ahh high school) as well as after the point where I had openly gay friends to make use of this term with in a jesting manner, and it's much easier for me to respond in a controlled, face-saving manner now. It's still a very ugly word, and I certainly don't object to its use being discouraged, but obviously I will continue to ignore well-meaning people who suggest that I not make use of disempowerment-empowerment for my own benefit.

  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle and you're not happy, but you're funny and I'm tripping over my joyRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Maybe I'll get an infraction for this, but it is worth it and beyond funny to me that the above example probably occurred while admitting you were gay in the military was still cause for discharge.

    But it isn't anymore! So huzzah. No slight on the military, I just find punishment for that slur while DADT was active really... noteworthy.

    Ho hum.

    I'm a published writer and have a very unique and interesting writing style. I'm also sharp and witty. My profile is well-written and hilarious. My messages are likewise brilliant. And I've been doing this stuff for...four or five years. I know what "works" in terms of good internet dating writing. "Works" in the sense of leading to a "date" with a human female.
  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I kind of avoid words like pussy and cunt, since they are technically the anatomy of a woman and are negative insults/contain negative connotations.

    It's interesting in that faggot is a derogatory term for a homosexual, as is calling a homosexual person a "fairy." What makes up a fairy? Typically feminine behaviors. What are we saying about those feminine behaviors? They are bad for a man to have. We're also suggesting that they're less than ideal - the ideal being what is typically masculine.

    So in general I try to stay away from dick, pussy, and cunt. It slips every once in a while (dick that is), but I've pretty much removed the latter from my vocabulary.

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  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Maybe I'll get an infraction for this, but it is worth it and beyond funny to me that the above example probably occurred while admitting you were gay in the military was still cause for discharge.

    But it isn't anymore! So huzzah. No slight on the military, I just find punishment for that slur while DADT was active really... noteworthy.

    Ho hum.

    I was openly gay my last 2 years in the Navy. My CO absolutely didn't give a shit. And yeah, me and my best "girlfriend" engaged in all manner of awful, stereotypically gay dialogue with one another and probably were not the best possible ambassadors for the gay world we could be. But not everyone can be an activist, most people just want to live their lives.

  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Generally speaking, faggot is a pretty ugly word, but it depends on the context/intent.

    For instance, after I bought a six pack at a liquor store, the guy handed me my change and scoffed "faggot" under his breath when I walked away. That was kind of fucked up.

    I mean, I wasn't even wearing high heels.

  • Peter EbelPeter Ebel Deus Vult! OsloRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    tehmarken wrote: »
    Only skimmed the thread, so sorry if this was already posted:

    The word "faggot" literally means a stick, or bundle of sticks; usually used for starting a fire. In England, "fag" or "faggot" is a very common slang term for cigarrettes.

    The reason "faggot" can be used as a slur for homosexuals is because in ye olden days, homosexuality was a crime. A crime similar to witchcraft; by which I mean homosexuals used to be burned at the stake (this woulda been during the middle ages).
    Thus, the term was sticks used as kindling, "faggot", became a slur for homosexuals.

    So unless you live in England and are talking about a cigarrette, faggot is not an acceptable word in civilized conversation.


    edit: I was told this etymology by my history teacher back in 10th grade, almost 10 years ago, so it may be a bullshit story.

    Faggot doesn't mean stick, it means a bundle of sticks, and was actually once a particular unit of measurement of such bundles.

    I've heard it was first used as a slur against women, as in you had to carry them around and they were burdensome - kinda like "bitch" is used today. So, likely, calling a homosexual man a faggot, isn't making merry over burning him to death, but attacking him for being feminine.

    Fuck off and die.
  • CoinageCoinage The man from the other side Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    tehmarken wrote: »
    The reason "faggot" can be used as a slur for homosexuals is because in ye olden days, homosexuality was a crime. A crime similar to witchcraft; by which I mean homosexuals used to be burned at the stake (this woulda been during the middle ages).
    Thus, the term was sticks used as kindling, "faggot", became a slur for homosexuals.

    edit: I was told this etymology by my history teacher back in 10th grade, almost 10 years ago, so it may be a bullshit story.
    It's been repeated elsewhere (even on an episode of Louie, Louis CK's FX show, relevantly enough) and it pretty much is, the exact origin is unclear. Unfortunately, like the absolute idiocy about the origin of the phrase "rule of thumb", it only takes a few references in popular media for it to become a "fact" in the mind of the public.

    coinage.gif
  • ceresceres Humming hallelujah in the dark Lost with a compass in the fogSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited February 2011
    I think we're pretty solidly in D&D territory at this point.

    It'll be just as quiet when I leave as it was when I first got here
    I don't expect anything.

    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
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