Home » Segments » Changing Meanings of Gay

Changing Meanings of Gay

Play episode

How did the word gay come to mean both “lighthearted” and “homosexual”? In the late 1800s, the term gaycat was used in hobo culture to refer to an inexperienced hobo who might take on an older mentor for help, often another male. Over time, there was a convergence between gay as slang for “homosexual” and “gay” from the French term for “happy.” This is part of a complete episode.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More from this show


The Irish English word bockety describes someone who has difficulty walking, or something that’s fallen into a state of disrepair, as...