Discussion:
Holmes: Gay
(too old to reply)
Steve Hayes
2011-12-11 15:55:12 UTC
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An observation about John Clellon Holmes's novel "Go", first published in
1952.

In it he uses the word "gay" several times, but never with the meaning
"homosexual".

Example:

"He had even been eager, concerned, agreeable to anything Stofsky suggested,
but he had not expected the bantering gay tone and the remark about the
shoes."

Context:

"He" is Paul Hobbes, who was seeing Stofsky for the first time since he had
been arrested on charges of burglary and receiving stolen goods ten days
before, and had now been let out on bail. The first thing Stofsky had said on
seeing Hobbes was "How do you like my new shoes?"

Now Stofsky was homosexual (he is actually a thinly disguised version of Allen
Ginsberg, the poet), yet Holmes does not appear to be aware of the use of the
word "gay" to mean homosexual, and nor does Stofsky in the book.

I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.

This suggests that the term was little known before, and first came into
widespread use in the 1950s.

Any contrary (or confirmatory) observations/opinions?
--
Steve Hayes
Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/litmain.htm
http://www.goodreads.com/hayesstw
http://www.bookcrossing.com/mybookshelf/Methodius
Doug
2011-12-11 15:59:34 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Steve Hayes
An observation about John Clellon Holmes's novel "Go", first published in
1952.
In it he uses the word "gay" several times, but never with the meaning
"homosexual".
"He had even been eager, concerned, agreeable to anything Stofsky suggested,
but he had not expected the bantering gay tone and the remark about the
shoes."
"He" is Paul Hobbes, who was seeing Stofsky for the first time since he had
been arrested on charges of burglary and receiving stolen goods ten days
before, and had now been let out on bail. The first thing Stofsky had said on
seeing Hobbes was "How do you like my new shoes?"
Now Stofsky was homosexual (he is actually a thinly disguised version of Allen
Ginsberg, the poet), yet Holmes does not appear to be aware of the use of the
word "gay" to mean homosexual, and nor does Stofsky in the book.
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
This suggests that the term was little known before, and first came into
widespread use in the 1950s.
Any contrary (or confirmatory) observations/opinions?
My mother, who was born in 1921, always used gay to mean cheerful. I
remember being a teenager in the seventies and saying to her "don't say
that he is a gay fellow."
MC
2011-12-11 16:34:38 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Doug
Post by Steve Hayes
An observation about John Clellon Holmes's novel "Go", first published in
1952.
In it he uses the word "gay" several times, but never with the meaning
"homosexual".
"He had even been eager, concerned, agreeable to anything Stofsky suggested,
but he had not expected the bantering gay tone and the remark about the
shoes."
"He" is Paul Hobbes, who was seeing Stofsky for the first time since he had
been arrested on charges of burglary and receiving stolen goods ten days
before, and had now been let out on bail. The first thing Stofsky had said on
seeing Hobbes was "How do you like my new shoes?"
Now Stofsky was homosexual (he is actually a thinly disguised version of Allen
Ginsberg, the poet), yet Holmes does not appear to be aware of the use of the
word "gay" to mean homosexual, and nor does Stofsky in the book.
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
This suggests that the term was little known before, and first came into
widespread use in the 1950s.
Any contrary (or confirmatory) observations/opinions?
My mother, who was born in 1921, always used gay to mean cheerful. I
remember being a teenager in the seventies and saying to her "don't say
that he is a gay fellow."
Here's a clip from a 1938 film:



I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean cheerful!
--
"If you can, tell me something happy."
- Marybones
John Varela
2011-12-11 20:58:14 UTC
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Post by Doug
My mother, who was born in 1921, always used gay to mean cheerful. I
remember being a teenager in the seventies and saying to her "don't say
that he is a gay fellow."
In 1959 I was 23 years old and newly married. I overheard my aunt
(born in 1905) remark that she liked my bride because she reminded
her of her long-dead twin sister, my mother, adding, "She's gay." I
saw no double meaning in the remark.
--
John Varela
Marius Hancu
2011-12-11 16:38:29 UTC
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Post by Steve Hayes
An observation about John Clellon Holmes's novel "Go", first published in
1952.
In it he uses the word "gay" several times, but never with the meaning
"homosexual".
"He had even been eager, concerned, agreeable to anything Stofsky suggested,
but he had not expected the bantering gay tone and the remark about the
shoes."
"He" is Paul Hobbes, who was seeing Stofsky for the first time since he had
been arrested on charges of burglary and receiving stolen goods ten days
before, and had now been let out on bail. The first thing Stofsky had said on
seeing Hobbes was "How do you like my new shoes?"
Now Stofsky was homosexual (he is actually a thinly disguised version of Allen
Ginsberg, the poet), yet Holmes does not appear to be aware of the use of the
word "gay" to mean homosexual, and nor does Stofsky in the book.
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
This suggests that the term was little known before, and first came into
widespread use in the 1950s.
Any contrary (or confirmatory) observations/opinions?
The usage started in the US in the 1920s.
The wider use in the heterosexual word did not start until c. 1970.
See:
Cassell's dictionary of slang
By Jonathon Green, p. 571
http://tinyurl.com/cqq3olx

Marius Hancu
Don Phillipson
2011-12-11 17:48:56 UTC
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Post by Steve Hayes
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
This suggests that the term was little known before, and first came into
widespread use in the 1950s.
This sense of gay is found in Cole Porter's lyrics as early as the
1930s and came to Britain (as a convenient code word) in wartiime
-- or so says Mary Renault in her famous gay novel The Charioteer (1953).
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
Robert Bannister
2011-12-12 01:38:55 UTC
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Post by Don Phillipson
Post by Steve Hayes
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
This suggests that the term was little known before, and first came into
widespread use in the 1950s.
This sense of gay is found in Cole Porter's lyrics as early as the
1930s and came to Britain (as a convenient code word) in wartiime
-- or so says Mary Renault in her famous gay novel The Charioteer (1953).
But the point is that it remained a code word for most people until the 70s.
--
Robert Bannister
Steve Hayes
2011-12-12 02:12:56 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Robert Bannister
Post by Don Phillipson
Post by Steve Hayes
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
This suggests that the term was little known before, and first came into
widespread use in the 1950s.
This sense of gay is found in Cole Porter's lyrics as early as the
1930s and came to Britain (as a convenient code word) in wartiime
-- or so says Mary Renault in her famous gay novel The Charioteer (1953).
But the point is that it remained a code word for most people until the 70s.
And that Stofsky (Allen Ginsberg), who was himself homosexual, didn't even
know it as a code word in 1949-1952 (when "Go" was written).

When I first encountered "gay" in the homosexual sense in 1961, it was very
much a code word. There were lots of personal ads in the Johannesburg "Sunday
Times" that mentioned a "gay bachelor" looking for love, companionship, a good
time etc.
--
Steve Hayes
Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/litmain.htm
http://www.goodreads.com/hayesstw
http://www.bookcrossing.com/mybookshelf/Methodius
Jerry Friedman
2011-12-12 05:32:12 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Steve Hayes
Post by Robert Bannister
Post by Don Phillipson
Post by Steve Hayes
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
This suggests that the term was little known before, and first came into
widespread use in the 1950s.
This sense of gay is found in Cole Porter's lyrics as early as the
1930s and came to Britain (as a convenient code word) in wartiime
-- or so says Mary Renault in her famous gay novel The Charioteer (1953).
But the point is that it remained a code word for most people until the 70s.
And that Stofsky (Allen Ginsberg), who was himself homosexual, didn't even
know it as a code word in 1949-1952 (when "Go" was written).
When I first encountered "gay" in the homosexual sense in 1961, it was very
much a code word. There were lots of personal ads in the Johannesburg "Sunday
Times" that mentioned a "gay bachelor" looking for love, companionship, a good
time etc.
It seems possible that in /Go/ it was what's now called a "dog
whistle"--something that only those in the know would get a smile out
of (as dogs can hear whistles that people can't).

--
Jerry Friedman
R H Draney
2011-12-11 19:23:06 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Steve Hayes
An observation about John Clellon Holmes's novel "Go", first published in
1952.
In it he uses the word "gay" several times, but never with the meaning
"homosexual".
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
This suggests that the term was little known before, and first came into
widespread use in the 1950s.
Any contrary (or confirmatory) observations/opinions?
Nobody seemed to have any qualms as of September 28, 1962, when the theme song
from "The Flintstones" was changed to a tune with the closing line "we'll have a
gay old time"....r
--
Me? Sarcastic?
Yeah, right.
THE COLONEL
2011-12-11 22:18:34 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Steve Hayes
An observation about John Clellon Holmes's novel "Go", first published in
1952.
In it he uses the word "gay" several times, but never with the meaning
"homosexual".
"He had even been eager, concerned, agreeable to anything Stofsky suggested,
but he had not expected the bantering gay tone and the remark about the
shoes."
"He" is Paul Hobbes, who was seeing Stofsky for the first time since he had
been arrested on charges of burglary and receiving stolen goods ten days
before, and had now been let out on bail. The first thing Stofsky had said on
seeing Hobbes was "How do you like my new shoes?"
Now Stofsky was homosexual (he is actually a thinly disguised version of Allen
Ginsberg, the poet), yet Holmes does not appear to be aware of the use of the
word "gay" to mean homosexual, and nor does Stofsky in the book.
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
Ernie was 5 years old when he realized he was gay. It was some years later,
however, when he became bald. A few years after that he grew a large zit on
his forebrain.
Cowboy Curtis
2011-12-11 22:46:30 UTC
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--
Hi, I'm Harry the Hairy One. I'm the mascot for The Hairloss Solution®.
I'm the hairiest "1" you'll ever meet:
Loading Image...

And don't forget my other mascot, Plucky aka Plucky McPluck Pluck:
Loading Image...

And of course, my newest mascot Warty the Mole:

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Post by THE COLONEL
Post by Steve Hayes
An observation about John Clellon Holmes's novel "Go", first published in
1952.
In it he uses the word "gay" several times, but never with the meaning
"homosexual".
"He had even been eager, concerned, agreeable to anything Stofsky suggested,
but he had not expected the bantering gay tone and the remark about the
shoes."
"He" is Paul Hobbes, who was seeing Stofsky for the first time since he had
been arrested on charges of burglary and receiving stolen goods ten days
before, and had now been let out on bail. The first thing Stofsky had said on
seeing Hobbes was "How do you like my new shoes?"
Now Stofsky was homosexual (he is actually a thinly disguised version of Allen
Ginsberg, the poet), yet Holmes does not appear to be aware of the use of the
word "gay" to mean homosexual, and nor does Stofsky in the book.
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
Ernie was 5 years old when he realized he was gay. It was some years
later, however, when he became bald. A few years after that he grew a
large zit on his forebrain.
Howdy. He is gay but not happy gay. CowboyCurtis
Ernie
2011-12-12 02:56:49 UTC
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Raw Message
--
Hi, I'm Harry the Hairy One.  I'm the mascot for The Hairloss Solution®.
I'm the hairiest "1" you'll ever meet:http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/4717/ernieplug.png
And don't forget my other mascot, Plucky aka Plucky McPluck Pluck:http://imageshack.us/f/199/mascotxn.jpg
Post by Steve Hayes
An observation about John Clellon Holmes's novel "Go", first published in
1952.
In it he uses the word "gay" several times, but never with the meaning
"homosexual".
"He had even been eager, concerned, agreeable to anything Stofsky suggested,
but he had not expected the bantering gay tone and the remark about the
shoes."
"He" is Paul Hobbes, who was seeing Stofsky for the first time since he had
been arrested on charges of burglary and receiving stolen goods ten days
before, and had now been let out on bail. The first thing Stofsky had said on
seeing Hobbes was "How do you like my new shoes?"
Now Stofsky was homosexual (he is actually a thinly disguised version of Allen
Ginsberg, the poet), yet Holmes does not appear to be aware of the use of the
word "gay" to mean homosexual, and nor does Stofsky in the book.
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
Ernie was 5 years old when he realized he was gay.  It was some years
later, however, when he became bald.  A few years after that he grew a
large zit on his forebrain.
Howdy.  He is gay but not happy gay. CowboyCurtis
Is anybody going to believe anything posted by the proven liar crook
and forger farrel after seeing her lie about a mole being a wart? Now
let the lying stupid whining cowardly vile HUNK of shit and cowardly
vile HUNK of shit and convicted child molester go finger herself,
again. Ernie
Marcus
2011-12-12 03:16:57 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Ernie
--
Hi, I'm Harry the Hairy One.  I'm the mascot for The Hairloss Solution®.
I'm the hairiest "1" you'll ever meet:http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/4717/ernieplug.png
And don't forget my other mascot, Plucky aka Plucky McPluck Pluck:http://imageshack.us/f/199/mascotxn.jpg
Post by Steve Hayes
An observation about John Clellon Holmes's novel "Go", first published in
1952.
In it he uses the word "gay" several times, but never with the meaning
"homosexual".
"He had even been eager, concerned, agreeable to anything Stofsky suggested,
but he had not expected the bantering gay tone and the remark about the
shoes."
"He" is Paul Hobbes, who was seeing Stofsky for the first time since he had
been arrested on charges of burglary and receiving stolen goods ten days
before, and had now been let out on bail. The first thing Stofsky had said on
seeing Hobbes was "How do you like my new shoes?"
Now Stofsky was homosexual (he is actually a thinly disguised version of Allen
Ginsberg, the poet), yet Holmes does not appear to be aware of the use of the
word "gay" to mean homosexual, and nor does Stofsky in the book.
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
Ernie was 5 years old when he realized he was gay.  It was some years
later, however, when he became bald.  A few years after that he grew a
large zit on his forebrain.
Howdy.  He is gay but not happy gay. CowboyCurtis
Is anybody going to believe anything posted by the proven liar crook
and forger farrel after seeing her lie about a mole being a wart? Now
let the lying stupid whining cowardly vile HUNK of shit and cowardly
vile HUNK of shit and convicted child molester go finger herself,
again. Ernie
Wow. CowboyCurtis moved up to "farrel" status in no time at all. It
took me a long time to get that honor.

Marcus
Ernie
2011-12-12 11:56:46 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Marcus
Post by Ernie
--
Hi, I'm Harry the Hairy One.  I'm the mascot for The Hairloss Solution®.
I'm the hairiest "1" you'll ever meet:http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/4717/ernieplug.png
And don't forget my other mascot, Plucky aka Plucky McPluck Pluck:http://imageshack.us/f/199/mascotxn.jpg
Post by Steve Hayes
An observation about John Clellon Holmes's novel "Go", first published in
1952.
In it he uses the word "gay" several times, but never with the meaning
"homosexual".
"He had even been eager, concerned, agreeable to anything Stofsky suggested,
but he had not expected the bantering gay tone and the remark about the
shoes."
"He" is Paul Hobbes, who was seeing Stofsky for the first time since he had
been arrested on charges of burglary and receiving stolen goods ten days
before, and had now been let out on bail. The first thing Stofsky had said on
seeing Hobbes was "How do you like my new shoes?"
Now Stofsky was homosexual (he is actually a thinly disguised version of
Allen
Ginsberg, the poet), yet Holmes does not appear to be aware of the use of the
word "gay" to mean homosexual, and nor does Stofsky in the book.
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
Ernie was 5 years old when he realized he was gay.  It was some years
later, however, when he became bald.  A few years after that he grew a
large zit on his forebrain.
Howdy.  He is gay but not happy gay. CowboyCurtis
Is anybody going to believe anything posted by the proven liar crook
and forger farrel after seeing her lie about a mole being a wart? Now
let the lying stupid whining cowardly vile HUNK of shit and cowardly
vile HUNK of shit and convicted child molester go finger herself,
again. Ernie
Wow. CowboyCurtis moved up to "farrel" status in no time at all. It
took me a long time to get that honor.
Marcus
Is anybody going to believe anything posted by the proven liar, crook
and forger farrel after seeing her lie about me being a doctor? Now
let the lying stupid whining cowardly vile HUNK of shit and convicted
child molester go finger herself, again. Ernie
Ernie
2011-12-12 02:50:47 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Steve Hayes
An observation about John Clellon Holmes's novel "Go", first published in
1952.
In it he uses the word "gay" several times, but never with the meaning
"homosexual".
"He had even been eager, concerned, agreeable to anything Stofsky suggested,
but he had not expected the bantering gay tone and the remark about the
shoes."
"He" is Paul Hobbes, who was seeing Stofsky for the first time since he had
been arrested on charges of burglary and receiving stolen goods ten days
before, and had now been let out on bail. The first thing Stofsky had said on
seeing Hobbes was "How do you like my new shoes?"
Now Stofsky was homosexual (he is actually a thinly disguised version of Allen
Ginsberg, the poet), yet Holmes does not appear to be aware of the use of the
word "gay" to mean homosexual, and nor does Stofsky in the book.
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
Ernie was 5 years old when he realized he was gay.  It was some years later,
however, when he became bald.  A few years after that he grew a large zit on
his forebrain.
The col was 5 seconds old when the world realized that he was a
braindead twit. Ernie
THE COLONEL
2011-12-12 15:14:25 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Steve Hayes
An observation about John Clellon Holmes's novel "Go", first published in
1952.
In it he uses the word "gay" several times, but never with the meaning
"homosexual".
"He had even been eager, concerned, agreeable to anything Stofsky suggested,
but he had not expected the bantering gay tone and the remark about the
shoes."
"He" is Paul Hobbes, who was seeing Stofsky for the first time since he had
been arrested on charges of burglary and receiving stolen goods ten days
before, and had now been let out on bail. The first thing Stofsky had
said
on
seeing Hobbes was "How do you like my new shoes?"
Now Stofsky was homosexual (he is actually a thinly disguised version of Allen
Ginsberg, the poet), yet Holmes does not appear to be aware of the use
of
the
word "gay" to mean homosexual, and nor does Stofsky in the book.
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
Ernie was 5 years old when he realized he was gay. It was some years
later,
however, when he became bald. A few years after that he grew a large zit
on
his forebrain.
The col was 5 seconds old when the world realized that he was a
braindead twit. Ernie


Just fer that, I'll take liberties with yer behind (if ya don't mind, that
is).
Ernie
2011-12-13 11:46:27 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Ernie
Post by Steve Hayes
An observation about John Clellon Holmes's novel "Go", first published in
1952.
In it he uses the word "gay" several times, but never with the meaning
"homosexual".
"He had even been eager, concerned, agreeable to anything Stofsky suggested,
but he had not expected the bantering gay tone and the remark about the
shoes."
"He" is Paul Hobbes, who was seeing Stofsky for the first time since he had
been arrested on charges of burglary and receiving stolen goods ten days
before, and had now been let out on bail. The first thing Stofsky had
said
on
seeing Hobbes was "How do you like my new shoes?"
Now Stofsky was homosexual (he is actually a thinly disguised version of Allen
Ginsberg, the poet), yet Holmes does not appear to be aware of the use
of
the
word "gay" to mean homosexual, and nor does Stofsky in the book.
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
Ernie was 5 years old when he realized he was gay. It was some years
later,
however, when he became bald. A few years after that he grew a large zit
on
his forebrain.
The col was 5 seconds old when the world realized that he was a
braindead twit. Ernie
Just fer that, I'll take liberties with yer behind (if ya don't mind, that
is).
With your tongue I am sure. Ernie
MC
2011-12-13 12:49:31 UTC
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Raw Message
In article
Post by Ernie
Post by THE COLONEL
Just fer that, I'll take liberties with yer behind (if ya don't mind, that
is).
With your tongue I am sure. Ernie
Not necessarily. As this clip demonstrates when Ricky Gervais takes
liberties with Louis CK's behind (which I think is one of the funniest
things ever to turn up on TV, by the way).


--
"If you can, tell me something happy."
- Marybones
Will Dockery
2012-01-08 22:26:52 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Steve Hayes
An observation about John Clellon Holmes's novel "Go", first published in
1952.
In it he uses the word "gay" several times, but never with the meaning
"homosexual".
"He had even been eager, concerned, agreeable to anything Stofsky suggested,
but he had not expected the bantering gay tone and the remark about the
shoes."
"He" is Paul Hobbes, who was seeing Stofsky for the first time since he had
been arrested on charges of burglary and receiving stolen goods ten days
before, and had now been let out on bail. The first thing Stofsky had said on
seeing Hobbes was "How do you like my new shoes?"
Now Stofsky was homosexual (he is actually a thinly disguised version of Allen
Ginsberg, the poet), yet Holmes does not appear to be aware of the use of the
word "gay" to mean homosexual, and nor does Stofsky in the book.
I first heard "gay" used to mean "homosexual" nine years after the book was
published, in 1961.
This suggests that the term was little known before, and first came into
widespread use in the 1950s.
Any contrary (or confirmatory) observations/opinions?
Well, I don't think the word "Gay" came into any sort of wide use this
far in the hinterlands until the 1970s at the earliest, and the late
1970s at that... during the 1960s the word "Gay" definitely still
meant happy, though I guess it was a happiness leaning subtly close to
the "light in the loafers" feeling than most.

--
Gone Too Far / Will Dockery & The Shadowville All-Stars:
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_11596860
Post by Steve Hayes
--
Steve Hayes
Web:http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/litmain.htm
     http://www.goodreads.com/hayesstw
     http://www.bookcrossing.com/mybookshelf/Methodius
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