Last modified on 14 August 2014, at 05:32

queer

EnglishEdit

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EtymologyEdit

From Scots, perhaps from Middle Low German (Brunswick dialect) queer (oblique, off-center), related to German quer (diagonally), from Old High German twerh (oblique), from Proto-Indo-European *twerk- (to turn, twist, wind). Related to thwart.

PronunciationEdit

  • enPR: kwîr, IPA(key): /kwir/ (for both noun and adjective; but see usage note on pronunciation)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪə(r)

AdjectiveEdit

queer (comparative queerer, superlative queerest)

  1. (slightly dated) Weird, odd or different; whimsical.
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Washington Irving to this entry?)
    • 1865, Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
      “I wish I hadn’t cried so much!” said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. “I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! That will be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer to-day.”
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 5, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Of all the queer collections of humans outside of a crazy asylum, it seemed to me this sanitarium was the cup winner. […] When you're well enough off so's you don't have to fret about anything but your heft or your diseases you begin to get queer, I suppose.
    a queer story;  a queer look
  2. (slightly dated) Mysterious; suspicious; questionable.
    a queer transaction
  3. (slightly dated) Slightly unwell (mainly in to feel queer).
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 5, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Of all the queer collections of humans outside of a crazy asylum, it seemed to me this sanitarium was the cup winner. … When you're well enough off so's you don't have to fret about anything but your heft or your diseases you begin to get queer, I suppose.
  4. (slang) Homosexual.
  5. Having to do with homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism etc.
    a queer reading of a text

SynonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

queer (plural queers)

  1. (colloquial) A person who is or appears homosexual, or who has homosexual qualities.
  2. (colloquial) A person of atypical sexuality or sexual identity.
  3. (colloquial, vulgar, derogatory) General term of abuse, casting aspersions on target's sexuality; compare gay.
  4. (definite, the queer, informal, dated or obsolete) Counterfeit money.

Usage notesEdit

  • The use of this word to mean "homosexual" was formerly, and is often still, considered pejorative. However, in the way that all language is dynamic and pliable, the word is also sometimes now used (primarily as adjective) as a neutral or even positive descriptive term, including by some (primarily younger) homosexuals. In its pejorative use, it is applied usually to males. In its modern neutral use, it is applied to all genders.
  • Some LGBT individuals now use the term as an all-inclusive term for the GLBTIQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Intersex, Queer) etc. community. This may include people who consider themselves to be politically (or otherwise sociologically) GLBTIQ without necessarily displaying, or even simply inclined towards behavior that is not heteronormative. This new usage is again by primarily younger people.
  • 'Queer' is also used as a positive term for people, some of whom reject mainstream-gay values and culture as exclusive and limiting. People who identify with this version of queer distance themselves from the commercialisation and (relatively) conformist values of the gay mainstream and embrace fluid and unconstrained definitions of sexuality and gender. There is some common ground between this definition of queer and the punk and DIY scenes. See also "genderqueer".
  • In the English dialect of the southern United States, the two senses of the adjective queer (homosexual and weird, odd, different, or unwell) are sometimes distinguished by pronunciation. Queer (homosexual) is pronounced (kwîr), queer (weird, odd, different, or unwell) is pronounced (kwär). This is generally considered old-fashioned and is only used when the word is emphasized, as in the phrase "that's awful queer" (pronounced THăts ôr'fəl kwär). The distinction is dying out as that latter sense of the word dies out.

HypernymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

VerbEdit

queer (third-person singular simple present queers, present participle queering, simple past and past participle queered) (transitive)

  1. To render an endeavor or agreement ineffective or null.
  2. To reevaluate or reinterpret a work with an eye to sexual orientation and/or to gender, as by applying queer theory.
    • 2003, Marcella Althaus-Reid, The Queer God (page 9)
      If I go, for instance, to the history of the church in Latin America, and decide to queer the history of the Jesuitic Missions, I may find that, in many ways, the missions were more sexual than Christian.
    • 2006, Carla Freccero, Queer/Early/Modern (page 80)
      Jonathan Goldberg further explores the implications of queering history in his essay in the same volume.

SynonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

AdverbEdit

queer (comparative more queer, superlative most queer)

  1. queerly

TranslationsEdit