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See also: Gay, gáy, gấy, gảy, and gậy

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English

Pronunciation

  • (UK, US) enPR: , IPA(key): /ɡeɪ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪ

Etymology 1

 
Male gay couple
 
Female gay couple

From Middle English gay, from Old French gai (joyful, laughing, merry), usually thought to be a borrowing of Old Occitan gai (impetuous, lively), from Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐌷𐌴𐌹𐍃 (gaheis, impetuous), merging with earlier Old French jai ("merry"; see jay), from Frankish *gāhi;[1] both from Proto-Germanic *ganhuz, *ganhwaz (sudden), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰengʰ- (to stride, step), from *ǵʰēy- (to go).[2][3]

Adjective

gay (comparative gayer, superlative gayest)

  1. (dated, possibly archaic) Happy, joyful, and lively.
    The Gay Science
    • 1405 Geoffrey Chaucer, The Wife of Bath's Tale, The Canterbury Tales (source):
      (Line 221) To bringe me gaye thinges fro the fayre.
      (Line 236) Why is my neighebores wyf so gay?
      (Line 298) That I was born, and make me fresh and gay,
      (Line 508) But in oure bed he was so fressh and gay
      (Line 545) For ever yet I lovede to be gay,
    • c. 1692, William Walch, preface to Letters and Poems, Amorous and Gallant, in John Dryden, The Fourth Part of Miſcellany Poems, Jacob Tonson (publisher, 1716), page 338:
      Never was there a more copious Fancy or greater reach of Wit, than what appears in Dr. Donne; nothing can be more gallant or gentile than the poems of Mr. Waller; nothing more gay or ſprightly than thoſe of Sir John Suckling; and nothing fuller of Variety and Learning than Mr. Cowley’s.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in The Affair at the Novelty Theatre[3]:
      Miss Phyllis Morgan, as the hapless heroine dressed in the shabbiest of clothes, appears in the midst of a gay and giddy throng; she apostrophises all and sundry there, including the villain, and has a magnificent scene which always brings down the house, and nightly adds to her histrionic laurels.
    • 1934, George Marion Jr. et al., (title):
      The Gay Divorcee.
    • 1974, Lawrence Durrell, Monsieur (Faber & Faber 1992), page 252:
      The excitement engendered by the decision to die perked him right up; he had not felt so gay for ages.
  2. (dated, possibly archaic) Festive, bright, or colourful.
    Pennsylvania Dutch include the plain folk and the gay folk.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      A bevy of fair women, richly gay / In gems and wanton dress.
    • 1881, J. P. McCaskey (editor), “Deck the Hall[sic]”, Franklin Square Song Collection, number 1, Harper & Brothers (New York), page 120:
      Don we now our gay apparel.
    • 1944, Ralph Blane, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, Meet Me in St. Louis, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
      Make the Yule-tide gay / From now on our troubles will be miles away
  3. (obsolete) Sexually promiscuous (of either gender).
    • 1856, Bayle St. John, The Subalpine kingdom: or, Experiences and studies in Savoy, Piedmont, and Genoa, Volume 2 page 158:
      Prince Borghese was what is called a "gay, dissipated man"—that is to say, a powerful person leading a debauched and infamous life.
    • 1879, House of Commons, Great Britain, Reports from committees, page 61:
      [] it is possible for people to be diseased without being prostitutes or gay women; it is possible for people years ago to have spent a gay life and to have not got rid of their disease, or they may have become diseased by their husbands or lovers.
    • 1889, Albert Barrère, Charles Godfrey Leland, A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant: Embracing English, American, and Anglo-Indian Slang, Pidgin English, Tinker's Jargon and Other Irregular Phraseology, Volume 1, page 399:
      Gay (common), loose, dissipated; a "gay woman" or "gay girl," a prostitute. "All gay," vide ALL GAY.
    • 1898, John Mackinnon Robertson, G. Aston Singer, "The Social Evil Problem" in The University magazine and free review: a monthly magazine, Volume 9, page 308:
      She imprudently forms the acquaintance of a "gay girl" living in the same street.
    • 1899, Henry Fielding, Edmund Gosse (editor), The works of Henry Fielding with an introduction, Volume 11, page 290:
      "As nothing could be more gay, i.e., debauched, than Zeno's court, so the ladies of gay disposition had great sway in it; particularly one, whose name was Fausta, who, though not extremely handsome, was by her wit and sprightliness very agreeable to the emperor.
    • 1937, Dorothy L. Sayers, Busman's Honeymoon, page 357:
      "It's an odd thing," he observed, "that men like Crutchley, with quantities of large white teeth, are practically always gay Lotharios."
  4. Homosexual:
    1. (of a person or animal, especially a man) Possessing sexual and emotional attraction towards members of the same gender or sex.
      Gay marriage, though legal here, is still very controversial.
      gay sex
      gay acts
      • 1947, Rorschach Research Exchange and Journal of Projective Techniques[4], page 240:
        He was not happy at the farm and went to a Western city where he associated with a homosexual crowd, being "gay," and wearing female clothes and makeup.
      • 2003, Michael McAvennie, The World Wrestling Entertainment Yearbook:
        She couldn't even gain access from a family friend whose name was on the list, nor could she use her feminine charms to turn on the staff member, who revealed he was gay and was more impressed seeing Billy and Chuck enter the building.
      • 2009, Betty Jean Lifton, Lost & Found: the Adoption Experience, page 67:
        Her adoptive mother fainted when Gail told her she was gay.
      • 2010, Noėl Sturgeon, Environmentalism in Popular Culture: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and the Politics of the Natural, page 128:
        In fact, as several letter writers to the New York Times pointed out in their response to the article, the disjuncture between these two popularized penguins shows how radically separated from each other are communities of gay people and communities of right-wing religious conservatives: if the Christian fundamentalists had looked up “gay penguins” or even “penguins” on the Internet, they would have encountered several gay penguin sites, including the story of Roy and Silo, the Central Park Zoo gay penguin couple about whom a children's book was written; the saga of the gay penguin community at a German zoo; and the campaign of Gay Penguin for President (whose slogan was “George W. Bush talks the talk, but Gay Penguin walks the walk.”)
    2. (of a romantic or sexual act or relationship) Being between two or more people of the same gender or the same sex, especially between two men.
      Although the number of gay weddings has increased significantly, many gay and lesbian couples — like many straight couples — are not interested in getting married.
    3. (of an institution or group) Intended for gay people, especially gay men.
      She professes an undying love for gay bars and gay movies, and even admits to having watched gay porn.
      • 2003, Lawrence Block, Small Town, page 269:
        He might well have suspected Cheek was a gay bar without seeing any of its patrons, simply because it was in a neighborhood where most of the bars were gay, and because you couldn't see in the windows.
      • 2004, Martin Hughes, Sarah Johnstone, Tom Masters, London, page 208:
        Turn left into chilled-out Old Compton St and try to guess which bars are gay. Even the straight bars in Soho are quite gay, so it's often a bit hard to tell.
      • 2010, Jay Mohr, No Wonder My Parents Drank: Tales from a Stand-Up Dad, page 252:
        Again I was to masturbate into a cup and again the majority of the porn was gay.
    4. In accordance with stereotypes of homosexual people:
      1. (loosely, of appearance or behavior) Being in accordance with stereotypes of gay people, especially gay men.
      2. (loosely, of a person, especially a man) Exhibiting appearance or behavior that accords with stereotypes of gay people, especially gay men.
        • a. 2005, Jason Christopher Hartley, “October 23, 2004: This Is My Weapon, This Is My Gerber”, in Just Another Soldier: A Year on the Ground in Iraq, HarperCollins (2005), →ISBN, page 25:
          This incident has become a source of much discussion, and the jury is still out on who is more gay: the guy who touched a dick or the guy who let a guy touch his dick.
  5. A pejorative:
    1. (slang, derogatory, dated) Effeminate or flamboyant in behavior.
    2. (slang, derogatory) Used to express dislike: lame, uncool, stupid.
      Synonym: ghey
      This game is gay; let’s play a different one.
      • 1996, Lisa's Date With Density, The Simpsons (cartoon television series). Upon discovering Nelson kissing Lisa:
        Dolph: "Oh, man! You kissed a girl!"
        Jimbo: "That is so gay!"
  6. (of a dog's tail) Upright or curved over the back.
    • 1997, Michael DeVine, Border Collies
      While the dog in concentrating at a given task, the tail is carried low and used for balance. In excitement it may rise level with the back. A “gay” tail is a fault.
    • 2000, David Leavitt, Martin Bauman; or, a Sure Thing
      By now Nora had left my side and was grappling with Maisie, trying to hold her still long enough to examine her bit. “You haven’t trained her well,” she muttered to Eli. “Oh, she’s got a gay tail!” Eli laughed. “A gay tail? What does that mean?” “It curls upward.” Nona let Maisie go. “Still, you never intended her to be a show dog,” she added. brushing off her skirt as she made for the house.
Usage notes
  • The predominant use of gay in recent decades has been in the sense homosexual, or in the pejorative sense. The earlier uses of festive, colorful and bright are still found, especially in literary contexts; however, this usage has fallen out of fashion and is now likely to be misunderstood by those who are unaware of it. In the sense of "festive", "colorful", and "bright", consider using a synonym.
  • Gay is preferred to homosexual by many gay (homosexual) people as their own term for themselves. Some claim that homosexual is dated and evokes a time when homosexuality was considered a mental illness by the mental health community, while others feel that the word homosexual(ity) does not express the emotional aspects of sexual orientation.
  • In the broad political sense, gay usually refers to anything pertaining to same-sex relationships, whether male or female: gay rights and gay marriage. When used in conjunction with other adjectives, it usually specifically refers to men who are attracted only to men, and excludes lesbians, bisexuals and other sexual orientations: lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB). Context is sometimes necessary to determine whether or not gay implies male in a given phrase.
  • Since at least the 1950s, gay has sometimes been used as a broad umbrella term for all queer and gender-nonconforming (transgender and genderqueer/non-binary) people, similar to LGBTQ.[8][9][10]
Derived terms
Related terms
Descendants
Translations


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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Further reading

Noun

gay (plural gays)

  1. (chiefly in plural or attributive) A homosexual, especially a male homosexual; see also lesbian.
  2. (obsolete) An ornament.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of L'Estrange to this entry?)
Usage notes
  • Gay may be regarded as offensive when used as a noun to refer to particular individuals.[5]
  • Gay is sometimes used broadly/loosely to refer to anyone who is attracted to and/or sexually active with members of the same gender, even if their orientation is in fact e.g. bisexual.[11]
Synonyms
Derived terms
  • Terms derived from gay (ornament)
Translations

Verb

gay (third-person singular simple present gays, present participle gaying, simple past and past participle gayed)

  1. (transitive, dated, uncommon) To make happy or cheerful. [since at least the 1920s]
    • 1922, Thomas Hardy, Late lyrics and earlier: with many other verses, page 119:
      SAYING GOOD-BYE (song)
      WE are always saying / "Good-bye, good-bye! / In work, in playing, / In gloom, in gaying []
    • 1952, American Childhood, volume 38, page 2:
      Gaying Things Up For Christmas. JESSIE TODD, Laboratory School, University of Chicago.
      EVERY schoolroom in America is gayed up for Christmas.
  2. (transitive, uncommon) To cause (something, e.g. AIDS) to be associated with homosexual people. [popularized in the 1990s]
Related terms
References
  1. ^ Alain Rey, ed., Dictionnaire historique de la langue française, vol. 2, s.v. “gai” (Paris: Le Robert, 2006).
  2. ^ Marlies Philippa et al., eds., Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands, A-Z, s.v. “gauw” (Amsterdam UP, 3 Dec. 2009): [1].
  3. ^ Louis Guinet, Les emprunts gallo-romans au germanique (Paris: Klincksieck, 1982).
  4. ^ Anatoly Liberman (2012-02-01), “The deep roots of gaiety”, in OUPblog[2]
  5. ^ Blackmer, Corrine E (1995), "Gertrude Stein", in Claude J. Summers, The Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage, →ISBN
  6. ^ Gertrude Stein (1922), “Miss Furr and Miss Skeene”, in Geography and Plays:

    They stayed there and were gay there, not very gay there, just gay there. They were both gay there, they were regularly working there both of them cultivating their voices there, they were both gay there. Georgine Skeene was gay there and she was regular, regular in being gay, regular in not being gay, regular in being a gay one who was one not being gay longer than was needed to be one being quite a gay one. They were both gay then there and both working there then.

  7. ^ Robert K. Barnhart, ed., Chambers Dictionary of Etymology, s.v. “gay” (Edinburgh: Chambers Harrap, [2008], c1988), 425.
  8. ^ Stephan Cohen, The Gay Liberation Youth Movement in New York: ‘An Army of Lovers Cannot Fail’ (2007, →ISBN), quoting Sylvia Rivera: "'If you want Gay Power, then you're going to have to fight for it. And you're going to have to fight until you win.' For Rivera, 'gay' meant non-heteronormative (or 'queer' in today's lexicon), crossing sexual and gender boundaries to include lesbians, gay men, and transvestites, as well as the street youth who had participated in Stonewall."
  9. ^ Rachel Kranz, Tim Cusick, Gay Rights (2014, →ISBN), page 3: For convenience, this volume uses gay, gay rights, and gay people as umbrela terms to include gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals. In some cases transgender people are also included in the term, although many transgender people do not consider themselves gay or lesbian, and at some points in gay history, transgender rights were considered part of the gay rights movement.
  10. ^ Lacey Sloan, Nora Gustavsson, Violence and Social Injustice Against Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual People (2014, →ISBN), page 116: Latina lesbians, Latino gays and bisexuals may experience a triple stigma and oppression when they are not fully accepted in the gay community because of their ethnicity[.]
  11. ^ For example: David Kaufman, Untying the Knot: A Husband and Wife's Story of Coming Out Together (2012, →ISBN): Gays, and apparently lesbians, are discouraged from being openly bisexual. The cultural standard in the gay community is that you have to pick one sex and stick to it.

Etymology 2

From Pitman kay, which it is derived from graphically, and the sound it represents. The traditional name gee was considered inappropriate, as the Pitman letter never has the sound of that name.

Noun

gay (plural gays)

  1. The letter , which stands for the sound /ɡ/, in Pitman shorthand.
Related terms
  • gee (in Latin script)

Anagrams


Czech

Noun

gay m

  1. male gay

Synonyms


Finnish

Etymology

From English gay.

Pronunciation

Noun

gay

  1. (colloquial) gay

Usage notes

  • Seldom inflected, as this term does not readily fit into Finnish inflection patterns. Instead, corresponding forms of synonymous expressions or compounds such as gay-mies ("gay man") or gay-poika ("gay boy") are used.

Declension

Inflection of gay (Kotus type 21/rosé, no gradation)
nominative gay gayt
genitive gayn gayiden
gayitten
partitive gaytä gayitä
illative gayhin
gayhyn
gayihin
singular plural
nominative gay gayt
accusative nom. gay gayt
gen. gayn
genitive gayn gayiden
gayitten
partitive gaytä gayitä
inessive gayssä gayissä
elative gaystä gayistä
illative gayhin
gayhyn
gayihin
adessive gayllä gayillä
ablative gayltä gayiltä
allative gaylle gayille
essive gaynä gayinä
translative gayksi gayiksi
instructive gayin
abessive gayttä gayittä
comitative gayineen

Synonyms


French

Etymology

From English.

Pronunciation

Noun

gay m (plural gays)

  1. gay (homosexual person)

Gamilaraay

Etymology

Snake tracks were carefully avoided as treading on one was thought to cause skin sores. The cart tracks of the early European explorer Mitchell were thought to be giant snake tracks.

Pronunciation

Noun

gay

  1. snake track

Reference

  • Gamilaraay Yuwaalaraay Yuwaalayaay Dictionary 2003

German

Etymology

From English gay.

Pronunciation

Adjective

gay (not comparable)

  1. gay

Related terms

Further reading

  • gay in Duden online

Interlingua

Pronunciation

Adjective

gay (comparative plus gay, superlative le plus gay)

  1. (LGBT, sexuality) gay

Noun

gay (plural gays)

  1. gay

Synonyms

See also


Manx

Noun

gay f

  1. Eclipsed form of kay.

Mutation

Manx mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
kay chay gay
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Matal

Pronunciation

IPA(key): [ɡáj] [1]

Noun

gay

  1. mouth
    Apokwà gay aŋha aw (Sləray 8:32) [2]
    He did not open his mouth. (Acts 8:32)
  2. language
  3. beginning

References

  1. ^ Rossing, Melvin Olaf (1978), “gay”, in Mafa-Mada: A Comparative Study of Chadic Languages in North Cameroun, Ann Arbor, Michigan: The University of Wisconsin-Madison, page 46
  2. ^ http://listen.bible.is/MFHWYI/Act/8#32

Middle Dutch

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Borrowed from Old French gai.

Adjective

gay

  1. cheerful, happy
Inflection

This adjective needs an inflection-table template.

Alternative forms
Descendants

Etymology 2

Borrowed from Old Northern French gai, from Late Latin gaius.

Noun

gay m

  1. jay
  2. parrot
Inflection

This noun needs an inflection-table template.

Alternative forms
Descendants

Further reading

  • gay (I)”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, 1929
  • gay (II)”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, 1929

Middle French

Etymology

From Old French gai.

Adjective

gay m (feminine singular gaye, masculine plural gays, feminine plural gayes)

  1. cheerful; happy; gay

Descendants


Portuguese

Alternative forms

Etymology

Borrowed from English gay.

Pronunciation

Adjective

gay (plural gays, comparable)

  1. gay
    1. homosexual (involving or relating to same-sex relationships, especially between males)
    2. (figuratively, slang) overly sentimental
    3. (figuratively, slang) effeminate or flamboyant

Quotations

For quotations of use of this term, see Citations:gay.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Noun

gay m, f (plural gays)

  1. gay; homosexual (person attracted to others of the same sex), especially a male homosexual
  2. (slang, derogatory) a person who lame, stupid or shows any other unpleasant characteristics

Quotations

For quotations of use of this term, see Citations:gay.

Synonyms


Romanian

Etymology

Borrowed from English gay.

Pronunciation

Adjective

gay m, f, n (invariable)

  1. gay
    Homomasculinitatea este un termen care se referă la o subcultură de bărbați gay care se auto-identifică cu rolul de gen și cultura stereotipului masculinității tradiționale.
    Homomasculinity is a term that refers to a subculture of gay men who self-identify with the gender roles and culture of the stereotype of traditional masculinity.

Declension


Sori-Harengan

Noun

gay

  1. water

References

  • Blust's Austronesian Comparative Dictionary

Spanish

Etymology

Borrowed from English gay.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈɡei/, [ˈɡei̯]
  • IPA(key): /ˈɡai/, [ˈɡai̯]

Adjective

gay (plural gays or gais)

  1. gay, homosexual
    María es la única persona que no sabe que su hermano es gay.
    Maria is the only person who doesn't know that her brother is gay.

Noun

gay m, f (plural gays or gais)

  1. a homosexual person, gay person

Usage notes

The Real Academia Española recommends the plural form gais for both the adjective and the noun, but gays is much more common.

Further reading


Vietnamese

Pronunciation

Adjective

gay (, , )

  1. difficult; hard

Derived terms