EnglishEdit

 
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EtymologyEdit

Attested since about 1510, from Scots, perhaps from Middle Low German (Brunswick dialect) queer (oblique, off-center) (also compare with German quer (diagonally)), from Proto-Germanic *þwerhaz, from Proto-Indo-European *terkʷ- (to turn, twist, wind). Compare Latin torqueo. Related to thwart. Began to be used to describe gay people in the late 1800s, see usage notes for more.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

queer (comparative queerer, superlative queerest)

  1. (dated) Weird, odd or different; whimsical. [from 16th c.]
    • (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.”
    • 1877, Ulysses S. Grant, page 252, The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: November 1, 1876–September 30, 1878
      One thing has struck me as a bit queer. During my two terms of office the whole Democratic press, and the morbidly honest and 'reformatory' portion of the Republican press, thought it horrible to keep U.S. troops stationed in the Southern States, and when they were called upon to protect the lives of negroes–as much citizens under the Constitution as if their skins were white–the country was scarcely large enough to hold the sound of indignation belched forth by them for some years. Now, however, there is no hesitation about exhausting the whole power of the government to suppress a strike on the slightest intimation that danger threatens.
    • 1885, David Dixon Porter, page 274, Incidents and Anecdotes of the Civil War
      It looked queer to me to see boxes labeled "His Excellency, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America." The packages so labeled contained Bass ale or Cognac brandy, which cost "His Excellency" less than we Yankees had to pay for it. Think of the President drinking imported liquors while his soldiers were living on pop-corn and water!
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 5, in 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.
    • 1927, J. B. S. Haldane, “Possible Worlds” in Possible Worlds and Other Papers, London: Chatto & Windus,[5], [6]
      Now, my own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.
  2. (Britain, informal, dated) Slightly unwell (mainly in to feel queer). [from 18th c.]
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 5, in 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.
  3. (colloquial, sometimes derogatory) Homosexual. [from 19th c.]
  4. (colloquial, sometimes derogatory) Not heterosexual: homosexual, bisexual, asexual, etc.
  5. (broadly) Pertaining to sexual behaviour or identity which does not conform to conventional heterosexual norms, assumptions etc. [from 20th c.]
    the queer community
    • 1999, Judith Butler, Gender Trouble, Routledge 2002, Preface to 1999 edition:
      If gender is no longer to be understood as consolidated through normative sexuality, then is there a crisis of gender that is specific to queer contexts?

Usage notesEdit

  • Queer, in the sense of "gay" or "non-heterosexual", has gone in and out of use as a pejorative and as a self-identifier a number of times:[1] it began to be used to describe gay people in the late 1800s (e.g. in an 1894 letter by John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry),[2][3] and became more widespread in the US and became used as a self-identifier by American gay men by the 1910s, continuing into the 1950s, though by the 1940s younger ones considered it pejorative and preferred gay, which had been in used since the 1930s, and had come by the 1950s to encompass the whole LGBT community.[1][4] Queer began to be reclaimed as a neutral or positive descriptor by the 1980s,[5] at first most prominently by those who wanted to distinguish themselves from gay-identified people they felt had become too conservative and assimilationist.[6] Some other people oppose the term as being still pejorative, or too radical, too informal, or too technical.[7][8] The pejorative applied mainly to those assigned male at birth who were perceived as homosexual or effeminate; the reclaimed term is used by people of any sex or gender.[9] (Compare genderqueer, an umbrella term for noncisgender and non-binarynonmale, nonfemalegender identities.)
  • See also Wikipedia.

SynonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

queer (plural queers)

  1. (colloquial, sometimes derogatory) A person who is or appears homosexual, or who has homosexual qualities.
    • 1894 November 1, John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry, “[Letter from Queensbury to Alfred Montgomery, 1 Nov 1894, in the aftermath of the trial of Oscar Wilde]”, in Michael S. Foldy, editor, The Trials of Oscar Wilde: Deviance, Morality, and Late-Victorian Society, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, published 1997, page 22:
      Now that the first flush of this catastrophe and grief is passed, I write to tell you that it is a judgement on the whole lot of you. Montgomerys, The Snob Queers like [the Earl of] Rosebery & certainly Christian hypocrite [William Ewart] Gladstone [...]
    • 1914 November, Eugene Fisher, “Transmittal to the Sacramento Bee [a.k.a Shakespeare Transmittal]”, in Sharon R. Ullman, editor, Sex Seen: The Emergence of Modern Sexuality in America, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, published 1998, →ISBN, page 64:
      [...] fourteen young men were invited [...] with the premise that they would have the opportunity of meeting some of the prominent 'queers,' [...] and the further attraction that some 'chickens' as the new recruits in the vice are called, would be available.
    • 1940 January-June, Allen Bernstein, “What to do about it: Queers”, in Millions of Queers (Our Homo America), [Unpublished MS of the United States National Library of Medicine], OCLC 14298678, page 132:
      It is the queers themselves whose answers to "What to do about it [homosexuality]" are most important. They, rather than the normals, cops, parents, or doctors are the persons most vitally concerned.
    • 1959 May, David McReynolds, “McReynolds Reply to [Seymour] Krim”, in Mattachine Review, volume V, number 5, Los Angeles: Mattachine Society, ISSN 0465-3874, page 11, column 2:
      Any blow against the queer is really a blow struck against a part of our­selves which we cannot accept or understand. I think in every case it would be correct to say that someone with a strong hostility toward homosexuals has a latent homosexual drive equal to the hostility.
    • 1968, Quentin Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant, London: Cape, OCLC 654718241, page 207:
      If you asked the man in the modern street for his opinion of homosexuality, he would probably reply, 'I've nothing against queers myself but I wouldn't like one of them to marry my father.'
    • 1990 June, Queers Read This, Published Anonymously by Queers [Distributed at New York Pride, 1990], OCLC 1104720366, page 2, column 3:
      Queers are under siege.
      Queers are being attacked on all front and I'm afraid it's ok with us.
      In 1969, Queers were attacked. It wasn't ok. Queers fought back, took the streets. SHOUTED.
    • 2013 February 5, “Football coach suspended for Michelle Obama insult”, in USA Today[7], ISSN 0734-7456:
      He also voiced his dislike for gays, stating: 'I don't believe in queers. I don't like queers. I don't hate them as a person, but what they do is wrong and an abomination against God.'
  2. (colloquial, sometimes derogatory) A person of any non-heterosexual sexuality or sexual identity.
  3. (colloquial, sometimes derogatory) A person of any genderqueer identity.
  4. (definite, with "the", informal, archaic) Counterfeit money.
    Synonyms: funny money, snide

Usage notesEdit

  • See the notes on the adjective (above) for more on the meaning of the term.
  • Regarding the use of the term as a noun, compare the usage notes about gay.

SynonymsEdit

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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

VerbEdit

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

  1. (transitive, dated) To render an endeavor or agreement ineffective or null.
    Synonym: invalidate
  2. (Britain, dialect, dated) To puzzle.
    • 1887, G. W. Appelton, A Terrible Legacy: A Tale of the South Downs, London: Ward and Downey, Chapter II, page 12, [8]:
      "But lor-a-mussy, Jacob, how could a woman get away from here with all her boxes in the middle of the night?"
      "That's what queered me," and Spink slowly shook his head, "and queered a good many; for of course it got newsed about [] "
    • 1894, Ivan Dexter, Talmud: A Strange Narrative of Central Australia, published in serial form in Port Adelaide News and Lefevre's Peninsula Advertiser (SA), Chapter III, [9]:
      "Where do you come from?" Stanley queered.
  3. (slang, dated) To ridicule; to banter; to rally.
  4. (slang, dated) To spoil the effect or success of, as by ridicule; to throw a wet blanket on; to spoil.
    • 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, Book Two, Chapter IV, pages 270-271, [10]:
      "Food is what queered the party. We ordered a big supper to be sent up to the room about two o'clock. Alec didn't give the waiter a tip, so I guess the little bastard snitched."
    • 1926, D. H. Lawrence, "Glad Ghosts" in The Complete Short Stories, Penguin, 1977, Vol. 3, page 678:
      Well, then I got buried—shell dropped, and the dug-out caved in—and that queered me. They sent me home.
  5. (social sciences) 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.
    • 2013, Mark Davidson, Deborah Martin, Urban Politics: Critical Approaches, SAGE (→ISBN), chapter 8:
      We might say that there has been a ‘queering’ of urban studies insofar as the metropolitan lives, subcultures and social movements of gays and lesbians are now seen as valid objects of study.

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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

AdverbEdit

queer (comparative more queer, superlative most queer)

  1. Queerly.

TranslationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • queer at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • queer in Keywords for Today: A 21st Century Vocabulary, edited by The Keywords Project, Colin MacCabe, Holly Yanacek, 2018.
  • queer in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Chauncey, George (1995) Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940[1], Basic Books, →ISBN, pages 13–16
    J. L. Mey, Concise Encyclopedia of Pragmatics (2009, →ISBN), page 821
  2. ^ Foldy, Michael S. (1997) The Trials of Oscar Wilde: Deviance, Morality, and Late-Victorian Society, Yale University Press, →ISBN, pages 22–23
  3. ^ Robb, Graham (2005) Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century, W. W. Norton & Company, →ISBN, pages 262
  4. ^ Grahn, Judy (1984) Another Mother Tongue - Gay Words, Gay Worlds[2], Boston, MA: Beacon Press, →ISBN, pages 30–33
  5. ^ queer, Oxford University Press, 2014
  6. ^ That's Revolting!: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation[3], illustrated, revised edition, Counterpoint Press, 2008, →ISBN, page 1
  7. ^ “Must Identity Movements Self-Destruct? A Queer Dilemma”, in Social Problems, volume 42, issue 3, August 1995, DOI:10.1525/sp.1995.42.3.03x0104z, pages 390–407
  8. ^ LGBT Activism and the Making of Europe: A Rainbow Europe?[4], Palgrave Macmillan, 28 October 2014, →ISBN, pages 137–138
  9. ^ GLAAD media reference guide

GermanEdit

Etymology 1Edit

AdjectiveEdit

queer

  1. Alternative form of quer
DeclensionEdit

AdverbEdit

queer

  1. Alternative form of quer

Etymology 2Edit

Borrowed from English queer.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

queer (not comparable)

  1. (colloquial) queer
    • 2019, metamorphosen 23 – Queer: Magazin für Literatur und Kultur, metamorphosen im Verbrecher Verlag (→ISBN), page 5:
      Die nachvollziehbare Gegenwehr macht queer zu einer immer verbisseneren Chiffre für eine vermeintlich klar abgegrenzte Identität: anti-rassistisch, anti-kapitalistisch, radikal. QUEER IST UTOPISTISCH. Bin ich queer genug?
DeclensionEdit

Further readingEdit