faggot


< use

Other obsolete senses of faggot were “man hired into military service simply to fill out the ranks at muster” (1700) and “vote manufactured for party purposes” (1817).

The oft-reprinted assertion that male homosexuals were called faggots because they were burned at the stake as punishment is an etymological urban legend. Burning was sometimes a punishment meted out to homosexuals in Christian Europe (on the suggestion of the Biblical fate of Sodom and Gomorrah), but in England, where parliament had made homosexuality a capital offense in 1533, hanging was the method prescribed. Any use of faggot in connection with public executions had long become an English historical obscurity by the time the word began to be used for “male homosexual” in 20th century American slang, whereas the contemptuous slang word for “woman” (and the other possible sources or influences listed here) was in active use. It was used in this sense in early 20c. by D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce, among others.

n.

early spelling of faggot (n.1).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

48 queries 1.087