Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 12-11-2000, 01:31 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 5,062
I was watching Gladiator this weekend (for the 900th time - GAWD Russell Crowe is HOT) when I heard a line that went something like this, "The two giraffes you sold me did nothing but walk around, you sold me queer giraffes!"

Question - Was the word "queer" really used as a term to mean homosexual way back in the time of the Roman Empire or did the movie makers goof? I thought it was a relatively new term.
#2
Old 12-11-2000, 01:37 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,937
This thread details some of the other historical inaccuracies of Gladiator. It's a movie, for entertainment purposes only. A great movie at that. I've watched it quite a few times myself.
#3
Old 12-11-2000, 01:46 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,041
Can't resist:
In the Roman Empire they spoke many languages.
The one they definately did not speak was the English you heard in the movie. In that sense, a good 98% of the words you heard represent a goof.
#4
Old 12-11-2000, 01:54 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Staring blankly at my GPS
Posts: 11,874
This just in from the New Scientist!

Male giraffes indulge in prolonged bouts of affectionate "necking", often followed by mounting and culminating in apparent orgasm.
#5
Old 12-11-2000, 02:18 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 5,062
I read the link but my girafe question was not mentioned. I do realize that English wasn't spoken in ancient Rome (ya smartass ).

Let me ask a different way.

When was the word "queer" first used to mean homosexual? Has it been around since ancient times?
#6
Old 12-11-2000, 02:45 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,937
Quote:
Originally posted by Diane
I read the link but my girafe question was not mentioned.
That's why I said "other" inaccuracies.
#7
Old 12-11-2000, 02:48 PM
Charter Member
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Maine
Posts: 10,200
Queer has existed as an English word only since the 16th century. It has meant "homosexual" only since the early 20th century.

I'm not sure what you want to know. Are you asking if there was a Latin word that meant both "odd" and "homsexual"? I don't know the answer to that.
#8
Old 12-11-2000, 02:59 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 5,062
This is what I was looking for:

Quote:
It has meant "homosexual" only since the early 20th century.
I made the comment to a friend who was watching the video with me that I thought the homesexual meaning was fairly new, he said it has been around for centuries. I had a feeling I was right :::smirk::: and I knew the brains of the SDMB would be able to verify it for me.

Thanks!
#9
Old 12-11-2000, 03:10 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Betwixt My Ears
Posts: 11,970
Quote:
Originally posted by bibliophage
[BI'm not sure what you want to know. Are you asking if there was a Latin word that meant both "odd" and "homsexual"? I don't know the answer to that. [/B]
<--------- Leafing through my dog-eared copy of "McGee's Guide To Flamboyance".....hmm....GOT IT !

" Liberacecus ". Noun. Old Latin Name

Cartooniverse

-------Disclaimer------- The previous was meant purely as satire and not to impugn the fine name of Liberace or any other overdressed lounge lizards. Thank you.

Cartooniverse
__________________
If you want to kiss the sky you'd better learn how to kneel.
#10
Old 12-11-2000, 03:40 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 36,051
Quote:
Originally posted by Cartooniverse
Quote:
Originally posted by bibliophage
[BI'm not sure what you want to know. Are you asking if there was a Latin word that meant both "odd" and "homsexual"? I don't know the answer to that.
<--------- Leafing through my dog-eared copy of "McGee's Guide To Flamboyance".....hmm....GOT IT !

" Liberacecus ". Noun. Old Latin Name

Cartooniverse

-------Disclaimer------- The previous was meant purely as satire and not to impugn the fine name of Liberace or any other overdressed lounge lizards. Thank you.

Cartooniverse [/B]
You do realize that there are still little old ladies around that would hit you over the head with their handbags if you so much as suggested that "that nice boy" Liberace was gay, don't you?
#11
Old 12-11-2000, 03:50 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 57,687
I don't know much about the gay lifestyle, but I'll make a guess as to how "queer" came to mean "homosexual".

Some time ago I heard the phrase "He's queer for ____." It would seem to me that the sentence is shorthand for "He's a queer (odd) fellow, in that he likes ____ to a strong degree." I suppose someone could be "queer for bungee jumping", as bungee jumping would be considered by some to be a nutty pasttime. But somewhere along the line people started saying, "He's queer for boys," and "queer" became associated with homosexuality.
__________________
'Never say "no" to adventure. Always say "yes". Otherwise you'll lead a very dull life.' -- Commander Caractacus Pott, R.N. (Retired)

'Do not act incautiously when confronting a little bald wrinkly smiling man.' -- Lu-Tze
#12
Old 12-11-2000, 03:52 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,937
Or it could be that gay people are kind of odd
#13
Old 12-11-2000, 03:56 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 5,062
Quote:
homesexual
I meant homosexual, which we all know is different that being attracted to houses.
#14
Old 12-11-2000, 04:04 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 24,924
Ah, the web, the source for all things useful and useless.

I've found this site,

http://obscure.org/obscene-latin/vocabulary.html

which has a bunch of obscene Latin words.

This might help a little
#15
Old 12-11-2000, 11:59 PM
DRY DRY is offline
Guest
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 3,133
Quote:
Originally posted by Diane
I made the comment to a friend who was watching the video with me that I thought the homesexual meaning was fairly new, he said it has been around for centuries. I had a feeling I was right :::smirk::: and I knew the brains of the SDMB would be able to verify it for me.
I don't know when "queer" became a synonym for "homosexual", but I can tell you that many, if not most, Roman males were bisexual. Julius Caesar was scandalously referred to as "every woman's man and every man's woman". Also, I read somewhere (don't remember the source, sorry!) that, of the "Twelve Caesars", only one (Claudius, if I recall correctly) was exclusively heterosexual. The rest were either homosexual or bisexual.

In other words, the Romans would have considered there to be nothing "queer" about homosexual sex at all.

[flirting]
They might have felt differently if they'd met Diane, of course.
[/flirting0
__________________
Thank you to everyone who made my stay here an enjoyable one.

To any at all whom I have offended or alienated, I apologize. I desire the enmity of no one.
#16
Old 12-12-2000, 12:23 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Alternate 230
Posts: 14,517
Quote:
Originally posted by Diane
I was watching Gladiator this weekend (for the 900th time - GAWD Russell Crowe is HOT) when I heard a line that went something like this, "The two giraffes you sold me did nothing but walk around, you sold me queer giraffes!"

Question - Was the word "queer" really used as a term to mean homosexual way back in the time of the Roman Empire or did the movie makers goof? I thought it was a relatively new term.
I'm sorry, I don't see anything in this context that suggests the 'homosexual' interpretation of 'queer'.

I see 'there's something wrong with these giraffes, they don't do anything but walk'.

Or is there some context here that you've neglected to mention, assuming we've all seen the movie, like they were supposed to be a mating pair or some such thing?
#17
Old 12-12-2000, 12:29 AM
Guest
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 358
How bizarre...
I just read that fact about Claudius about 2 hours ago.

Despite this, he seems to be one of the more normal Julio-Claudian emperors. Of course, considering that he was preceded by Calgula and followed by Nero, I think that it would have been rather difficult for Claudius to be a "weirdo".

I've been reading about these guys all night. Absolutely-freakin'-lutely bizarre.

Shudder...
#18
Old 12-12-2000, 12:33 AM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,499
Diane, I think the filmmakers did expect the audience to make that connection even though, as you suspect, it would have been a total anachachronism. The word "queer" is, I think, of obscure origin but it has always meant something along the lines of strange, suspect, not quite right. It was often used to describe fake money before its primary modern meaning of homosexual. I'm pretty sure the meaning of the word queer shifted in that direction either during the 1890s or at some point afterwards b/c it wasn't till the 1890s that "homosexual" was itself in use.

In any case, the place you should look is the *Oxford English Dictionary*. This will give you a complete etymology of the word including the first time the word was used and how it changed since that time. It's actually a lot of fun to read it. You can find it at a good library, certainly any college or university library. It also exists online but it's not free; usually you have to be at a place (like a college library) that provides you with access to it.

Good luck with with your query (no pun intended!).
#19
Old 12-12-2000, 12:36 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Naugatuck, CT
Posts: 6,760
If we assume that 'queer' in this context means 'screwed up', then what is wrong with a couple of giraffes that just walk around? Are they supposed to be attack giraffes or something?
#20
Old 12-12-2000, 03:31 AM
DRY DRY is offline
Guest
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 3,133
Hijack alert

Quote:
Originally posted by Grendel69
How bizarre...
I just read that fact about Claudius about 2 hours ago.

Despite this, he seems to be one of the more normal Julio-Claudian emperors. Of course, considering that he was preceded by Calgula and followed by Nero, I think that it would have been rather difficult for Claudius to be a "weirdo".

I've been reading about these guys all night. Absolutely-freakin'-lutely bizarre.

Shudder...
Great stuff, huh?

Caveat: if you're reading Suetonius's The Twelve Caesars, do so with a grain of salt. Some of the more sensationalist stuff can't be verified (it's not necessarily false, but it's gossip).

Suetonius was kind of like the "tell all" biographer of his day. It's interesting reading, though!
__________________
Thank you to everyone who made my stay here an enjoyable one.

To any at all whom I have offended or alienated, I apologize. I desire the enmity of no one.
#21
Old 12-12-2000, 08:54 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 5,062
Quote:
I'm sorry, I don't see anything in this context that suggests the 'homosexual' interpretation of 'queer'.
I don't remember the exact lines in the movie, but if I interpreted things correctly the giraffes were supposed to be mating giraffes but all they did was walk around, hence the queer complaint by the trader.

DRY, you are a darling, but I am a little saddened by the Shakespearean quote that seems to be missing in your flirt.
#22
Old 12-12-2000, 09:00 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: austin tx usa
Posts: 34,428
Why single out the word "queer" as anachronistic? NOBODY in ancient Rome spoke English, so EVERY word used by EVERY character in the film "Gladiator" was technically incorrect. True, no ancient Roman would have used the word queer... but no ancient Roman would use the words "a," "an" or "the" either- there are no articles in Latin.


So... unless you think the movie should have been shot in Latin and shown with subtitles, it's hard to see what your problem is!
#23
Old 12-12-2000, 10:08 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: San Jose
Posts: 2,912
Quote:
Originally posted by Mandelstam
In any case, the place you should look is the *Oxford English Dictionary*. This will give you a complete etymology of the word including the first time the word was used and how it changed since that time. It's actually a lot of fun to read it. You can find it at a good library, certainly any college or university library. It also exists online but it's not free; usually you have to be at a place (like a college library) that provides you with access to it.
Ask and ye shall receive.

OED says queer is commonly thought of coming from the German quer (MHG twer) but says it is "of doubtful origin" because time frames and usage don't quite match.

The first cite for the primary meaning of "strange, odd" is from 1508 (Dunbar). The first cite for the meaning "homosexual" is from 1922 (from Practical Value of Scientific Study of Junvenile Deliquents). The usage in this case puts queer in quotes, indicating it was alread in use, probably as slang. The first cite for the meaning "to be fond of" is from 1953 (Burroughs), putting Johnny L.A.'s theory into doubt. There is also a definition of queer meaning "not in a normal condition; out of sorts; giddy, faint, or ill" first cited in 1781.

There is also a second entry for queer meaning "bad; worthless" with first cite in 1561. This usage seems to have lead to the idea of something being counterfeit ("queer money").

The first cite for queer as a noun meaning a homosexual man is 1932 (Auden). The first cite for queerdom is 1965.

As a verb, the first entry for queer is "a. To quiz or ridicule; to puzzle. b. To impose on, swindle, cheat" with first cite in 1790. The second entry is "to spoil" (as in "to queer the pitch/game/deal") with the first cite in 1846.

So, after all that, we don't know where the word queer came from or why it first was used to mean "homosexual." My guess would be it came from the usage of "odd, not normal."

As to the giraffes, they were supposed to be mating giraffes, so the implication was that they did not mate because they were homosexual.
#24
Old 12-12-2000, 10:27 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 5,062
Quote:
So... unless you think the movie should have been shot in Latin and shown with subtitles, it's hard to see what your problem is!
Problem? No, but you seem to have one (reading maybe?). I guess you missed the part where I posted:

Quote:
I read the link but my giraffe question was not mentioned. I do realize that English wasn't spoken in ancient Rome (ya smartass ).

Let me ask a different way.

When was the word "queer" first used to mean homosexual? Has it been around since ancient times?
Thank you JeffB, Mandelstam, and bibliophage for actually understanding and answering my question.
__________________
Diane, it turns out, is the cure. - Manny
#25
Old 12-12-2000, 10:30 AM
Guest
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 358
DRY: I am actually reading secondary sources and they critique Suetonius for those reasons.
#26
Old 12-12-2000, 12:19 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Posts: 12,195
The problem is the giraffes are supposed to be a mating pair. The guy is complaining that they won't mate. All they do is walk around. Thus they are queer. Which is supposed to imply they are gay, but could have just meant they are strange.
#27
Old 12-13-2000, 01:08 AM
DRY DRY is offline
Guest
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 3,133
Quote:
Originally posted by Diane
DRY, you are a darling, but I am a little saddened by the Shakespearean quote that seems to be missing in your flirt.
FINE! FINE!

"It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!"
--Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene ii

Sorry about the hijack, guys, but if YOU would turn down a flirting opportunity with Diane, you must be quee..homosexual. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Quote:
Originally posted by Grendel69
DRY: I am actually reading secondary sources and they critique Suetonius for those reasons.
Interesting. Which sources, if I may ask? (I'm always interested if there's anything newly published that I haven't heard about)

Fairness compels me to point out that there were certainly weaknesses in other contemporary sources (Tacitus, to name one).
__________________
Thank you to everyone who made my stay here an enjoyable one.

To any at all whom I have offended or alienated, I apologize. I desire the enmity of no one.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:52 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: reverse fever virginia sword laws flossing urban football bat mercurochrome vs iodine gigatons to teratons tor:con western soundtracks easy e gay fondle sleeping half carafe dubois sea snake 12am midnight translate arigato bull fight song gun safeties ridex for septic bdsm subreddit making a pass is stream2watch legal vote aye what makes cobwebs bored of porn chinese dice games fish and houseguests triplets wagon phd teaching salary replace spare tire us code symbol pale steak deadwood ending explained asshole prolapse was einstein vegan jesuit versus catholic high beam car ambulance lights no sirens room and board paint colors gay bowling team names weights for a weight bench planes trains and automobiles rating nyc parking rules crosswalk why do hawks screech why do plugs have holes putting soaking wet clothes in dryer life insurance on a parent without their consent how to cut off a master lock lyrics sweet baby james best buy remote start installation cost what does penguin taste like why does my cat make weird noises at birds most bullets fired in a movie san giorgio macaroni and cheese when should a child stop sleeping with a stuffed animal where to buy poppy flowers if magnesium citrate doesn't work can you keep bats as pets who buys stocks when everyone is selling how much did vhs tapes cost in the 90s soy milk go bad rodney dangerfield triple lindy hair catcher for pop up drain french cafe music artists dirty sentences for the whisper challenge aspirin and salicylic acid car registration stolen what to do does nasal spray have epinephrine metallica greatest hits cds when did polarized plugs come out what does engine braking prohibited mean