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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeCrioxRouge13

Is the word "gay" can still be used as "Very happy" without confusion?

I just wanted to know if it's still acceptable to say I am very gay in the English language without confusion? I don't want people to think am a homosexual just happy.

November 23, 2017

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OmegaGmaster

That definition is dated. It's in minor usage, but most of the time it refers to homosexuality, while older texts use the word with the "happy" definition. Plus in today's slang, it typically is used for expressing dislike. (Source) I wouldn't recommend using it with that definition, as you will most likely be misunderstood, especially by millenials online.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dcarl1

It’s really archaic. No contemporary people use it that way anymore, just heiresses in BBC costume dramas set in the 1920s.

Also - it is seen as derogatory to use it to express dislike. Where I work - and indeed at most large corporations in the USA - if you used it that way you would be put on notice, and it would harm your prospects for advancement and put you at risk of losing your job.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OmegaGmaster

I wouldn't say "archaic." There are still occasional uses of the "happy" meaning today, one example being "Deck the Halls."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

Even if the context is very clear, saying that is likely to be at the very least an unintentional source of humour. You'd still be pretty safe referring to gay colours, gay plumage (of birds) and things done with gay abandon.
The related words 'gaily' and 'gaiety' have also remained pretty much unaffected by the euphemistic usage of 'gay'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrenchByte

Better safe than sorry.

Use happy instead. The point is more clear, and you don't want anybody to be like "dude..." or anything. Just to be on the safe side, use 'very' and strong emotion words to express your point. 'Gay' might be less common nowadays.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/susanstory

It's better to say "Happy" or "in a good mood" so you won't be misunderstood. "Gay" in the 1800's had a different meaning than now, according to how it's used in older books.

People from 100 years ago had different ways of talking than now. In my dad's writings, he wrote about "The Pros and Cons of Taking People and Things for Granted" and then he gave some little stories as examples.

One of his stories was about the Flu epidemic in 1918. This was a true story and illustrates how they used the word "gay" then.

I have some of his writings typed out on my computer but I don't know where this particular story is so I'm telling it from memory.

My dad was saying in this story: "Doctors always said, Never take your health for granted." Then he told about this farmer where he grew up, who came down with the Spanish Flu, but he felt okay. Always strong and healthy, he thought little of it

It was a nice mild day for mid-winter so why not go to town to get the mail and some groceries? So he told his family he was going to town. So he hitched up the horse and wagon (this was 1918) and road GAILY into town.

(My dad used the word "gaily".) It obviously meant that the farmer was feeling good and was happy.

The ensuing day wasn't so GAY. The farmer lay stricken with a raging fever. Three days later he lay buried in a little cemetery just outside of town, on a little gravely hill.

The Spanish Flu was treacherous, almost beyond belief.
......................

I put in Capitals where he used "gaily" and "gay" in his writing, so it would be easier to see it.

My dad was from the older generation and he used older spelling and older words from a previous generation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paulmexicodf

oddly enough, I have a friend whose middle name is Gay, but as things are, she generally isn't the happiest of people


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