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The Word About Gay And Where It Originated

Decent Essays
Words have so many different meanings. Just pick up a dictionary to discover the many different meanings of the same word. Many questions arise when thinking of where a word originated from. This report will allow me to explore the definition of gay and where it originated. I will explain how the word gay has changed over time. As culture changes, so does words as they take on new meanings. The word gay originally had the meaning of being carefree, happy or lighthearted for quite a long time, but this slowly changed conveying a series of different meanings, and in Modern English the word refers to homosexuality. The word itself dates back to the 12th Century although uncertain; it originates from the Old French word gaie that means joyful or merry which seems to be Germanic in its origin (Nardi 248). The word has several cognates in other languages such as Old Provencal gai, Old Frankish gahi. The Old French and Old Frankish words are both from Proto-Germanic word ganhwaz that means sudden which is a cognate with the Dutch word gauw that means fast or quickly, Westphalia Low German word gau with the same meaning as the Dutch word gauw, and the German word gahi meaning abrupt or sudden. In the late 12th Century, gay was used as a surname: Phillips De Gay for example.
The English word gay was first recorded in the 14th Century in a poem titled ‘Blow, Northerne Wind,’.In the poem’s context, it meant beautiful. Before the end of the 14th Century, the word conveyed a series
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