General Question

xxii's avatar

Has "fabulous" become synonymous with "gay"?

Asked by xxii (3321points) October 21st, 2010

I know “fabulous” has a bit of a gay connotation, but is it still commonly used in its original definition? That is, if I introduce someone as “James, our fabulous media correspondent,” does that imply that he is gay?

And secondly, when did the connection between the two words begin?

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19 Answers

rangerr's avatar

Only if “awesome” is another way of saying “straight”.

ETpro's avatar

Gad! I hope not. I still remember when Gay Paree was a place most straight men dreamed of visiting.

SuperMouse's avatar

Not in my world it hasn’t, of course I am in the mid-west and we are always last to get the memo.

muppetish's avatar

No? I use “fabulous” as a synonym for awesome. Merriam-Webster suggests it means “resembling or suggesting a fable : of an incredible, astonishing, or exaggerated nature”. I checked OED Online, and an Etymology dictionary and came across nothing that suggests a connection. Any assumption otherwise is a peculiar social register that should be squelched. This is where connotations and I butt heads.

I would never assume someone who is referred to as being “fabulous” is gay.

josie's avatar

Actually, at this particular moment in pop culture, fabulous is synonomous with gay. It has compelled me to be more discriminating about when I use the word fabulous.

xxii's avatar

Thanks @josie – I don’t think I’m imagining this. Urbandictionary – granted, not the most reliable of sources, but still a relatively accurate measure of how a word is used as slang or in pop culture – uses homosexual terms to define “fabulous” in 3 of its top 7 definitions. I personally don’t believe they are completely synonymous, but I’m curious as to why they have become related, and what its implications are.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

You’re not saying it right, dahling. To mean gay, you have to say “faaabulous!” Simply saying “fabulous” means that it’s wonderful.

perg's avatar

I thought it was synonymous with tooth-whitening gum.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I certainly hope so. If fabulous is the new gay, then I might be able to be gay once again. Let’s get this worked out please.

zophu's avatar

I’ve convince my more socially adept acquaintances to try and instill the word elegant or “el” into the zeitgeist. Kind of an inbetween for “awesome” and “fabulous,” I think. Give it 5 years, maybe it will catch on.

ETpro's avatar

As my favorite philosopher, Popeye says, “Well blow me down.” Look what the Urban Dictionary has for fabulous.

Is no word safe? It makes me feel sorry for the Tea Party folks who unwittingly stumbled over the code phrase Tea Baggers.

GracieT's avatar

I have to confess that my first reaction to this question is no, but I am straight. I have several gay friends, and they all laughed. Their first
comment after they laughed
was to say “Oh yes, and isn’t it
fabulous that we have
corrupted your vocabulary?
Next it will be your kids!”

OpryLeigh's avatar

I do think “Fabulous” can be quite camp when used with the correct tone (and followed by the word “Darling”) but it certainly doesn’t have to be used in that way and if some introduced me to so and so, their fabulous colleague, I certainly wouldn’t assume that person was gay.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Feeling sorry for the Tea Party folks @ETpro? This time… you’ve gone too far!

@GracieT

The Gay Agenda:

Section 4, Paragraph 6:
we have corrupted your vocabulary

Section 5, Paragraph 3:
Next it will be your kids!

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Well, not sorry enough to change the way I will vote. But on this one issue, I can feel their pain. :-)

CMaz's avatar

Gay as in happy?

GladysMensch's avatar

I’d say yes; fabulous is gay. Especially if speaking to or about a man. I now feel the need to go all Costanza if I ever use the word: “I say this with an unblemished record of staunch heterosexuality… it’s fabulous.”

Kardamom's avatar

It only implies gay-ness when it it said with a very flamboyant verbal style: Faaaabulous! And possibly a tilt of the head and upraised arms. In general, the word, said in regular speaking tones just means terrific like it always has. I don’t think anyone should worry or be offended if they are described as fabulous. In either context, it’s still a compliment.

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