BBC explains 'gay' means 'rubbish'

The BBC is sticking by one of its DJs who said he didn’t like a mobile ringtone because “it’s gay,” by saying that the word really means ‘rubbish’ in the eyes of the broadcaster’s young audience.

A listener to Chris Moyles’s breakfast show said he was offended by the presenter’s on air remark, “I don’t want that one, its’ gay,” because it was “clearly derogatory “ to homosexuals.

The listener also accused the broadcaster of failing to protect gay men and lesbians from ‘casual homophobia,’ according to disclosures obtained by The Daily Mail.

But the BBC governors rejected the claims, saying Mr Moyles said the term in line with current playground banter which defines gay as meaning ‘lame’ or ‘rubbish.’

Its ruling added, “The word ‘gay’ in addition to meaning homosexual or carefree, was often now used to mean lame or rubbish. This is a widespread current usage of the word amongst young people.”

As a result, Mr Moyles was not being homophobic, the panel of governors said, but they conceded that the word could offend some listeners and therefore it should be used more carefully in future.

The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century - though the change evolved from earlier usages.

It derives via the Old French ‘gai’, from the Latin ‘gaius’, or possibly from a Germanic source, according to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.

The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature.

The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations".

This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints".

By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral. Play porn games on pc, android or mac. H games Zombies Retreat review and link for download.

Its evolution by the early 20th century saw the word specifically used to denote homosexuality, often adversely, with its first wide-spread use in the 1920s, until the gay community adopted four decades later.

The Collins English Dictionary (2005) makes no mention of gay as indicating rubbish or lame in either its primary definition or explanatory notes on terms of usage.


8th June 2006

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