faggot

faggot
{{11}}faggot (1) late 13c., "bundle of twigs bound up," from O.Fr. fagot "bundle of sticks" (13c.), of uncertain origin, probably from It. faggotto, dim. of V.L. *facus, from L. fascis "bundle of wood" (see FASCES (Cf. fasces)). Especially used for burning heretics (emblematic of this from 1550s), so that phrase fire and faggot was used to indicate "punishment of a heretic." Heretics who recanted were required to wear an embroidered figure of a faggot on their sleeve, as an emblem and reminder of what they deserved.
{{12}}faggot (2) "male homosexual," 1914, Amer.Eng. slang (shortened form fag is from 1921), probably from earlier contemptuous term for "woman" (1590s), especially an old and unpleasant one, in reference to FAGGOT (Cf. faggot) (1) "bundle of sticks," as something awkward that has to be carried (Cf. baggage "worthless woman," 1590s). It may also be reinforced by Yiddish faygele "homosexual," lit. "little bird." It also may have roots in British public school slang fag "a junior who does certain duties for a senior" (1785), with suggestions of "catamite," from FAG (Cf. fag) (v.). This also was used as a verb.
He [the prefect] used to fag me to blow the chapel organ for him. ["Boy's Own Paper," 1889]
Other obsolete senses of faggot were "man hired into military service simply to fill out the ranks at muster" (1700) and "vote manufactured for party purposes" (1817). The oft-heard statement that male homosexuals were called faggots in reference to their being burned at the stake is an etymological urban legend. Burning was sometimes a punishment meted out to homosexuals in Christian Europe (on the suggestion of the Biblical fate of Sodom and Gomorrah), but in England, where parliament had made homosexuality a capital offense in 1533, hanging was the method prescribed. Any use of faggot in connection with public executions had long become an English historical obscurity by the time the word began to be used for "male homosexual" in 20th century American slang, whereas the contemptuous slang word for "woman" (and the other possible sources or influences listed here) was in active use. It was used in this sense in early 20c. by D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce, among others.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Faggot — or fagot may refer to:* Faggot (slang), a pejorative for a homosexual or effeminate man used mainly in North America * Faggot (food), a British meatball commonly made of pork offal * Faggot (volume), an archaic unit of measurement for bundles of… …   Wikipedia

  • Faggot — (spr. fäggŏt), in England eine Menge von 120 Handelspfund Stahl = 54,431 kg …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • faggot — fag got (f[a^]g [u^]t), n. [perh. from fagot[5], a shriveled old woman.] a male homosexual; always used disparagingly and considered offensive. [Slang, disparaging] Syn: fagot, fag, fairy, pansy, queer, poof, poove, pouf. [WordNet 1.5 +PJC] 2. a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Faggot — (Fagot), Maß in England: Reisbündel von 3 Fuß Länge und 2 Fuß Umfang am Weidenbande, 50 im Load; als Stahlgewicht = 120 Pfund oder 54,431 kg, wie ein alter Zentner in Hull …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • faggot — ► NOUN 1) Brit. a ball of seasoned chopped liver, baked or fried. 2) (US fagot) a bundle of sticks bound together as fuel. 3) N. Amer. informal, derogatory a male homosexual. DERIVATIVES faggoty adjective. ORIGIN Old French …   English terms dictionary

  • faggot — faggot1 [fag′ət] n., vt. alt. sp. of FAGOT ☆ faggot2 [fag′ət ] n. [prob. extended < fag (homosexual), on the pattern of FAGGOT1] Slang a male homosexual: term of contempt faggoty adj …   English World dictionary

  • faggot — fag, faggot In BrE a fag is a colloquial word for (1) a piece of drudgery or a wearisome or unwelcome task, (2) a cigarette, and (3) a junior pupil at a public school who runs errands for a senior. In BrE a faggot is a ball or roll of seasoned… …   Modern English usage

  • faggot up — verb bind or tie up in or as if in a faggot faggot up the sticks • Syn: ↑faggot, ↑fagot • Hypernyms: ↑tie down, ↑tie up, ↑bind, ↑truss …   Useful english dictionary

  • Faggot — Faggots, Bratensauce, Kartoffelpüree und Erbsen Faggots ist ein traditionelles Gericht in Großbritannien, das besonders in Zentralwales, im Süden und den Englischen Midlands verbreitet ist. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • faggot — n 1. British an unattractive or disreputable woman. This now outdated term, some three hundred years old, is still heard in the phrase old faggot . 2. American a homosexual man. It is not certain whether this term is an embel lished version of… …   Contemporary slang


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