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Word origins


PaulT

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I discovered where the word fag came from the other day and how the Brits refer to it as a smoke, and the Yanks refer to it as a homesexual. They are both in fact linked.

Apparently, the word fag meant a bundle of kindling tied together. These fags were used on the fires for burning homosexuals back in the medieval times. So there's the link between the word fag and homosexual.

For the Brits, in the early days, smokes didn't come in cartons like they do now. They came tied together by a bit of string, and this resembled the fag kindling used to start the fires to burn the homosexuals.

How true this is or not, I do not know, but it's an interesting bit of trivia nonetheless.

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Fascinating! I love trivia and - with apologies for hijacking this thread - now offer my own, although it's not related to words. Apparently the Dr. Who alien, the Dalek, originated from two sources:

The word, 'Dalek', came when the series writer saw, among his set of encyclopaedia, one volume with the letters DAL - EK referencing those entries.

And Tony Hancock, the comedian, had an earlier discussion with the same writer about this alien enemy and what form it would take. "Oh I imagine it would look like an upturned dustbin with a sink plunger on its forehead" was TH's reply (according to his biography). Heyho, the Dalek was born.

I really should get out more .....
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