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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I debated putting this here or the book corner...we'll try here and see if I get any answers.

"He bats for the other team" is a light-hearted expression for homosexual. The question is, where did it come from? This came up on one of my authors' lists. Someone wants to include the expression in a book that takes place in the 1880s. Would it be anachronistic? I did a quick google search and couldn't find anything. I am wondering if any of the avid readers here happen to know the origin of this phrase.

Thanks in advance for your help!

L
 

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Leslie said:
I debated putting this here or the book corner...we'll try here and see if I get any answers.

"He bats for the other team" is a light-hearted expression for homosexual. The question is, where did it come from? This came up on one of my authors' lists. Someone wants to include the expression in a book that takes place in the 1880s. Would it be anachronistic? I did a quick google search and couldn't find anything. I am wondering if any of the avid readers here happen to know the origin of this phrase.

Thanks in advance for your help!

L
Hmm I looked at all my sources and can't find the info either.

On a side note, my brother came down to visit with his female friend my mom wants to think is his girlfriend. Oh well she thinks it too, its a shame, she's a nice girl but like my mom is in denial.

Anyway I am proud to say he has been sticking his head out of the closet lately and testing the waters with my folks. I've told him since he was a teen his closet is pretty see ;D
through because I've seen it since he was a kid but he's always denied it so I let him be. Its his journey, not mine.

It was funny to watch my brother hint and hint about his sexuality and no one but me and my husband get it. Maybe by next christmas he can be himself and my parents get out of the river denial.
 

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Chobitz, I hope that your parents can come out of denial and your brother can  be himself also. My love my for girls is unconditional. I would welcome them and their partner whether male or female. On the other hand my Mom is of a different generation and would flip out. There would be none of that at Granny's house.  ;)

Linda
 

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I suspect that “He bats for the other team” is one of those expressions, the source of which, can never be pinned down. It’s like when my sister, who’s six years younger than me, used to come home from school with a “new” joke that was the same joke that I’d heard “new” six years earlier. Author unknown.

"Light in the loafers" is one that I’ve always wondered about. (I hope that doesn't mean something that I don't get.)
 

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chobitz said:
It was funny to watch my brother hint and hint about his sexuality and no one but me and my husband get it. Maybe by next christmas he can be himself and my parents get out of the river denial.
I'm reading a book by Timothy Mulder called Little and Lonely - Moments and Milestones that your brother might like to read. Mulder writes like I wish I could.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A2DE12YHL2B2HQ
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Chobitz, thanks for your story. What's the age difference between you and your brother?

L
 

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It always surprises me how old expressions are that sound very current.  A couple of times I've been really surprised.  And, since baseball has been around since what, the 1840s-1850s, that part at least is not anachronistic...

Betsy
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Jeff said:
"Light in the loafers" is one that I've always wondered about. (I hope that doesn't mean something that I don't get.)
I found this on the Grammarphobia Blog:

March 12, 2008

Light in the loafers

Q: Growing up in the '50s, I recall hearing "light in the loafers" as a term of derision for gay men. An Internet search turned up several possible explanations, all plausible, none definitive. Have you ever wrestled with "light in the loafers"?

A: Like many expressions, "light in the loafers" is a bit slippery to wrestle with, but here goes.

Cassell's Dictionary of Slang (2d ed.) has only a brief entry, describing the expression as '50s American slang and adding that "the image is the stereotyped effeminate male, tripping along."

The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, which defines it as effeminate or homosexual, lists a series of references for the expression dating from 1967 to 1996.

However, the first Random House citation, which comes from the Dictionary of American Slang (1967) by Harold Wentworth and Stuart Berg Flexner, describes the expression as "fairly common" since around 1955.

The expression, by the way, hasn't been used only to mock gay men. It's also been used as a euphemism by gay men themselves, as in this 1989 reference from the ABC-TV move Rock Hudson: "We'd say, 'Is he musical?' Never gay…. Sometimes 'Light in the loafers.'"

Both the Cassell's and Random House entries include what they describe as a similar expression for a gay or effeminate man: "light on his (or "her") feet." But I've never heard this phrase used in any other way than to describe someone who's graceful.

If you've googled "light in the loafers," you know that it's still being used today. The most recent Random House citation is from the Feb. 7, 1996, issue of New York Press, an alternative weekly: "The garment business is popularized by citizens who are 'light in the loafers.'"
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Betsy the Quilter said:
It always surprises me how old expressions are that sound very current. A couple of times I've been really surprised. And, since baseball has been around since what, the 1840s-1850s, that part at least is not anachronistic...

Betsy
A few of the authors thought it may be British in origin and comes from cricket, but that game has also been around for a long time, too.

L
 

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Leslie said:
Chobitz, thanks for your story. What's the age difference between you and your brother?

L
I'm 40 he is 33..
 

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I don't know the history of it, but the 'sound of it' seems modern. I think it would sound anachronistic in a pre-1980s setting, and definitely in a 1880s setting - even if the phrase has been around for a while!

Did Shakespeare have any phrases that he used for gay people?
 

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That has to be a really confusing saying for people who don't know baseball...
 

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My best friend's clueless cousin didn't get this when we were talking (on speakerphone) about my dorm roommate who

"is straight as a circle"

or my dorm neighbor who

"cheers for both sides"

Another means of hinting.
 

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Speaking of "straight as a circle" I heard someone use the term "crooked".

"Well if he's not straight he's crooked"

But I've noticed most of these are gender specific, what would one say about a lesbian? (Comments about the digesting of floor coverings aside!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Harvey said:
Did Shakespeare have any phrases that he used for gay people?
According to my friend the literature expert, she says no. Some of his sonnets have some erotic language which hint at a male lover, but there are not specific words.

L
 

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Leslie said:
According to my friend the literature expert, she says no. Some of his sonnets have some erotic language which hint at a male lover, but there are not specific words.

L
Oh! Really? Which ones are those?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Mikuto said:
Oh! Really? Which ones are those?
She doesn't know offhand. Maybe I'll do a little research and try to find out.

In Winds of Change by Lee Rowan (one of the books I have been recommending endlessly it seems), Character A tries to end it with Character B by sending him a letter containing nothing but Shakespeare's thirteenth sonnet. Character B gives him what-for by quoting Barnfield:

Sighing and sadly sitting by my love
He asked the cause of my heart's sorrowing
Conjuring me by heaven's eternal King
To tell me the cause which me so much did move.
Compelled (quoth I), to thee will I confess,
Love is the cause, and only love it is...

You'll have to read the book for the rest! Good stuff...

L
 
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