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For example, the optimistic 1890s are still often referred to as the Gay Nineties.

The title of the 1938 French ballet Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), which became the 1941 Warner Brothers movie, The Gay Parisian, The derived abstract noun gaiety remains largely free of sexual connotations and has, in the past, been used in the names of places of entertainment; for example W. Yeats heard Oscar Wilde lecture at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin.

Among younger speakers, the word has a meaning ranging from derision (e.g., equivalent to rubbish or stupid) to a light-hearted mockery or ridicule (e.g., equivalent to weak, unmanly, or lame).

Additionally, none of the words describing any aspect of homosexuality were considered suitable for polite society.

" Since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to cross-dressing (and, by extension, homosexuality) would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean, "I just decided to do something frivolous." In 1950, the earliest reference found to date for the word gay as a self-described name for homosexuals comes from Alfred A. Henry Foundation, who said in the June 1950 issue of SIR magazine: “I have yet to meet a happy homosexual.

They have a way of describing themselves as gay but the term is a misnomer.

Consequently, a number of euphemisms were used to hint at suspected homosexuality.

Examples include "sporty" girls and "artistic" boys, all with the stress deliberately on the otherwise completely innocent adjective.

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