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The Word For "Gay" According To 12 Languages

Etymology is a beautiful thing!

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We know the word "gay", which has been used to refer to homosexual men, also means "joyful" and "happy". Ever wonder how other languages come up with their own words to describe gay men? Read on and be inspired.

2. French


The word "gay" (pronounced as GHEH) actually comes from the Old French word "gai", which is most likely Germanic in origin. It translates to "joyful" and "carefree".

"Gay" (pronounced as GHAI) is also used in Spanish-speaking countries.

4. Arabic


The Arabic word for "gay", which sounds like MITH-LEE, is derived from the root verb مثل (MAH-thala) meaning "to resemble". It can be used for both male and female homosexuals.

6. Tamil


"Nampi", the Tamil word for "gay", also means "dependent". A much formal translation would be "ஓரின சேர்க்கை ஆண்" (O-rinuh ser-KHAIYAN, homosexual male).

7. Russian


Pronounced as GHEEH, Russian youths borrowed "gay" from English during the 1990s and it became more popular that its native "гомосексуалами" (gomoseksualami).

11. Filipino


The Filipino word for gay has an archaic usage. "Bacla" appeared in 18th century literary works under the context of "mental confusion" and "indecisiveness". Filipino writers before World War II also used bacla, but defined as "fearful" or "weakened".

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