Code Words For “Gay” In Classic Films

  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    May 26, 2015 6:42 AM GMT
    Code Words For “Gay” In Classic Films

    Curious

    Extraordinary

    Eccentric

    Wears a hat of someone else’s choosing

    Inconsistent

    A sunset lover

    Smooth elbows

    A man with specific mannerisms

    Sleeps diagonally

    A perplexment

    Rides the carousel

    An evening botanist

    Classically athletic

    Fraternally-minded

    Wears a light wristwatch

    Gives a careful handshake

    Gives too much change for a dollar

    A fluent swimmer

    A keen-eyed birdwatcher

    Fond of his mother

    Elegant

    Built on an uncertain foundation

    Fluttersome

    A real jackdaw

    Avowed bachelor

    A gentleman of the piers

    Born with the caul

    Limber

    An aesthete

    In the way of uncles

    He throws a party with an open guest list

    Son of the moon

    A boy from Eton

    Always rings twice

    Has a silk bathrobe

    Not quite up-to-code

    He hitchhikes instead of taking the bus

    Stays ahead of the game

    A skillful mountain climber

    Salutes another flag

    An upside-down chimney-sweep


    http://the-toast.net/2015/05/22/code-words-for-gay-in-classic-films/
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    May 26, 2015 11:52 AM GMT
    "Confirmed bachelor"
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    May 26, 2015 11:56 AM GMT
    "Built on an uncertain foundation?" Oh god. My house is gay.
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    May 26, 2015 12:33 PM GMT
    "Lefty hand cigarette smoker"
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    May 26, 2015 1:43 PM GMT
    When I was a boy I used to overhear my Mother tell others I was "artistic" and "sensitive". Maybe those terms were too obvious for the movies. But I was about as artistic as a slug. And I'm sure it wasn't "autistic" because that word was not in use in the 1950s.
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    May 26, 2015 2:57 PM GMT
    I have a silk bathrobe. icon_lol.gif
  • sideout

    Posts: 57

    May 26, 2015 3:01 PM GMT
    I definitely sleep diagonally. I blame the short bed... Genotype vs Phenotype I suppose.
  • madsexy

    Posts: 4843

    May 26, 2015 4:43 PM GMT
    I will be in USA for 14yrs in August and thought my idiomatic English very good . . . until I read these! icon_eek.gif

    A uni friend's grandmother said to him after meeting me - 'is he one of the boys too?' - she meant gay like her grandson - not malicious just curious because then when he laughed and said yeah she looked to me then back at him and said - 'you did good Ronnie!' icon_lol.gif
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1035

    May 26, 2015 7:35 PM GMT
    You forgot "The Odd Couple".

    That play/movie/TV series was clearly intended to represent a gay partnership, without coming right out and saying so.
  • Muscles25

    Posts: 394

    May 26, 2015 9:35 PM GMT
    bro4bro saidYou forgot "The Odd Couple".

    That play/movie/TV series was clearly intended to represent a gay partnership, without coming right out and saying so.


    Neil Simon, who created it, says otherwise. Do you know better than he does?
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    May 27, 2015 1:11 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidI have a silk bathrobe. icon_lol.gif


    Where I'm from, the drag queens call those "night gowns."
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    May 27, 2015 2:47 AM GMT
    Light in the loafersicon_idea.gif
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1035

    May 27, 2015 4:28 AM GMT
    Muscles25 said
    bro4bro saidYou forgot "The Odd Couple".

    That play/movie/TV series was clearly intended to represent a gay partnership, without coming right out and saying so.


    Neil Simon, who created it, says otherwise. Do you know better than he does?


    Hmm, maybe I'm just more honest?

    It's hard to believe there was no gay subtext inferred when the play ran on Broadway in 1965 (New York's a pretty hip crowd), but it wasn't something they'd be open about if they wanted to be a mainstream hit.

    I've heard the phrase "the odd couple" used jokingly in other movies of that period, to refer to suspected gay partners.

    Coincidentally, CBS is currently planning to reboot the series as an openly gay sitcom:
    http://www.nextmagazine.com/content/odd-couple-reboot-will-address-gay-elephant-room

    And, here's a collection of outtakes from the TV show, where the cast males several references to the gay undertones of the show (start at about 5:30):
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    May 27, 2015 4:38 AM GMT
    NYT: Long before Carson Kressley, before Will Truman, before Frasier and Niles selected their first perfectly elegant accessory, there was Felix Unger. A metrosexual before magazines had pinpointed his demographic, Felix was the odder half of the ''Odd Couple'' -- played with a kind of brilliantly finicky melancholy by Tony Randall.

    Based on the 1965 Neil Simon play, ''The Odd Couple'' was the story of two divorced men, the slobby sportswriter Oscar (Jack Klugman) and the neurotic commercial photographer Felix (Mr. Randall), living as roommates in order to save for alimony.

    In large part, this was because of Mr. Randall's hilariously vivid portrayal of Felix as a lonely, hopeful egghead, dogged by an eccentricity that had no name. Even in the early 70's, Felix Unger must have struck many viewers as codedly gay. Although he spent the show's five-year run longing to win back his wife, Gloria, with whom he had two teenage children (she had divorced him on the groundbreaking legal basis of ''pestiness''), the character embodied almost every cliché of the urban gay man: he was natty, neat and trim, obsessed with opera and gourmet food, repelled by sports and booze.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/02/arts/television-reruns-was-he-or-wasn-t-he.html
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    May 27, 2015 4:50 AM GMT
    Radd said
    paulflexes saidI have a silk bathrobe. icon_lol.gif


    Where I'm from, the drag queens call those "night gowns."
    Where I'm from, I call it "something that stays in the closet till I've worn all my clothes and it's time to do laundry and nothing is clean except the bathrobe."
  • vindog

    Posts: 1440

    May 27, 2015 5:21 AM GMT


    Friend of Dorothy
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    May 27, 2015 6:02 AM GMT
    I thought the topic was code words or phrases in films
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    May 27, 2015 4:14 PM GMT
    'Not the marrying kind'


    or


    'There isn't a girl alive who could tear Gregg away from his work!'



    - just two little phrases I've heard about myself occasionally
  • bobbobbob

    Posts: 2812

    May 27, 2015 7:55 PM GMT
    Jockbod48 said 'Not the marrying kind'


    Boy, that phrase evoked an old memory!

    Before I'd heard the word 'gay'- the summer of 1967 - when I was 18 - after my mother found out I'd been having sex with 2 brothers for almost 2 years - she'd done more than hint for me to consider the priesthood, but in nice ways. We compromised and I spent the spring taking evening courses in becoming a hospital orderly in order to work for free in a Catholic charity hospital.

    I had to work with Michael a 22 year old priesthood noviate, tall, blond, green eyed, unbelievably gorgeous and muscled... with a huge bulge in his pants. One day as we were changing a bed sheets with a comatose patient in it, I asked why he was becoming a priest.

    "I'm not cut out for marriage" he said.

    To that I ignorantly replied, "I'm not sure that I'm cut out for marriage either."

    I had no idea "not cut out for marriage" was part of the southern gay code/slang/dialect (called 'dropping hairpins') for 'homosexual tendencies'. After that the priest-in-training went from being 80% friendly to 2000%. I was dumb and didn't think his extra friendly attention could lead to sex - afterall he was a celibate priest!!!! He had no money but I began taking him across the street for lunch... taking him for rides after work, to my home to introduce him to my mother who was quick to invite him for dinner.

    On a morning before Michael was coming home for dinner Mom called to say her ill sister in France was close to death. She was flying there that afternoon... She'd called the parrish priest to see if Michael could stay with me until she came home. All I would have to do was warm things. I told Michael and he was fine with that... In retrospect, maybe he was too fine with it. He said if I gave him the money he would buy us a bottle of whiskey and he could see about spending the night away from the rectory... seeing that was only 18 and shouldn't be left unsupervised in my mother's absence.

    When I picked him up early that evening he had the whiskey The priest had agreed for him to stay until Mom of my dad (who was TDY in Iran) returned. I was still dumb about it... i mean ... there's no way a priest could be setting things up for sex... at least as far as I knew at 18 in 1967.

    the first night my girlfiend came over and ate with us but didn't stay long after. As soon as she left we got into the whiskey. After a it of booze my teen libido came to the fore with a plan to seduce the priest out of his clothes. I suggested we walk out to the creek behind our house for some skinny dipping. I went to the bathroom and Michael had stripped down to his underwear, ready to go.... In retrospect, maybe he was too ready to go.

    At creekside, swigging out of the bottle, when we lost our whitey tighties I saw a reason he might not be cut out for marriage. His flacid cock was as big around and long as a beer can with as head on it that was even bigger. I went woody in 3 seconds even though I knew it was too big for me to do anything with.

    Once we were in the water Michael stood up enough for me to see it hard. It wasn't a lot longer but definitely thicker with huge veins that looked size of garden hoses to me at that time... which was really bizarre to me at that age.

    Back in the house we didn't dress and both of us did our best to conceal erections with our towels. Conversation turned to dick sizes and he pulled my towels away to inspect mine and wrap his hand around it... things proceeded pretty fast after that. I started fucking him in the living room floor, then on my bed a couple of times before he unloaded his butt of gizz. We showered, got ready for bed and did it again before we fell asleep and one more time before we had to head to the hospital the next morning.

    That went on for more than a week, maybe two until Mom came home. After that we found time and excuses to get away to do it until it was time for me to get ready for Auburn University and a quickie wedding to my girlfriend. Michael was the first man I kissed and I suppose I was in love with him to some degree but there was no way at that time, in that era that I was prepared to accept my sexuality.

    Then my wife died in 1970, my sophomore year, leaving me with a son who'd just started walking. Tough times being a single father and staying in school. I thought about dropping out. Frat brothers and their girlfriends helped out way more than could have been expected. Then, in my 3rd year at Auburn, on a June Saturday morning cutting through campus with my son standing in the front seat we were at Toomer's Corner headed east on Magnolia Ave when two blocks away I spotted a priest outside St. Michaels church and thought "It can't be."

    It was him. Michael had been there over a year, and had been keeping up with me and my son from a discrete distance. Things started up for us again and lasted until spring 1973 when I moved to South Florida. The last I heard from him was that he quit the priesthood in the late 80's and moved out west.




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    May 28, 2015 6:20 AM GMT
    bro4bro said
    Muscles25 said
    bro4bro saidYou forgot "The Odd Couple".

    That play/movie/TV series was clearly intended to represent a gay partnership, without coming right out and saying so.


    Neil Simon, who created it, says otherwise. Do you know better than he does?


    Hmm, maybe I'm just more honest?

    It's hard to believe there was no gay subtext inferred when the play ran on Broadway in 1965 (New York's a pretty hip crowd), but it wasn't something they'd be open about if they wanted to be a mainstream hit.

    I've heard the phrase "the odd couple" used jokingly in other movies of that period, to refer to suspected gay partners.

    Coincidentally, CBS is currently planning to reboot the series as an openly gay sitcom:
    http://www.nextmagazine.com/content/odd-couple-reboot-will-address-gay-elephant-room



    I know a lot about Broadway of the past, and I really don't think that in 1965 even the hip people viewed The Odd Couple as a play about a coded gay relationship. In any case, even if a small minority did, it's not what Neil Simon had in mind, just as Muscles25 said. Important to remember that Simon had nothing to do with the TV series. He sold the rights to the title and the idea, that was all.

    I'm a great believer that what a writer says about his own work should never be taken too seriously, but I think it's worth mentioning that Simon has said that the play was inspired by his brother, Danny, who was also a comedy writer. After Danny's divorce, he moved in with another friend. Things did not get as bad as they do in the play (although Danny did almost kill his roommate with a spatula once when the roommate's guests were an hour late for a dinner Danny had prepared, and it was the roommate's fault), but they did get pretty tense.

    Tony Randall did often come off as gay, whether he was or not. If he was bisexual, he certainly was never out about it. Some straight men do come off as gay. It is very easy to look at the TV series and see Felix as gay.

    But I doubt that Art Carney, who created the role onstage, seemed at all gay in the role. In fact, Carney was going through his own serious marital problems, which were compounded and partly (or mostly) caused by his alcoholism. During the pre-Broadway tryout (or perhaps shortly after the Broadway opening), Carney started crying during the second-act scene when he talks to the Pigeon sisters about his wife and children. The crying became part of the play.

    The understudy who went on frequently for Carney, Paul Dooley, also never read as gay, although decades later in the series Dream On he played a man who came out late in life. But part of the point there was that Dooley did not read as being at all gay.

    Eddie Bracken replaced Carney after Carney's emotional problems and alcoholism led to a breakdown that forced him out of the show. (Carney's problems were not helped by Walter Matthau's upstaging Carney and playing to the audience rather than to Carney in their scenes together. The rest of the cast hated Matthau.) Bracken was an actor who always played nerds and losers, but never seemed the least bit gay. And to my knowledge he never played a character who was supposed to be or seem gay.

    When the first tour went out, Richard Benjamin (a bit young for the role) was Felix. Again, not an actor who has ever read as gay. Interestingly, Oscar was played by Dan Dailey, who we now know was a secret cross-dresser, though perhaps a straight one.

    When Benjamin left but Dailey stayed, Elliot Reid took over as Felix. Again, not an actor who read as gay. He's probably best known as Jane Russell's love interest in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. He may have been gay — he seems to have never married, and he had plenty of time, he lived to be 93 — but I don't think he read as gay.

    And does anyone think that Jack Lemmon comes off as gay in the movie?

    The first actor I know of to have played Felix and who often read as gay was Victor Spinetti, who played in the London production opposite Jack Klugman. But you know the English . . .

    The interesting article that woodsman linked does basically end up saying, "He may have seemed gay, but he was really mextrosexual before the phrase existed."

    I do know that was far more detail than anyone needed.
  • vindog

    Posts: 1440

    May 28, 2015 6:35 AM GMT
    bobbobbob said
    Jockbod48 said 'Not the marrying kind'


    Boy, that phrase evoked an old memory!

    Before I'd heard the word 'gay'- the summer of 1967 - when I was 18 - after my mother found out I'd been having sex with 2 brothers for almost 2 years - she'd done more than hint for me to consider the priesthood, but in nice ways. We compromised and I spent the spring taking evening courses in becoming a hospital orderly in order to work for free in a Catholic charity hospital.

    I had to work with Michael a 22 year old priesthood noviate, tall, blond, green eyed, unbelievably gorgeous and muscled... with a huge bulge in his pants. One day as we were changing a bed sheets with a comatose patient in it, I asked why he was becoming a priest.

    "I'm not cut out for marriage" he said.

    To that I ignorantly replied, "I'm not sure that I'm cut out for marriage either."

    I had no idea "not cut out for marriage" was part of the southern gay code/slang/dialect (called 'dropping hairpins') for 'homosexual tendencies'. After that the priest-in-training went from being 80% friendly to 2000%. I was dumb and didn't think his extra friendly attention could lead to sex - afterall he was a celibate priest!!!! He had no money but I began taking him across the street for lunch... taking him for rides after work, to my home to introduce him to my mother who was quick to invite him for dinner.

    On a morning before Michael was coming home for dinner Mom called to say her ill sister in France was close to death. She was flying there that afternoon... She'd called the parrish priest to see if Michael could stay with me until she came home. All I would have to do was warm things. I told Michael and he was fine with that... In retrospect, maybe he was too fine with it. He said if I gave him the money he would buy us a bottle of whiskey and he could see about spending the night away from the rectory... seeing that was only 18 and shouldn't be left unsupervised in my mother's absence.

    When I picked him up early that evening he had the whiskey The priest had agreed for him to stay until Mom of my dad (who was TDY in Iran) returned. I was still dumb about it... i mean ... there's no way a priest could be setting things up for sex... at least as far as I knew at 18 in 1967.

    the first night my girlfiend came over and ate with us but didn't stay long after. As soon as she left we got into the whiskey. After a it of booze my teen libido came to the fore with a plan to seduce the priest out of his clothes. I suggested we walk out to the creek behind our house for some skinny dipping. I went to the bathroom and Michael had stripped down to his underwear, ready to go.... In retrospect, maybe he was too ready to go.

    At creekside, swigging out of the bottle, when we lost our whitey tighties I saw a reason he might not be cut out for marriage. His flacid cock was as big around and long as a beer can with as head on it that was even bigger. I went woody in 3 seconds even though I knew it was too big for me to do anything with.

    Once we were in the water Michael stood up enough for me to see it hard. It wasn't a lot longer but definitely thicker with huge veins that looked size of garden hoses to me at that time... which was really bizarre to me at that age.

    Back in the house we didn't dress and both of us did our best to conceal erections with our towels. Conversation turned to dick sizes and he pulled my towels away to inspect mine and wrap his hand around it... things proceeded pretty fast after that. I started fucking him in the living room floor, then on my bed a couple of times before he unloaded his butt of gizz. We showered, got ready for bed and did it again before we fell asleep and one more time before we had to head to the hospital the next morning.

    That went on for more than a week, maybe two until Mom came home. After that we found time and excuses to get away to do it until it was time for me to get ready for Auburn University and a quickie wedding to my girlfriend. Michael was the first man I kissed and I suppose I was in love with him to some degree but there was no way at that time, in that era that I was prepared to accept my sexuality.

    Then my wife died in 1970, my sophomore year, leaving me with a son who'd just started walking. Tough times being a single father and staying in school. I thought about dropping out. Frat brothers and their girlfriends helped out way more than could have been expected. Then, in my 3rd year at Auburn, on a June Saturday morning cutting through campus with my son standing in the front seat we were at Toomer's Corner headed east on Magnolia Ave when two blocks away I spotted a priest outside St. Michaels church and thought "It can't be."

    It was him. Michael had been there over a year, and had been keeping up with me and my son from a discrete distance. Things started up for us again and lasted until spring 1973 when I moved to South Florida. The last I heard from him was that he quit the priesthood in the late 80's and moved out west.



    What an amazing story.
  • buddycat

    Posts: 1874

    May 28, 2015 10:10 AM GMT
    What about "friend of Dorothy"? A Judy Garland reference. I see that was already mentioned.

    A common dandy.
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    May 28, 2015 3:27 PM GMT
    buddycat saidWhat about "friend of Dorothy"? A Judy Garland reference. I see that was already mentioned.

    A common dandy.

    I don't think that euphemism was used in movies, the topic here. I did know an author who wrote a book about his personal experiences as a gay US soldier in London during the build-up to the invasion of Normandy, 1943-44. He wrote about the underground British gay scene, and claimed that a code phrase used for club entrance and other introductions was "Friend of Dorothy."

    I questioned him about this, because the Wizard of Oz had only been released 4 years earlier. But he insisted the term was already in use.

    As a euphemistic phrase in other movies to identify gays, however, I can think of no examples. At least not until overtly gay movies began to be made.