faggot

faggot

1 [fag-uht]
noun British.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

faggot

2 [fag-uht]
noun
Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. a male homosexual.

Origin:
1910–15, Americanism; compare faggot a contemptuous term for a woman (from circa 1590), perhaps the same word as fagot

faggoty, faggotty, adjective
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World English Dictionary
faggot or esp (US) fagot1 (ˈfæɡət)
 
n
1.  a bundle of sticks or twigs, esp when bound together and used as fuel
2.  a bundle of iron bars, esp a box formed by four pieces of wrought iron and filled with scrap to be forged into wrought iron
3.  a ball of chopped meat, usually pork liver, bound with herbs and bread and eaten fried
4.  a bundle of anything
 
vb
5.  to collect into a bundle or bundles
6.  needlework to do faggoting on (a garment, piece of cloth, etc)
 
[C14: from Old French, perhaps from Greek phakelos bundle]
 
fagot or esp (US) fagot1
 
n
 
vb
 
[C14: from Old French, perhaps from Greek phakelos bundle]

faggot2 (ˈfæɡət)
 
n
slang chiefly (US), (Canadian) Often shortened to: fag a male homosexual
 
[C20: special use of faggot1]
 
'faggoty2
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

faggot
late 13c., "bundle of twigs bound up," from O.Fr. fagot "bundle of sticks," from It. faggotto, dim. of V.L. *facus, from L. fascis "bundle of wood" (see fasces). Especially used for burning heretics (a sense attested from 1550s), so that phrase fire and faggot was used to
mean "punishment of a heretic." Heretics who recanted were required to wear an embroidered figure of a faggot on their sleeve, as an emblem and reminder of what they deserved.

faggot
"male homosexual," 1914, Amer.Eng. slang (shortened form fag is from 1921), probably from earlier contemptuous term for "woman" (1591), especially an old and unpleasant one, in reference to faggot (1) "bundle of sticks," as something awkward that has to be carried (cf. baggage).
It was used in this sense in 20c. by D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce, among others. It may also be reinforced by Yiddish faygele "homosexual," lit. "little bird." It also may have roots in Brit. public school slang fag "a junior who does certain duties for a senior" (1785), with suggestions of "catamite," from fag (v.). This was also used as a verb.
"He [the prefect] used to fag me to blow the chapel organ for him." ["Boy's Own Paper," 1889]
Other obsolete senses of faggot were "man hired into military service simply to fill out the ranks at muster" (1700) and "vote manufactured for party purposes" (1817). The oft-heard statement that male homosexuals were called faggots in reference to their being burned at the stake is an etymological urban legend. Burning was sometimes a punishment meted out to homosexuals in Christian Europe (on the suggestion of the Biblical fate of Sodom and Gomorah), but in England, where parliament had made homosexuality a capital offense in 1533, hanging was the method prescribed. Any use of faggot in connection with public executions had long become an English historical obscurity by the time the word began to be used for "male homosexual" in 20th century American slang, whereas the contemptuous slang word for "woman" (and the other possible sources or influences listed here) was in active use.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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