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  1. #1
    IQU3838 is offline Member
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    Default gay as a French pastry

    Hi there

    Could you help me with this sentence:

    "He's gay as French pastry."
    (He is gay, here "gay" literally means homosexual)

    I don't understand the underlined part.

    What does this sentence mean?

    Thank you very much

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: gay as a French pastry

    I've never heard that before, IQU.

    In what context did you find it?

    Rover

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: gay as a French pastry

    Quote Originally Posted by IQU3838 View Post
    Hi there

    Could you help me with this sentence:

    "He's gay as French pastry."
    (He is gay, here "gay" literally means homosexual)

    I don't understand the underlined part.

    What does this sentence mean?

    Thank you very much
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) I do not understand it, either.

    (2) I am posting just to pass on a cultural note to you:

    Here in the United States, making jokes with the word gay

    is not considered good manners.

    (a) Recently some young people who preferred romance with

    their own gender have committed suicide. Their families say that their

    children had been subjected to beastly behavior by some "normal"

    people. Furthermore, there is much talk about allowing homosexuals

    to openly serve in the armed forces. In fact, some people are even

    angry that a character in a new motion picture says:



    "Electric cars are gay."

    (3) I most respectfully suggest that you never make any kind of

    joke involving that word. You never know whom you are speaking

    with (or writing to), and -- of course -- you do not want to hurt

    anyone's feelings. As one grammarian put it:

    Language is power

    ***** NOT A TEACHER

  4. #4
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: gay as a French pastry

    First of all, The Parser is right to an extent about the use of the word "gay" in distasteful jokes. However, the recent tragic news stories about the gay teens in the US had more to do with actual harrassment and bullying than casual "gay" jokes. It is not uncommon to hear phrases such as "gay as a..." on prime time TV shows, and as long as it's not said in a hateful way, or as a verbal attack, it is apparently acceptable - particularly if it is a gay person using the analogy.

    The "French pastry" metaphor is probably strictly AmE slang....in the US, as a rule, "pastry" as a general term refers to every day average confections like donuts, cakes, cupcakes or pies. But "French pastry" conjures up images of complex, intricate, fancy dessert items. Thus, something perceived as so very particular and sweet becomes an anology for the public's perception of a stereotypical homosexual male.

  5. #5
    IQU3838 is offline Member
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    Default Re: gay as a French pastry

    Thank you guys...for discussing my question.

    I think that this sentence tries to say that :

    "As a gay, he is as sweet and delicious as French pastry."

    Because in the context, gay is always sweet, nice, etc. having positive images.

    Anway, thanks again for your discussion and help.

  6. #6
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: gay as a French pastry

    Quote Originally Posted by IQU3838 View Post
    Thank you guys...for discussing my question.

    I think that this sentence tries to say that :

    "As a gay, he is as sweet and delicious as French pastry."

    Because in the context, gay is always sweet, nice, etc. having positive images.

    Anway, thanks again for your discussion and help.

    It's meant to be an insult, I would wager.

  7. #7
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: gay as a French pastry

    I'm not so sure. It could jus be a humorous characterisation, like British as a bulldog or Canadian as a Lumberjack that wears female underwear.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: gay as a French pastry

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I'm not so sure. It could jus be a humorous characterisation, like British as a bulldog or Canadian as a Lumberjack that wears female underwear.
    Not that there's anything wrong with a man who likes frilly knickers.

  9. #9
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: gay as a French pastry

    Quote Originally Posted by IQU3838 View Post
    Thank you guys...for discussing my question.

    I think that this sentence tries to say that :

    "As a gay, he is as sweet and delicious as French pastry."

    Because in the context, gay is always sweet, nice, etc. having positive images.

    Anway, thanks again for your discussion and help.
    It may or may not be positive- it could also be interpreted as patronising and pigeonholing gay people- are all gay people expected to conform to this pattern, however sweet? It could be meant positively, but it's also open to possible criticism. Try changing it to a word for gender/ethnicity and then it might not look so sweet and harmless.

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