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Seems like a really weird question but here's what it's about:

Me and my band are currently searching for a bandname which seems to be very hard. We recently (finally) found one name that we all liked at first:

Shoot a fairy

Which refers to an annoying fairy in a video game.

But today our superstar heavy metal guitar guy came around and found some translation on a German translation website which says that fairy can be translated to "Schwuchtel" which is an offensive word for male homosexuals.

So my question is, would the word fairy be understood by native english speakers as such an offensive word. And would the term "Shoot a fairy" therefor be understood as a call to kill homosexuals and if yes how common is this word for use as an insult.

So would you (or an native english speaker) think that a band with that name hates homosexual people?

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It certainly was an offensive term with that usage in British English (I can't speak for US English), and I think it may still be used by very prejudiced people wanting specifically to cause offence. How it would now be regarded is a question I cannot answer. What I can say is that when I read your proposed name, specifically with the 'kill' word in it, I immediately thought of the meaning you attribute to it - 'mythical fairy' was only my second thought. –  TrevorD Jul 17 '13 at 13:25
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As a native AmE speaker, I would immediately assume that your band was militantly homophobic. My gut reaction was disgust. –  KitFox Jul 17 '13 at 13:27
    
ok thanks, you two just saved a band. Would anyone present this as a answer i could accept? –  Chris Jul 17 '13 at 13:30
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And the opposite. If you call yourself "pet a fairy" or "kiss a fairy" I would expect you to have a rainbow flag somewhere. This is rather GR since all the dictionaries have fair·y (fâr) n. pl. fair·ies 1. A tiny imaginary being in human form, depicted as clever, mischievous, and possessing magical powers. 2. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a homosexual man. –  mplungjan Jul 17 '13 at 14:01
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"Shoot the/a pixie" as a substitute? –  Mari-Lou A Jul 17 '13 at 14:58

2 Answers 2

It certainly was an offensive term with that usage in British English (and I understand that the same applies for American English). I think it may still be used by very prejudiced people wanting specifically to cause offence.

I can't say how it would now be regarded, but I can say that when I read your proposed name, specifically with the 'kill' word in it, I immediately thought of the meaning you attribute to it. The fact that you might be referring to a fairy of the mythical type was definitely a secondary thought.

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The first thought for this question is "militant homophobia" but after thinking it through I would initially attribute actions to people and descriptions to objects. If I were to say, "Green Fairy" one would not think of an experimenting homosexual. Whereas, "Capture a Fairy" would certainly require a legal or ethical background to the discussion.

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