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I'm from Pennsylvania. With the recent threat by the Westboro Baptist Church to protest the funeral of seven children who perished in a fire, I've been thinking a lot about their infamous catchphrase: "God Hates Fags." Religious debates aside, when did "fag" become an offensive word?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

According to the online etymology dictionary that I use, "Faggot" came into usage in 1914 and "fag" in 1921. Prior to that definitions included a bundle of sticks for faggot and cigarette for fag.

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So, is "smoking a faggot" a Euphemism for oral sex? – user5531 Mar 21 '11 at 14:33
Fag is still used as a word for cigarette in the UK. – Robin Green Apr 17 '11 at 11:05

Fag, used with the meaning of "a male homosexual" has origin as short for faggot (1920s), which has then origin from the obsolete sense of fagot (contemptible woman).

[Reference: the New Oxford American Dictionary, third edition.]

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protected by tchrist Oct 4 '12 at 3:14

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