While reading this article, I was struck when one of the "sources" are quoted as saying

There is never more than a fag paper between them

I have always understood "fags" to either refer to cigarettes or homosexuals, but what does it mean in this context?

  • 6
    What makes more sense to you there? A homosexual paper or a cigarette paper? – Robusto Jun 11 '17 at 19:17
  • @Robusto even if I use the definition which makes more sense to me, I've never heard of the concept of cigarette paper coming in between people – SleepingGod Jun 11 '17 at 19:18
  • 3
    from the days when smokers used to roll up their own ciggies, see image. The cigarette paper is extremely thin, the analogy fits. Corbyn seems like the type of guy who would roll his own cigarettes. I don't know if he is a smoker, he looks like one though. – Mari-Lou A Jun 11 '17 at 19:22
  • 2
    The important factor is that cigarette paper is thin. The implication is that they were close/inseperable. – Steve Lovell Jun 11 '17 at 19:22
  • I'll also note that fag meaning homosexual has never been common in the UK, whereas fag meaning cigarette has. – Colin Fine Jun 11 '17 at 19:25

It means "cigarette paper". It is in Cassell's dictionary of slang, 2nd edition by Jonathon Green. The thickness of a cigarette paper is not a very large distance so the quoted sentence means they are always close. It's a metaphor.

Urban Dictionary provides a example of similar usage

"four foot and a fag paper" which is supposedly

Scottish slang to describe someone who is very short.

protected by tchrist Jun 13 '17 at 4:17

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.