Green’s Dictionary of Slang

faggot n.1

also fagot
[the ‘homosexual’ use at sense 3 (plus extensions at senses 4 and 6) is usu. seen as a US coinage, but faggot has an older, if debatable, UK etymology. One, somewhat fanciful, version suggests that a faggot was used in the burning of heretics, and thus became transferred to the name of an embroidered patch (like the pink triangles of the Nazi concentration camps) worn by unburned heretics; homosexuals are certainly considered as fig. heretics, therefore faggot means homosexual. More feasible is the descent from the 18C use of faggot as a pej. for a woman in sense 1 (thus playing on homosexual effeminacy), esp. in the derog. form of a ‘baggage’, which stems from the faggots that one had to haul to the fire. The abbr. fag may be linked independently to the British public school use fag, a junior boy performing menial tasks and poss. conducting homosexual affairs with the seniors. Rodgers, The Queen’s Vernacular (1972), acknowledges all these and adds ‘fr WW I sl fag = cigarette, because cigarettes were considered effeminate by cigar-smoking he-men.’ Finally, there is the Yid. feigele n., orig. meaning little bird (thus the synon. birdie), and thence homosexual]

1. a general term of abuse, usu. of women or children.

[[UK]T. Lodge Catharos 4b: A filbert is better than a faggot, except it be an Athenian she handfull] .
[UK]N. Ward Parish Gutt’lers in Misc. IV 48: One Dol Gulpin, big with Child, a Faggot-Drab.
[UK]R. Newton Samples of Sweethearts and Wives! [cartoon caption] Damn your blood, you old Faggot, where are you coming to?
[UK]‘Peter Corcoran’ ‘King Tims the First’ in Fancy 16: I have got a faggot here, / Aye, and quite a bad one; Were I married. p’rhaps my dear / Might think that he too had one.
[UK]Marryat Peter Simple (1911) 30: So, Master Simple, old Trotter and his faggot of a wife have got hold of you – have they?
[UK]W. Holloway Dict. of Provincialisms 10/1: Fagot, An opprobrius name applied to a woman, as ‘get out you fagot’.
[Ire]S. Lover Handy Andy 248: ‘Take that, you owld faggot!’ cried Matty, as she shook Mrs. Rooney’s tributary claret from the knuckles.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 8 Apr. 2/6: Mrs Greenwood called me a faggot, I called her another.
[UK]C.R. Read What I Heard, Saw, and Did 92: The old man [...] crying out every now and then, ‘give the old faggot plenty, for she might not have the chance again’.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[Aus]Sth Aus. Advertiser 19 Feb. 3/7: The defendant [...] called her a drunken faggot and used other insulting language.
[UK]G. Lander Little Gerty I i: You nasty little faggot!
[UK]Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 18 May 19/1: ‘Yes, my mother-in-law, the thirsty old faggot’.
[US]Trumble Sl. Dict. (1890).
[UK]G.F. Northall Warwickshire Word-Book 74: Faggot. A degrading and contemptuous epithet applied to a female.
[Aus]Queenslander (Brisbane) 25 Mar. 540/1: While trying an old woman for stealing faggots [the judge] unconsciously ejaculated, ‘Why, one faggot is as like another faggot as one egg is like another egg’.
[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 24 Mar. 2/3: When blackguard faggots strut around / And flash there Wage of Sin.
[Ire]L. Doyle Ballygullion 110: ‘Ye ould faggot, ye,’ sez he.
[Ire]K.F. Purdon Dinny on the Doorstep 25: You’ll not have any truck wid that ould faggot of a wan.
[UK]P. MacGill Moleskin Joe 34: The poor nuns [...] Raped! Ah, the dirty faggot, that Kaiser!
Adocate (Burnie, Tas.) 21 June 5/5: Ormond [...] called her ‘A dirty Jewess’ and ‘A dirty faggot’ .
[Ire]B. Duffy Rocky Road 216: The ould faggot that opened the door said I was mistaken.
[US] ‘Mexicana Rose’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 42: ‘Quiet,’ said Smitty, ‘or I’ll draw you on a bead.’ / ‘Faggot,’ said Rose, ‘your heart’s a mustard seed.’.
[UK]H.E. Bates Darling Buds of May (1985) 68: One or two of the old faggots might try a bit of cheek on you.
[Ire]C. Brown Down All the Days 12: ‘The oul faggots!’ his mother would mutter darkly under her breath.
[Ire]D. Healy Bend for Home 66: Mrs Smith wants a cherry cake at five, my mother would say. Does she, the faggot.

2. a prostitute.

[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 17 July 3/5: Twig her red ribbons! there goes a flaming faggot!
[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 11 Jan. 6/7: The grocer had called her a DIRTY, LOW, STREET FAGGOT.

3. (US, also faggart) a homosexual man; in general use the term covers any gay man, in gay use the implication is of overt effeminacy.

[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl. 30: drag [...] Amongst female impersonators on the stage and men of dual sex instincts ‘drag’ denotes female attire donned by a male. Example: ‘All the fagots (sissies) will be dressed in drag at the ball tonight’.
[US] Transcript Foster Inq. in L.R. Murphy Perverts by Official Order (1989) 54: He had attended a party where ‘indiscreet things’ took place; ‘it was,’ he explained ‘what they might call a faggot party’.
[US]Broadway Brevities Aug. 30: If that faggot starts anything with me I’ll lay him out!
[US]Hemingway Sun Also Rises 62: You’re a hell of a good guy, and I’m fonder of you than anybody on earth. I couldn’t tell you that in New York. It’d mean I was a faggot.
[US]H. Sebastian ‘Negro Sl. in Lincoln University’ in AS IX:4 288: faggart (or faggot, fagot). A sexual pervert.
[US](con. 1920s) Dos Passos Big Money in USA (1966) 950: He wiggled his hips like a woman when he talked. The first thing Margo thought was how on earth she could ever have liked that fagot.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 67: The late Brigham Young was no neuter— / No faggot, no fairy, no fruiter.
[US]P. Moore Chocolates for Breakfast 15: I probably would still dislike women, and it would be an awful mess to be a faggot.
[US]J. Rechy City of Night 192: Esmeralda Drake the third — she was that nelly. Oh, babe, she was such a faggot!
[US]E. Tidyman Shaft 32: The silly faggot jumped about three inches out of his bright blue raglan sweater.
[US]C. White Life and Times of Little Richard 20: The kids would called me faggot, sissy, freak, punk.
[UK]Kirk & Madsen After The Ball 103: In small-town Lewiston, Maine, in 1985, a gay man was set upon in his own home by a rabid gang of youths screaming ‘Faggot! Faggot!’.
[Ire]P. Howard The Joy (2015) [ebook] ‘Where’s that little faggot? [...] Tell that little queer fucker I’m gonna kill him’.
[UK]Indep. Mag. 26 June 27: I saw a graffito which suggested putting all the faggots on an island.
[UK]J. Poller Reach 96: You got that, you fucking cocksucking nancy-boy faggot!
[US]Simon & Burns ‘Get Some’ Generation Kill ep. 1 [TV script] You some kinda goddam hippie faggot?
[UK]Intelligent Life Spring 96/1: He [...] would solve the faggot problem by urging gay men not to act like fags.
[UK](ref. to 1963) K. Richards Life 151: In America then, if you had long hair, you were a faggot as well as a freak.
[Aus]me-stepmums-too-fuckin-hot-mate at www.fakku.net [Internet] She’s so fuckin’ hot, any cunt who’s not a complete faggot would wanna fuck her.
[UK]I. Welsh Decent Ride 10: No way man, Cheker protests,— I ain’t no goddam faggot.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] ‘You checkin’ out my bulge? [...] You gone faggot on me right now, son?’.

4. (S. Afr./US) a lesbian.

[US]Hughes Lodge 121: One, a faggot, a chick dressed like a man [HDAS].
[SA]IOL News (Western Cape) 19 Mar. [Internet] I am heterosexual! [...] Let’s say that I lied and that I told you that I’m a lesbian, a ‘faggot’, a ‘moffie’ [...].

5. (US) a general term of abuse, irrespective of sex, although implication is of weakness.

[US] ‘Death Row’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 117: He was the dude who wasn’t afraid to die, / But we all heard that big faggot cry.
[US](con. 1953–7) L. Yablonsky Violent Gang (1967) 82: You guys are nothing but a bunch of mother-fuckin’ faggots.
[US]B. Malamud Tenants (1972) 123: But now I’m gon call you a fartn shiteater faggot whore kike apeshit thievin Jew.
[Aus]Tracks (Aus.) May 3: If you faggots can’t stand sharing breaking sections with the opposite sex, then we suggest you dig the nose of your board in the sand and sit on the tail until your feet touch the ground [Moore 1993].
[US]C. Hiaasen Lucky You 126: A brawny black sergeant stood over him, calling him a faggot, a pussy, a dickless wonder.
[US]Hip-Hop Connection Jan./Feb. 96: You ain’t shit, faggot.
[UK](con. 1974) Z. Smith White Teeth 11: ‘You play like a faggot,’ said Samad, laying down the winning queens.
A. Kleinzahler Cutty, One Rock (2005) 19: Other popular terms of abuse were ‘faggot’ and ‘douche’.

6. (US gay, also faggotina) a heterosexual woman who associates with male homosexual men.

[US]Warren ‘Women Among Men’ in Levine Gay Men (1979) 229: Fag hag (in different regions the term may be fruit fly or faggotina).

7. (US teen/campus) an unattractive young woman.

[US]Current Sl. IV:2.

In compounds

faggot-ass (adj.) [-ass sfx]

(US black) weak, cowardly, contemptible.

[US]50 Cent ‘In da Club’ [lyrics] I’m that cat by the bar toasting to the good life / You that faggot ass nigga trying to pull me back right?
faggot-lover (n.)

(Aus./US) one who has no feelings of homophobia.

Daily Illini Online 26 Oct. [Internet] To tolerate a fag is to be a faggot-lover. And to love a fag is to be a fag.
F. Hunter National Nancys Ch. i: ‘You tell that pansy-ass faggot-lover that if he gets elected, he’s a dead man!’ snarled one caller. ‘I’ll do that, sir,’ I said wearily. ‘And can I give him your name?’.
faggot-master (n.) (also faggoteer)

a pimp, a lecher.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues II 367/2: Fagoteer (also Faggot-master) subs. (venery) - A whoremaster.