alsofagot[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]
[late 16C; early 18C+] a general term of abuse, usu. of women or children.
[late 18C-1900s] a prostitute.
[1910s+] (US, alsofaggart) a homosexual man; in general use the term covers any gay man, in gay use the implication is of overt effeminacy.
[1950s+] (S. Afr./US) a lesbian.
[1950s+] (US) a general term of abuse, irrespective of sex, although implication is of weakness.
[1970s] (US gay, alsofaggotina) a heterosexual woman who associates with male homosexual men.
[1970s+] (US teen/campus) an unattractive young woman.