Green’s Dictionary of Slang

fairy n.1


1. [mid–late 17C; late 18C+] (later use US) a young woman, with a poss. implication of promiscuity.

2. [19C] a drunken old hag.

3. [late 19C+] (orig. US) a homosexual man.

4. [20C+] (N.Z.) a blonde-haired woman.

5. [1920s–30s] a young boy tramp who accompanies an older homosexual tramp.

In compounds

fairy hawk (n.) [SE hawk, an aggressive person]

[1960s+] (US gay) one who attacks (and robs) homosexuals.

fairy lady (n.)

[1940s–60s] (US) a lesbian, esp. a ‘feminine’ one.

fairy loop (n.) (also fairy’s loop) [despite the link to homosexuality implicit in fairy, the term is sometimes capable of more fanciful interpretation, i.e. the practice cited in DARE as regards a Utah high school where ‘a group of girls...will run a contest. They were to pick a boy, usually in their class. The girl who gets the most of his ‘fairy loops’...would be the one to marry him’; however, note synon. fruit loop n.1 (1)]

[1990s+] (US) the small loop on the upper back of many shirts; such a loop, supposedly, can be used to hold a victim ready for buggery.

fairy-shaking (n.) [shake down v. (1)]

[1990s+] (US) blackmailing married men who frequent gay bars and similar places.

fairy’s wand (n.)

[1960s+] (US gay) any phallic object carried by a cruising gay man, e.g. a cigarette holder, a rolled umbrella (on a dry day), a long-stemmed rose.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

fairy dust (n.) [synon. angel dust n.]

[1970s+] (drugs) phencyclidine.

fairy powder (n.)

[1950s–70s] (drugs) any form of powdered narcotic.

fairy-story (n.) (also fairy, fairy pipe, ...tale, ...yarn)

1. [late 19C+] (orig. US) a fanciful, mendacious tale, often in aid of obtaining money or favours (cf. fairy n.3 ).

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

In phrases

fairy on the iron (n.)

(US short order) boiled chicken.

go a fairy (v.) [SE fairy, very small]

[late 19C] to toss coins to see who buys a round of halfpennyworths of gin.