queerish


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Related to queerish: queerly, queered, queerest

queer

 (kwîr)
adj. queer·er, queer·est
1.
a. Deviating from what is expected or normal; strange: "The light above his head made a queer reflection of himself in the glowing wineglass" (Carson McCullers).
b. Odd or unconventional, as in behavior; eccentric: "His mother is very queer, with witchy hair and mismatched shoes" (Caroline Preston).
c. Of a questionable nature or character; suspicious: thought there was something queer about his explanation.
2.
a. Offensive Slang Gay or lesbian.
b. Usage Problem Of or relating to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, or transgender people.
3. Feeling slightly ill, as in being dizzy or queasy.
n.
1. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a gay man or a lesbian.
2. Usage Problem A lesbian, gay male, bisexual, or transgender person.
tr.v. queered, queer·ing, queers Slang
To ruin or thwart: "might try to queer the Games with anything from troop movements ... to a bomb attack" (Newsweek).

[Perhaps from Low German, oblique, off-center, from Middle Low German dwer; see terkw- in Indo-European roots.]

queer′ish adj.
queer′ly adv.
queer′ness n.
Usage Note: A reclaimed word is a word that was formerly used solely as a slur but that has been semantically overturned by members of the maligned group, who use it as a term of defiant pride. Queer is an example of a word undergoing this process. For decades queer was used as a derogatory adjective for gays and lesbians, but in the 1980s the term began to be used by gay and lesbian activists as a term of self-identification. Eventually, it came to be used as an umbrella term that included gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people. Nevertheless, a sizable percentage of people to whom this term might apply still hold queer to be a hateful insult, and its use by heterosexuals is often considered offensive. Similarly, other reclaimed words are usually offensive to the in-group when used by outsiders, so caution must be taken with their use when one is not a member of the group.
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References in classic literature ?
You see, Miss, I'm knitting a pair o' stockings now;--they're for Thomas Jackson: he's a queerish old body, an' we've had many a bout at threaping, one anent t'other; an' at times we've differed sorely.
The great majority of critics who interpret Shakespeare's plays from an ideological stance strive to make him accord with them and it: Catholics will have a Catholic Shakespeare, Marxists discover a proto-Marxist Shakespeare, Queer Theorists have outed a queerish Shakespeare (vide Shakesqueer: The Queer Companion to the Complete Works of Shakespeare, 2010).
This is a significant admission, because the queerish elegy is what Wainwright does best, as in the songs "Peach Trees" (for James Dean), "Memphis Skyline" (for Jeff Buckley), "Matinee Idol" (for River Phoenix), and even "Grey Gardens" (for the two Edith Beales).