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November 9, 2006
Slang of the Week: lance (verb)
to reveal the homosexuality of a celebrity without his or her consent (used in passive form)

Action star Jared was so afraid of being lanced that he paid to have all his ex-lovers whacked.

Celebrity quote:
Neil Patrick Harris, I understand, has been ‘lanced.’”
- Model and TV personality Reichen Lehmkuhl

Sometimes, n
ew words appear to spring up spontaneously, though the springing up may come a year or two after a writer published a book or essay introducing the clever term. Sometimes, they grow organically in neighborhoods and are later popularized by entertainers, like rappers or comedians.

But they almost always become popular because they fill a need. A good example of this is metrosexual, coined by journalist Mark Simpson in 1994. Before the word rose to prominence, women were forced to go into lengthy descriptions of their stylish new boyfriend that ended in “but he’s not gay!” Thus, metrosexual was very useful and started cropping up everywhere.

This new term seems a bit doomed because it’s not really needed (kind of like this word that never really caught fire). Celebrities have had their homosexuality broadcast in the media against their will for years and the word outed has long sufficed to describe the phenomenon.

Former ’N Sync singer Lance Bass (for whom this new term is named) just told the press this July that he was gay, after fearing he would be outed, so I suppose you could say there hasn’t been much time for lanced to become popular. But so far, the only instances of it turning up in this context on Google are in stories quoting Lehmkuhl, who is Bass’s boyfriend. Perhaps it’s an effort to ensure immortality for his beloved—kind of like getting a sandwich named after him at the local deli. Time will tell, but I predict this one will fizzle out in a few months.

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In more pop culture news, Celia P. asks about Marcia Cross, her carpet and her curtains (warning: adult themes) in the new Ask AC.