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July 15, 2004

Slang of the Week: friend of Dorothy (noun phrase)

Janice had hoped that her friendship with Mason would develop into something more, but that was not to be. He was a friend of Dorothy.

Celebrity quote:
“It used to be that if you wanted to say a guy’s a fairy, you said he knew Judy, was a friend of Dorothy, was light on his feet, ate quiche, or ordered frozen daiquiris. The code words have changed. Nowadays just say he likes show tunes and everybody knows what you’re getting at, wink wink, nudge nudge.”
-Columnist John Stark in the Advocate

This week’s expression comes from the false stereotype that all gay men are fans of singer Judy Garland, who starred as Dorothy in the 1939 film classic The Wizard of Oz. Fairy is another outdated derogatory slang term for homosexual, as is light on his feet (also light in the loafers).

On a related note, straight actor Hugh Jackman won a Tony award this year for his portrayal of gay Australian singer and dancer Peter Allen in the Broadway musical The Boy from Oz. Oz is slang for Australia, home of both performers. But that country isn’t the only Oz connection for Allen. He owed much of his success to Judy Garland, who boosted his career by asking him to tour with her in the 1960s and was even married to her daughter Liza Minelli for several years before coming out (publicly admitting he was gay.)

As for Stark’s quiche comment, that’s a reference to the 1982 bestseller Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche by Bruce Feirstein. That comic guide to macho behavior advised “real” men to stick to steaks and beer and stay away from foreign or sophisticated (and therefore “feminine”) food and drink, such as quiche and daiquiris.

What’s new at Slang City?

"What an impressive crowd: the haves, and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite, I call you my base." Quotes from Fahrenheit 9/11 in MOVIES.