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For example, the optimistic 1890s are still often referred to as the Gay Nineties.The title of the 1938 French ballet Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), which became the 1941 Warner Brothers movie, The Gay Parisian, The derived abstract noun gaiety remains largely free of sexual connotations and has, in the past, been used in the names of places of entertainment; for example W. Yeats heard Oscar Wilde lecture at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin.Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay", indicating that he was unattached and therefore free, without any implication of homosexuality. The British comic strip Jane, first published in the 1930s, described the adventures of Jane Gay.Far from implying homosexuality, it referred to her free-wheeling lifestyle with plenty of boyfriends (while also punning on Lady Jane Grey).As late as 1970, the first episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show has the demonstrably straight Mary Richards' downstairs neighbor, Phyllis, breezily declaiming that Mary is, at age 30, still "young and gay." There is little doubt that the homosexual sense is a development of the word's traditional meaning, as described above.It has nevertheless been claimed that gay stands for "Good As You", but there is no evidence for this: it is a backronym created as popular etymology.
He begins, "I'd like to propose..." at which point a fellow diner, played by Sidney Tafler, interjects "Who to? The Benny Hill character responds, "Not to you for start, you ain't my type".
He then adds in mock doubt, "Oh, I don't know, you're rather gay on the quiet." By 1963, a new sense of the word gay was known well enough to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. in his 1964 novel Last Exit to Brooklyn, could write that a character "took pride in being a homosexual by feeling intellectually and esthetically superior to those (especially women) who weren't gay...." Later examples of the original meaning of the word being used in popular culture include the theme song to the 1960–1966 animated TV series The Flintstones, whereby viewers are assured that they will "have a gay old time." Similarly, the 1966 Herman's Hermits song "No Milk Today", which became a Top 10 hit in the UK and a Top 40 hit in the U.
S., included the lyric "No milk today, it was not always so / The company was gay, we'd turn night into day." In June 1967, the headline of the review of the Beatles' Sgt.
By the end of the 20th century, the word gay was recommended by major LGBT groups and style guides to describe people attracted to members of the same sex.
At about the same time, a new, pejorative use became prevalent in some parts of the world.