Faggot , often shortened to fag , is a usually pejorative term used primarily to refer to a gay man or boy. The American slang term is first recorded in , the shortened form fag shortly after, in The word faggot has been used in English since the late 16th century as an abusive term for women, particularly old women,  and reference to homosexuality may derive from this,   as female terms are often used with reference to homosexual or effeminate men cf. The application of the term to old women is possibly a shortening of the term "faggot-gatherer," applied in the 19th century to people, especially older widows, who made a meager living by gathering and selling firewood.
Linton Weeks. What is the Fa-word, you ask? It's a six-letter, two-syllable term that starts with the letters fa and rhymes with maggot. It's not to be confused with the F-word. Sticks and stones may break one's bones, and words themselves may not hurt. But the Fa-word sure does seem to accompany some violent behavior. To many people, gay and straight, it has become another in a long line of unacceptable, unsavory and unnecessary epithets.
Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. The term was originally used to mean "carefree", "cheerful", or "bright and showy". The term's use as a reference to male homosexuality may date as early as the late 19th century, but its use gradually increased in the midth century. In the s, gay became the word favored by homosexual men to describe their sexual orientation. At about the same time, a new, pejorative use became prevalent in some parts of the world.
Mattel — who has a thing or two to teach us about the art of drag — breaks down how the word became popular in queer communities and mainstream culture. Check out the full video and script below to learn from the queen, herself. And the word is still evolving today. And where did it come from? In , the Reynolds Newspaper in the United Kingdom printed the word in a gender-bending context in reference to a party invitation.