Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who fears sameness or men.
  • n. A person who is opposed to homosexuals and homosexuality.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who hates or fears homosexual people

Etymologies

Originally: (Wiktionary)
Recent definition: (Wiktionary)

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  • Right on all around, and I'm including the mention of plethora and epitome as over-rated. Schadenfreude, on the other hand, I used today for the first time and I think it's a great word.

    February 21, 2007

  • That's usually my conclusion as well, Abraxas. And U, I agree with you--the word is overused, overcharged with meaning that it didn't once have, and thus ironically almost loses any real meaning.

    As for the "fear factor" (incidentally, another phrase that's been beaten senseless)--I tend to believe in many of these cases that it's fear of something in oneself rather than fear of who someone else is or does. In my experience, it's also an almost total lack of information, and information *is* power. But that's probably for another discussion.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have an agenda to keep. ;-)

    February 21, 2007

  • I'd nominate this word to any "Most Overrated Words" list along with plethora, epitome, and schadenfreude. Language is a funny thing: this word should not mean what it does. It only has that definition because that's how people use it. It should actually mean "fear of things that are the same," not "hatred of gay people." But who am I to stand up against English speakers worldwide? Especially as long as the current definition is immortalized in the pages of the dictionary, to reinforce such usage.

    Even with this definition, it's heavily overused (and, I think, loses whatever power it may have once had). It would be most appropriate to describe people who literally fear gays or the so-called "homosexual agenda." I would expect that most people who have a problem with homosexuality are not actually afraid of gays. Perhaps a new word should be introduced to differentiate between the two? Something like ungay maybe, but more creative and politically correct?

    I dunno. I don't care. I just want a word to talk about being afraid of stuff that's the same. And then I can use heterophobia to describe my utter terror of anything different. :-)

    </soapbox>

    February 21, 2007

  • Listen to him speak. I'm guessing he's just not terribly bright. Combine that with hatred and you're bound to get yourself in hot water eventually.

    February 21, 2007

  • Much as I dislike Camille Paglia (for reasons unrelated to this topic), I agree that this word is often misused. However, compare it to the "gay panic" defense often used in the trials of people accused of bona fide hate crimes. Seems to me that in those cases, it's mighty convenient to have a phobia (the implication being that you have no control over your actions because of the condition). Interesting.

    And all else aside, I always wonder what would prompt someone in the public eye to even say what Tim Hardaway said, knowing there would surely be an outcry. Or do you think it's just a case of opening mouth before thinking?

    February 21, 2007

  • Recently, Tim Hardaway made some hateful comments about gay people. When I read the headline, I was under a particular impression. What I thought he had said is, "I don't like gay people. I am a homophobe." He did say those things, but he went on to be hateful. It made me wonder about people who have an actual phobia. I bet the media would jump on a person who admitted to having an honest-to-goodness phobia just the same as hate-speech.

    the word homophobia has a comment to this effect.

    February 21, 2007