In a recent interview about a fascinating-looking telephone-hotline documentary, call psychic and also infomercial star Ms. Cleo revealed that she’s not simply gay — “I’m together gay as a two dollar bill,” she declared. “Ms. Cleo involves Hot Docs: ‘I’m Gay together a two Dollar Bill’” IndieWire, may 1, 2014>

Really? There’s naught gay, straight, or typically sexual about a $2 bill, as far as I can discern.

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Ms. Cleo gives us a fine instance of the bastardization the the anachronistic phrase “queer together a three-dollar bill.” First, some definitions.

“Queer together a three-dollar bill”:

phony together a three-dollar billand queer together a three-dollar bill:
Phony; bogus. (*Also: as ~.) This guy’s as phony together a three-dollar bill.
Go to (as) phony as a three-dollar bill definitely or clear homosexual. (Usually objectionable.)

Okay, the basically provides sense — in the paper definition of queer an interpretation “phony” and three-dollar bill representing nonexistence. But at some point in the past couple of decades, both parts that the phrase changed! What sort of stunner alchemy was at work?

Although queer had been to work to median “gay” for quite a while, it shows up to have actually picked up mainstream usage only in the last quarter of the twentieth century — the same duration in which the $2 invoice was reintroduced into circulation (1976). Coincidence?

Okay, perhaps it’s a stretch. But maybe not. As a former linguistics major, I define it as simply my armchair effort to wrap my head about the sociolinguistic revolution of “three-dollar bill” come “two-dollar bill.” It shows up that in ~ a concentrated duration of time, Americans began using the terms queer and also two-dollar bill a lot more (even while the $2 invoice was shrouded in mystery and uncertainty, as it remains).

The mangling of the expression had another prominent appearance last year, as soon as Sherri Shepherd the The View uttered the quote “gayer 보다 a gay two-dollar bill.” Wow. Not simply gayer 보다 a continuous ol’ $2 bill — gayer 보다 a gosh-darn gay $2 bill! “Ken Cuccinelli’s war on dental Sex,” The Huffington Post, July 23, 2013>

And thus has actually it to be for years that a phrase once meaning “phony” now means “a exciting whimsical degree of gayness.”

Folks of every stripes whip that out, even those who are otherwise intelligent and educated, such together this acquaintance the mine:

“For a while you could say ‘queer together a two-dollar bill’ due to the fact that there to be no such thing as a two-dollar bill.”acquaintance, June 19, 2013. Let’s not even enter the factors why this quote is interesting.

Now that I’ve ripped that topic right into shreds, some amusement:

Summer 1986, Mackinac Island, Michigan: ns remember seeing an unusual item and loudly remarking, “That’s queer!” My parents corrected me; i was told to not use that phrase. (1) mine middle-aged parental calling me out on this (2) in remote Michigan (3) in 1986 adds up to a three-pronged reason for believing the phrase have to have had some legs because that at least a couple of years prior to that.

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