25 May 2014

Weird Word - Portmanteau is... (3)

...a word that blends sounds and combines the meaning of two others (Concise Oxford English Dictionary).

A word like...                   M E T R O S E X U A L.

Metrosexual, according to OED, is 'a straight urban male who enjoys shopping, fashion, and similar interests traditionally associated with women or homosexual men'.

Iconic example of the metrosexual type is depicted in the tv show Queer Eye (2003).

OED dates it's origins to the 1990's, n' highlights the portmanteau formation:

Metrosexual, one may argue, isn't simply a blend of metropolitan n' heterosexual.

 Metrosexual is rather formed on the pattern of Homosexual.

-sexual is actually a derivational suffix added to Homo (Greek, same).
Then, other words followed the pattern:
Bi- Tran- Pan- Poly- 
& Hetero-sexual.

I support this argument on two evidences from English.

1. The suffix -sexual was dissociated from homosexual
during the emergency of the gay liberation movements, 1960's.

was favoured
gay activists,
who preferred the phrase homophile movement 
- a way to dissociate gay identity from a concept based uniquely on 
sexual behaviour.

2. With all respect to the OED, Wikipedia -
apparently quoting from Collins Unabridged English Dictionary
- defines a more faithful concept of metrosexual.

"A man, - especially one living in an urban, post-industrial, capitalist culture - who is essentially meticulous about his grooming n' appearance, typically spending a significant amount of time n' money on shopping as part of this."

South Park S08E07 - South Park is Gay! Spoof of Queer Eye.
The concept of metrosexual is often associated to straight men - 
one can confirm this on online dictionaries.

I believe this is a deliberate choice of word to dissociate
straight men who have a marked look from 
gay men who stereotypically have marked looks.

Daffy Thomas in Little Britain & Bruno in Bruno, the Movie

A legitimate concept of metrosexual, though, goes beyond t' straight sphere.
And, just to remind, gay men not often adopt a metrosexual style.

Normal, Ohio - American Sitcom (2000)

 Normal, Ohio depicted a typical American blue collar man,
interpreted by John Goodman who happened to be gay.

Also, other styles can be typically associated to gay men.




Mark Simpson, the English journalist who coined the term metrosexual,
stated in a 2002 online article - Salon.com - that a
typical metrosexual may be officially gay, straight, or bisexual.

As a result of this portmanteau, others followed on the same pattern.

Retrosexual   -   Übersexual   -   Wo-metrosexual
Gastrosexual                                                                   -   Omnisexual
And even Trysexual like Jones!

I mean Samantha Jones from Sex & The City.

Comming Up...

Staycation, and T W E R K!

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