An Old Person's Guide to "No Homo"

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Those who enjoyed Penny Arcade's take on ghey may also like Jay Smooth's "Old Person's Guide to 'No Homo'":


  1. Theo Vosse said,

    August 19, 2009 @ 9:31 am

    That was like well funny, and much more enlightening than that other thread (it's still ok to use "other", right?).

  2. bianca steele said,

    August 19, 2009 @ 10:14 am

    "Old"? I was once (in 1987) told by one of the most aged members of my department (who was then several years younger than I am now) that "old" is offensive. I wasn't allowed to use the variable name "old_value". At the time, I gathered, this was a kind of reaction to political correctness: if he couldn't say "chick" or whatever–I can't imagine him ever saying "chick," actually–we young whippersnappers right out of college couldn't say "old."

  3. Mr Fnortner said,

    August 19, 2009 @ 10:29 am

    Perhaps if we just promise never again to use adjectives, and nouns that aren't proper names, for people we can get past all this. Of course that would pretty much shut down discourse and virtually all publication, but it would be small price to pay for an unoffended populace.

  4. Faldone said,

    August 19, 2009 @ 11:55 am

    So, instead of calling myself a geezer I have to say I'm Methusaloid?

  5. Kenny V said,

    August 19, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

    I can see how this is a touchy subject these days, public acceptance of homosexuality being as iffy as it is, but what's wrong with clarifying that the comment you just made wasn't meant homosexually? It seems like an occasionally useful tag, especially if you're communicating with someone who isn't already familiar with your sexual orientation. The offensiveness of this phrase is based on the assumption that saying that something is not a certain way means that it shouldn't be a certain way; and in certain contexts, I can see that connection. But there's nothing wrong with wanting to be clear about your sexual orientation. I don't use this phrase, by the way, nor am I now inclined to, but I don't really see a problem with a non-homophobe using it other than the offense that other people impute.

    in youth culture, "old people" refers to anyone not up on the latest trends, be they linguistic, technologic, etc. I'm 21, but I've gotten labeled an "old person" by teenagers because I don't text. People like me might refer to someone who still gives directions to a place instead of just an address (easily looked up on googlemaps) as an "old person," because they still aren't internet-thinking. The term isn't meant to offend, only to differentiate between groups of people whose paradigms differ. In this case, the class of people who are familiar with this phrase, mostly used by young people, and adults who may not be familiar with the term.

  6. Faldone said,

    August 19, 2009 @ 1:24 pm

    Is looking up an address on mapquest enough to get you called an old person? I had occasion to look up an address on mapquest (UPS didn't believe it existed) and was led to believe that there were three places in the target town with that address, none of which were on the road in question. Google Maps gave me the right location.

  7. tablogloid said,

    August 19, 2009 @ 1:24 pm

    When I was 11 years old, we called homosexuals by a shorter than "homo" contraction. We used the word " 'mo". "He's a mo. You're such a 'mo, quit 'mo-ing me up"etc.

  8. Sili said,

    August 19, 2009 @ 2:35 pm

    Hurr hurr hurr, he said "camp".

    Never heard of this. Guess my life is too sheltered.

    I think Dan Savage still uses "'mo", though.

  9. Gedaly said,

    August 19, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

    I can't recall ever hearing this either. I guess I'm not as hip and cool as I thought I was.

    Interesting point he brings up about using the phrase to mock others who use it seriously, but that could still be deemed offensive. Just like some people use "gay" to mean negative, and some people use it in a similar way to make fun of those people… but they're still saying it and offending some people.

    It was educational though, not having heard it. Does this make me old? I'm too young to be old. Isn't old the new young?

  10. Kenny V said,

    August 20, 2009 @ 1:03 am

    yeah, mapquest is old. It's like having an AOL email address. Google is where it's at, for both.

    Those of you who have never heard of this, don't fret. It's not used very widely. Only males use it, for one, and as the video points out, it started out in NYC rap subculture (I wouldn't even say it's mainstream rap), then slowly started spreading. Now homophobic guys use it, black and white, but it's still mostly restricted to types that listen to non-mainstream rap. (disclaimer: as far as I know; definitely could be mistaken)

  11. Black Yoshi said,

    August 20, 2009 @ 2:12 am


  12. Alexandra said,

    August 20, 2009 @ 11:12 am

    @ Kenny V:

    1) The word "homo" is not a neutral term. Saying "no homo" doesn't just "clarify[…] that the comment you just made wasn't meant homosexually," it does so using language that is more likely to offend gay people than a (currently) neutral term like "gay."

    2) Why would you want to "be clear about your sexual orientation" in a context where it's not already clear? It seems to me that in contexts where it's relevant, it's likely to be already clear. In contexts where it's not relevant, why do you care if people think you're gay?

  13. Why “no homo” is homophobic (in case you somehow missed it) | linguistic pulse said,

    June 4, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

    […] comment, which is a common phrase used to distance oneself from homosexuality (check out this video on it) is actually offensive. I maintain that the phrase is, and I'll show you […]

  14. zythophile said,

    June 5, 2013 @ 3:48 am

    Faldone – if you call yourself a "geezer" in front of a British person, they certainly won't understand that you're trying to say you're old. In BrE a "geezer" is a rather more disrespectful synonym for "bloke", with no age connotations at all.

    It seems to me that "No homo" is a version of "as the bishop said to the actress", another way of drawing attention to the possible sexual meaning in the words just used. Is "as the bishop said to the actress" episcophobic or actrixist?

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