"Gay" is the word in most common usage to identify a homosexual male. But since the 1700s, and even earlier, there have been many other words and phrases in use -- the majority of them derogatory. Gays the Word is a carefully researched, informative and entertaining history of the "gay" language. It explains why a homosexual male is gay, why an effeminate gay male is a queen, and how gay men became gay rather than queer. A once-lost and early gay language is here brought back from obscurity.Anthony Slide is widely known and highly regarded as a film history, the author of more than seventy books and editor of a further 150. But he has also written two gay-oriented reference volumes: Gay and Lesbian Themes and Characters in Mystery Novels (McFarland, 1993) and Lost Gay Novels (Haworth Press, 2003). He has always professed a serious interest in gay history, particularly from a literary perspective.