queer(redirected from queerness)
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A rather unusual, strange, eccentric, or peculiar person. His new girlfriend is nice enough, but she's a bit of a queer duck, don't you think?
Someone who is very strange. Primarily heard in UK. Everyone could tell he was a queer fish as soon as he walked into the party with his mismatched clothing.
slang The act of attacking someone, either physically or verbally, for being homosexual. Primarily heard in UK. How can people say such hurtful things? This queer bashing has got to stop!
queer in the attic
slang Mentally impaired, either due to stupidity or intoxication. In this phrase, "attic" is used as a synonym for "one's mind." I have no idea what I told you last night—I'd been at the pub for a while before you got there, so I was a little queer in the attic. Is he queer in the attic? How could he make such a reckless decision?
there's nowt so queer as folk
There's nothing as strange as people. This phrase is typically used to emphasize someone's particularly odd behavior. ("Nowt" is a Northern English variation on "naught.") Primarily heard in UK. Whenever someone does something really bizarre, I remind myself that there's nowt so queer as folk.
be in Queer Street
To be in a lot of debt. If you keep gambling like this, you'll be in Queer Street forever.
be on Queer Street
To be disoriented, as from a blow to the head. That boxer was on Queer Street after being knocked out in the ring—he couldn't even remember his name!
queer the/(one's) pitch
To ruin, spoil, or undermine someone's efforts, plans, or ideas. Primarily heard in UK. The president's recent decision to back out of the trade agreement has queered the pitch for many companies seeking to enjoy lower export-import costs. I fear that sticking to an inflexible agenda may queer our pitch as we head into general elections.
in Queer Street
In a position of trouble, danger, or difficulty, especially due to having a lot of debt or other financial worries. Primarily heard in UK. He'll be in Queen Street if he keeps borrowing money to pay for all these things.
queer for something
Inf. in the mood for something; desiring something. (Old.) I'm queer for a beer right now. She's queer for him because of his money.
See also: queer
queer someone's pitchmainly BRITISH
If someone or something queers your pitch, they make it very difficult for you to achieve what you are trying to do. Being followed by a camera crew was queering his pitch. Note: You can also say that someone or something queers the pitch if they make something difficult to achieve. They don't want to queer the pitch in their dealings with foreign governments by publicly criticizing their actions. Note: In the past, a pitch was the place where a showman set up his tent or stall. If anyone, especially the police, spoiled or interrupted his show, they were said to queer the pitch. There is an old verb `queer' which means `cheat' or `spoil'.
in Queer StreetBRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If someone is in Queer Street, they are having difficulties, especially because they have no money. Carry on like this, my son, and you'll end up in Queer Street. Note: In the 19th century, `queer' was used in many slang terms applied to dishonest or criminal people or activities. However, `Queer Street' may have developed from `Carey Street', in London, where the law courts dealing with bankrupts were. Another possibility is that `queer' may come from `query', as traders might have put a question mark in their records by the names of customers who could not be trusted to pay their bills.
in Queer Streetin difficulty, especially by being in debt. British informal, dated.
Queer Street was an imaginary street where people in difficulties were supposed to live. The phrase has been used since the early 19th century to indicate various kinds of misfortune, but its predominant use has been to refer to financial difficulty. The use of ‘queer’ to mean ‘a male homosexual’ is a separate development.
1952 Angus Wilson Hemlock and After He enjoys a little flutter…and if he finds himself in Queer Street now and again, I'm sure no one would grudge him his bit of fun.
queer someone's pitchspoil someone's chances of doing something, especially secretly or maliciously. British
This phrase originated as 19th-century slang; early examples of its use suggest that the pitch referred to is the spot where a street performer stationed themselves or the site of a market trader's stall.
1973 Elizabeth Lemarchand Let or Hindrance He's a decent lad…he would never have risked queering Wendy's pitch with Eddy .
an ˌodd/a ˌqueer ˈfish(old-fashioned, British English) a strange person: He’s an odd fish. He’s got a lot of very strange ideas.
queer somebody’s ˈpitch,
queer the ˈpitch (for somebody)(British English, informal) spoil somebody’s plans or their chances of getting something: Somebody must have told her boss about her plans to leave. Who was trying to queer her pitch?
(as) phony as a three-dollar billand (as) queer as a three-dollar bill
mod. phony; bogus. The whole deal stinks. It’s as queer as a three-dollar bill. Stay away from him. He’s phony as a three-dollar bill.
as queer as a three-dollar billverb
queer as a three-dollar billverb
(as) queer as a three-dollar bill
1. Go to (as) phony as a three-dollar bill.
2. mod. definitely or obviously homosexual. (Usually objectionable.) That guy is as queer as a three-dollar bill.
queer as a three-dollar billverb
1. mod. counterfeit. I don’t want any queer money.
2. n. illicit liquor, especially whiskey. (Prohibition era.) This isn’t queer; it’s left over from before prohibition.
3. mod. alcohol intoxicated. After a glass or two, he got a little queer.
4. tv. to spoil something. Please don’t queer the deal.
5. mod. homosexual. (Rude and derogatory. But now in wider use in a positive sense.) She doesn’t like being called queer.
6. n. a homosexual male, occasionally a female. (Rude and derogatory. But now in wider use in a positive sense.) Tell that queer to stop following me.
n. a strange person; an aloof person. She’s a bit odd. Sort of a queer fish.
queer for something
mod. in the mood for something; desiring something. She’s queer for him because of his money.
1. n. bad beer; beer of low alcohol content. I hate this queer-beer. Get out the good stuff.
2. n. any strange person. (Also a term of address.) What does that queer-beer think he’s doing?
3. mod. having to do with homosexuals; homosexual. (Usually derogatory. Resented by homosexuals.) I won’t wear that queer-beer outfit!
4. n. a homosexual male, possibly a female. (See sense 3) They say she’s a queer-beer.
mod. alcohol intoxicated. (In the sense made bogus.) How can anybody get so queered on two beers?
See also: queer
Shaky on one's feet. This British phrase originally meant to have fallen on hard financial times. It was appropriated by the American prizefighting community to describe a boxer who, having been knocked down, stands up slowly, and wobbles on rubbery legs while wondering, “Who am I and where am I?”—such a pug is on Queer Street.