Since the 1500s, the word queer has enjoyed two meanings. From 1508, it has meant ‘odd, peculiar, eccentric or strange’ and from 1561 it has also meant ‘bad or worthless’. The OED maintains that both meanings are ‘perhaps’ from the same Old German or Middle High German source meaning, variously, ‘transverse, crooked, perverse’. Based on the foregoing etymology and as unfair as it may seem, it is easy to see how ‘queer’ came to mean homosexual, which the OED first cites from 1935. Since the late 1960s, however, it has been replaced by the politically correct, more acceptable gay.