The merry prince

A Kaamran Hafeez cartoon in the December 14th New Yorker:

The magazine’s description: A flamboyant young prince comes out to his parents.

In the real world, the adjective gay meaning ‘merry, happy’ was supplanted for many people in many of its occurrences by the rise of gay meaning ‘homosexual, queer’. Apparently in Hafeez’s cartoon world, merry has developed the additional sense ‘gay, homosexual’, which might then supplant the ‘happy’ sense.

There are 19th century citations of “the merry Prince and his gay companions”, which suggests to me that someone ought to write an operetta on the theme, along the lines of Romberg’s The Student Prince.

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