The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119441   Message #2591153
Posted By: Marje
17-Mar-09 - 01:21 PM
Thread Name: Homophobia in Playground Rhymes
Subject: RE: Homophobia in Playground Rhymes
Azizi - Yes, "poofter" is a derogatory word for a male homosexual. I think in the instance I qupted, the child simply meant that his brother was behaving in a girly or effeminate way, which is not the same thing at all, but that's a confusion that's not confined to children.

I agree with what you say about where kids get the rhymes from - they may well pick up stuff from TV, films, or older members of their households and use it to show off to their mates without really understanding what it's all about.

Richard - I don't suppose boys use skipping rhymes much, but I suspect they may still use abusive or rude rhymes to tease or taunt each other. Then when they get a bit older they discover one aspect of British culture that is still a living oral tradition - rugby songs. These songs - varying from mildly risque to downright filthy - have infiltrated the song repertoire used by the Scouts and other youth groups, even if the kids tend to keep them for times when adults are not around. And casual references to homosexuality are one feature of the rugby song repertoire.