Originally it described male homosexuality, but now refers to either sex. The origin is obscure, which gives free rein to speculation among etymologists. Ware suggests that it is 'probably from the French' who are naturally blamed for things of which we may disapprove.
   Partridge urged us to consult the EDD, but which of Dr Wright's definitions caught his fancy is hard to decide: 'gyrating in the air', 'gossiping', 'a heap of potatoes or turnips earthed up in order to be kept throughout the winter': we can only guess. The progression from using exaggerated gestures to male homosexuality is well documented in the OED:
    The red shadow is at large. Did you ever see anything quite so camp? (P. Scott, 1975 — the dialogue about a male homosexual in 1946 was probably anachronistic, especially when placed in India)
   To camp it up in Britain means no more than to accentuate or display male homosexual characteristics; in America it may imply participation in group male homosexual activity. To camp about can mean no more than to act jokingly:
    .. .just words, they weren't meant seriously. I was just camping about. (Bogarde, 1981)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • camp — camp …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • camp — [ kɑ̃ ] n. m. • fin XVe lit de can; forme normanno picarde ou provenç. de champ; lat. campus I ♦ 1 ♦ Zone provisoirement ou en permanence réservée pour les rassemblements de troupes de toutes armes, soit pour des manœuvres, des exercices (camp d… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • câmp — CÂMP, câmpuri, s.n. şi (1, astăzi mai ales în expr.) câmpi, s.m. 1. Întindere vastă de pământ fără accidente însemnate de teren; şes, câmpie; spec. întindere de pământ cultivată, semănată; totalitatea ogoarelor din jurul unei comune. ♢ Munca… …   Dicționar Român

  • camp — CAMP. subst. masc. Le lieu où une armée se loge en ordre. Camp retranché, ouvert, fortifié. Camp bien ordonné. Camp avantageux. Dans tous les quartiers du camp. Il a mis, il a posé son camp. en tel endroit. À la tête du camp. La garde du camp. Se …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Camp — (k[a^]mp), n. [F. camp, It. campo, fr. L. campus plant, field; akin to Gr. kh^pos garden. Cf. {Campaign}, {Champ}, n.] 1. The ground or spot on which tents, huts, etc., are erected for shelter, as for an army or for lumbermen, etc. Shak. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Camp — or encampment may refer to:Outdoor accommodation and recreation* Campsite or campground, a recreational outdoor sleeping and eating site * Resources camp erected for logging, fishing, mining, etc. * Summer camp, typically organized for groups of… …   Wikipedia

  • Camp — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El Camp es una estética en que basa su atractivo en un valor irónico o un cierto mal gusto. Cuando apareció el término, en 1909, se utilizaba para referirse a comportamientos ostentosos, exagerados, afectados,… …   Wikipedia Español

  • camp — Camp. s. m. Le lieu où une armée en corps se poste avec ordre. Camp retranché, ouvert, fortifié. camp bien ordonné. camp avantageux. dans tous les quartiers du camp. il a mis, il a posé son camp en tel endroit. à la teste du camp. la garde du… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • camp — Camp, Castra, castrorum, Praesidia, praesidiorum, Statiua castra. B. ex Liuio, voyez Champ de bataille. Un camp arresté, Un fort, Statiua, statiuorum: vel Statiuae, statiuarum. Asseoir le camp, Castra facere, Castra metari, Castra ponere. J ay… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Camp — 〈[ kæ̣mp] n. 15〉 1. Feld , Zeltlager 2. Gefangenenlager [engl.] * * * cAMP [Abk. für cyclisches Adenosin 3′,5′ monophosphat]: ↑ Adenosinphosphat. * * * …   Universal-Lexikon

  • camp — [kamp] n. [Fr < OProv < L campus, a field: see CAMPUS] 1. a) a place where tents, huts, barracks, or other more or less temporary structures have been put up, as for soldiers in training or in bivouac b) military life 2. a) a group of… …   English World dictionary

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