nancy boy



  • noun an effeminate man, a male homosexual. This term seems to have originated in the late 19th century, when the name Nancy, a diminutive form of Ann or Agnes, was applied indiscriminately to women as a term of affection and familiarity. The echoes of ‘nice’ and ‘mince’ in the rather prissy sound of the word probably went toward reinforcing its derogatory use for men. There was a vogue in the East End of London in the 1930s for male street-dancers in women’s clothing who were known as nancy boys.