Attested since about 1510, from Scots, perhaps from Middle Low German (Brunswick dialect) queer (also compare with German quer), from Old Saxon thwerh, from Proto-West Germanic *þwerh, from Proto-Germanic *þwerhaz, from Proto-Indo-European *terkʷ-.
Compare Latin torqueo. Related to thwart. Began to be used to describe gay people in the late 1800s, see usage notes for more.
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