Beaver. It is a term whose relationship with homosexuality has a confusing origin. We know that it is part of the marine jargon and that it was used to designate young sailors as early as the 19th century. From here and from the 1920s, we found the word Castor to point out the young prostitutes since, like the beavers and according to the “abc de la langue francaise” (abc of the French language), they earned their living with the “tail”. This way, the term was later used to designate any homosexual man, as it happens with many terms used for sex workers that end up being used against gays and lesbians.
However, the relationship between the beaver and homosexual men is much older, and already in the 16th century, Pierre de Ronsard relates this animal with the practice of sodomy in a satirical poem where he attacks the supposed homosexual tastes of King Henry III:
“Adieu, cons blondelets […]
Le Roi ne m’aime point pour être trop barbu; II aime à
semencer le champ qui n’est herbu, Et comme un vrai castor chevauche le derrière…”
Whose translation could be:
“Goodbye, blonde pussies […]
The king does not love me for having too much bush, he prefers
to plant fields that are not grassy. And like a true Beaver
he rides asses”
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