Before 'gay' became common and accepted parlance, the world invented its own unofficial terms for men who dug men. Some names were self-created and others were thrust, often cruelly, upon gay, bi, and queer men. Before these words disappear forever, here is a linguistic reminder of days past.
A lovely flower with a face, but also we see references to tanks used by Germans in World War II — panzies, from panzers. OK, whatever. Here’s a story: When British eccentric Stephen Tennant was but a lad, he ran out of the family mansion one morning to play, only to come screaming back to his mother in tears. When she queried him about his distress, he replied, “Mother, there are pansies in the garden, and they are staring at me!”
British. Reportedly MP Jeremy Thorpe (above left), a former leader of the U.K. Liberal Party, was accused of having a homosexual affair with Norman Scott, a model (above right). He claimed to have had to “bite the pillow” to keep quiet so his wife would not hear him being buggered in the next room. This story seems fairly conflated, but amusing enough to repeat here.