From Iceland — Word Of The Issue: Hommi

Word Of The Issue: Hommi

Published August 24, 2017

Word Of The Issue: Hommi
Elías Þórsson
Photo by
Reykjavík Grapevine Archives

Look up “hommi” in the dictionary and you’ll find the definition of a gay man. But colloquially this word refers to something else: a dustpan and broom with a long handle. While the idea of a long handle might conjure up the obvious phallic symbolism, the meaning of the word actually originated at the gay bar, 22, on Laugavegur in the late ‘80s as an excellent self-deprecating joke. Former manager of that bar, Ingi Rafn Hauksson, explains, “It was a way to make fun of ourselves, because an item used to pick up trash is the lowest of the low.” Today, if you work at any bar in Iceland, remember that “get the gay man” probably means you’re on trash duty.

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