Words: gaga, n., v. and adj.

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The Independent Culture
NO SOONER had Stephen Crook, the Nabokov scholar, escaped Heathrow than his first port of call was the bar-parlour of the Angler's Rest, where he described Ralph Fiennes's visit to the Nabokov exhibition at the New York Public Library. "He'd been flogging his Pushkin movie. I didn't see him but word of his presence spread through the staff grapevine and there was a lot of gaga in the exhibition hall. That's New York insouciance for you."

From the French (the OED misses a first, 1917 use by Kipling), gaga suggests the Major in Fawlty Towers, but in the 1920s had this doting sense, which endures in America, where a gaga is the object of devotion, and a drunk; Jonathan Green's book Slang notes that it is both an inexperienced homosexual and deft foreplay.

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