The word queer is interesting in that it used to be a really offensive insult towards homosexuals, but has recently been reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community. Of course, it depends largely on context, but it's a wholesome example of how words can experience semantic shift. There's also some change from when the word was first borrowed in the late fifteenth to early sixteenth century, as well: queer used to mean "eccentric or peculiar" only, just as with the parallel definition existing today. Through Scots, this comes from Middle Low German word queer, meaning "off-center" (hence the "abnormal" connotations to the word) and deriving from Old High German twerh, meaning "slanting". Even further back, twerh morphs into Proto-Germanic thwerhaz, which carried a definition of either "cross" or "adverse" and traces to the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction terk, meaning "to turn".
Adam Aleksic is a 219-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam is awaiting his college rescissions and loves writing about himself in the third person.
The Etymology Nerd