My English professor, bless her labor union loving heart, repeatedly uses the phrase flaming liberal
. It always struck me as a bit odd falling from her lips, so I asked one day, "Do you mean liberals that are on fire or only homosexual liberals?"
NOTE: I'm the kind of student who asks such questions, so it didn't strike her as rude or out of character.
After the giggles subsided, she explained she meant neither, but did not know when it came into the common vernacular. If I were a gambling man, I'd put my money on the notion that she means bleeding heart liberal
, but has probably heard the phrase enough on the evening news that she's simply swapping the two in her mind.
uses the phrase as an example of the informal use of the adjective flaming
. Is it this simple or would Log Cabin Republicans
be flaming conservatives?
For what it is worth, my best guess is that as the phrase flaming
came into popular use as an adjective to describe flamboyant homosexuals during the 1970's
, the nascent backlash culture
was less skilled in couching their beliefs in politically safe language.
http://googlefight.com tells me that flaming conservative isn't very popular.
I am seriously looking for an etymology of the phrase, so please keep your humorous anecdotes to a minimum.