Apple’s dictionary lists the word ‘gay’ to mean Foolish and Stupid in software found on its computer operating systems.

The computer and Smartphone giant has landed itself in hot water after it was discovered that the word gay is described in its dictionary as Foolish and Stupid.

The description was found after a 15 year-old student in Massachusetts in the US discovered the pejorative use of the word gay during an assignment for school. The student, Becca Gorman has started a campaign to ask Apple to remove the offensive definition reports the MetroWest Daily News.


In a letter to the company, Becca Gorman, whose parents are lesbians, asked Apple’s CEO Tim Cook to remove the informal explanation.

“I assume that you are a pro-gay company, and would never intend for any one of your products to be as offensive as this definition was.’ Gorman wrote.

“Even with your addition of the word informal, this definition normalises the terrible derogatory twist that many people put on the word ‘gay’.”

Within an hour a representative called Ms Gorman:

“They told me it’s so hard to track the dictionaries they’re getting sources from, and that they were also shocked themselves.”

Apparently, Apple sources its Dictionary’s from four different sources.


Speaking to TheGayUK a spokesperson for the company said:

“We license our content from the Oxford University Press, which is acknowledged in our preferences panel within the app.”

In June this year a petition drew attention to an app available on Apple’s app store, Setting Captives Free, which offered users a ‘gay cure’. The app was removed from the app store within 24 hours after 50,000 people signed the petition.

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The Oxford University Press (OUP) Dictionary also defines the word gay as foolish, stupid, or unimpressive, however the OUP uses the caveat: ‘informal, often offensive’

The British English Dictionary within the Dictionary App does not contain the Stupid or Foolish definition.

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