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THIS week I came across a word I had never heard before: "fopdoodle". It is an old English term – defined here as “A stupid or insignificant fellow; a fool; a simpleton” – and, within hours I found someone to apply it to: a 69-year-old Australian called Margaret Court who belongs to that school of imbeciles who believe that being gay is “a lifestyle choice”.

According to this report, Court, a one-time world champion tennis star and now a Christian minister, prompted a row with other former champions after saying gays were “aggressively demanding marriage rights that are not theirs to take”.


Court’s comments in December also addressed the issue of “choice”, and she said:


The fact that the homosexual cry is, ‘We can’t help it as we were born this way’, as the cause behind their own personal choice is cause for concern. Every action begins with a thought. There is a choice to be made.


She added:

I look into the Bible, and I see that God made man for woman, and woman for man. And I said I really believe that it’s wrong, to change the laws of a marriage between a man and a woman.

Martina Navratilova said Court had failed to “evolve” with the rest of society.

Court said threats of a protest at the Australian Open, and the criticism she had received at the hands of Navratilova and Billie Jean King, who called her views “truly frightening”, was “sad”.

The 100th Australian Open will start on the 16 January and some games will be played on Melbourne Park’s Margaret Court Arena, named in the former pro’s honour.

Court insisted her comments had been taken the wrong way if people concluded she took issue with gay people rather than the “choice” of homosexuality.

She said:

I think there’s young people today that need to know it’s a choice in life. And that was my side of it, bringing that forth. I’ve got nothing against the people themselves, I’ve always said that all the years I’ve been a minister.

Trivia fact: "Fopdoodle" appeared in the dictionary of Dr Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), published in 1755. Fopdoodle was one of many words found in this dictionary that are no longer found in everyday use. There is a campaign on Facebook to bring the word back into popular usage.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

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