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'Pansy' Just Too Strong a Word

April 08, 1998|MIMI KO CRUZ

Citing concerns that the word "pansy" may carry derogatory implications, the City Council Tuesday decided against renaming a portion of Baker Avenue after the flower.

Police had proposed "Pansy Circle" as the new name for the 2300 block of West Baker Avenue, hoping to deflate the activity of a gang that draws its name and territory from the cul-de-sac of apartment buildings.

Police Chief Patrick E. McKinley said the flowery street name would "take away the macho image of that area."

"The purpose is to take this small area and make it not so attractive to the gang," he said.

Council members agreed that a name change should be considered, but said Pansy Circle might offend some people and is inappropriate. "Pansy" is a pejorative slang word sometimes used to describe an effeminate youth or gay man.

It "has negative connotations for some members of our community," Councilman F. Richard Jones said.

The council asked for other flower name suggestions and will consider the issue again in two weeks.

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