Language changes

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I'm reading a science fiction story published in 1958: "Eastward Ho!", by William Tenn. It posited a post-Collapse future in which white people live in low-tech poverty, while American Indians are redeveloping high tech.

And I just came across this line of narration:

All the same, the Indians were so queer, and so awesome.

And it's true that there are some awesome queer Indians. But somehow I don't think Tenn meant quite the same thing that I mean by those words.