World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

LGBT slang

Article Id: WHEBN0000394434
Reproduction Date:

Title: LGBT slang  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Daddy (gay slang), Lavender linguistics, LGBT, Swish (slang), Lesbian until graduation
Collection: Lgbt Slang
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

LGBT slang

LGBT slang, LGBT speak or gay slang is a set of slang used predominantly among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. It has been used in various languages, including English and Japanese since the early 1900s as a means by which members of the LGBT community can identify themselves and speak in code with brevity and speed to other LGBTs.[1][2]

Because of sodomy laws and threat of prosecution due to the criminalization of homosexuality, LGBT slang also serves as an argot, a secret language and a way for the LGBT community to communicate with each other publicly without revealing their sexual orientation to others.[2][3][4]

Since the advent of queer studies in universities, LGBT slang and argot has become a subject of academic research among linguistic anthropology scholars.[5]


  • Cultural impact 1
  • English 2
    • United Kingdom 2.1
    • North America 2.2
  • Japanese 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7

Cultural impact

Many terms that originated as gay slang have become part of the popular lexicon. For example, the word drag was popularized by Hubert Selby, Jr. in his book Last Exit to Brooklyn. "Drag" has been traced back by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to the late 19th Century. Conversely, words such as banjee, while well-established in a subset of gay society, have never made the transition to popular use.


Slang is ephemeral. Terms used in one generation may pass out of usage in another. For example, in the 1960s and 1970s the terms "cottage" (UK) and "tearoom" (US) were used to denote public toilets used for sex. By 1999 these had fallen out of use to the point of being unrecognizable by members of the LGBT community.[6]

United Kingdom

During the first seven decades of the 20th century, a specific form of Polari was developed by gay men and lesbians in urban centers with established LGBT communities.[7][8]

Although there are differences, modern gay slang has adopted many Polari words, as detailed in the table below:
Source: Fantabulosa: A Dictionary of Polari and Gay Slang[9]
Glossary of gay slang taken from Polari
Word Approximate meaning
basket the bulge of male genitals visible through clothing
bear a large, often hairy man
bumming the act of anal sex
chicken/fox/twink young man
cottaging having or looking for sex in a public toilet
cub a young bear
gym bunny/Muscle Mary A person who works out merely for aesthetics
Hada Blow-Job
Kuda speaking
howdy touching another male/female's behind
Uros Anal Sex
wolf a man who tends to fall evenly between a fox/twink and a bear/cub
zhoosh style
twink usually young or young-looking, hairless man

North America

The 1964 legislative report Homosexuality and Citizenship in Florida contains an extensive appendix documenting and defining the homosexual slang of the time.

Scruff launched a Gay Slang Dictionary App in January 2014.[10] It includes commonly used slang in the United States from the gay community. Some of these cross over with the British slang, and some are only American.

Source: Scruff - Gay Slang Dictionary[11]
Glossary of U.S. gay slang taken from Scruff
Word Approximate meaning
bear a large, often hairy man
bear chaser a man who pursues bears
bottom the receptive sexual partner
Cub typically heavier, hairier, and younger gay man.
daddy typically an older, financially established gay man
discreet gay man who is reserved, private, or secretive about his identity
kink non-standard sexual activity, fetish, or interest.
NSA no strings attached; casual sex.
otter thinner, hairier gay man
poz HIV positive person
top the inserting sexual partner
twink a small, often hairless guy

H. Max published a short book including gays language in the late 80s. It also includes commonly used slang terms in the United States from the gay community.

Source: Max, Gay(s) Language[12]
Glossary of U.S. gay slang taken from Max
Word Approximate meaning
Angel food Air Force serviceman
Artiste gay who excels at fellatio
ass blow to lick and/or suck anus as opposed to blow job
Auntie older, often effeminate, gossipy gay
baby butch young boyish lesbian
balls testicles
bang, to active role in anal or vaginal intercourse
basket male genitalia
baths, the bathhouses frequented by gays for sexual encounters
bathsheba gay who frequents gay bathhouses
B/D bondage and discipline
beach bitch gay who frequents beaches and resoles for sexual encounters
bean queen non-Latin gay who seeks Latin males - from rice-and-beans in Latin cuisine
beat off to masturbate
beatmeat masturbation and/or ejaculated penis
beef gravy semen
beefcake masculine male
bent gay as opposed to straight
bilingual to lick and/or suck penis and anus
BJ blow job
black jack black penis
blind, to make see to fellate uncircumcised penis
blind cock uncircumcised penis
blinds foreskin
blinds, to draw the to fellate uncircumcised penis
blow job fellatio as opposed to ass blow
blueberry pie sailor
bone penis
bottom man passive partner in anal intercourse as opposed to top man
box male genitalia
boygul girlish youth
brown out to lick and/or suck anus
brown, to to perform anal intercourse
brownie queen gay who prefers passive role in anal intercourse
brush teeth, to to perform fellation
bucket boy passive partner in anal intercourse
bugger, to to perform anal intercourse
bull dyke mannish lesbian as opposed to baby butch or dinky dyke
bung hole anus
buns buttocks
butch masculine appearance and/or behavior as opposed to femme, nelly or swish
butcher knife penis
buttplug artificial penis
cafeteria repeated fellatio in backroom or bathhouse
camp, to to act effeminate, bitchy
campy effeminate, bitchy
candy cane penis
casting couch seduction with promises of career advancement
catcher passive partner in anal intercourse as opposed to pitcher
cha-cha queen effeminate Latin gay
cheeks buttocks
cheese dried accumulation underneath unclean foreskin
chicken underage boy
chicken dinner to fellate underage boy
chicken hawk gay who preys on underage boys
chicken queen gay who seeks underage boys
chubby chaser gay who seeks obese males
circle jerk group multiple masturbation
clone San Francisco/New York Greenwich Village gay type with exaggerated macho behavior and appearance
closet, in the to deny one's homosexuality as opposed to come out
closet queen gay who hides his homosexuality
clusterfuck group gay sex
cock penis
cock ring pubic ring used to prolong erection
cocksucker one who practices fellatio, also gay male
cum semen
come out to admit one's homosexuality as opposed to in the closet
cum, to to ejaculate
comedrum condom
Copenhagen capon transsexual
cornhole, to to perform anal intercourse
cream semen
cruise, to to seek a casual gay sex encounter
cum semen
cupcakes small, well-rounded buttocks
curtains foreskin
curtains, to draw the to fellate uncircumcised penis
cut circumcised


Although many slang words used in modern Japan are "loanwords" from American English, many native Japanese slang words remain in Japan's LGBT community such as the term "okoge", which serves the same purpose of the English slang word, "fag hag" – a "woman whose friends are mostly homosexual men".[2] Although the literal English translation of okoge is burnt rice that sticks to the bottom of a pot, it is a reference to the Japanese equivalent to "faggot", okama (御釜, お釜, or 御竈; pot).[13]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Long, Daniel: "Formation Processes of Some Japanese Gay Argot Terms", American Speech, Vol. 71, No. 2 (Summer, 1996), pp. 215–224. Duke University Press, 1996.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Proschan, Frank: "Review: Recognizing Gay and Lesbian Speech", American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 99, No. 1 (Mar., 1997), pp. 164–166.
  6. ^ Leap, William, ed.: Public Sex/Gay Space, Columbia University Press, 1999. p. 61.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

Further reading

External links

  • Lavender Linguistics, from Guardian Unlimited
  • Frederick B.J. (2012) Partying with a purpose: Finding meaning in an online party n play subculture
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.