Gay/Drag Slang, Translated

Gay/Drag Slang, Translated

Your go-to cheat sheet

As my little series comes to a close, I am going to do my best at translating, defining, and explaining the fantastic slang and vernacular that the drag and gay community has been gifting the world with. As someone who personally uses a good chunk of this vernacular, I am writing this as a cheat sheet for those who become confused when I start spewing like a queen who is about to slay at the gig. Let’s get started, shall we?

This list was curated with the help of Scruff, Urban Dictionary, H. Max, and this Buzzfeed article.

Common Gay Community terms

Bear: a large, usually hairy man

Beefcake: a masculine male

Bottom: sexual partner who gets penetrated via anal intercourse

Butch: masculine appearance and/or behavior as oppose to feminine.

Closeted: a homosexual individual who is not yet ‘out’ or denies their homosexuality.

Daddy: typically an older, financially established gay man

Jock: athletic, well-built gay man

Top: sexual partner who does the penetrating in anal intercourse

Twink: a skinny, scrawny, hairless man

Common Drag Community terms and phrases

Beat: usually used as “beating your face” and refers to makeup being applied or your final makeup look. For example, “Her mug is beat for the gods!” translates to “her makeup is absolutely stunning”

Clock: to call out someone’s flaws, to uncover or reveal the truth in a situation or one’s true gender

‘Come Thru’: when you are killing the scene, or when someone has “made it”. For example, when Violet Chachki won Season 7 of Rupaul’s Drag Race, after she was crowned, she yelled “COME THRUUU”

Fish: usually used as an adjective for looking feminine, or like a real woman; to be able to pass as a real, biological woman. Can also be used as a noun as well.

Gagging: Used when something is so fierce, you can’t help but want to gag from the overload of extreme fierceosity.

Gurl: the one word that can mean a variety of things to gay man. The “dude” of the gay world.

Hunty/Henny: the drag communities version of “honey”, used to reference someone else.

‘I can’t breathe’: phrase used when something is so amazing and fabulous that you feel like it took your breath away.

Kiki: a get-together among close friends, usually for tea-spilling, confessions about one-night stands.

Kai-Kai: the act of drag queens having sex with each other, in drag

Read: to tell someone about themselves. Usually out of honestly, can be positive or negative, but usually seems to be negative. For example when “reading” someone “to filth”, you would pick out every flaw about that person and be shady about it. Sometimes it’s used in cat fights, other times it’s used as playful jokes, and other times it is a serious burn. The more creative your read, the better.

Shade: acting in a casual or disrespectful manner towards someone/dissing a friend. One usually “throws” shade, meaning to act shady, fake, or funny around or towards someone else.

Sickening: it refers to when you look at a person and they look so good it makes you sick (but in a good way). Meant completely as an admiration.

Side eye: a facial expression expressing one’s criticism, disapproval, animosity, or scorn of varying levels and intensity towards another person. One person looking at the other out of the corner of their eye(s) with a scowl or a bitch face, as their head is turned in a different direction.

Slay: killed it; succeeded in something amazing.

Snatched: term referring to good looks, fierceness or something good.

Tea: the truth. To “spill the tea” or ask “what’s the tea?” = to confess; to spill the truth. Usually used when asking about the latest gossip or what is going on in someone’s life.

Tucked: when a man tucks his genitals when dressing in drag.

Work/Werk/Werq: a congratulatory declaration of support, praise or approval, for an outstanding achievement in any area of life. For example when you see someone down the street with a bomb ass outfit, you might be compelled to say “YAS gurl, werk!”

These are words and phrases that you will likely hear most often, but this sadly is no grand master list. Like all slang and vernacular, every location differs with their uses of words and phrases. New words pop up and old ones can die out. Rupaul’s Drag Race seems to be a Mecca of ‘mainstream’ drag slang, as most drag queens across the globe seem to watch it or know about it. I hope this list helps you translate the fierceness of the gay and drag community.

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Popular Right Now

I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.

Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.


Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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The Gillette Controversy: Should Companies Share Their Views?

"We Believe: The Best Men Can Be" by Gillette is about creating a conversation, whether you agree with the commercial or not.


We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film)

January 13, 2019, Gillette released a commercial that takes a new focus on their tagline "The Best a Man Can Get." The commercial weighs in on the Me Too movement and showcases different moments of toxic masculinity.

These moments include boys bullying another boy through cyberbullying, two young boys beating each other up while fathers are watching them saying that "boys will be boys", a set of a 1950s sitcom where a man grabs his maids butt to which the audience is encouraged to applause and laugh at his act, and a businessman laughing at his female colleague's statement and then says to the other male colleagues, "What I actually think she means…"

A voiceover in the ad says, "Is this the best a man can get? Is it? We can't hide from it, it's been going on far too long. We can't laugh it off, making the same old excuses. But something finally changed [implying the Me Too movement and people speaking up], and there will be no going back..."

The commercial then shifts to showing a man stepping in when another man tells a woman to smile, when a man stops another man from following a woman down the street, and video clips of men stopping fights and having two boys shake hands, as well as a father encouraging his daughter to say she is strong. There is also a moment when a father from the "boys will be boys" scene tells those kids fighting, "This is not how we treat each other."

The voiceover continues with "...Because we…We believe in the best in men. To say the right thing. To act the right way. Some already are, in ways big and small. But 'some' is not enough. Because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow."

This commercial sparked controversy with people saying that not all men show toxic masculinity, many people saying that this commercial is anti-male, and people saying they will now boycott Gillette and their partner company. Whereas others are praising the commercial with many saying that, if you're offended by this commercial, then that is why it was made.

But regardless of what you think of the commercial as a whole, the big topic of discussion is whether or not it is okay if companies should be political and put their two cents in through marketing.

I say yes.

I believe it is very okay for companies to express their thoughts and concerns about political and social issues through marketing. When the Me Too movement first came into the light, many people wanted Hollywood to stay out of politics/social issues. The public did not want to hear about the sexual harassment allegations throughout Hollywood, however, because of these celebrities bringing light to this issue more and more people, celebrity or not, are coming forward and speaking their truths.

More and more people are realizing the signs of harassment and speaking up before it can get worse. Society is more aware of these social issues because people with a platform are talking about it. Unfortunately, many people still do not want to listen to people with platforms, but having the conversation is important, so how else can we keep the conversation going?

That is where commercial and other forms of advertisements can come in. The commercial did exactly what it intended to do: to create a conversation. Talk shows like "The View" or "The Talk" are talking about, news outlets are talking about it, people on YouTube are talking about it, and here I am writing an Odyssey article related to the topic.

The commercial created conversation. It got people thinking about and discussing their concerns, their feelings about the idea of toxic masculinity, as well as how this commercial could or could not be the new wave of change. It is important to have conversations, as it is the only way for things to change and for people to see that how things used to be are not the way they should be now.

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