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Gay slang

Gay slang (sometimes gayspeak) refers to slang used predominantly among gays and lesbians. (See also: Polari.)

Slang frequently arises from the need or desire of a particular subculture to create or maintain secrecy, from want of recognition and acceptance, or fear of prejudice, persecution, or exposure; or to describe situations, acts and things not common in the dominant culture (see also argot).

Assimilation and use of slang also gives individuals a feeling of belonging - necessary in the creation, maintenance or reinforcement of a subculture, its values, politics and sociology.

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.

Words and phrases


  • Abercrombie bitch: An often self-absorbed gay male who dresses in Abercrombie & Fitch or similar fashions.
  • Aberzombie; a clone-like gay man who is obsessed with looking like the stereotype of a gay man.
  • Ambisextrous: Bisexual. (Occasionally ambisexual.)
  • Aroma: Poppers, amyl nitrite.
  • Arse-bandit; ass ~: See turd-burglar.
  • Arse-jockey; ass ~: See turd-burglar.
  • Arse-pirate; ass ~: See turd-burglar.


  • Baby dyke: A young, inexperienced and/or boyish lesbian.
  • Back-door-bandit: See turd-burglar.
  • Back room or backroom: A darkened room set aside for sex (sometimes group sex) in a club, bar or bathhouse.
  • Bareback: Unprotected sex, especially anal sex.
  • Baths: Gay bathhouses or saunas (see Tubs).
  • Bear: A hairy, often overweight, man, frequently with facial hair.
  • Beard: a spouse or signifigant other of the opposite sex with whom the person wearing said "beard" is not actually involved, but is pretending to be involved with to feign heterosexuality; i.e.: "Please, Mary, I've seen him at all the gay clubs; his wife is just a beard".
  • Bi-curious: A heterosexual who wishes to "experiment" with his or her sexuality.
  • Blanche: A term of endearment; see also Mary.
  • Bottom: The receptive partner in anal or other penetrative sex (see Bottom (sex)); a partner who receives stimulation in BDSM (see Bottom (BDSM)).
  • Boy bar: A gay bar, particularly one for men only.
  • Breeder: Derogatory term for a heterosexual person.
  • Brownie Queen: A gay man who enjoys anal sex, especially the receptive partner.
  • Bug chaser: An HIV-negative individual who seeks to be infected with the HIV virus, generally through unprotected receptive anal sex. See also Bugchasing, gift.
  • Bulldagger or Bulldyke: A butch lesbian who dresses and behaves in a masculine fashion.
  • Butch: A gay male or lesbian evidencing (or affecting) highly masculine traits.


  • Camp: Ironic, affected, flamboyant, florid, bitchy, frequently effeminate behaviour; putative, stereotypical gay behaviour (with or without effeminate connotations); ironically bitchy. Also camping, camping it up.
  • Catcher: The receptive partner in anal sex; the submissive partner. Contrast with pitcher.
  • CBT: Cock and Ball Torture.
  • Chicken: A young, teenage, boyish, or young-looking gay male; an underage boy.
  • Chicken hawk: An older man who prefers younger men; occasionally: a paedophile.
  • Circuit party: One of several large parties for gay men held in various locations throughout North America each year (the circuit).
  • Chubby-chaser, chubby chaser: A person with a predilection for overweight people.
  • The closet: The figurative hiding place of gays and lesbians who are not open about their homosexuality.
  • Closet case: A gay person who is not "out."
  • Coming out (of the closet): Revealing one's homosexuality.
  • Cottage (British English) A public lavatory where sexual activity takes place.
  • Cottaging (British English): Seeking or having sex in public lavatories (still widely practiced, but falling into disuse for reasons connected possibly with modern public toilet design and a lesser need for covert, furtive sexual outlets which have been supplanted principally by the Internet and openly gay venues).
  • Cruise: to look for a sex partner in areas known for this activity; to stare at someone with the intention of attracting his or her attention; flirt.
  • Cruisy: A place that is known as a cruising spot.
  • Cub: A younger bear.
  • Cut: Circumcised


  • Daddy: An older, frequently larger, sometimes bearish man (or occasionally, woman) who takes a fatherly role in the relationship.
  • Dock: The act of placing the foreskin of an uncircumcised male over the (usually circumcised) glans penis of another as a form of sexual pleasure, often up to and including ejaculation; hence "docking".
  • Dyke tyke: A man who prefers the company of gay women; the male best friend of a gay woman (a rarely-used term, analogous but the opposite of fag hag). Usually pejorative.


  • English: Caning for sexual pleasure.
  • Eurofag: A sometimes derogatory description for a younger, trendy Continental European male (having the relevant European accent) (gay or metrosexual) who dresses in the latest European sportswear. This person might be identified by such things as wearing sunglasses even when not needed, brightly coloured/flamboyant clothes with designer labels.


  • F2M or FTM: A transgender or transsexual person who is transitioning or has transitioned from female to male. See Transman
  • Fag or faggot: A male homosexual; an effeminate boy or man (generally considered derogatory, but sometimes used as neutral or positive (homophobic when used by a heterosexual; see nigger).
  • Fag hag: A woman who prefers the company of gay men; the female best friend of a gay man (sometimes considered pejorative).
  • Family: Gay, as in, "Do you think he's family?"
  • Fay or fey: Effeminate
  • Fem or femme: Feminine; effeminate
  • Felch: Ejaculating in another person's anus and then rimming the person
  • Fish: Derogatory word for a woman
  • Flame: To behave in an extremely effeminate, campy manner. Also Flamer, Flaming
  • Friend of Dorothy: Gay (refers to Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, or possibly to Dorothy Parker).
  • Frot: frottage.
  • Fruit, fruitcake: A homosexual; can be used as a term of endearment or as an insult depending on context.
  • Fruit fly: See fag hag.
  • Fuck buddy: Someone with whom one has sex but with whom one is not involved in a relationship.
  • Fur: Body hair


  • GAM: Gay Asian Male.
  • Gaydar: The supposed ability to detect another peron's homosexuality by just observing. Also Doppler Gaydar (from the character Jack in the TV show Will & Grace). There is also a dating website of the same name.
  • Gayspeak: Gay slang; Polari.
  • GBM: Gay Black Male.
  • Gift: an STD, usually HIV. Used by a particular subset of barebackers who actively seek HIV infection; see bug chaser.
  • Gift giver: someone who passes on an STD, usually HIV. Used by a particular subset of barebackers who actively seek HIV infection; see bug chaser.
  • GLBT: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered.
  • Glory hole: A hole, in a wall, partition or similar, through which the penis is inserted for oral or anal sex. Often in a public lavatory.
  • GM: Gay Male.
  • Greek: Anal sex.
  • GWM: Gay White Male.
  • Gym Bunny or Gym Queen: A gay man who works out in a gym for reasons (primarily) unconnected with health - eg to enhance his physical appeal to other gay men. Also gym mouse. Usually pejorative.



  • Jail-bait, jailbait: (In the context of an actual or potential sexual encounter) a person under the age of consent according the law of the jurisdiction of residence.


  • Label queen: a gay man who prefers designer clothing.
  • Lesbigay or LesBiGay: Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay.
  • Limp wrist: (adj.) An effeminate gay male; a gay male; said of gay males; an effeminate heterosexual male; hence: limp-wristed. Usually pejorative.
  • Lipstick lesbian: A feminine lesbian.


  • M2F or MTF: A transgender or transsexual person who is transitioning or has transitioned from male to female. See Transwoman
  • M2M: Male to male (sex)
  • Mary: An effeminate gay man; a term of endearment (often used in a similar way to fag. See also Blanche.
  • Meat: Penis.
  • Metrosexual: An urban heterosexual male with a strong, stereotypically gay aesthetic as to appearance and lifestyle.
  • Mince: To walk (usually affectedly) in short steps in the manner of an effeminate gay male; (British 1950's journalist's comments about Liberace, a middle to late C20th US entertainer) :"...deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavored, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother-love". Usually pejorative. Derived from Polari and no longer confined solely to gay usage.
  • Muscle Mary: A gay man who works out in a gym (see Gym Bunny, Gym Queen); a muscular yet effeminate gay man. Also Gym Mouse. Usually pejorative.
  • Muscle queen: A gay man who prefers muscular men, gay or straight. Often pejorative.


  • Neg: HIV negative.


  • Oopsy-la: (Imitative) see camp. (Originally coined, but with no apparent gay connotation) by British politician, Government Minister, Privy Counsellor and historian, the Rt. Hon. Alan Clark MP,1441,563455,00.htmlin his "Diaries"). Obtained currency in British gay argot latterly; i.e.: "Mark is soooo oopsy-la he should trade his trousers for a frock and be done with the pretence".
  • Otter: A gay or bisexual man who meets the description of a bear, except being of lean or average build.
  • Out (of the closet): A person who is openly homosexual.
  • To out or outing: Publicly disclosing another person's homosexuality, usually against their will or without their knowledge.


  • Pass or passing: To appear correctly as something; for example, a gay man can "pass" as heterosexual or a transwoman can "pass" as a woman.
  • Pig: a person, usually a gay male, who engages in particular sexual activities, including watersports, scat and the like.
  • Pitcher: the insertive partner in anal sex; the dominant partner. Contrast with catcher.
  • Pocket gay: A petite, gay man.
  • Polari: British gay argot or slang, in currency especially prior to the legalisation of male homosexuality in the UK in 1967. Though various Polari words have entered the common lexicon, the language is largely obsolete.
  • Pos, poz: HIV positive.
  • Potato queen: coined as the opposite of rice queen: an Asian man who prefers white men (sometimes considered pejorative).
  • PnP or Party and Play; used in personal ads and online chat rooms to indicate an interest for casual sex that includes hard drugs such as ecstacy.


  • Queen: An effeminate gay man; a drag queen. Also: Quean, which has older linguistic roots and provenance. See also: camp.


  • Rent or Rent boy: A male prostitute (i.e., "working to pay the rent" or a boy for rent); noun and verb.
  • Rice queen: a non-Asian man who prefers Asians (sometimes considered pejorative). See also potato queen.
  • Rimming: Licking the anus of a sex partner.


  • Scat: Sexual activity involving foeces (feces); considered a sexual fetish. (From Scat: dung, droppings). Not confined solely to gay usage.
  • Scene queen: A gay man who loves to party.
  • The Scene: A meeting place for gay people in a social sense; the gay club circuit; the gay pubs, clubs, bars, cafes and so on in a particular location.
  • Seeker: A man who seeks infection with an STD (usually HIV). See also gay slang, gift giver, bugchaser.
  • She: (in gay male argot): He. See her). See: Gender transposition
  • Shit(hole)-shoveller: See turd-burglar
  • Size queen: a man who prefers large penises.
  • Sister: a term of endearment between gay men and drag queens. See also Blanche, Mary.
  • Smooth: Hairless.
  • Straight: Heterosexual.
  • Stud: A gay male considered by his peers to be extremely attractive physically; a promiscuous gay man; a butch lesbian.


  • Tearoom: A public lavatory where men (including men who do not identify as gay) meet for sex.
  • Tranny, trannie: Transgender or transsexual person (considered offensive by some).
  • Trannyfag: A gay transman.
  • Trade: A heterosexual or bisexual male looking for oral sex (blow job).
  • Top: The insertive partner in anal or other penetrative sex (see top (sex)); a partner who inflicts stimulation in BDSM (see top (BDSM)).
  • Tourist: A (usually heterosexual) person who visits known gay areas to "look".
  • Trick: A prostitute's customer (a John); a sex partner; a sexual act for money; to have sex
  • Troll: To walk around looking for sex (cruise); an older, or physically unattractive man; a man in a bathhouse or cruising area who continues to make advances even when rebuffed.
  • Turd-burglar: A gay male; the insertive partner in anal sex. Pejorative, but not in exclusively heterosexual usage; i.e.: "He's a turd-burglar like the rest of us; trust me". Related terms: arse (ass)-bandit; arse (ass)-jockey; arse (ass)-pirate; back-door-bandit; shit(hole)-shoveller (homophobic when used by a heterosexual; see nigger).
  • Twink, twinky, twinkie: A young or young-looking man, especially those who are slender and clean cut.



  • Vagina business: Heterosexual sex; ("I'm not in the vagina business").
  • Versatile: A person who will take either top or bottom positions in sex


  • Wank-buddy: (Chiefly British/Australian/NZ English) Gay male non-romantic relationship for the sole purpose of mutual masturbation (and perhaps other forms of sexual activity). From: wank (slang): to masturbate with the penis. Related terms: fuck buddy; jerk-buddy; j/o-buddy.
  • Water sports or Watersports: Urine fetish
  • Well hung: See Hung


  • Yestergay: A person who identified as gay in the past, but who no longer does so.


  • Zegers: A new word, possibly of Belgian or Eastern European origin, meaning pretentious and/or pompous and/or overly egocentric homosexual. i.e. "That man is *so* Zegers!!!". Considered mildly offensive.

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