LGBT slang

LGBT slang

LGBT slang or gay slang in linguistics refers to a form of English slang used predominantly among LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people.

Differences and similarities to Polari

Modern LGBT slang has origins in the English language. Polari was a cant or cryptolect used in the gay subculture in Britain. Polari derives from Italian languages, Mediterranean Lingua Franca, Yiddish and French. (Baker, 2002)] Another difference between gay slang and Polari is that gay slang has become descriptive of the overall experience of life in the gay community, whereas Polari includes names for common words that have no exclusive relation to the LGBT culture (e.g., "glossies" for "magazines").

Although there are differences, modern gay slang has adopted many polari words, as detailed in the table below:

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. Other less well known terms include "funguy" : This is a flamboyant homosexual who endulges in any gay sex/fetish and will dress in gay attire; also "linker Man" : This is a gay male who dresses in gay attire which must include chains, normally he is leather clad. Both of these are normally found in gay bars and thus form part of gay scene.



* cite book
title=Fantabulosa, a dictionary of Polari and gay slang
pages=242 pages
id=ISBN 0826459617

* cite book
title=The Queens' Vernacular : a gay lexicon
publisher=Straight Arrow Books
pages=265 pages
id=ISBN 0879320265

ee also

* Friend of Dorothy
* Japanese gay slang
* Singapore gay terminology
* Filipino gay slang

External links

* ['s Gay Slang Dictionary]
* [ List of words and phrases]
* [ Dictionary of Gay Slang and Historical Terms]
* [ GLTB Slang Dictionary]
* [,12592,997623,00.html Lavender Linguistics, from Guardian Unlimited]
* [ Polari: British Gay Slang]
* [ Queer Slang in the Gay 90's]
* [ Sexuality as Identity: Gay and Lesbian Language]
* [ "Gay Language Guide"] - gay slang in various languages: French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, Hungarian, Russian, Thai

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