Words that Describe Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual People

Beginning a compilation of words used to describe lesbian, gay and bisexual people requires some clarifications. One must first examine language itself. How does one define the condition in which people are sexually, emotionally and culturally attracted to the same sex? Let's call this phenomenon same sex erotic behavior for the purpose of classification. Homosexuality is the word which has been considered neutral. Some people will find the word problematic because of what it has implied in the past. Despite the attempt at producing an objective word, the classification homosexual has been associated with a disordered or abnormal condition. It is more proper today to use the term gay, lesbian & bisexual when describing such patterns. The word gay, until recently, has been of slang origin. Here, the word gay will be used as an appropriate and neutral taxonomy interchangeable with male homosexual.

Another difficulty is the that certain words define or imply roles gay men and lesbian women follow during sexual intercourse. The terms passive and active represent a heterocentric way of seeing sexual intercourse. Both words originate in the heterocentric view that one partner, the woman, is passive or dominated by the other, the male. The sexual behavior of gays & lesbians is much more dynamic than these words can describe. The words active/passive represent consistent patterns that people fall into in their sexual behavior, but in no way indicate that gays and lesbians must always follow such patterns. The term passive will describe someone who in some way receives the attention of his or her partner more often or consistently. The term active will describe someone who in some way gives attention to his or her partner more often or consistently. It will be interesting to see the development or extinction of these words within gay & lesbian culture and without since so much cultural change is happening in terms of passive/active role expressions.

These clarifications are synopsis of a larger work in progress. Much background evidence and citations are omitted, but it is expected that you will have a general idea to aid your understanding of the definitions for the compilation below.




Words for Gay Men


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LETTERS
afgan. n. 20th century gay usage. This word is used for older males and derives from the shawl associated with older people.
angel. n. Early 20th century. A positive word reflecting the nature of angels as kind helpful creatures. Also assoicated with the gendereless nature of these beings; a neutrality. This word does not distinguish between active or passive.
aunt. n. An older or aging male. It is more common to see the word as auntie.
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baby. n. Early 20th century. A term of endearment for a partner.
banana. n. One who especially engages in fellatio.
bender n. Early 20th century. A passive male. Alludes to bending over; anal sex.
bent. adj. British origin. Derogatory term that connotes anal sex.
bent wrist. adj., n. British origin. Derogatory term used for an effeminate male. Alludes to mannerisms.
bitch. n. Mid 20th century. One who makes his behavior obvious to all, especially one who is passive.
blade. n. British origin. 20th century gay usage. A gay man.
bone queen n. Gay usage. Mid 20th century. One who engages in fellatio.
bottom n. A passive male. Implies position during sexual intercourse. See top.
boy. n. A gay, especially for an effeminate, male. Implies immaturity; not quite like all the other men.
bronco. n. North American South West origin. Early 20th century. A passive male. This term is from the spanish for wild horse.
broncobuster. n. North American South West origin. Early 20th century. An active male. See bronco.
brown family. n. North American origin. Gay usage. The gay male community. A variant is browning family.
bum boy. n. British origin. Derogatory word for a passive male.
butch. adj. An active and especially sexually aggressive male.
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camp n. North American origin. A kind of gay behavior that is overly dramatic or exaggerated. Usually rough or sarcastic.
canned fruit. n. 20th century gay usage. One who hides or denies his sexual orientation.
cat n. 20th century. Usually a passive male, and is probably an abbreviation of catamite.
catamite n. 16th century. A boy or young man who is passive, associated with a pederast. From the Latin Catamitus who in Greek is Ganymede.
catch n. North American origin. A boy who is passive may be a variant on catamite. Based on baseball's implications of pitch and catch.
cherry-picker n. British origin. A man who pursues virgins or catemites.
chicken n. A boy or young man with little or no experience, considered a sexual object by a more experienced male.
chicken fancier,
chicken queen &
chicken hawk
n. These words refer to a man in search of a boy or young man with little or no experience.
chuff n. British origin. A passive male; chuff meaning to thrust.
chuffer n. British origin. An active male; chuff meaning to thrust.
comefreak n. Recent 20th century term. One who is a fellator. Freak implies non standard in some way.
closet case,
closet gay,
closet queen &
closet queer
n. One who keeps his sexual orientation secret.
cockeater n. Derogatory. Used especially of a male who is a fellator.
cocklover n. A less derogative word used especially of a male who is a fellator.
cocksucker n. Most derogatory. Used especially of a male who is a fellator. This word is often heard as an insult.
cocktail n. British origin. A male who is a prostitute.
crime against nature n., phrase. 19th century. Said because it was assumed gay behavior was not natural and so went against some biological order. Used specifically of sodomy and expanded to other sexual "abnormalities."
cruiser n. 20th century. A gay male who likes to cruise. To cruise is to go looking to see and enjoy sights. Almost always, cruising implies searching for sex.
cubiche n. El Salvador (Latin America). A less pejorative word for gay men often used amusingly.
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daffodil n. British origin. Name used for a young man especially if he is effeminate.
daisy n. North American origin. Name used especially if a male is effeminate.
daughter n. A gay term. Used for a young male, especially one introduced to gay male socialization by a mother.
deadeye dick n. North American origin. A gay term. An active male. 1960's
deviate n. Derogatory. Usually used by non gays.
dilly boy n. British origin. Young dilly. Dilly is short for Piccadilly Circus; a place were men cruse in London.
drag queen n. 20th century gay usage. A professional female impersonator or a male who frequently wears women's clothes.
duchess n. British origin. 20th century. Prison slang for a passive male.
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effie n. Derogatory. 20th century. Short form of effeminate. A passive male.
eye doctor n. North American Underworld origin. 20th century. A sodomite.
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fag n. Derogatory. Used especially for an effeminate man. Perhaps from the fag which means cigarette; it was once considered effeminate for men to smoke cigarettes rather than cigars or pipes. Also an abbreviation of faggot.
faggot n. Derogatory. 20th century. Between 16th and 19th centuries this term was used pejoratively of women. Now means gay man.
faggoty adj. Usually used for an effeminate male.
fairy n. Derogatory. 20th century. Used for an effeminate male.
fallen angel n. 20th century. Used because of religious connotation of sin.
fallen star n. 20th century. Used for an elderly man. Also called an "aging actress."
faygeleh n. Yiddish origin. Meaning "little bird."
felch queen n. North American origin. Used because it connotes anal intercourse.
femme n. North American origin. An effeminate male. Fem is a variant.
flamer n. Derogatory. A male with exaggerated feminine behavior.
flaming queen n. 20th century. A male with exaggerated feminine behavior.
flower n. 20th century. A gay man.
fluff n. 20th century. An effeminate male.
fluter n. 20th century. North American Underworld origin. A gay man.
foot queen n. 20th century. One who is aroused by feet.
fruit n. 20th century. A gay man. Could derive from fruit juice which means seamen or a common link to crazy.
LETTERS
gander n. 20th century gay usage. An active male. Derived from goose which implies many sexual images. In North America goose is to prod in the buttocks an action that mimics a goose's beak thrusting forward. It has also taken an underworld meaning of anal sex.
Ganymede n. A young gay male. From the Greek myth of the abduction of a young man named Ganymede by Zeus for sexual pleasure.
gay adj., n.Not slang. Synonym for homosexual. Originating in the 1920's, only until recently (1970's) has the word been introduced as standard and not slang.
gay boy n. A gay man.
gentlman of the back door phrase. Used especially for the active male.
ginger beer n. British origin. A gay man.
girl n. 20th century gay usage. A gay man.
golden shower boy & golden shower queen n. Mid 20th century gay usage. One who likes being urinated upon.
gooser n. North American origin. 20th century. A pederast.
Greek n. Early 20th century usage. An active male. From the homosexual behavior of the ancient Greeks.
LETTERS
happy adj. Obsolete. Synonym for gay.
hat n. North American origin. 20th century. A gay man. Perhaps derives from the idiom "to wear a different hat" which means being different.
he-haw n. North American origin. Mid 20th century usage. A gay man. Mimics the sound a donkey makes.
hermaphrodite n. Obsolete. 18th century usage.
Hershey bar n. North American origin. Used because chocolate resembles the color of feces and so alludes to anal intercourse.
he-whore n. North American origin. A gay man or male prostitute. Mimics the sound a donkey ("he-haw") makes.
hide n. North American origin. 20th century. A young male.
homo n. Derogatory. 20th century usage. Short for homosexual.
homosexual n. 19 century. Not slang. A standard english word for people who are attracted to the same sex. Derived from Homo which means "the same." It originated at the same time as heterosexual.
LETTERS
insertee n. 20th century colloquialism. One who receives penis in the anus or mouth.
insertor n. 20th century colloquialism. One who inserts penis into anus or mouth of another.
inspector of manholes phrase. British origin. 20th century. A pederast. A pun on manhole which means anus.
invert n. Obsolete. Late 19th century. A psychiatric term used because it was thought gay men turn their sexual desires inward rather than out to women.
iron hoof n. British origin. Early 20th century. Used because of rhyme with poof.
LETTERS
jag n. North American origin. 20th century gay usage. A male prostitute.
jaw queen n. 20th century gay usage. A fellator.
jockey n. North American origin. 20th century usage. A pederast.
jolly n. 20th century. Gay euphemism.
joy boy n. 20th century usage. A gay man.
LETTERS
kife n. North American Underworld origin. A catemite. Also a fellator or prostitute.
King Lear n. British Origin. 20th century usage. Used because of rhyme with queer.
kitchen cleaner n. Gay usage. Mid 20th century. One who performs anilingus.
knight n. Complementary. 20th century. A gay man.
knob-polisher n. Gay usage. 20th century. A fellator.
KY cowboy, KY queen n. Recent term based on a brand of personal lubricant. KY kelly is a jocular colloquial term.
LETTERS
lamb n. North American Underworld origin. 20th century usage. A young passive male.
lavender boy n. North American Underworld origin. 20th century usage. Lavender is associated with LGB because of meaning of profanity.
leather queen n. 20th century usage. A sadistic male who is into leather.
left-handed adj. North American origin. A colloquialism. In the past, left-handed people were considered sinister.
limp-wrist n. 20th century usage. An effeminate male. Also bent wrist.
LETTERS
macho slut adj. North American. Usually applies to a Latino who is butch but sleeps around. Any butch man who sleeps around especially if he claims an active only role, but likes either.
madam n. Gay usage. 20th century. An elderly male.
madge n. Gay usage. 20th century.
main queen n. 20th century usage. A passive male.
maricon n. Latin America. Used in many different parts of Latin America as a pejorative for gay men.
mary n. 20th century usage. Based on common female name and rhyme with fairy.
mavis n. South African origin. Gay usage. 20th century. An effeminate male.
midnight cowboy n. North American origin. 1969. Used after film with same name to mean male prostitute or gay male.
miner n. 20th century usage. Gay usage. An active male. Used because of associations with digging and thus anal sex.
misfit n. Derogatory. Obsolete. 20th century usage.
miss Molly n. 18th century usage. An effeminate man or boy.
mitten queen n. Gay usage. 20th century usage. One who likes masturbating others.
mo n. Abr. for homosexual. Used especially of a male.
moffie & moff n. South African origin. Derogatory. An effeminate male or a transvestite.
morphrodite n. North American Underworld origin. 20th century.
mophy n. An effeminate young male.
mother n. A gay male, especially one more experienced.
mouser n. British origin. Used for a fellator.
LETTERS
nance n. North American origin. 19th century usage. An effeminate male. nancy & nancy boy are British origin.
nephew n. North American usage. A young male especially one who is passive in anal intercourse or performs fallatio. this is especially used for a young man sought by an older male (aunt).
LETTERS
odd n. 19th century Obsolete.
oddball n. 20th century derogatory. An eccentric male.
old girl n. 20th century gay usage. An elderly male.
old hen n. 20th century gay usage. An elderly male.
one of the boys phrase. 20th century colloquialism. Applicable to an effeminate male.
one of those phrase. 20th century Usage by non gays.
Oscar n. British usage. Late 19th century. Used because of association with Oscar Wild.
other sex n. 19th century colloquialism.
LETTERS
pansy n. Early 20th century. Applicable to an effeminate male.
pato n. Puerto Rican origin. A word for a gay man. submitted by Ramona Ortega.
perv or perve n. 20th century derogatory. A gay man. To perv means to perform anal sex.
petal n. 20th century. An effeminate gay male.
peter pansy n. North American usage. 20th century usage. A gay man, especially effeminate.
pink pants n. Mid 20th century. A young gay man or catamite.
pitch n. North American usage. 20th century underworld origin. Used for an active male or a pederast.
poof, pouf, poove, fooftah, poofter, poufter n. Derogatory. 20th century usage. Australian & British origin. An effeminate male.
poundcake queen n. Mid 20th century gay usage. One who becomes sexually excited from being defecated upon.
powder puff n. North American origin. An effeminate male.
pretty n. 20th century gay usage. A young man unfamiliar with gay culture.
protein queen n. 20th century gay usage. A fellator.
punk n. 19th century usage. Also used in prison slang for a male.
punk kid n. Mid 20th century usage. A young man or catamite.
LETTERS
queen n. Late 19th century. A gay man who assumes a blas* attitude with effeminate behavior.
queer, Queer n., adj. 20th century. Meaning a different person. Political nuance (capitalized): Once derogatory, now it is used to mean lesbian, gay, bisexual people and more. It is a word that speaks to the diversity and uniqueness of the cultures.
LETTERS
receiver n. north American origin. 20th century gay usage. A catamite.
rimaddona n. 20th century jocular. A play on the word premoddona. One who performs anilingus.
rimmer n.Gay usage. One who performs anilingus. To rim is to perform anilingus.
ruber queen n. Mid 20th century. One who's sexual activities include rubber in some way.
LETTERS
Sam n. A masculine gay male. Derives from Samson, the Biblical archetype of virility.
screaming fairy n. North American origin. Mid 20th century usage. A blatant male or one who expresses camp behavior.
screamer n. British origin. Variant of screaming fairy rarely used today.
seymour n. 20th century usage by non-gays. An effeminate male.
sheep-herder n. North American origin. A pederast.
she-he, she-male n. Mid 20th century usage. An effeminate male.
shrimp queen n. North American origin. Mid 20th century gay usage. One with a foot fetish. Shrimper is a variant.
sister n. North American origin. 20th century gay usage. Used especially for an effeminate male. Often abbreviated sis, siss & sissy. Sissy is most derogatory and dates back to the 19th century.
size queen n. 20th century gay usage. One who is attracted to men with large penises.
slut n. Mid 20th century gay usage. A gay man who is promiscuous.
snatch n. North American origin. Mid 20th century usage. A catamite viewed collectively.
sodomite n.14th century standard word. One who commits sodomy. Also seen as sodomist & sod.
sticky mocha adj. Northern California. Used to describe a Latino who is exclusively into other Latinos. Because of the brownness of mocha.
suck queen n. Mid 20th century usage. One who likes to perform fallatio.
swish n. North American origin. 20th century derogatory. A catemite. More often now a male whose actions mimic those of women except that the briskness of his masculinity makes him less dignified than a woman.
LETTERS
that way phrase. 20th century non-gay usage.
that way inclined phrase. 20th century almost always used by non-gays.
third sex n. 20th century colloquialism.
three dollar bill phrase. North American 20th century usage. Especially seen as "queer as a three dollar bill."
three legged beaver n. North American. Beaver refers to woman and leg to penis.
three letter man n. North American origin. Derogatory. Refers to the three letters in the word fag. Now a new euphemism for the word gay.
tinker bell n. North American origin. A gay man connotes effeminate male. heard on a T.V. show. three's company.
top n. An active gay man. Based on his position during intercourse; alludes to anal sex.
turk n. An active male. See Greek
twinkle toes n. 20th century expression. An effeminate gay man.
twit n. 20th century derogatory. An effeminate gay man.
twixter n. British origin. A feminine male or masculine female. "twixt" means in between.
LETTERS
uncle n. North American origin. A pederast interested in young boys or an elderly male.
undercover man n. North American origin. early 20th century usage.
uranian n., adj. A Literary word. Allusion to anus.
usher n. British origin. A pederast.
LETTERS
vegitarian n. One who will not fellate.
virgin queen n. 20th century gay usage. One who refuses anal intercourse until after "marriage."
LETTERS
waiter n. North American origin. 20th century gay usage. One who waits in public restrooms to meet other males.
watch queen n. Mid 20th century usage. Gay usage. A voyeur.
wife n. A "feminine" partner in a male relationship.
willy, willie n. British origin. Derogatory Used by non gays.


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Copyright © 1998.
Last updated on January 12, 1998.
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