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The Queens' English, The LGBTQIA+ Dictionary of Lingo and Colloquial Phrases  celebrates the etymological diversity of over eight hundred terms used to describe our collective gay and queer experience. It is an epic journey of understanding identity, sexuality, gender, equality, humor, community and PRIDE! This dictionary officially houses the language of the lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, and non-heteronormative —Commonly abbreviated as LGBTQIA+ — communities in the United States of America. 

The Queens' English is a resource for terminology and colloquial phrases with modern definitions, real life usage examples, synonyms, important usage notes, and supporting background information to further enhance the understanding of each term. Interstitial how-tos and history lessons about trailblazing people, places, and events that have impacted the language within the LGBTQIA+ community are included throughout.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen and gender nonconforming queens alike,

this Lingo does slay! 




The cultural heartbeat of the LGBTQIA+ community is its language. Members of the gay and queer community created our own cultural signifiers to define identities, articulate lifestyles, liberate communities and empower the culture. Our language is deeper than just being trendy and fashionable, it is a reflection of our stance in society.

LGBTQIA+ lingo carries with it a vast history. Words like in the life, bulldyke, and bulldagger were birth from the 1920s Harlem Renaissance era. The lesbian bar scene during the 1940s, created butch and femme. And, during the 1970s, ballroom culture graced us with work, fierce, shade, and read. There are many identities and communities represented within the LGBTQIA+ culture. We have Daddies, dykons, the kids, femme queens, kinksters, butches, femmes, ebies, otters, gaybies, queerspawn, zucchinis, queens and many, many more!

Our language is creative and our language is empowering!



Usage Note:

Appropriation is a major concern within the LGBTQIA+ community. When our language is subjugated by mainstream culture, its value is minimized—especially if terms are not used correctly and respectfully. Chloe O. Davis created The Queens’ English to give proper documentation to queer vernacular and to appropriately credit the LGBTQIA+ subcommunities for their contribution, while acknowledging the creation and re-creation of jargon is an ongoing process.

Queer (2).jpg

Artist: Cassandra Fountaine



The Queens’ English is a landmark reference guide to the LGBTQIA+ community’s contribution to the English language and it is packed with information! The dictionary features an intersectional, inclusive, playfully illustrated glossary featuring more than 800 terms and fabulous phrase created by and for queer culture.  

The glossary of terms is supported by full-color illustration and photography throughout. These brilliant illustrations by queer artists – Troy Lambert and contributions by Cassandra Fountaine, Mark Uhre, Shanée Benjamin – are truly engaging. Chloe O. Davis captures historical queer landmarks from around the country in her photographs.

The dictionary uses real life usage examples of how to use each term in a sentence; provides usage notes to understand the origin and appropriate usage of each term; incorporates educational history lesson that highlight key people and events that have shaped queer language; and features a list of resources and organizations that support LGBTQIA+ folks!


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