Word of the Gay

*Straight talk on Gay language, one word at-a-time.

Archive for Exclamation

#13 “queening out”

You’ve seen it all before… a gay man gets upset or super excited – and suddenly it’s the end of the World. “Queening out” is a popular phrase in the gay community that describes one of two things:

1. a gay male tantrum, or fit of rage

2. an individual exhibiting stereotypical gay tendencies; usually manifest in the form of speech patterns, mimicry of pop culture icons or outlandish dance & movement

The phrase is related to “queen” being a term used to describe an effeminate gay man. “Queening out” is not only used to describe men, but can be used for women, as seen in one of these two videos scenes from YouTube.com: Some Kid Queening Out & Child Abuser Queening Out

Ex: “Oh Gurl, you should have seen her, she was queening out on the dance floor big-time!”

[Related catch-phrases: “Slow Your Roll,” “Don’t have a cow, man” “Take it Easy,” and the less-accepted “Fagging Out”]


#6 “gurrrl”

“What’d she say?! Well let me tell you…”

Some gay men use the word “gurrrl” as a way to reiterate something that they have just said. Or rather, as either an exclamation on its own, or as a way to address someone (usually another gay man). It is best received when shouted or said with a gravelly and/or affected accent.  It has been co-opted by mainstream society as a way of stereotyping perceived gay or African-American speech patterns.


“Gurrrl, I sure am hungry!!!”

– pronoun

1. referring to a male or female acquaintance or peer

2. used to address someone in a frank, sarcastic or humorous manner


– interjection

1. an exclamation used to address a peer in a dramatic or humorous manner

2. a phrase used to add extra emphasis


[Origin: Closely associated with and accredited to African-American and gay slang of the 1990s.]



1. riot grrrl: A grassroots third wave feminist movement deeply connected to the punk rock scene in the early to mid 1990’s. Mostly youth-oriented, riot grrrl was neither an organization or a specific thought, but instead thrived on non-hierarchal “chapters” set up across America and parts of Europe connecting mostly young women with music, a thriving “zine” scene, and direct political action.  (courtesy of: urbandictionary.com)

#5 “Mnh-hnhmmm”

Gay men say some pretty outrageous things. So it’s only natural that you might not believe what comes out of their mouths. Likewise, gay people have a lot of attitude, and might not believe everything that comes out of yours.

If you are in need of a sassy retort to your homo-amigo’s unbelievable ramblings, why not try the following: “Mnh-hnhmmm!”

“Mnh-hnhmmm” most likely derived from the affirmative response, “Uh-huh” and is most often used with sarcasm to denote an air of disbelief.  The phrase has been popularized by teenagers, and may also be accredited to African-American slang popularized by women and gay men for many decades.

Nowadays, you will find that you hear more sassy young white gay men and older Afircan-American woman using this phrase.

– interjection

1. used to indicate disbelief or disapproval

2. sarcastic remark used in a mocking or sarcastic manner

Example 1
Person 1: “Seriously, I’m not really that into him.”
Person 2: “Mnh-hnhmmm…”

Synonyms: yeah right, whatever, oh p’shaw, okay, uh-huh

#4 “fierce”

Catch-phrases come and go in the gay community, but some truly stand the test of time. They’re “fierce!” The term “fierce” came into wide popularity among gay men in the ball culture scene of New York City during the late 1980s, and has since crossed-over into mainstream culture to become one of the widest-used adjectives we queens utter today.

In fact, you might have seen a recent episode of Project Runway Season 4, where one of the show’s finalists, Christian Siriano, said “fierce” at least twenty times in the course of one 42-minute episode. But the term is no longer used explicitly by gay men. Yours truly has heard more than a few straight women, and even straight men and lesbians, describe something as “fierce” on the streets of New York City.

– adjective
1. A term that gay men use to describe absolutely everything that is of “exceptional quality.”
2. A term used to describe objects, people, or instances that are outlandish and cannot be handled with subtlety; often with great or animated emphasis.
3. A term coined by African-American gay men to describe things are extraordinary, in either a positive or negative way.

1. The act of being bold, displaying confidence, creativity or self-reliance. Relates directly to fashion, clothes, hair or makeup.

Example 1
Person 1: “How was the party girl?” / Person 2: “Girl, it was FIERCE!”

Example 2
Person 1: “Did you see Wanda’s shoes girl?!” / Person 2: “Yeah girl, those platforms were FIERCE!”