Word of the Gay

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

Archive for Gurl

#40: “homosensual”

Minorities and oppressed peoples often reappropriate words and phrases that are used to disparage them as a means of empowerment. Pejoratives like ‘queer’, and ‘faggot’ have long been used to hurt gay people, but over the years have been reclaimed and even used by the general populace as well.

And in some cases, this reappropriation is so successful as to turn a previously disparaging word into the preferred term: for example, ‘gay’, previously an insult, is now strongly preferred to ‘homosexual’, both as an adjective and a noun. [wiki: reappropriation] ‘Gay’ may be used over ‘homosexual’ so as not to identify solely on the basis of sexuality.

‘Homosensual’ is a new and creative portmanteau (a combination of two words and a favorite of Word of the Gay) being used by comedians Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson on their weekly podcast, “Throwing Shade.”

-adjective or noun, portmanteau

1. the combination of the terms ‘homosexual’ and ‘sensual’.

2. adjective: of or pertaining to the homosexual senses or physical sensation; sensory.

3. adjective: pertaining to, inclined to, or preoccupied with the gratification of the senses or homosexual appetites; carnal; fleshly.

4. adjective: arousing or exciting the senses or appetites of a gay person.

5. noun: a sensual gay person, in most instances a gay man.

6. see also: “Double Headed Disco” party by the same name.

Related: homo, gay, homosexual, sensual

Ex: “God, he’s so homosensual.”

Ex: “Hi, I’m homosensual Bryan Safi.”

[Origin: American. Used by Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson in the opening of the weekly podcast, “Throwing Shade”.  Root: ‘Sensual’: 1400-50 late Middle English, from Latin ‘sensus’ sense.]


#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!”