The Fabulous Guide to Drag Terminology

The drag culture has sashayed itself right into the middle of pop culture and it’s here to stay.

HomoCulture Drag Dish Triston Brewer

This article was published on July 29th, 2020

The LGBTQ+ community has always had its own vernacular for expressing themselves, but in recent years, that vocabulary has become a global phenomenon thanks to the explosion of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the media presenting it in its various forms on television, through music, and other forms of media. Queer slang may have began underground but its mainstream impact can no longer be denied.

HomoCulture has decided to provide a comprehensive, fabulous guide that includes the terms and phrases that you know and love, along with a few new ones that you should know, and are guaranteed to slay!

Bar Queen

– an insulting term for a drag queen that is relegated to work only in small bars

example: “This bar queen can’t come for me because she only gets work in venues that can fit 50 people maximum!”


– reference to the perfectly made up face that equates to a flawless, glamorous look;

example: “That face has been beat for the goddesses!”


– a drag queen that is visually unattractive yet has a commanding stage presence


– appearing messy, unkempt, unpolished, visually awkward, or poorly presented

Bye, Felicia!

– an expression used to dismiss a person that is annoying and irrelevant


– to spot what someone is attempting to hide

– to call out someone’s flaws or imperfections

– to reveal the truth

example: “Her dress and face cannot be clocked!”

Come Through!

– a phrase used to congratulate or show pride

example: “after she won the competition, the other drag queens screamed, “Come through!”


– the queer version of ‘congratulations’


– poor quality or extremely shady

example: “Look at that crusty queen. She has no charisma!”

Death Drop

– a dramatic fall onto one’s back with one leg folded underneath; taken from the vogue dance scene 

Drag Daughter

– the mentee of a drag mother that is learning the art of drag

Drag Mother 

– an experienced drag performer that teaches the fine art of drag to someone eager to learn. A typical drag family includes a drag mother and her daughters, who take her last name as an homage 


– looking flawless, polished, and perfect


– unclean or unkempt

– a visually unappealing look

example: “Look at how dusty she is! Can’t she afford a decent wig?!”

Extravaganza Eleganza 

– an event or gathering that is at the peak of elegance and extravagance

example: “This extravaganza eleganza is just the type of event I deserve as a person with taste!”

Feeling the Fantasy

– the feeling of loving what you are doing in a particular moment


– a drag queen who serves a particularly feminine look

– to ‘serve fish’ means a queen that looks girly

example: “This fishy queen is giving me Marilyn Monroe vibes!”

For the Gods

– abbreviated use of the phrase “fit for the gods,”

– phrase that qualifies an act done to perfection

example: “That pantsuit is tailored for the gods!”


– to react intensely, usually as a result of shock

– used as an exclamation

example: “Her Versace dress made us all gag in appreciation!

Giving Me Life

– phrase used to express immense joy

example: “This wedding ceremony is giving me life!”


– a conventionally pretty woman or drag queen

The House Down

– term used as an exclamation point to indicate how fabulous something is

example: “That hottie is dancing the house down.”


– an interjection used to express praise or joy.


– a combination of the words ‘honey’ and ‘cunty’, a term of endearment for another queen


– to gossip, have a small talk, chat, or a heart-to-heart conversation

Let Them Have It!

– a phrase that refers to impressing people with your fabulousness

The Library Is Open

– A phrase announcing that a queen is about to share some criticisms (ie: read) another person or queen


– a queen’s face

No Tea, No Shade

– a phrase meaning no disrespect


– to apply makeup to one’s face

example: “She took 2 hours to paint her mug, but the end result gave me life!”


– to insult someone

– to unleash an onslaught of insults, (ie read someone to filth)


a likeness deemed to be as close as possible to a specific category or genre

example: “She is serving Xena warrior princess realness.

Sashay Away

– a quote used by RuPaul to eliminate a contestant after losing in a lip-sync battle

– to leave a competition


– to present oneself in a certain way


– an undercover insult that subtly points out a person’s flaws 

Shantay, You Stay

– a phrase used by RuPaul when he has chosen a contestant to stay in the competition after a lip-sync battle


– incredibly amazing; excessively hot

example: “That death drop was absolutely sickening.”

Sissy That Walk

– to walk with sass 

example: “Clear the sidewalk so she can sissy that walk!”


– to achieve something spectacular


– taken from the letter T for “truth”

– a reference to gossip or news

Throwing Shade

– the act of criticism delivered in a blunt and insulting manner

example: “Mila was throwing shade at the other queens after the show.”


– to arrange one’s male genitalia in a way that they are not visible so that one resembles a woman

Turn the Party

– to captivate, enthrall, and overwhelm an audience with one’s fabulousness


– a term meaning to give an outstanding presentation


– bastardization of the word “yes”; used as a term of encouragement or agreement 

Now that we have substantially added to your lingo, your mission is to select your favorites and test them out amongst your friends – and enemies!


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2 thoughts on “The Fabulous Guide to Drag Terminology

    1. captain obvious

      Because drag wasn’t invented SPECIFICALLY to mock the suffering, enslavement, humiliation, pain and torment of an entire race of people as well as used to portray them in a KKK movie as brutish, animalistic, raping monsters trying to steal white women away from “noble” white men. Now I have a question: what the actual fuck is wrong with you, that you would ever compare the two? Did you seriously not know WHY black face is horrible? Did you actually, SERIOUSLY think that dressing as the opposite gender for stage shows is somehow REMOTELY comparable to mimicking groups of people who committed murder of people just for being of a different skin color, among other ACTUAL, horrific hate crimes?

      Learn your world’s history next time before asking others to explain it to you. Learn why black face existed, learn why drag exists, and learn some fucking respect for minorities–both racial and LGBT+. Drag is a culture that empowers and celebrates people who have been repressed, attacked, and othered; black-face was intended to mock, shame, dis-empower and spread hate.