More Words To Play With

In Gay News No 15 we printed extracts from The Queen’s Vernacular, a Gay Lexicon compiled by Bruce Rodgers. Since that time the book has acquired a publisher in this country, and for copyright reasons, this will be the last time that selected extracts from the book will appear in GN. The book is to be published in June of this year.

We consider The Queen’s Vernacular to be an extremely well researched work, which is both interesting and amusing. As a result of negotiations with the book’s publishers, Blond & Briggs of 56 Doughty Street, London WC1, we will be inviting you to take advantage of an exclusive pre-publication offer, available to readers of Gay News only. The retail price of the book will be £1.25, but we offer it to you for only 95p (plus 5p post & packing) as long as your orders are received by us before the publication date.

Further announcements on a special cut-out form, will be frequently appearing in the forthcoming editions of GN.

May we remind you that the key for Abbreviations, Sources, Locations and Parts of Speech were printed with the last extracts, and to save space we have not included any of the guides to pronunciation that appear in the original text.


  • beefcake 1. masculine sex appeal. Syn: MQ (=masculine quotient); X-appeal (camp) 2. photographs of nude men in sexy situations “And to Culligan, I leave my entire collection of European beefcake.’ Syn: cheesecake (camp).
    king popular muscle-man in physique magazines and pornographic snapshots “Some fag-mags have more beefcake kings in ’em than chicken.”
  • black widow (kwn SF late ’60s) male homosexual who habitually takes away the love-mates of other homosexuals. Syn: burglar; dragon lady; spider lady
  • blow to suck a penis. “That old queen blew me three times in a row.” Syn: blow the whistle (“If that cute cop doesn’t stop hanging around with gay kids, he’ll find his whistle being blown some dark, foggy night”); brush the teeth (“He finished brushing Harry’s teeth five seconds before Velma waltzed in”); catch it; chew (but chew it = unfriendly command to be still); cop a bird [cock, doodle, hot one, joint]; cuff a carrot (prison sl); do (“Don’t do anybody I would”); drop on it (kwn SF, SM sl ’72); eat (“That one cruises the girlie shows eating horny sailors while they’re watching the flicks”); eat it all up; faire (fr Fr = to do, make “Faire me well dearest!”); fix somebody up; flute (30s: “Fluting doesn’t give you cavities, just syphilitic tonsils”); French (fr WWII sl; the French, having no love lost between the Germans, will sometimes speak of homosexuality as l’amour allemand); gam (Brit: also used is the command give us a gam! = blow me); get a facial; get it off; get punked in the head [mouth] (pej. prison sl = to be forced into sucking cock); give head (late ’60s: “He’s weird, he’ll lay on his belly, but he won’t give head”); give pearls (Kwn SF, black gay sl. ’70; pearls, in this instance refers to teeth); gobble [the goop] (’40s); go down for whomp; go down like white on rice (kwn SF. black gay sl, ’70; to enthusiastically suck a white man’s cock; cf soldier’s simile of a fist fight: “Man I was all over him like stink on shit”), go down on it (“C’mon, go down on it, I haven’t got all day”); grab a hot one (’50s); gunch (“He gunched me a little until he got it hot”); have some cream sauce; hum a tune [on the flute] (’30s); inhale the oyster; kiss it (’40s – late ’50s); kneel at the altar (’40s: “Honey, ain’t no time to be thinkin’ ’bout bathtub water when you kneelin’ at the altar”); mamar (fr Sp = to suck: “Mamar yo quiero!); perform (“When will Mr Magnificent Seven let me perform?”); picnic up on it (mid ’60s); plate somebody (Brit sl); play a tune (50s, connected with piccolo and flute both = cock); play bugle boy (early ’60s, hetero college sl: “I let some fag play bugle boy, but I didn’t do one thing to help him come… I’m not queer!”); play musical arrangements [on the flute]; play the flute [horn, organ] (fr Brit sl: “Why don’t you prove you’re a music lover by playing my horn for me?”); root (prison sl, fr root = to poke or grub about with the nose); scarf [scorf] up on a bod (kwn LV, mid ’60s, fr black sl scarf // hobo sl scoff = eat); service (to be the receptacle for a piece of trade); sit on a face (camp); speak low Genitalese; stoop for it; suck (“He probably sucked his way to the top”); suck a bondini (Dated, mid ’60s); swallow a sword; swing on it (early ’60s); swing on some flivver (late ’60s); take it in the mouth; take somebody on (late ’50s); wean (obs late ’50s: if fr weenie, the word should rightly be spelled ween); whistle (’30s: “It’s not true that gay boys can’t whistle!” “Whistle while you jerk!”); whomp down on it; whomp it up; woof up on it; worship at the altar (’40s: “I’ll be worshipping at the altar when Johnny comes marching home”); wring it dry (to get the last drop); yummy down [up] on it (mid ’60s: extended to food: “You really yummied down on that burger – the poor dear didn’t stand a chance.”)
    • job act of sucking the penis until ejaculation. Syn: ai (Haw gay sl, mid ’60s: “First we honi-honi’ed, then we do ai”); bird (kwn NYC, ’70 fr sl bird = cock: “Hiya, kid, wanna bird?” = want to get sucked off?); BJ (initials for blow job); blue jay (rare, mixture of past tense blew + initial of J in job); French art[s] (“Are you well versed in the French arts?”); French job [love, way]; head job; job (short for blow job, perhaps one of the few euphimisms in Masculinese: “I used to let some queer give me a job whenever things got dull – he would pay me plenty for eatin’ it”); knob job (early ’60s); Kowtow chow; kneeling and sucking; mouth job; quickie (hustler sl: when a buyer does the sucking); shot upstairs (fr pros sl: “It’s five for a shot upstairs”); skull job; snow job (early ’60s: fr blow job); tongue job (rare).
  • blueballs aching in the testes triggered by an inability to copulate [lighten the load] “Know what the sure cure for blueballs is? Scratch them until they’re red!” Syn: love nuts swollen testes; stoneache.
  • bull (’40s) 1. the obvious, aggressive lesbian “My ex-boss was a bull; every time she laughed the windows would crack.” 2. (prison sl. fr bulletin) note, letter “Here’s your bull – what’s it say?” 3. (adj) masculine “Is he bull or cow when it comes to the sack?”
    • dagger 1. the burly lesbian who dresses more like a truck driver than a PTA member; lesbians who assume the male role in lovemaking. 2. girlish homosexual man who will conduct himself in a two-fisted fashion “Why you coming on like a bull-dagger, dear; trying to impress a piece of sweet ass?” Syn: bull bitch [dyke]
    • dicker (fr sl dick = cock) the active lesbian whose extended clitoris enables her to fuck in a face-to-face position imitating heterosexual coitus.
  • bumper-to-bumper 1. tribadism, ie rubbing vulvas in a face-to-face position “Not all gay women do it bumper-to-bumper; some prefer sixty-nining instead” 2. close, intimate dancing or standing close together, vagina to vagina. “Okay, gang, no bumper-to-bumper dancing in this bar — or out you go; we run a clean place here”.
  • bumping pussies the embarrassing of two homosexual men who find themselves too passive, active or in other ways too similar to create a sexual situation “He thought that you and I were carrying on together — what would we do, bump pussies?”
  • butch (fr sl butch cut = man’s severely cut hair style) 1. lesbian with masculine characteristics, see *dyke. 2. (’40s) nonhomosexual man whose virile appearance both draws and repels the homosexual (repels because of the danger of violence if the butch is enraged by a gay proposition) Syn: all man; butch number; hesexual (rare); kane (fr Haw = male: for further secrecy; Haw gays disguise this word with pig-latin anekay); RM (acronym fr real man = virile, skirt-chasing, beerdrinking he-man); *stud. 3. (adj) manly in speech, in fashions and in bed; submission impossible “He’s strictly butch — he wouldn’t roll over for a gay apostle”. Syn: big (“I like ’em big”); boonch; bootch; butz (a lisped butch: “But I am butz; I am I am!”); chesty; masc (short for masculine: “That one’s so masc all the world to him is one big fix-it place”)
    • as Kong (Brit gay sl fr movie ape King Kong) very very masculine, hulking.
    • —er (pej) to *fuck, especially to deflower a young man “If they’re old enough to bleed, they’re old enough to butcher.”
    • —er boy (dated, les sl, ’30s) homosexual who has sexual relations with a lesbian.
    • er shop used in statement “the butcher shop is closed”, denying the requests of a cocksucker “Stop manhandling your sister – the butcher shop is closed for repairs.”
    • fluff (les sl) masculine courtesies performed by an active *dyke; opening car doors for a date; lighting another’s cigarette etc.
    • queen homosexual man whose virile activities and responsibilities make him hard to detect. The only distinction between the gay boy who is butch and the butch queen is that the latter will get fucked. Effeminate men will sometimes say that the butch queen is nothing but a *big woman (“You can’t tell a nooky by its cover.”); Syn: crew-cut queen; hairy mary (kwn LV, mid ’60s); roarer (Brit gay sl).

  • cash-ass (fr cautious) cynically applied to *hustler who feigns coyness until assured of material gain “He’s not shy, he’s cash-ass. Mention money and watch his cheeks light up!”
  • catalogue queen homosexual who collects physique magazines for masturbation purposes.
  • cherry 1. see *anal virgin 2. (kwn SF, teen sl, late ’50s) a conservative, follow-the-crowd personality; an unworthy ‘square.’
  • chicken (fr naut chicken – a young recruit // sl spring chicken, usu in negative context as “You’re no spring chicken”) 1. any boy under the age of consent, heterosexual, fair of face, and unfamiliar with homosexuality “So many chickens were flapping around that I thought we were touring Colonel Sander’s plantation”. 2. juvenile, youthful, young-looking. Syn: chicken-looking (“You’re chicken-looking enough to pose for Maypo cereal boxes”); tender 3. (rare kwn LV, mid ’60s) to fuck a pretty boy;
    • butchered chicken boy who recently lost his anal virginity; “he walks like a butchered chicken” = he walks bowlegged or stiffly with the legs apart.
    • fountain of youth (kwn LV mid 60’s) said of one who is able to reach several orgasms in one day.
    • fried chicken suntanned boy.
    • plucker man who enjoys “deflowering’ young boys.
    • pox (kwn LV, mid 60’s) the urge to have sex with younger men.
    • pretty (mid 60’s; cf fairy tale witch who addresses all children as “my little pretty”: “I shudder to think that I might have to backtrack in the snow to find myself another pretty if you don’t work out”); pumpkin pie kwn LV. mid 60’s, fr prison sl *punk: “Honey, I’m Alabamy bound think of all that pumpkin pie with nuthii t’do but slop hawgs”); piece of hot pumpkin pie a la mode (a boy who gets blown); punkie (40’s-early 50’s fr prison sl *punk + diminutive: “That punkie’s solid spinach – everything he touches turns to rigor mortis”); puppy flesh (kwn LA mid 60’s: generic for pubescent young men just beginning to melt off their puppy fat “Red Wings are tres puppy flesh”); puss (fr sl doll puss); sexteenager (curious about homosexuality); gay chicken a homosexual teenager. Syn. brunster (dated 30’s, hetero brunser = a homosexual+youngster); bud (esp used of young latent homosexuals: “The buds are coming out earlier this spring”); chit (Brit chit = a silly girl // ME chitte = kitten or cub; delicate boy who chits and chats); daffodil [ly] (hetero sl); princess (camp, one who is not mature enough to be a *queen); queer pup (Kwn LA, mid 60’s); poultry dealer man who pimps boys to interested homosexuals; pluck some feathers to make love to a young boy, especially anally. Syn: rip off a drumstick (late 60’s); skin some chicken (rare = to force a boy to come across); quail migratory bird: a delicacy to chicken hawks; student prince sexually congenial college student; token chicken (70) the newspaper boy “Tell the token chicken that I’d like to make a deposit.”; Venus in blue jeans (camp fr song recorded in the early 60’s by Bobbie Vinton) attractive high-schooler.
  • clit (fr L // Gk Kleitoris) clitoris, primary organ of erotic sensation in the female. “I want me a dong, princess, not some exaggerated clit like that thing you’ve got” “I’ve got to pick up a book on clit disorders” Syn: button (push the button = fingering the clitoris until orgasm); dot; jointess (camp fr sl joint = cock; the clitoris becomes erect like a penis when stimulated); little boy in the boat (fr L naviculans = clitoris // navicula = boat)
    • closet (’71) hotel which rents rooms to prostitutes and their *johns. Syn: hot-sheets hotel (pros. sl, ’70).