Ten Forgotten Gay Slang Words That Deserve To Be Resurrected

Some-Like-It-HotSlang comes and goes all the time, but where does it go when society collectively decides a word is “over?” Hairstyles from the past comes back, music genres long gone make resurgences — there’s no reason language shouldn’t do the same thing.

Here are 10 gay slang words from yesteryear that deserve a second run:

1. Basket shopping (v.) – when cruising or checking someone out, British term refers to examining the object of your affection’s private areas through their clothing. When your friend is glued to Grindr, you can tell him to “quit basket shopping and join the real world.”

2. Beat (adj.) – extremely wonderful or great, “fabulous.” Example: “Did you see her at the club tonight? That look was beat.” Gay slang is always on the cutting edge, and since everyone already thinks “beat” means ugly or terrible, this is the perfect opportunity to confuse people. By the time people catch up, we’ll be on to the next word.

3. Girl scout (n.) – military man on leave, currently seeking sex. What better way than to cut that macho vibe than to call a military man a “girl scout?”

4. Mother Superior (n.) – older and wiser gay male who has been around the block a few times; similar to “auntie,” but more favorable. Ageism in the gay community is awful. Cross-generational friendships can be enlightening for both parties. Maybe this would help spin them a bit more favorably.

5. Lucky Pierre (n.) – the middleman in an Eiffel Tower. I mean, it’s too good to let die.

6. Over the bridge to Pimpleton (n.) – cumbersome term for homosexual sex. This should always be spoken in your best ’50s female movie star voice.

7. Tinkerbelle (n.) – queer man who enjoys being urinated upon. Watersports deserves a cute mascot, don’t you think?

8. Barbarella (n.) – Unrestrained homosexual, uncontrollable desire by a man for sexual intercourse one that needs to have sex all the time. Enough with the slut shaming. You are not a whore, you’re a Barbarella. Much classier!

9. Lounge lizard (n.) – someone who frequents bars, trying to pick up other peoples’ mates. We’ve all experienced them, now we have something to call them.

10. Hetty (n.) – shortened version of the word “heterosexual,” similar to “hetero” or “het.” Straight people don’t get any slang words besides breeder, and that one is played out. Hetty is fun, cute, and not insulting.

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  • Desert Boy

    When I was in high school and came out, a guy’s visible junk was called his basket. I think it’s highly descriptive and still use it when I see a whopper.


    What a fantabulosa bona idea! I’m slapping my lallies with glee.

  • RIGay

    An ambiguously gay man I worked with back in the late 80’s used the term “Broccoli Browsing” to describe surfing male packages.

  • Mack

    Basket I’ve always used as well as Mother Superior. Tinkerbell was used as a derogatory term for gays. The rest I’ve never heard and I’m an old fart.

  • gauty

    I love all of these! Especially Hetty; it kinda sounds like a combo of heffa (heifer) and some old lady’s nickname. I’m gonna start using that one.

  • BritAus

    ‘Beat’ in Australia, and possibly NZ, is what you guys call a T-Room ….. or is it TeaRoom?

  • J.T.

    In my my day, Lucky Pierre was the “meat in a chance sandwich.”

  • MarionPaige

    my favorite UK slang for gay is “presenter”. It seems to not only mean gay but also it seems to refer to the bottom in gay sex

  • demented

    @RIGay: Eh, broccoli is an awful term. Not only is the word “broccoli” inherently funny, but it’s all lumpy and carpet-textured.

  • bottom72

    I am a Tinkerbell and Barbarella.

  • deltabadhand

    One of the most important people in my and the life of my 20 something buds in my generation was a 60 year old man most only knew as “mother”. He practically raised us after our own families rejected us back in the early 1980s.

    I used beat 2 days ago. “Damn! She was beat within an inch of her life.” Meaning “damn! She looks reallly good.”


    @dazzer: Ooooh she’s bold!…
    How bona to vada your eek! For a bijou gelt I’ll let you put your dolly lills all over my lallies..but mind no luppers loitering round my fundament because I oggle an undercover omi-palone in this khazi!

  • dodgy

    @bottom72: That most make you a Tinkerella, then

  • ggreen

    Princess Tiny meat

  • Roan

    I had to Google “Eiffel Tower”

  • Bob LaBlah

    When I lived in NYC I always got a big laugh with “this ain’t Kansas, Dorothy” when people complained about traffic, the cost of living, immigrants……………

  • Lvng1Tor

    For myself I’ll leave the ones alone that relate gay men to female terms. If it floats your boat then fine but it’s not for me.

  • princessjohnson

    >>For myself I’ll leave the ones alone that relate gay men to female terms. If it floats your boat then fine but it’s not for me.<<

    how do you feel about "bottom/top"? are those terms multi-layered at all?

  • Seattleguy

    “EQT” = every queen’s type, “tapdance on the ceiling” = bottoming, ‘tossing the salad” =rimming, “bean queen” = gay who likes Mexicans, ” lace curtains” = foreskin, ” sissy Mary” = effiminate gay man, ” bull dagger” = bull dyke, esp. Black

  • bottom72

    Ohhhh Honey Dodgy I am Tinkerbella.

  • Blackceo

    Well this is quite interesting. I don’t use gay slang, except the word “trade” and I haven’t used that since being in university. I do hear some gay men say “beat” referring to makeup being on point (i.e. “her face was beat”) I’ve also heard comments about hair being “laid for the gods”. I’ve also used “snow queen” or “playing in the snow” or “hitting the slopes” for a gay man of color who is into White gays almost exclusively. But other than “beat” I haven’t heard of any of those terms on this particular list ever.

  • stranded

    I’m not into the idea of using female terminology for gay men but i loved “girl scout” that was funny.

  • Mykaels

    Oh my god YES!!!!

  • Brian

    Is an Eiffel Tower the same thing as a pig roast?

  • Wilberforce

    I love gay slang and even have a book about it. None of these words in there, but they’re great, and I’ll use them. I especially like hetty. It’s playful, much better than breeder, which was on the insulting side.

  • isafakir

    whatever happened to camp, one of the great gifts of gay to culture is camp. in the end so much more interesting than leather. so much more multilayered. we’ve lost so much good gay slang. i never see any really good gay humor anymore.


    Blackceo –
    Opposite of “hitting the slopes” – “on safari”

  • Blackceo


    LOL yes. I also say “down with the brown” or “welcome to the dark side” for white gays who are exclusively into Black guys.

  • jmmartin

    I am amazed at how the lgbtq community has given straight people so many words and slogans from its rich repertoire of delightful argot. Think of it, if a person in the humanist community tells everyone they’re a non-believer, social media say she has “come out secular.” Or, how ’bout something that might have been popular in the 30s, if someone gets over-flirtatious, they’re “coming on like gangbusters.” Straights usually pick up on such trends about a decade or two later than a queer does, but it’s no less delightful to hear Ozzie tell Harriet why she pooh-pooh’s his minimum endowment, as he feels he’s sufficiently “hung” and in any case, what is she, some sort of size queen?

  • YouGoGurl

    When I came out in San Francisco in the late 70’s we used the word “trick” a lot. Do people still ‘trick’ or take a ‘trick’ home or is that an 80’s word?

    • J.T.

      Yes, the term “trick” is still in circulation. I would use it more often, but it’s been so long, so long….

  • mozzer

    My boyfriends’ Uncle who used to serve in the Navy back in the 50s said they
    Used to say “Shoot the works through me Jerk” for barebacking

  • jwtraveler

    On a side note, the last scene, and particularly the last 2 lines, of “Some Like it Hot”. featuring the 2 pictured actors is still one of the funniest I’ve ever seen. If you’ve never seen it, you absolutely must. Jack Lemmon’s drag performance is fabulous! (a word I don’t use lightly)

  • semtex

    Shitbitch! I stubbed my toe before feeding time today and still took the double clutch.

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