RuPaul’s Drag Race has been slaying on our screens since it first started airing back in 2009. With the VH1 and Netflix show now in its 12th season, there is bound to be more drama and fabulously bizarre runway poses than ever. Here’s a guide – or drag dictionary if you will – on just a few of the sayings you will need to know prior to the series’ release date.
From Glamazon and Read, to Tea and Kiki, the language used in drag culture, both on RuPaul’s Drag Race and in everyday life, can be a minefield.
The drag dialect has been developing over a number of decades and is still evolving today thanks to the reality show.
Drag vernacular like “throwing shade” and “vogueing” entered the mainstream back in the 80s and the latter was made even more famous by Madonna’s hit Vogue.
To explain a bit more about some of the words and phrases used by the LGBT+ community, Express.co.uk has spoken to editor in didactics at language learning app Babble Ted Mentele to explain further.
One example used in every episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race is “Shantay You Stay” which is said to the winning queen after a lip-sync battle to keep their place in the competition.
RuPaul herself has said “shantay” means to “weave a bewitching spell”, mesmerising the judges with their talent during the contest and getting the judges’ votes to stay.
The term could also come from the French word “enchanté” which means enchanted.
On the flip side of the coin, the loser is told to “Sashay Away”, a phrase which is believed to come from the ballet term chassé, meaning to glide gracefully.
A term probably less known to the masses is a “Kiki” which is just another way to say a social gathering where the main purpose is to relax and gossip.
Kikis have been long associated with the LGBT+ community and the queens often Kiki when they are getting ready for the runway.
Another phrase you might hear while watching the new series is “fishy”.
This is deemed as one of the highest compliments in the drag queen community, meaning to look very feminine in drag.