The Queens' English

The Queens' English

The LGBTQIA+ Dictionary of Lingo and Colloquial Expressions


A landmark reference guide to the LGBTQIA+ community's contributions to the English language-an intersectional, inclusive illustrated glossary featuring more than 800 terms created by and for queer culture.

With a foreword from Paula Akpan

Do you know where "yaaaas queen!" comes from? Do you know the difference between a bear and a wolf? Do you know what all the letters in LGBTQIA+ stand for?

The Queens' English is a comprehensive guide to modern gay slang, queer theory terms, and playful colloquialisms that define and celebrate LGBTQIA+ culture. This modern dictionary provides an in-depth look at queer language, from terms influenced by celebrated lesbian poet Sappho and from New York's underground queer ball culture in the 1980s to today's celebration of RuPaul's Drag Race.

The glossary of terms is supported by full-color illustrations and photography throughout, as well as real-life usage examples for those who don't quite know how to use "kiki," "polysexual," or "transmasculine" in a sentence. A series of educational lessons highlight key people and events that shaped queer language; readers will learn the linguistic importance of pronouns, gender identity, Stonewall, the Harlem Renaissance, and more.

For every queen in your life-the men, women, gender non-conforming femmes, butches, daddies, and zaddies-The Queens' English is at once an education and a celebration of queer history, identity, and the limitless imagination of the LGBTQIA+ community.


  • A fun, engaging and comprehensive guide... Every time I opened the book I learned something new, enjoying turning the pages of this celebration of queer theory
    Eric Page, Gscene

About the author

Chloe O. Davis

Chloe O. Davis is a proud Black bisexual woman and debut author who works in the entertainment industry in New York. A graduate of Hampton University and Temple University, she has centered her creative platform on amplifying the narratives of Black culture and heightening the awareness of the LGBTQIA+ community. Davis's work as a dancer, actor, and creative has allowed her to travel to all fifty states and internationally. In addition to performing at premier theaters across the country, such as New York City Center, the Apollo Theater, the Kennedy Center, the Muny, and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, she has appeared on PBS Great Performances with Porgy and Bess at the Metropolitan Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert on NBC, and Southern Landscape performed by the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO!). In tandem with performing, Chloe O. Davis has spent fifteen years researching, writing and creating The Queens' English, The Dictionary for LGBTQIA+ Lingo and Colloquial Phrases. She believes this dictionary is a starting point for important conversations around inclusivity, sexuality, gender expression and identity.

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