gayharlem



Ball Vernacular
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Throughout the years, vernacular particular to the New York City ball circuit has developed that has distinguished this counterculture from other gay and transgendered identified communities. Similar to any kind of cultural movement, vernacular aids in fostering a sense of shared identity and understanding. Since the premier of Paris is Burning and reality television shows such as America's Next Top Model and RuPaul's Drag Race, ball vernacular has permeated into the greater American consciousness. Below is a glossary of sorts for some of the most commonly used terms and phrases within the ball circuit, complied with an understanding that vernacular is constantly developing.

Banjee
noun an individual that presents him or herself in stereotypically hyper-masculine urban fashion, thus having the capability to mask his or her homosexuality

Butch
adj, noun a lesbian woman that embodies stereotypically masculine traits

Butch Queen
noun a gay male

Chop
verb to disqualify or be disqualified from a ball

Cunty
adj very feminine presentation

Craft(ed)
adj, verb to acquire something illegally; also known as mopping

Father
noun leader of a house

Femme
adj, noun a lesbian woman that embodies stereotypically feminine traits

Fierce
adj to be fabulous

Legend
noun a veteran of the ballroom circuit that has won multiple titles

Mother
noun leader of a house

New Way
The style of voguing beginning in the mid 1980's that features control of the arms and body contortions



Old Way
The style of voguing that was developed prior to the mid 1980's that features acrobatics and hand illusions; also known as pop, dip, and spin



Ovah
adj very impressive

Punish
adj to give an outstanding performance

Read
verb the act of locating another's flaw and directly insulting him or her about it; a successful performance and/or presentation thus means that a reading is not possible


Realness
adj a standard by which one convincingly presents oneself as the "opposite" gender; may also encompass a convincing presentation of a particular style and/or occupation

Snatch
verb to win a category in a ball

Shwam!
noun what an emcee/commentator often says at a ball when someone executes a suicide fall; also known as a 5000 or shablam


Throw shade
verb phr. to insult, criticize, demean in regards to one's appearance in an underhanded fashion

Virgin
noun someone who is competing in a category for the first time

Walk
verb to compete in a particular category in a ball