21 More Lesbian Slang Terms You’ve Probably Never Heard Before

Three years ago we published 20 Lesbian Slang Terms You’ve Never Heard Before, which introduced y’all to the terms Bambi-Sexuality, “Make Scissors of Someone,” Kiki, Desperation Number, Bumper-to-Bumper, Funch, Johnson Bar, Janey, Kissing Fish, Daddle, Gillette Blade, Luke, Missionary Work, Hold a Bowling Ball, Cantonese Groin, Dishonorable discharge, Molly Dyke, Slcaks, Tit King and Muffer.

Yet, a whole world of additional queer and lesbian slang terms you’ve never heard of does indeed exist. The previous post was constructed with the help of the 1989 Alyson Almanac‘s “Dictionary of Slang and Historical Terms.”

This list was constructed using glossaries and lists from two books published in 1996:

The Lesbian Almanac, a production of The National Museum and Archive of Lesbian and Gay History.

So You Want To Be a Lesbian?, by Liz Tracey and Sydney Pokorny. (If the definition is from this book, the number for that term on the list is in bold.)

I’d like to state for the record that the former I purchased at The Haunted Bookshop in Iowa City and the latter (which I believe was invented for the sole purpose of being given as a gag gift) I found in my Mom’s basement this morning.

1. FAIRY LADY: “In the mid-1990s, a lesbian bottom.”

2. VULVA HANDS: “A gesture used in lesbian gatherings during the 1980s, probably originating in the women’s peace camp at Greenham Common in England and continuing at the Seneca Women’s Peace Encampment in upstate New York, and indicating the strength of lesbian sexuality. The two forefingers and thumbs were placed together to form a triangle, and then the hands were held over the head in the air. Some lesbian jewelry still employs the image of vulva hands.”

3. FRIG: “In lesbian sex, to finger fuck or stroke a woman’s genitals.”

4. LUPPIES: “Lesbian yuppies.”

5. STIRRING THE BEAN CURD: “English translation of a Chinese term for the lesbian sexual act of finger-fucking.”

6. SERGEANT: “In the mid-1990s, a butch lesbian.”

7. COMADRES: “In Chicano/Chicana communities of the American Southwest, two unmarried women who live together in a close relationship, as in Boston marriage or romantic friendship; in English translation, comothers.”

8. FUSION: “In lesbian love relationships, an intense intimacy between the two partners that causes them to be over-involved in each other. The result is that the differences between the two seem to be lessened, and each partner’s ability to maintain and independent identity is weakened. Often blamed for lesbian bed death, or loss of sexual desire. Also called merging.”

9. CELEBUDYKE: “A lesbian who is famous or near-famous for doing almost nothing. Ingrid Casares, who is known primarily because she has dated her way through the lesbian elite, is a prime example. On a local level can refer to a dyke on the scene, whether activist or club hopper, who everybody knows.”

10. PRIMARY LESBIAN: “A woman who experiences her lesbianism as innate or biologically determined, rather than as chosen or elected.”

11. JAM: “Mid-century slang for straight people.”

12. CRONE: Derogatory term for old, witchlike woman, reclaimed by 1970s feminists as proud names for older lesbians.

13. GIRLSLOTH: “A lesbian slacker”

14. ZAP/ZAP ACTION: “A form of direct action intended to be loud, quick, and shoy, to capture media attention.”

15. DYKE TYKE: “Men, sometimes gay, sometimes straight, who perpetually hang out with lesbian friends, and aspire to lesbianism as a higher consciousness.”

16. JACK AND JILL PARTY: “In the late 1980s, a circle jerk (group masturbation party) that welcomed gay men and lesbians, who occasionally had sex with one another.”

17. GLAMOUR DYKE: “A lesbian for whom fashion, elegance and glamour are important aspects of personal style and expression.”

18. LESBIAN THOUGHT POLICE: “Extreme political correctness, based on the idea that there is one certain way that all lesbians should think. A lesbian who feels guilt about her S/M sexual fantasies, for example, might joke that she is going to be hunted down by the lesbian thought police.”

19. PANCAKE: “Among African-American lesbians in the 1950s, a butch who allowed herself to be flipped (from “top” to “bottom”).”

20. GALIMONY: “Descriptive term for what is owed to the ‘divorced’ partner of a rich/famous lesbian, generally in the act of suing for same. Coined when Billie Jean King and her former lover became the test case.”

21. RUNNING-SHOE LESBIAN: “Lesbians, usually over thirty-five, who wear jogging shoes with everything (also called a yuppie dyke).”

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3179 articles for us.


  1. Oh, this is fun!

    “‘Fusion…an intense intimacy between the two partners'”

    “‘Often blamed for lesbian bed death'”

    (BTW, Fairy Lady is on here as #1 and #14 :))

  2. I’m gonna make myself a business card out of construction paper (look how grown up I am) just so I can refer to myself as a “professional glamour dyke”

    • I refer to all of my friends’ significant others as their comrades, especially if they’re dancing around the idea of officially dating, so I’m very happy with either reading.

  3. It be interesting to see some of the slangs for queer trans women and bi women(positive and funny like this of course).

    • I’ve heard byke (bisexual dyke) before but uh not sure if that is accidental or on purpose slutshaming/biphobia or just a ridiculous coincidence.
      So questionably positive?

    • I agree, and would love to see this as well. I worry that there wouldn’t be enough terms that aren’t slurs for the trans and bi folks to make an article though.

  4. I cannot wait to start calling my gay guy friends Dyke Tykes and my straight friends Jam and refusing to explain what I mean.

    • Heh heh I was born on a Friday, which is Frigg’s day and that day was also the summer solstice that year.
      Lookit that bi-phobic gold star jillasses I have some extra gay witchy mojo from a goddess that you don’t nana nana boo boo.

      *has questionable maturity in this moment but DGAF*

  5. Oh. My. God. Upon reading this together, my cute girlfriend and I have decided that she is a sergeant and I am a Molly dyke (appearing on the first lesbian slang list, meaning “The more passive woman in a lesbian relationship or liaison”). It’s funny because HER name is Molly and MY last name is Sargent. This coincidence is too amazing not to share with the lesbian universe.

  6. Ay… “Comadres” is one of those words that my family slings around casually now and then, like in reference to some demure señoras my sister and I know from the church choir (they’re not technically our godmothers, but hey). I’m already bracing myself for the next time someone says it…

    A couple of years ago, when my grandfather looked over at my grandma and I and asked us “¿cómo están mis tortilleras?” (how are my tortilla-makers/lesbians?), I just stood there dumbfounded before I remembered that we were actually rolling out tortillas, and so he was not saying that he thought she (?!) and I (still questioning at that point and not out to anyone) were lesbians!

    • yes! tortilleras was in the lesbian almanac too but i’d heard of it before (from gabby, i think?) so i didn’t put it in, but i remember her explaining it to me and i died !

    • My favorite slang-based misunderstanding ever is when some of my partner’s Bolivian family members were watching a Spanish language news station that featured a story on women workers in a Mexican tortilla factory who were fighting for unionization. There were banners that read “TORTILLERAS UNIDAS.” This produced a beautiful moment of confusion – ‘wait, the lesbians are unionizing?”

    • The problem with the word “tortillera”, used in almost all spanish-speaking countries, is that it’s a derogatory term.

      It’s not a word I would particularly like to “own”, like let’s say queer, once upon a time a derogatory term.

      And I have a scar on my face that clearly shows how much I hate the word.

  7. I just read Tipping the Velvet, and picked up some new Victorian slang!

    Quim- vulva.

    Example from book: “My quim- in the clever way of quims- was still quite slippery from the passion of the night before.”

    Frigstress- A woman who pleasures herself (aka frigs herself).

    Example from book: “We thought you must’ve turned frigstress, in your little cell. That you must’ve frigged yourself until your cunt was sore.”

    Tom- A tomboyish lesbian, or a lesbian who makes a career out of being a lesbian. Used like the word “dyke” in the Victorian era, but was recorded as early as the 1570s meaning “a bold or immodest woman,” or “a girl who acts like a spirited boy”.

    Tipping the Velvet- Cunnilingus

    • Last week a friend and I were walking around the village and I misread, to great sadness, a restaurant title as Mighty Quim’s Barbecue.

    • Afraid quim is still used in the UK usually in a derogatory way, intetchangably with t*** and c***.

  8. One of the ways Tri Deltas greet each other in the wild is with vulva hands. We call them deltas, but we called a lot of things other names in college. Ahem.

  9. Today I learned I am a running-shoe lesbian… I even wore Adidas to my wedding.
    But in my defense they were the good ones…

  10. In french comadre is comère, but in my spanish “tainted” accent it sounds like I’m saying comer which is to eat.
    Make what you will of that.

  11. Little bit glamour lesbian. Wishing I had the energy and motivation to get out there and make this bod rock a little harder though.

  12. Is it weird that I could easily see how using the word “Sergeant” could be a huge turn on?

  13. oMG!! I have been shopping at the Haunted Book since 1980 ! First at the house facing College Green Park and then all the other locs …. such a fabulous book store :) :) :) LOVE it and both of the owners ( Rock was my neighbor). You lived here ??? wow ….

    • We stopped there on our way from California to Michigan a few weeks ago! I LOVED IT. We spent like an hour there.

  14. In roller derby the hand signal for an official review is making an ‘o’ with your hands, however, a lot of people are lazy and end up doing vagina hands. Being at tournaments where there’s one crew of officials watching the other at all times has made me very concious of how I signal official reviews.

  15. These are all so amazing.
    In other Spanish-speaking places comadre doesn’t have this gay meaning AND THAT MAKES ME SAD.

Comments are closed.