Drag Glossary

A – C

  • All Tea, No Shade: Truthful, without malice.
  • Beat: To apply makeup flawlessly.
  • Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent: Qualities RuPaul looks for in a drag superstar.
  • Condragulations: Congratulations in drag speak.
  • Cooking: Letting powder sit on the face to set the foundation.
  • C.U.N.T.: An acronym for Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent.

D – F

  • Death Drop: A dramatic dance move involving a high kick and a drop to the ground.
  • Drag Mother: An experienced drag queen who acts as a mentor.
  • Eleganza Extravaganza: A term used to describe over-the-top elegance.
  • Fishy: A term used to describe a drag queen who looks extremely feminine.
  • Gag: To be shocked or amazed.
  • Henny: Honey, term of endearment.
  • Kiki: A social gathering, usually for casual gossip.
  • Lip Sync for Your Life: A performance to determine who stays in a drag competition.
  • Mug: Face or makeup.
  • No Tea, No Shade: No offense.
  • Padding: Using foam or other materials to enhance body shape.
  • Read: To humorously point out someone’s flaws.
  • Realness: Authenticity; convincingly passing as a certain gender or social role.
  • Sashay Away: To leave the stage, often used in elimination.
  • Shantay You Stay: The phrase used to indicate a queen remains in the competition.
  • Sickening: So fabulous it makes you sick; extremely good.
  • Spilling the Tea: Sharing the gossip or the truth.
  • Tuck: The act of concealing one’s male genitalia.
  • Werk: To do something to the fullest; with flair.

G – I

  • Gagging: Overwhelmed or speechless because of something fabulous.
  • Glamazon: A glamorous, statuesque drag queen.
  • Haus: A group or collective of drag performers.
  • Iconic: Something that is legendary or highly memorable.
  • Illusion: The art of a drag queen’s transformation.

J – L

  • Jush: Your style or essence.
  • KiKi: A party or gathering, often for gossiping.
  • Library is Open: A phrase indicating that it’s time to start reading (humorously criticizing) each other.
  • Lipsync Assassin: A queen known for their exceptional lip-syncing skills.

M – O

  • Mopping: Slang for stealing.
  • Nubia: The collective of queens of color, celebrating their culture and contributions to drag.
  • Opulence: Wealth, affluence, abundance.
  • Owning It: Fully embracing oneself or the moment.

P – R

  • Pageant Queen: A drag queen who competes in pageants.
  • Paint: To apply makeup.
  • Purse First: Entering a room handbag first, a phrase popularized by Bob the Drag Queen.
  • Reading: The act of humorously pointing out a person’s flaws.
  • Realness: The ability to authentically embody a certain demographic or identity.
  • Rupaulogize: To apologize, as in RuPaul’s Drag Race.

S – U

  • Serving: Presenting a look or attitude.
  • Shade: Subtle insult.
  • Slay: To do something exceptionally well.
  • Snatch Game: A parody of the Match Game where contestants impersonate celebrities.
  • Tea: Truth, gossip.
  • Trade: A masculine, attractive man, typically straight-acting.
  • Untucked: Behind-the-scenes Drag Race show; also refers to relaxing or letting one’s guard down.

V – Z

  • Vanity: A drag queen’s personal makeup area.
  • Voguing: A highly stylized modern dance characterized by photo model-like poses, inspired by Vogue magazine.
  • Yas Queen: An exclamation of support or excitement.
  • Zhoosh: To adjust or fluff up, to add a bit of flair.


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