The expressions "throw shade", "throwing shade", or simply "shade", are slang terms for a certain type of insult, often nonverbal. Journalist Anna Holmes called shade "the art of the sidelong insult".Merriam-Webster defines it as "subtle, sneering expression of contempt for or disgust with someone—sometimes verbal, and sometimes not".
The term can be found in Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park (1814). Young Edmund Bertram is displeased with a dinner guest's disparagement of the uncle who took her in: "With such warm feelings and lively spirits it must be difficult to do justice to her affection for Mrs. Crawford, without throwing a shade on the Admiral."
The slang version of "shade" originated from the black and Latino gay communities. According to gender studies scholar John C. Hawley, the expression "throwing shade" was used in the 1980s by New York City's ethnic working-class in the "ballroom and vogue culture", particularly by gender nonconformists. He writes that it refers to "the processes of a publicly performed dissimulation that aims either to protect oneself from ridicule or to verbally or psychologically attack others in a haughty or derogatory manner."
The first major use of "shade" that introduced the slang to the greater public was in Jennie Livingston's documentary film, Paris Is Burning (1990), about the mid-1980s drag scene in Manhattan.In the documentary, one of the drag queens, Dorian Corey, explains that shade derives from "reading", the "real art form of insults". Shade is a developed form of reading: "Shade is, I don't tell you you're ugly. But I don't have to tell you, because you know you're ugly. And that's shade."
Willi Ninja, who also appeared in Paris Is Burning, described "shade" in 1994 as a "nonverbal response to verbal or nonverbal abuse. Shade is about using certain mannerisms in battle. If you said something nasty to me, I would just turn on you, and give you a look like: 'Bitch please, you're not even worth my time, go on.' ... It's like watching Joan Collins going against Linda Evans on Dynasty . ... Or when George Bush ran against Bill Clinton, they were throwing shade. Who got the bigger shade? Bush did because Clinton won." A New York Times letter to the editor in 1993 criticized the newspaper for commenting on Bill Clinton's hair: "The Sunday Stylers are the last people I'd expect to throw shade on President Bill's hair pursuits."
According to E. Patrick Johnson, to throw shade is to ignore someone: "If a shade thrower wishes to acknowledge the presence of the third party, he or she might roll his or her eyes and neck while poking out his or her lips. People throw shade if they do not like a particular person or if that person has dissed them in the past. ... In the playful mode, however, a person may throw shade at a person with whom he or she is a best friend."
The expression was further popularized by the American reality television series RuPaul's Drag Race , which premiered in 2009.In 2015, Anna Holmes of The New York Times Magazine wrote:
Shade can take many forms — a hard, deep look that could be either aggressive or searching, a compliment that could be interpreted as the opposite of one. E. Patrick Johnson, who teaches performance studies and African-American studies at Northwestern University, and who has written about the tradition of insults in the gay and black communities, explains: "If someone walks into a room with a hideous dress, but you don’t want to say it's hideous, you might say, 'Oooh … look at you!’'" At its most refined, shade should have an element of plausible deniability, so that the shade-thrower can pretend that he or she didn't actually mean to behave with incivility, making it all the more delicious.
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Cunt is a vulgar word for the vulva or vagina and is also used as a term of disparagement. Reflecting different national usages, cunt is described as a "usually disparaging and obscene" term for a woman or an "offensive way to refer to a woman" in the United States by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, but "an unpleasant or stupid person" in the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, and "a contemptible person" in the Macquarie Dictionary of Australian English. In Australia and New Zealand, it can also be used as a neutral or, when used with a positive qualifier, a positive way of referring to a person.
A double entendre is a figure of speech or a particular way of wording that is devised to have a double meaning, of which one is typically obvious, whereas the other often conveys a message that would be too socially awkward, sexually suggestive, or offensive to state directly.
This is a list of British words not widely used in the United States. In Canada, New Zealand, India, South Africa, and Australia, some of the British terms listed are used, although another usage is often preferred.
Dude is American English slang for an individual, typically male. From the 1870s to the 1960s, dude primarily meant a person who dressed in an extremely fashionable manner or a conspicuous citified person who was visiting a rural location, a "city slicker". In the 1960s, dude evolved to mean any male person, a meaning that slipped into mainstream American slang in the 1970s. Current slang retains at least some use of all three of these common meanings.
Nonverbal communication (NVC) is the transmission of messages or signals through a nonverbal platform such as eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, posture, and the distance between two individuals. It includes the use of visual cues such as body language (kinesics), distance (proxemics) and physical environments/appearance, of voice (paralanguage) and of touch (haptics). It can also include the use of time (chronemics) and eye contact and the actions of looking while talking and listening, frequency of glances, patterns of fixation, pupil dilation, and blink rate (oculesics).
The term "drag" refers to the performance of masculinity, femininity or other forms of gender expression. A drag queen is someone who performs femininity and a drag king is someone who performs masculinity. The term may be used as a noun as in the expression in drag or as an adjective as in drag show.
Sympathy is the perception, understanding, and reaction to the distress or need of another life form. According to David Hume, this sympathetic concern is driven by a switch in viewpoint from a personal perspective to the perspective of another group or individual who is in need. David Hume explained that this is the case because "the minds of all men are similar in their feelings and operations" and that "the motion of one communicates itself to the rest" so that as affectations readily pass from one to another, they beget corresponding movements.
Vogue, or voguing, is a highly stylized, modern house dance originating in the late 1980s that evolved out of the Harlem ballroom scene of the 1960s. It gained mainstream exposure when it was featured in Madonna's song and video "Vogue" (1990), and when showcased in the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning. In its modern form, this dance has become a global phenomenon that continues to evolve both stylistically and demographically.
Paris Is Burning is a 1990 American documentary film directed by Jennie Livingston. Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it. Critics consider the film to be an invaluable documentary of the end of the "Golden Age" of New York City drag balls, and a thoughtful exploration of race, class, gender, and sexuality in America.
Oculesics, a subcategory of kinesics, is the study of eye movement, eye behavior, gaze, and eye-related nonverbal communication. The specific definition varies depending on whether it applies to the fields of medicine or social science.
Ball culture, drag ball culture, the house-ballroom community, the ballroom scene or ballroom culture and similar terms describe a young African-American and Latin American underground LGBTQ+ subculture that originated in New York City, in which people "walk" for trophies, prizes, and glory at events known as balls. Ball culture consists of events that mix performance, dance, lip-syncing, and modeling. Events are divided into various categories, and participants "walk" for prizes and trophies. As a countercultural phenomenon, ball culture is rooted in necessity and defiance. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, members of the underground LGBTQ+ community in large cities began to organize masquerade balls known as "drags" in defiance of laws which banned individuals from wearing clothes associated with the opposite gender.
In gay slang, queen is a term used to refer to a flamboyant or effeminate gay man. The term can either be pejorative or celebrated as a type of self-identification.
Eighty-six or 86 is American English slang used to indicate that an item is no longer available, traditionally from a food or drinks establishment; or referring to a person or people who are not welcome in the premises. Its origins are unknown but seem to have been coined in the 1920s or 1930s.
Dick is a common English euphemism for the human penis. It is also used by extension for a variety of slang purposes, generally considered vulgar, including: as a verb to describe sexual activity; and as a pejorative term for individuals who are considered to be rude, abrasive, inconsiderate, or otherwise contemptible. In this context, it can be used interchangeably with jerk, and can also be used as a verb to describe rude or deceitful actions. Variants include dickhead, which literally refers to the glans. The offensiveness of the word dick is complicated by the continued use of the word in inoffensive contexts, including as both a given name and a surname, the popular British dessert spotted dick, the classic novel Moby-Dick, the Dick and Jane series of children's books, and the American retailer Dick's Sporting Goods. Uses such as these have provided a basis for comedy writers to exploit this juxtaposition through double entendre.
Slapping or smacking refers to striking a person with the open palm of the hand.
Paris Dupree was an American drag performer and documentary participant featured in Jennie Livingston's 1990 documentary, Paris is Burning, which was named after Dupree's annual ball.
Prick is a vulgar word for penis as well as a pejorative term used to refer to a despicable or contemptible individual. It is generally considered offensive, though in the past it has been used as a term of endearment. Its history as a euphemism for penis goes back to the 1500s and has been used in wordplay by Shakespeare and other writers who have combined the vulgarism with the standard meaning of the noun, which means the act of piercing or puncturing. Most linguists believe it has only been used as a direct insult since 1929.
Yas is a playful or non-serious slang term equivalent to the excited or celebratory use of the interjection "yes!" Yas was added to Oxford Dictionaries in 2017, and defined as a form of exclamation "expressing great pleasure or excitement". Yas was defined by Oxygen's Scout Durwood as "a more emphatic 'yes' often paired with 'queen'. The more As in a yas, the higher the grade of excitement"; in other words, the exclamation often appears in the form "Yas, queen!" and with spelling variants such as "yaas!" or "yaaaas!"