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Sunday, October 21, 2007

A bit of Lesbian Terminology

I was reading some lesbian articles over the weekend and came across some interesting lesbian terminology. I was so entertained by some of these words and definitions that I started to do a bit more research on the subject. I was amazed to find how many different lesbian terms/slang that I had never heard of before.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to put together a list of various lesbian terms and definitions for my blog, you never know, you might just learn something new. Oh, and if I missed any, which is very likely, then send me an email and I will add them to my list.


Lesbian Terminology

Androgynous
A lesbian who is neither masculine nor feminine in appearance or behavior. Universally known as Unisex.

Baby Dyke
A young butch or soft butchunder the age of 25.

Blue Jean Femme
A Blue Jean Femme is a lesbian who identifies as femme but prefers jeans and more casual clothing to dresses and skirts.

Boston Marriage
Old fashioned term describing two unmarried women who shared a house together. Origins: This originates from the nineteenth century when it was acceptable for two unmarried women to share a house together. As to how many of these women were lesbians is unknown.

Bulldyke
Incredibly masculine lesbian.
Origins: This supports the theory that dyke originates from the Celtic language as Queen Boudicca was around at the time and she was known for being an incredibly powerful woman.

Butch
Used to describe a lesbian who is masculine in appearance and outlook. Often relates to the way she dresses, the hairstyle, the shoes she wears etc.
Origins: Some say it comes from 1930's America from Butch, a strong and popular man's name of that time. Others believe it stems from the 1950's when both in the UK and USA working class lesbian couples dressed as one masculine and one feminine, whilst the middle class preferred to hide behind their feminine demeanor.

Chapstick Lesbian Another term for androgynous or Sporty Lesbian.
Origins: Introduced in the late 1990's to take on all those lipstick lesbians out there!

Dieseldyke
Once again this term means incredibly masculine lesbian, particularly those that drive heavy equipment and trucks.

Dyke
Another term for butch. Originally used as disparaging term for a lesbian.
Origins: This may have originated from the Celtic language, or possibly from the slang word dike used in the nineteenth century, which means male clothing. This term is widely accepted in lesbian circles but if a straight person were to call you a dyke this is thought to be offensive!

Dykon
A lesbian icon, such as kd lang, Melissa Etheridge, or Ellen Degeneres

Earthy-crunchy dyke/Granola Lesbian
A lesbian who is usually vegetarian and usually either New Age or Neopagan and has a She is often considered an earth-mother type and tends to wear Birkenstocks.

Femme
A lesbian who dresses in a feminine nature and has a feminine manner. Femmes are said to prefer skirts, flouncy clothes, makeup, and spending inconceivable amounts on their hair. (Not always true). They are the opposites of butch.
Origins: This originates from the same time as when the term butch became popular in the 1950's where lesbians were forced to choose which way they would dress in bars, or the working class lesbian couples chose to dress that way.

Gaysia
A gay Asian female.

Glamour butch
A butch who likes to wear fancy suits, tuxedos, etc, frequently.

Gold-star lesbian
A lesbian who never has and never intends to have sex with a man. Sometimes they also get points for never sleeping with bisexuals.

Grrl
A lesbian who's too old to be a baby dyke, but still fairly young and is usually a soft butch.

Gynaeotrope
Another term for Lesbian. The term was suggested in 1946 by Kurt Hiller because of what he considered to negative connotations of "lesbian" (or "homosexual") but the term never caught on.

High Femme
A lesbian who expresses the cultural norm for ultra-femininity - makeup, dresses, heels, hair, nails. May not identify as a lesbian if her desires are exclusively for Stone Butches and FtM's.

Lesbian Bed Death
This is a term invented by sex researcher Pepper Schwartz to describe the supposedly inevitable diminishment of sexual passion in long term lesbian relationships. The term is sometimes used to refer to diminished sexual activity in any long term relationship.

Lipstick Lesbian
Another term for femme. However it can also mean feminine women who are attracted to other feminine women.
Origins: This is a slang term introduced in the late 1990's.

Low femme
A femme lesbian who is, perhaps, not quite so stereotypically feminine as a high femme, usually preferring jeans and a blouse or t-shirt to skirts for everyday. Also known as a Blue Jean Femme.

LP
Lesbian Potential, used when playing spot-the-queers in public places, as in "she's got high LP"

ManDyke
A masculine woman of any orientation. Another definition is a woman who takes a male cultural role while not necessarily passing as male.

Mama Bear
A female police officer or security guard.

Pan Sexual
One who exhibits or suggests a sexuality that has many different forms, objects, and outlets. One who exhibits many forms of sexual expression.

Pillow Princess
A lesbian who is unwilling or uninterested in reciprocating sex.

Poppa
Any lesbian under the age of consent.

Queer
Queer was originally a derogatory term used to taunt and mock anyone who was not heterosexual or who did not conform to or uphold society's gender expectations. Now queer has been reclaimed by much of the LGBTQ community as an umbrella term referring to sexual orientations and identities (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) that fall outside of the mainstream. It can also express a conscious desire to challenge the societal norm.

Sapphism
Another term for lesbianism
Origins: Direct origination from the poet Sappho who wrote love sonnets to and about women.

Saturday Night Butch
A term from the 1950s and 60s, when butch/femme was the norm in lesbian bars, this means that a person was not a real butch, but only dressed up as a butch on the weekends.

Serial Monogamy
This is the way some lesbians choose to aviod the possibility of Lesbian Bed Death. Short but exclusive relationships, generally very passionate and intense. Sometimes seen by others as merely a way of avoiding intimacy.

Soft Butch
A soft butch is a lesbian whose appearance is usually more androgynous. She may dress and act in a masculine manner, but be soft and more feminine on the inside. Also, a soft butch can be someone who falls somewhere between butch and femme, but closer to the butch side.

Sport Dyke
A sport dyke is a lesbian, who more than anything, identifies with being an athlete. She may also dress in a manner that would give the impression she is an athlete, like baseball caps, sweatshirts and jeans.

Stone Butch
Most masculine of the Butches. They may pass as male without actually trying. May identify as transgender, that is identifying outside of the gender usually associated with females and will often be seen as male by the outside world. Does all or most of the above in masculine gender expressions. May or may not be sexually aggressive. Will not be made love to as one would a "woman". Will derive sexual pleasure from pleasing partner and will not allow "womanly" genital touching or penetration. Usually will have questioned their gender at some time in their lives. Will not be comfortable with their female body. May think of Butch as a separate gender from man & woman.

Stone femme
A femme lesbian who never tries to flip or "melt" her Stone Butch. lover, but prefers to pleasure her lover by taking a passive role in sex. A second definition is a femme lesbian who does not like to be touched, much like a stone butch.

Strum Queen
Lesbian that likes masturbating in front of other lesbians.

Switch
one who is both a top and a bottom in the leather sense, and switches back and forth or one who is butch sometimes and femme sometimes, and andro sometimes.

Tomcat
An aggressive woman.

Tit King
A lesbian attracted to women with large breasts.

Transgender
A person who walks through life as another gender not associated with their birth sex; crosses cultural gender boundaries. May identify as a "female man" or "TransMan". Will be recognized at least part of the time by others as men.

Transsexual(FtM or TransMan)
A female born person who takes testosterone and/or has surgery to create a male looking physical body. May simply identify as a straight, gay or bisexual man depending on his desires or may feel his identity is simply "transman or FtM. Many live in "stealth mode" - that is, they live as men and not part of the queer community

Tween
One who is in between butch and femme, and can take on either role; a switch

Vagina Wig
(Yes, this term is from the L-Word Series) A vagina wig, also known as a merkin, (hence the Stacy Merkin reference) is exactly as the name implies, a wig worn over the pubic area. According to Wikipedia, merkins were worn by prostitutes beginning in the 1600s after shaving their genitalia to eliminate lice or to disguise the marks of syphilis.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...wow, even I learned something...lol.

Anonymous said...

No wonder Lesbians are sooo confused.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see village bicycle on your list

girl2grl said...

I knew I forgot something...lol.

Anonymous said...

you also forgot futch, which is someone who looks like a butch cause they have short hair, but is also femme.

Anonymous said...

You also forgot stems and fags..I've noticed a lot of women referring to themselves a fags and it confuses me thoroughly

Anonymous said...

um . . . not all femmes are submissive and not all butches are tops. I'm surprised this blog indicated otherwise. There are plenty of butch lesbians who are total pillow princesses, even while wearing butchcock . .

Shay said...

You should mention a list of terms for the vag. My favorite are breakfast of champions, and vertical smile :-)

Lesbian DAting said...

Butch... I never heard that before..wow, even I learned something...lol.

Anonymous said...

Apparently a lot of younger people use the term stud instead of butch. Especially young african american women who seem athletic (think basketball player) that are more masculine refer to themselves as studs and those that are more feminine yet definitely still athletic and somewhat masculine are soft studs.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree!

 

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