Cover Image: The Queens' English

The Queens' English

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Member Reviews

This was so fun. So educational. I loved the colours and the layout. I felt it was super well done and had a great mix between definitions and info on words and where they came from and in some cases why they might be harmful.
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Oh my gosh, this book! I felt like I was familiar with a lot of slang and queer words, but this book was so hilarious and insightful with how they presented everything, I didn't even care that I felt like I was reading a dictionary at times. Other moments felt more like an encyclopedia, which I think was the feel the publishers were going for. This isn't something that you'd necessarily read but more of a reference book. In print, it would definitely be a statement piece on your bookshelf or coffee table, where ever.

 Thanks to #NetGalley and publishers for the ARC in exchange for a review of #TheQueensEnglish
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This is a great colorful, comprehensive dictionary of LGBTQ+ words, phrases, anagrams and more. It's informative, thorough and fun, and will answer questions readers may not feel comfortable asking elsewhere. Examples are given of how to use each one in conversation, which are often delightfully cheeky. I would recommend pre-reading it to gauge suitability for younger readers, as it understandably does cover somewhat explicit subject matter at times. Well recommended.

I read a temporary digital ARC of this book via NetGalley.
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A really great resource for all things queer! Not only does it have so many LGBTQIA+ words and meanings it also has other words and phrases you might not think would be in a book about the "Queen's English.."
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Phenomenal!  A fantastically thorough exploration of queer language and its impact on pop culture.  I greatly appreciate the lengths to which the author went to ensure that proper credit was given to subcultures and minority groups for various words and definitions.  This book is inclusive in language and approach.  I also love the layout of the book, and the colors are vivid and fun, encapsulating the technicolor world of LGBTQ people.  While I'm sure there will be changes in the language presented in this book (bc language is an ever-changing organism), this will go down as one of those definitive resources to look back at in the future, a tool for exploring our queer history!
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First of all, that title!

I've not seen it's equal.  Well organized dictionary of a rapidly evolving populist language.  Includes important usage notes, related terms, and additional info.  Such a joyful, punny language.  Chapstick lesbian, I'm slayed!

As a coffee table book, this would be the hit of the party.

Reader advisory: allies, young people questioning their own sexuality/gender, fans of DragRace
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Unfortunately, this book would have been much more appreciated in print. As an ebook, it was hard to read with the watermark across each page. I know this would be a great book to flip through and to use as a reference. It would be great for teens as well.
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First of all, what a gorgeous book! I received a Netgalley PDF from publisher Clarkson Potter to review, but this is definitely the kind of text best appreciated as a tactile object. Such books are also great to display prominently in the bathroom, so that when you have any guests, friends (or family) over who are even vaguely homophobic, they get constipation instead.

Also, what immediately endeared me to Chloe O. Davis is her correct, and cheekily irreverent, use of the apostrophe in ‘The Queens’ English’. Place the apostrophe on the <i>other</i> side of the ‘s’, of course, and you probably end up with a protocol manual for HRM. Girl, this one is much more fun!

My only quibble is that this is billed as a dictionary of ‘lingo and colloquial phrases’. It is that, but so much more. A lot of the words and phrases are derived from the sciences (philosophy, politics, psychiatry, economics), and the majority have to do with gender and sexual classification.

The remainder of the words, and this is definitely where the colloquial lingo bit comes into play, seem to describe, venerate or disparage (and sometimes all three at once) a bewildering array of sex acts, not to mention euphemisms for coitus and organs of congress (Horatio’s comment comes to mind: ‘There are more things in heaven and Earth / Than are dreamt of…’)

Davis explains that the long gestation for this book was her personal research into the complexities of her own sexual identity. “Learning new words like ‘demi’, ‘bi’ and ‘flexible’ gave me labels that identified the fluidity of my attraction to others,” she says, which is testament to how empowering language can be. Of course, language is a double-edged sword as it is also used to pigeon-hole people.

So the end result is that Davis now identifies as a ‘biromantic demisexual bisexual’. If that phrase has just made your head spin like Linda Blair, hopefully without spraying pea-green soup all over the place, then you definitely have to read this book (‘read’ is a bit of a misnomer, as it is ideal to dip into whenever you have a spare moment). The best way to educate people about these admittedly complex and often contentious and emotionally-laden concepts and nuances is if you make it fun and topical, which this book has in spades.

In a section entitled ‘Who Are You?’, Davis states that “Society has been conditioned to understand gender and sexuality in a binary way. The LGBTQIA+ community represents the dynamic idea that our gender, sexuality, and outward expression are layered and complex.”

So who are YOU? Below are some ideas from this amazing book:

BIPOC, European, Gay, Aromantic, QPOC, American, Lesbian, Femme, QTPOC, Immigrant, Dyke, Butch, QWOC, First-generation, Fag, Masc, WOC, Second-generation, Homo, Futch, MOC, Disabled, Hetero, Monogamous, POC, Able-bodied, Flexible, Non-monogamous, Blaqueer, Genderqueer, Fluid, Polyamorous, Gaysian, No label, Flux, Kinkster, Asian, Null gender, Straight, Dominant, Asian and Pacific Islander, Agender, Asexual, Submissive, Latinx, Gender nonconforming, Bisexual, Mommi, Latina, Nonbinary, Pansexual, Daddy, Latino, Transgender, Polysexual, African, Trans man, Homosexual, Hispanic, Transmasculine, Heterosexual, Jewish, Trans woman, Homoromantic, White, Transfeminine, Heteroromantic, Black, Man, Biromantic, Native American, Woman, Panromantic, Indigenous, Androgynous, Polyromantic
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This is an interesting dictionary for those unfamiliar with the LGBTQIA community and its lingo; however, as someone who is already familiar with this terminology, I would have liked to have seen more about the history of how these terms developed, which communities they are used in, and whether they are widely accepted or seen by some as controversial or derogatory.
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A solid five stars. 

This is more than a dictionary. It is actually a companion guide and an excellent reference book.

 It is a guide to contemporary gay slang, and various terms and that are used within and outside 
LGBTQIA+ culture. If you want to understand some of the current terms used in discourse on gender, sexuality and LGBTQIQ+ issues then this is the guide book for you.

It is quite easy to be puzzled when seeing people use new terms. Cis, gender queer, trans etc. These are used everywhere but what do they actually mean? This book explains various terms and also shows their origin, how they are used and the meaning.

I enjoyed going through this book and found all the definitions to be quite helpful. I particularly liked the explanations of the different terms and their origins. I have always wondered about the term 'bye Felicia' and what it means and where it has come from. Now I know a bit more.

The best aspect of this book is the coloring and the graphics. I also enjoyed the different sections on aspect of gay history as well.

Well worth having a hard copy and so I bought one.

Copy provided by publisher in exchange
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“Come indulge in The Queens’ English, the dictionary for all of us, whether you’re cis or trans, masc or femme, vanilla or kink, on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum or just a super-ally to the rainbow family. This language is a celebration of our queer culture and helps us explore the fluidity and complexity of human experience.”

My first exposure to The Queens’ English was a digital advanced reader’s copy provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley. Within moments of opening the file, I knew I needed to own this one in print. So I immediately preordered it. And I’m so glad I did! It’s colorful and fun and very obviously crafted with so much love.

People have raised the (good) question of who this book is truly for. After all, the people who use the language it defines probably don’t need a dictionary, and those outside the LGBTQIA+ community probably shouldn’t use most of it, because cultural appropriation. (That’s all super true.) But personally, I’ve always been a big fan of the idea of dictionaries as time capsules. Language is absolutely incredible, and it’s constantly shifting and changing however we need it to. Language is also powerful, cultural, meaningful. I love that this book exists to capture all of that for the LGBTQIA+ community at this moment in time.

It’s also packed with so much context, advocacy, history, and more. There is truly a delight on every page. Buy a copy!
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Digital copy made available by Netgalley.

The Queen's English covers a broad variety of terms related to the LGBTQ+ community both directly (e.g. sexuality and gender) as indirectly through queer culture. The entries are short and concise, give examples, and don't fail to acknowledge intersectional backgrounds like AAVE.

That being said, I question what target audience would read an get full use out of this. Most entries don't go beyond what you find online. If you don't have the safe space to read up online, you probably don't have the safe space to have this book at hand. 

Additionally, and that might be because I'm reading a digital version, the layout and colour choice makes it hard to read, ranging from casual eyesore to illegible. This especially affects the themed pages, which is sad because they are a special feature to explore larger topics.

3.5/5 for generally good content, I give it the benefit of the doubt that it might look better in physical. Not more than what it says on the tin, not less.
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The Queens' English by Chloe O. Davis is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early February.

An informal project taken by David to define terms used in gay culture, it is truly and literally colorful with illustrations, big use of bold and different-sized fonts, motivating historical and cultural blippets - it's also truly tens across the board.
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Thanks to NetGalley for this review copy of The Queen's English, by Chloe O Davis, a dictionary of terms related to the LGBTQI community. It is beautifully presented and put together, with descriptions, definitions and warnings. Oh yes, the warnings, which are basically "be careful using this language if these are not your people". Very true. I don't want to appropriate another culture's language. In fact, the production of a book like this is part of the gentrification of certain subcultures, some parts of which are quite happy to be joining the mainstream, and other parts who are not. So I don't know who this book for - I feel like "if you know you know" and if you don't know you can't use this language anyway. But it is a very pretty book.
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This is an amazing reference! Covering everything from technical terms to slang, this is a marvelous resource for understanding the queer community. In addition, it recognizes the importance of intersectionality in queerness, race, class, and disability. The diverse array of illustrations was a welcome addition to the text.

It also makes mention of when words and phrases that originated in BIPOC communities have been appropriated into mainstream culture. Additionally, in the Did You Know inserts, there are many references to other sources of information like documentaries. And the pages of further resources at the end was great.

A few instances where the only information given was “see *other word*” which, happening early in the book doesn’t seem right. Like, the entry for BIPOC simply read “see POC”.
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The Queens' English is a glossary of words, terms, and phrases used in the LGBTQ+ community. This reference guide is as beautiful and vibrant as the language itself. The eye-catching graphics and layout makes it an easy and engaging read. I so appreciated all of the historical information, lessons on origins of words and phrases, and tid-bits sprinkles throughout the book. Not only did I love this, I think it would be a fantastic gift!
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I want to thank Netgalley for giving me an advanced copy of this beautiful and so valuable dictionary in exchange for my honest review.


The queen’s english is a dictionary where you could find some terms that are used in the LGBTQ+ community.

This is a book that any person MUST read because it really shows some terms that I didn’t even know that existed, and some that are very useful, this also explains with some examples and even got the opposite words of every term for you to get it better.

I even wish I could have this book in my hands because I know that someday I will forget some of these terms and I will need them. 

Basically this is Ten’s across the board (5 stars in Goodreads) and I will love this and it’s fully necessarily.
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Such a fun and colorful book.  Also very informative as a gaybee.  This would be nice to have a physical copy on hand.
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Most heterosexual people, these days, know the basic terms that are out there. They know what a Queen is. They have seen Ru Paul's Drag race, so they know what drag is as well. 

But there are some terms that never come out any further than the gay community itself. There are some

This is so cool. This is not only a dictionary, but also tells where the phrase came from, and who it originated with.

For example, Auntie, which in the straight world, is a term of endearment used for old women of their community, Auntie in the gay world, is a mature, effeminate gay man or transgender woman. 

Fascinating study, and I'm so glad that it is here.

Thanks to Netgalleyk for making this book available for an honest review.
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A valuable book cataloguing some important words and phrases from the LGBTQIA+ community for reference and learning, understanding their origin (especially the ones that have made their way into the mainstream so we can acknowledge where they come from and take care not to misappropriate them), preserving a particular time and space of a culture, and celebrating the power of words and a shared language. While being laid out like a dictionary makes sense, for me I think it would have been helpful if it was grouped in categories (such as having different phrases grouped together, sexual identities, gender identities, etc.). But even so, it is a beautiful book to keep and refer back to for definitions that come from the community who created them.
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