For the sake of fair competition, the contestants themselves are categorized as such:
Butch Queens (BQs)- gay males, regardless to which end of the masculine/ feminine scale they choose to identify with (the category specifics determine which way to lean).
Femme Queens (FQs)- males at varying stages of gender reassignment; from the time they starts taking female hormones, they are no longer BQs. When you have a biologically androgynous male, there exists the flexibility to compete in categories designated for either BQs or FQs, provided there aren't any additional prerequisites.
BQs in Drag- gay males that do drag, but have not started taking female hormones. They may have their own categories, or compete with the FQs in some instances.
Women (or Female) - biological. This division does not demand a particular sexual orientation, but does lean toward a feminine demeanor.
Butches- sometimes referred to as "male illusionists", are generally classified as masculine lesbians, but any female possessing manly appearance and mannerisms can qualify, regardless to sexual preference.
Men- denotes contestants from the "straight" pool of patrons that still attend these functions. "Male" is used in other cases where sexual preference has no bearing on a particular category's fairness, such as with "Best Dressed Male" or "Male Muscular Body".
Open To All (OTA)- does not designate gender or persuasion, but you may have to meet other requirements, such as a specific prop or costume.
For runway contestants, the tall division, regardless to gender
The street-savvy look; also, looking like "rough trade"
A tie breaker; a chance for the contestant to show up his opponent. (See also Vogue-cabulary)
A class of ball competitors, usually 250 lbs. and over; "Luscious" for the ladies
A challenge; call of defiance; "Come on down, you're the next contestant..." Sometimes contestants are allowed to "call out" a rival
A masculine female, usually lesbian
A gay male, ranging from "straight acting" to flamboyant
BQ in Drag
A gay male in women's clothes that is not taking hormones. Some can actually pass for women, but this is not required unless specified by the category
Clever rhymes and raps used by the emcee to liven up competition
To disqualify (as in contestant); process of elimination..."Thank you, have a nice day." Also "hi-Yah" and "pack"
To challenge; "Don't come for me, 'cause you don't want it..."
Obtained by illegal means- credit card or check writing scams usually; "Miss Thing, that Galliano gown was crafted..."; also Stunkus
Ultra feminine; also, interchangeable with "ovah"
A category for aspiring designers and home sewers. "The garment must be made by YOU!"
A house leader (without regard to gender)
To be totally absorbed in the moment
good (example 1) or the way someone is dressed (example 2 and 2a). The tone of voice also matters (especially in example 2a)
Person 1: "How was that party girl?"
Person 2: "Girl, that party was FIERCE as hell!"
"Work! That outfit is FIERCE girl! You look good!"
"Hmph! No...that outfit...is FIERCE, you need to take that off right now! It is so over!"
The opening ceremonies. The hosting house's members are introduced, along with the categories they represent. Mother and Father are introduced last, for maximum effect
A title paired with a particular category winner, either currently or consistently. Examples include: label god (always "serves" this category- head to toe, and often layers), and face goddess (dare anyone defy her?)
Disqualification from competition or a category, taken from the fictitious Karate cry; also "chop" or "pack"
A social group, clique, club, posse, family, fraternity (usually gay)
A ballroom history maker; beyond the status of a Legend.
Noun: a close pal; adjective: characterized by favoritism, as in a judge that gives high scores based on friendship.
A multi- trophy winner, with a ballroom history; A veteran
(Rhymes with "give") to enjoy oneself immensely; "I lived at that last ball!"
For runway contestants, the petite or short division; anyone shorter than male/female model industry standards
Model's vs. Luscious (Body)
Two separate female or FQ categories, the later leans toward full-figured
Model's vs. Muscular (Body)
Two separate male categories, the later leans toward bodybuilding
Variation of "over", meaning "very impressive", also "cunty" or "sickening"; "legendary" on occasion
To ignore and move on, as in an unfavorable judges' decision; "Pay it. We'll get her after the ball"
A runway stunt in which you remove garment layers gracefully, down to your best ensemble
That son or daughter most likely to take the lead as mother or father, should the current parents not continue their role; "Heir to the Throne"
To greatly surpass in performance. Also "destroy"
The art of insults; finding a flaw in your opponent and verbally showcasing and exaggerating it (also "Deadly Daggers"); giving someone a "piece of your mind"
Someone currently known for winning a particular category. Rulers come and go, but Legends are forever!
An undesirable person, or described as such; low rated
Acknowledge or give credit; "No shade, but I don't see it".
Underhanded dealings, where usually the "jokes on you"; "Judge number two threw me shade..."
An up-and-coming Legend; a frequent winner that is making a name for themselves
An up-and-coming Star; not always winning, but frequently "getting [your] tens".
Tens, Getting Your
To get a perfect score from the whole judges' panel, 10 being the highest.
To make a grand show; bring the ballroom to its feet; also "work", "sell" and "serve"(all usually accompanied by "goddammit" or "bitch")
Fictional character created to represent unfavorable elements of the ball scene: excessive shade, petty bickering, etc.
First-timer, never walked (a particular category) ever.
To enter a category; "Miss Thing, you should not walk for "Face"...
Work/werk (it) [Verb]
To show people how attractive and talented you are.