Merriam-Webster Adds “Shade” To Dictionary

The A.V. Club reports:

America still has much to learn from drag queens—gender being a social construct, for example, or the perils of hog body—but there’s one aspect of drag culture that has long since moved into the mainstream, and that’s the slang. Chief among these linguistic gifts is a new, many-layered meaning for the word “shade,” a concept that has been part of black culture since slavery but has only now been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, according to a tweet sent out by Merriam-Webster earlier today.

(Tipped by JMG reader Bill)

  • Skokieguy [Larry]
    • Acronym Jim

      It can also be both literal and metaphorical at the same time.

      • Florenceddye

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    • David Walker

      Drama ensues.

      • Acronym Jim

        Miss Prance ended up looking like a cheap version of an Elizabethan hooker shortly afterwords.

        • Lancastrian bitch! I’ll take a York white rose, thank you!

        • Megrim Twist

          This is what Gaga wore to the Super Bowl after-party.

        • ChrisMorley

          How dare you diss Anna Rosina Marquart, née Tanck, wife of Johann Marquard, mayor of Lübeck, Germany.
          (This was painted by Michael Conrad Hirt in 1642, well after Elizabeth I had died in 1603).
          Anna’s very much classier than Melania and has even more gold bling.

          London prostitutes in Elizabethean times were known as ‘Winchester Geese‘ because the Bishop of Winchester licensed and taxed them as they plied their trade in houses of ill repute and the streets around Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in Southwark, just across the river from the city of London.

          • Derrick Johns

            Oh, my, God. Where did you learn such stuff and keep it your head?

          • Acronym Jim

            I wasn’t dissing Anna. Quite the opposite, she was the expensive version of an Elizabethan hooker.

    • The Milkman
      • JCF

        With Ms Maxine, the exception is the politician at whom she does NOT throw shade…

  • Pollos Hermanos
  • KCMC

    and yet, ‘hot mess,’ is only in the unabridged:

  • another_steve

    Shade is when your mama says to you, “I’m glad you have a good job, Stevie dear. Even though you’re not a doctor.”

    • TJay229

      No… That was a read.
      Shade would be “I’m glad you have a good job Steve, your brother/sister just got promoted to head of surgery”

      • Derrick Johns

        Great explanation of the difference between shade and reading.

  • Michael R
  • bkmn

    Shade is calling Kellyanne Conjob a hottie.

    • Rex

      Or competent.

  • Michael R
  • Texndoc

    I was wondering what would be next and amused to see Mirriam Webster listing “WOKE” (sudden social or political awareness) as a “word we’re watching”.

  • Lazycrockett
    • Brian in Valdosta

      (ha!) I actually own that book! Who’da thunk that I was so cutting edge all these years?

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Ot- not sure if this has been shared

    • Friday

      I’d go with Drumph rather than 45, the latter implies he’s one of a set of Presidents. 🙂

      • #NotMyPussyGrabber

        Howz about “So-Called 45”?

        • Trumpsky

          How do you say ’45’ in Russian?

          • Lee Grupsmith-Pedersen

            According to Google Translate: sorok pyat

          • glass

            Kookla is Russian for puppet, that’s my favorite non-english term. That’s only because Whiny Little Bitch is too long in Russian, Плаксивые маленькая сучка.

      • Randy Ellicott

        i just go with trump, lower case as an uppercase denotes respect for a proper noun, and since he engenders no respect, is not proper, and is more of a verb…

        • boatboy_srq

          tRump works for me. Goes nicely with pResident.

      • Silver Badger

        He will always be the pissant to me.

      • Rex

        I’m partial to “Twitler”.

        • TuuxKabin

          a favorite, with bolded ‘l’, and not capitalized. ‘twitler. my fav. hell beast. no caps.

      • Christopher

        I’m sticking with Cheetolini.

        Pretendant Cheetolini, if you want to be formal.

        • Acronym Jim

          Cheatolini spelled in accordance with his tactics.

      • Brian in Valdosta

        To me he will always be Presidunce Drumpf.

      • bzrd

        Biggest Liar of the US

        • Treant

          Oh! I thought it was “Bloated Liar.”

          You learn something new every day.

          • JCF


      • Treant

        I use Donnie or Demented Donnie or Don the Con. He doesn’t deserve the respect of any kind of last name. 🙂

    • Pollos Hermanos
      • Megrim Twist

        Just a big …. fat … ass.

      • FatNance

        Sometimes, adult diapers are necessary for persons with medical needs. They should not be shamed for using whatever is necessary to go about their daily activities.

        There are PLENTY of ways to attack 45. Maybe you can find another one, one that is particular to him and doesn’t cause undo harm to those suffering with their own maladies.

        Thanks so much.

    • Natty Enquirer

      Some good advice here; some stupid. You’re still helpless if you can’t even use the man’s name.

      • Randy Ellicott

        Its not a matter of being able to use his name, its the point that with his narcissistic personality disorder it aggravates him to no end when people dont show him the respect he feels he deserves. We are perfectly able to use his name, but choose not to becasue we know that it will annoy him, perhaps childish, but when dealing with a child you have to talk in their terms…

        • bzrd

          AND, remember how many said Obama not President Obama !

          • Randy Ellicott

            Well i dont think that is exactly the same, more so when they called him the Kenyan, or the Muslim in office. Though the difference there is those were lies about Obama and in this case, trump is lies..

    • Gay Fordham Prep Grad

      I believe #8 is so key. There is so much legit news about 45 and his ilk, that spreading the fake stuff only detracts.

  • Michael R

    ” Thank you , Prince , for honoring me tonight ”

    • Blake Mason

      Shady pines, bitch… sha – dee pines!

  • TJay229

    I feel so special about being able to say that I knew many of the fabulous people in Paris is Burning. It is a testament to how people of color can make something wonderful out of a little of nothing due to their creativity.

    I would gladly watch this movie over and over than watch one episode of Looking or any other show that portrayed gay men.

    • Blake Mason

      of course… like many things that we pioneered… the world outside the balls got wind of it and decided to run with it as their own… Are we still crediting Madonna for taking vougueing to the world stage?

      • TJay229

        Well, you know how White People are, they feel that because THEY DO something, THEY have to claim it as their own 😉.

        Granted she wasn’t the first to introduce it or use it, but she did put a wad of C4 on it and blow that shit up.

    • Sombra

      Yes, knowing people. Quite an achievement.

      • TJay229

        Words from a “👻” 😑

      • Randy Ellicott

        if that was an attempt at shade, you are doing it wrong…

        • Blake Mason

          she tried to throw shade 2:30 am

          • Dark Shadows

            So the OP was so patently inane as to obviate the need for ‘shade’?

        • Candy Elegant

          Recycling lines from the last trick you tried to blow?

    • barrixines

      I was actually watching it again yesterday. So many of those amazing queens are no longer with us.

      • TJay229

        Nope… It’s wild right.
        Especially, if you were THERE, during those good old days of Paris, Avis, Dorian or Peppa, hell even Angie

        • barrixines

          That kid Venus Xtravaganza – only a baby and murdered a couple of years afer the film. (Edit – actually by the time the film came out she was already dead.)

          It had me looking up stuff about Willi Ninja and led me to these young Russian/Belarussian kids voguing today. Have no idea if they actually had a connection to the House of Ninja or it’s just a tribute but the lad is very very good.

          • TJay229

            He was a pioneer that is true… He (and others) hit the Paris runways for Gaultier and Mugler long before Madonna saw it.

            This is the Latex chile I believe… He’s good, but I like old school better, more precision and not so… Fem

          • barrixines

            Hmm he might be more hands at the expense of everything else but what do I know – I’m out at the Hokey Pokey.

          • fuzzybits

            Try Benny Ninja or Javier Ninja.

    • Ryan Conrad

      lol. You are so special. How many of the “fabulous people” in PiB are still alive 25 years later? Do you even care, or are they only “fabulous” to the extent that you can consume them as entertainment?

      • TJay229

        I can name several off the top of my head that are alive and well… But you’re a 👻 🖕U & what you 🤔

      • Derrick Johns

        I think Junior Labeija is still here. I think Freddie Pendavis is still here. Actually, I’m not sure that Paris Dupree is gone.

      • Jean-Marc in Canada

        Your bitterness seems oddly out of place. You seem to be assuming an awful lot yet can’t seem to quantify….care to elaborate or are you only here to spew self-aggrandizing cynicism? On second thought, on’t bother answering, it was a rhetorical question.

      • Derrick Johns

        I don’t read carefully. There’s no way in hell I meant to upvote your comment.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada


  • beariac
  • Chuck in PA
  • Natty Enquirer

    Throw shade, take umbrage.

    • Steverino

      Do a penumbra on them.

  • Michael R

    but has any shade been thrown recently ?

  • Rex

    Love to throw shade at some people, others deserve to have the whole lamp thrown at them.

    • boatboy_srq

      And a certain few deserve the entire floor lamp, shade and bulbs and all, inserted rectally, yes?

    • TuuxKabin

      Plugged in. While they’re in the bathtub.

  • justmeeeee

    ¡Dorian Corey is da bomb!

  • David Walker

    OT, but in line with the current regime. I saw this in my email whilst taking a break from you nice people. This is from the reasonable honorable senator from PA, Mr. Casey:

    Dear Friends,

    I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for your calls, tweets, emails, letters and Facebook posts in opposition to the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be our Secretary of Education. I opposed Betsy DeVos because I believe our children need a champion of public schools as the Secretary of Education, not someone whose career has been spent trying to privatize public schools. I voted against Betsy DeVos because I believe victims of campus sexual assault need a Secretary of Education who will enforce the protections that President Obama put in place for victims so that perpetrators are held accountable. And I will hold Betsy DeVos accountable as Secretary of Education because children with disabilities deserve a Secretary of Education who will guarantee them a fair shot at an equal education.

    While I am disappointed we lost this vote, this nomination was a fight because of you. By standing up and demanding accountability, you put a spotlight on Betsy DeVos’ record and President Trump’s reckless plan to cut funding for public education. By making your voices heard, you convinced two Republican Senators to vote against Betsy DeVos and forced the Vice President to break a tie vote on this thoroughly unqualified nominee. The vote may be over but today we begin holding Betsy DeVos accountable and I promise to lead the charge.

    Every child deserves a fair shot at the American dream and that begins with a world class education. You can bet that I will hold Betsy DeVos accountable for delivering on the policies that make a fair shot for all of our children possible.


    • TuuxKabin

      That’s going to be re-sent. Thank you very much.

  • Derrick Johns

    I only met one of the great queens from “Paris Is Burning” and that was Paris Durpee. She worked here in Philly often.

    Yeah, I watch the movie about every two months. My generation kept using the term “reading”. It was the younger generation that used “shade or shady”.
    Just like my generation still uses the term “trade” (you know, Straight guys who are actually bisexual). Younger Gay and Transgender folks don’t seem to use the term “trade”. Which is all right.

  • Ryan Conrad

    “America still has much to learn from drag queens . . .”

    1. How to be a minstrel act
    2. How to be miserable
    3. How to die young

    • PickyPecker

      BWAAAK, BWAAAK-bwaak, cuck, cuck-cuck-CUCK, cluck-cluck, BWAAAAK!

      • Ryan Conrad

        Sounds coming from your locked room after you purchased a live chicken.

    • barrixines

      Don’t kill yourself yet darling – there’s still time to learn how to apply your blush properly.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Oh honey, it’s cute how you know so little about the Queens. It’s an art form that literally goes back centuries, if not millenia. So before you start trotting out tired cliches, how about you learn the facts….oh wait, probably voted Trump and that would explain everything. As many a Queen would say: Girl Bye Bitch.

      • greenmanTN

        And as a rule drag queens are a pretty tough bunch. Believe me, you do NOT want to face the Whirling Lee Press-On Nails of Death!

    • TuuxKabin
  • ColdCountry

    Michelle Obama was very good at throwing shade – in the classiest way possible, of course.

  • SlimShady

    “Gender is a social construct…”?

    I thought gender was something you transitioned from with the help of your therapist, surgeon, prescription hormones and the DMV?

    Oh, it’s all so confusing…..

  • JCF