Patterico's Pontifications

6/27/2005

Words Straight Guys Don’t Use

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 9:10 pm



Eugene Volokh has a post about words straight guys don’t use. His example: “adore.” Out of 27 comments, only one person has suggested others, and that person has three examples:

fabulous
to die for
I was in heaven

Well, only one of those is a word; the others are phrases. Follow the rules!

Before I looked at the comments to Volokh’s post, I had come up with the following:

fabulous
darling
sweetie

I asked Mrs. P. before she looked at the comments, and she said:

fabulous

and then she said that she was “not into the gay-bashing” and refused to answer further. (In fact, she’s probably going to slug me when she sees this post. Don’t tell her.)

What are yours? (For the record, answering the question does not mean you are “into the gay-bashing.”)

P.S. I sometimes call my daughter “sweetie.” Am I gay? You can tell me the truth.

48 Responses to “Words Straight Guys Don’t Use”

  1. Of course, all of this is situational. I use the phrase “I was in hog heaven” all the time. Also, I often refer to the fabulous performance of the latest generation of video cards, or of a tuned V-8 with a supercharger in a light car, and of course, I refer to my daughter as sweetie, as you said. However, I think that I am not gay…

    David

    David Harr (c81744)

  2. There are no restrictions on the words you use when speaking to the ladies in your life; it’s a special case and you know it!

    As for other words not used by guys, it all depends on context. When in mixed company, for example, I would never say “knockers,” “hooters” or “watermelons” (when referring to doors, owls or fruit, respectively). I might be misunderstood.

    ras (f9de13)

  3. I agree that context is important. Take the following phrase as an example:

    “She sure does have a fabulous pair of ________!”

    Did you fill in the blank with the word “shoes”?

    See? Context.

    Patterico (756436)

  4. When in mixed company, for example, I would never say “knockers,” “hooters” or “watermelons” (when referring to doors, owls or fruit, respectively). I might be misunderstood.

    Do you end up eating a lot of cantaloupe?

    Patterico (756436)

  5. These all kinda ping my gaydar:

    marvelous
    piquant
    kicky
    tangy
    breakmelikeawildbroncoyoubighairystudyou

    But maybe that’s just me.

    See Dubya (be8e42)

  6. It used to be true that no straight man could say the word “apropos,” but that Colonel Sanders dude from the second Matrix movie changed all that. He said it all sassy-like.

    Okay, now I know that no straight man can ever say the word “sassy.” Sigh.

    Jeff Harrell (a5b150)

  7. Do you end up eating a lot of cantaloupe?

    Mounds of it … on occasion :)

    (p.s. Like you, I’m an old happily married guy with kids and have yet to be mistaken for James Bond. But it’s fun to josh. I think my kids are older than yours: teenagers now … sigh. And if you ever thought you were becoming your father, just wait, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Enjoy each age for the pleasures it brings, man)

    ras (f9de13)

  8. Hey Jeff,

    Good to see you again. You still run one of the best sites around, y’know.

    Patterico,

    You put me on your blogorll, for which I was, and am, flattered. You might wanna check out Jeff’s site, too. In fact, since I’ve been on a semi-hiatus from posting, his is certainly better than mine right now and I would understand if you flipped.

    Though I hope to get back to it…

    ras (f9de13)

  9. Done. I thought it was already on there, to be honest with you.

    Patterico (756436)

  10. Fellas and FemiNazis,
    I’m so very smitten with you all. So strong, yet vulnerable. So masculine, and oh what anuses.
    Well, I really must go now. It’s been fun!
    Lovestick Hammerbuns

    johnny (051e6c)

  11. “Lovely” is not used by males of the straight persuasion.

    dchamil (35da1b)

  12. Time to pull this discussion into the gutter.

    Penis. Unless they are in a doctor’s office or court, straight guys don’t say penis. There are any number of slang words we use.

    In fact, if you want comments out the wazoo, ask folks to list slang terms for a johnson.

    Add Prada and Manolo to the list.

    Pigilito (87b47a)

  13. Several years ago, a guy wrote a “My Turn” in Nwsweek, bemoaning the fact that the homosexual community had appropriate the qord “gay,” which he contended had once had another appropriate, common and unique role in our lexicon. He suggested that homosexuals instead adopt the word “fabulous” as their own, because it’s used less frequently and has more synonyms.

    The Commenter Who USed to be Roofer But Who Changed ISPs and Got a New E-mail Address

    Diffus (9bcd27)

  14. I’ve got one for you — “tinkle.” No self-respecting straight man would EVER use that word.

    (Hee hee hee!)

    Omnibus Driver (d4af9f)

  15. Oh, and don’t forget these words…

    I’m
    such
    an
    idiot

    Isn’t that great! Look! Look at my “gay” words,

    johnny (051e6c)

  16. Oh, and, uh. Wait, those are gay words too.

    Oh
    and
    uh

    Just look at me, I’m really cookin’ now.

    johnny (051e6c)

  17. “delicious” when used in reference to anything that’s not a typical food item.

    Straight: “This bacon, double-cheeseburger is delicious.”

    Gay: “You’re looking delicious today.”

    CSG (cbea89)

  18. Penis. Unless they are in a doctor’s office or court, straight guys don’t say penis.

    Sure they do, albeit in contexts where doing so adds irony into the mix. As in, “Penis Bennett,” “stop acting like such a penis,” or “here’s a cup for your drug test, penis.”

    Xrlq (ffb240)

  19. “jazzed”
    “antiquing”
    “hee hee hee”

    Gay guys don’t say “penis” any more than straight guys.

    Brian O'Connell (69c9fc)

  20. Yummy – except when kids are involved.

    Orifice – except technical writing/speaking

    Lemmiwinks – re South Park.

    bains (8ffb96)

  21. Xrlq, context can add irony, but slang remains more important. For example, instead of penis, try using Richard or dick.

    Brian, I’ve only heard gay men use penis, but I’ve also heard them use every other term as well.

    Pigilito (87b47a)

  22. “and then she said that she was ‘not into the gay-bashing’ and refused to answer further.”

    Patterico, are you serious? You’re joking, right?

    Mrs. Patterico thinks a jocular question about ‘words straight guys use’ is a descent into “gay bashing?!!” Sounds like Mrs. Patterico needs a serious talking to by her hubby. Time to man up, Patterico.

    clark smith (1482f5)

  23. I think her comment was intended in a lighthearted vein.

    Sounds like Mrs. Patterico needs a serious talking to by her hubby. Time to man up, Patterico.

    Are you saying I’m gay if I don’t?

    Patterico (309491)

  24. Mauve.

    steve M. (107ded)

  25. But what if something really is mauve?

    (What color *is* mauve, anyway?)

    Patterico (309491)

  26. “Are you saying I’m gay if I don’t?”

    Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! No, not at all.

    I would never question your manhood, Patterico. I meant my comment in a bit of a lighthearted vein as well. Sorry for any confusion created.

    clark smith (0d2291)

  27. Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! My question was *also* lighthearted! So is this! So is everything I say! You can tell by the exclamation points!

    Patterico (756436)

  28. What color *is* mauve, anyway?

    It’s a color?

    Xrlq (ffb240)

  29. Glad you like my exclamation points, Patterico. Fortunately I don’t have to buy them like vowels on WOF.

    (Not that I’m much for Wheel of Fortune, mind you–just to [ahem] set that straight. Which reminds me; can we have a post about TV shows straight men don’t watch?)

    clark smith (0d2291)

  30. I call my four-year-old daughter “Sweetie” all the time. Now I’m gonna start worrying about myself. Thanks a lot! :)

    Houston Mitchell (0ce265)

  31. Not just your exclamation points, Clark. I use them all the time, to show irony/lack of seriousness. I think I got the habit from reading Mickey Kaus.

    Patterico (756436)

  32. P.S. I sometimes call my daughter “sweetie.” Am I gay? You can tell me the truth.

    Gay? I imagine some days, you’re positively jovial!

    Karl (aa8177)

  33. Divine — unless the man speaking is in a pulpit somewhere…

    Ann (a9142f)

  34. How about:

    – Brassiere
    – Scrumptious
    – Taupe (that one came to me immediately when I read the word “mauve,” but while the straight male sometimes may be forced to say “mauve,” I can’t think of any occasion which would absolutely necessitate the use of the word “taupe”)

    I’m curious as to whether or not it would be a mistake for a straight male to go into a truck stop and talk about his Peterbilt.

    Interesting post…

    Laudio (06d15b)

  35. Oh, and “sinful,” as in, “That chocolate cake was absolutely sinful!” Of course (ironically) it’s pretty much the same thing as “heavenly”.

    Oh (again), and “veggies”.

    Laudio (06d15b)

  36. Mauve is a shade of purple. Straight guys will just say purple.

    The same way they’ll say pink instead of fuchsia (and will still feel kind of uncomfortable).

    steve M. (107ded)

  37. “gay” words? Well they all depend upon the specific sub-group you are observing. I believe – based upon my observations, that say, gay Latin men ages 20-45 in Southern California may likely use words or phrases that their African-American counterparts do not. The entire idea that using a certain word could mark you as “gay” is kinda adolescent, as in “annoyingly insecure about own sexuality.” Well, that’s my say – fabulous! Opps, er, uh……..

    Californio (5cdb2c)

  38. The same way they’ll say pink instead of fuchsia (and will still feel kind of uncomfortable).

    And, if they must say the word “fuchsia” out loud in any context, including this one, they must pronounce it “fucks-ee-uh,” not however the hell that word is really supposed to be pronounced.

    Xrlq (6c76c4)

  39. The entire idea that using a certain word could mark you as “gay” is kinda adolescent…

    I agree. This whole thread has felt kind of silly, but pretty entertaining at the same time. I’ve found myself giggling like a little girl.

    Oops! I mean that in the most masculine way, of course.

    Laudio (06d15b)

  40. This is being unfair to gays, I know, but I have found for the last couple of years that when I am writing, and there is some french usage that could fit my meaning, like “faux pas” or “nom de plume” or “par excellence,” I’ll often think “too gay.” Translate any of the common French phrases that get used English. The English is straightforward, manly: “outcome.” The French is frilly: “denoument.” “Blank slate” vs. “tabula rasa.” Even gay stuff sounds gayer in French: “high fashion” vs. “haute couture.”

    This is unfair to gays because what I am also thinking is “fuck the French” (and “not in a good way,” as Ace would say). Still, it is what it is. I’m sure there is a manly way to say “faux pas” or “haute couture” (well, maybe not haute couture), but that’s kind of like saying there is a manly way to wear frills. Edmond Dantes is a manly man, I admit it, but his frills are still gay.

    Two manly french phrases: Tour de force, laissiz-faire.

    BTW: “fabulous” is not frilly. “Hi little gorgeous. My, you look fabulous.” A wolf’s gotta lick his chops. If he’s not going to call a cupcake a cupcake, well hell, she might as well be in a gay bar.

    Alec Rawls (f83c16)

  41. Real men can use any French phrases they want, they just have to misprounce them, e.g., “fox pass,” “file-it MIG-gnawn,” etc.

    Xrlq (ffb240)

  42. New York Times recently posted a “gayness matrix” (not kidding). Diet Coke was in the not-gay column, and Lemon Coke was in the gay column. I like the new DietCoke/Lime, but that’s not in the matrix. Whew, close one.

    Shredstar (91b3b2)

  43. I have one… delightful. I can’t stand hearing this word from a guy….

    Rick (db65b1)

  44. “simply” (as in very) & “divine” (as in nice, not religious) sound pretty damn gay, whether as an “ensemble” (bingo!) or alone.

    Also “tidbit” & “nacre” (I prefer the more manly Mother-of-Pearl)…

    Bill (803f31)

  45. When a men says to another men: ” Miss you too…xxxxx Babe” Is that gay? I think so. What do you think? Sorry for the mistakes i´m note english!

    Edjane (44195e)

  46. And when he treats the other by darling?

    Edjane (44195e)


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