15 everyday words used as gay slurs in different languages

There’s nothing teenage boys love more than calling each other gay on the school playground. It’s their go-to insult. And yes, it does show that homophobia is alive and well, but they could at least get a bit more imaginative with it. Marmite miner, sausage jockey, shit stabber. All excellent. Surely everyone knows that the best insults and jokes refer to people’s assholes and penises and the stuff that comes out of them? At the end of the day, we’re all children at heart.


But it seems like this isn’t the case everywhere. Look beyond the English language, and you’ll find words used as gay slurs that are just, well…ordinary. Unbelievably, things you might use to season your soup with (or to make that soup in) are used as derogatory homophobic terms. You’d think Google Translate well and truly fucked up, but it didn’t.


Don’t get me wrong, there are some classics – in Swedish they use ass diver, ‘stjärtdykare’, and in Finnish they say ‘ruskean reiän ritarii’, meaning knight of the brown hole. In Visayan in the Philippines, they like to call gay men ‘monmon’, which roughly translates to someone who sucks cock while recieving anal. Honestly, some of these are far superior to Marmite miner, but let’s for the sake of this article, focus on the oddly ordinary of the slurs. And we’re not even going to attempt to explain them.


1.) Glass/crystal

Chinese (Mandarin):  玻璃 (bōlī)


2.) Warm

Czech: Teplouš      


Hungarian: Meleg


3.) Bat

Finnish: Lepakko


4.) Pedal

Bulgarian: педал

Polish: pedał


5.) Flyswatter

French: Tapette


6.) Fennel

Italian: Finocchio


7.) Kettle

Hebrew: קומקום (koomkoom)


8.) Cat

Japanese: ネコ (neko)


9.) Towel

Macedonian: пешкир (peškir)


10.) Vendor of pots and pans

Portuguese: Paneleiro


11.) With feathers

Spanish: Plumifero


12.) Like a French person

Spanish(Argentina): Afrancesado


13.) Duck

Spanish(Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela): Pato


14.) Fig tree

Greek: συκιά (sikiá)


15.) Bundle of sticks

English: faggot, fag


Yes, that’s right – there’s an English one too. Faggot doesn’t actually mean gay, it was an ordinary word, claimed by the straights to use as a slur. Probably, like much of the others on the list. If they can change the meaning of these everyday words to fuel hatred against us, then we can sure as hell claim Pride, the rainbow, and whatever the hell else we want.

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