Hetties, Queens, and Fag Hags. Ironic Name Giving in LGBTIQ Discourse

Eva Nossem


In this paper I outline verbal humor and irony in LGBTIQ designations, i.e. in name giving among and by LGBTIQ+ persons and also terms about them. My analysis focuses on personal nouns used in a humorous way both for LGBTIQ+ persons and straight/heterosexual persons, both used within LGBTIQ+ communities to refer to other group members or to outgroup persons and also used in heterosexual/heterosexist/homophobic discourse. I examine instances which are structured by heteronormativity as well as cases in which heteronormative thinking is overcome or deconstructed, in which humorous personal nouns are used for exclusion and serve as markers of otherness. Also aiming to identify who is targeted and in what ways humorous designations are used to downplay persons, I outline similarities and differences between humorous personal nouns used in heterosexist/heteronormative discourses and those used within LGBTIQ+ communities. The aim of this paper is to show how the humorous aspect of such personal nouns is constructed and what role it plays in transmitting and understanding certain semantic aspects.

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