When Did Everyone Start "Throwing Shade"?

“No T, no shade,” but gay slang has been mighty trendy as of late.

As far as Google trends go, “fierce” jumped the shark four years ago but thanks — at least in part to the breakout success of RuPaul’s Drag Race — words once unique to gays-in-the-know have taken over the internet. Even Ben Smith, BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief, has tweeted about throwing shade! Here’s a look at just how ubiquitous drag-speak has become.

3. Throw Shade

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Cher, you know I- sorry, your mom's calling RT @Cher Mom just said "Thrilling Babe,But ELLEN'S on,GOTTA GO"did she just throw shade?

— TheEllenShow (@Ellen DeGeneres)

I will throw no shade on Jolie.I have a number of relatives who died from Breast cancer, I just want the story out there. Let's face it

— AntheaButler (@ProfB)

Sometimes you just gotta fight for your TWERK.

— Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan)

Introducing my co-workers to the concept of a "twerk team"

— marksluckie (@Mark S. Luckie)

Yesterday doesn't exist, tomorrow never comes. There is only today... so twerk!

— RuPaul (@RuPaul)

will twerk for a cheesy gordita crunch from taco bell.

— aguywithnolife (@Elijah Daniel)

Oh gurl, Imma have to call you back

— BryanRenno (@Ryan Benno)

Oh gurl, this is gunna be SO EDGY!! Not. Expect loads of #gold at the Vatican art show!…

— Pyragraph (@Pyragraph Magazine)

@palettedecor oh gurl. the pose, the 12 yr. old Testino, the wrap. you got it GOIN ON. #winning


Candice betta win hunty.

— INSPIRED_by_NIC (@Woodrow Wilson)

Jennifer looks amazing, this is the best I've seen her in years. that curly weave with the bang is LAID, hunty.


Ok, this episode is much better. Angel Tess is reading these rednecks FOR FILTH! YES, HUNTY! #touchedByAnAngel

— benrichmusic (@Ben Shallenberger)

HUNTY when she was in her prime NO ONE could touch her! Jennifer Lopez - Get Right: via @youtube

— bevysmith (@bevysmith)

@Adam_Barta Werk, hunty! We should just get you in drag!

— SJRaphael (@Sally Jessy Raphael)

Work it, judges! "Werk" it! #idol

— AmericanIdol (@American Idol)

Werk it Queen Bey. #nikkiandsaralive

— MTV (@MTV)

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Saeed Jones is the LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Saeed Jones at
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