27 January 2013

Extra! Extra! Read all about them

RuPaul’s Drag Race had it's 5th season premiered on line.
RuPaul meets the new Queens

And this opening episode was crammed with very peculiar expressions of English, particularly those uttered by the Queen mother RuPaul. If you like the strange and creative English of RPDRace enjoy this extra edition of the blog. Read it to filth!

…and I’m the Queen bee…” Detox makes reference to her costume and the word queen (homossexual).

Hunny, I’m serving up fish. Tuna on a platter.” Jade Jolie. 

Fish means to look like a real female and not like a man in drag.

"Honey Mahogany is like a Rupaul’s Drag Race poster…but not quite as polished. Sorry about it.Detox says these final three words singing.

“This might be the fishiest season ever darling!” Monica Beverly Hillz. Fishiest, superlative of fishy, i.e. full of drags who look like a real woman.

“And then enter Coco Montrese.
The face crack of the century.” Allyssa. 

Face crack, in the urban dictionary means addicted to facebook – though I'm not sure of this meaning is what Alyssa implied. Alyssa and Coco are mortal enemies; Alyssa accuses Coco of back stabbing; does that has anything to do with face crack?

“Welcome my Queens. I’ve told you California was the place you ought to be. So you tightened up your tuck, and you flew to Beverly… Hills. Adjacent that is. So, whether you’re a fresh princess of Bel-Air, a Malibu Barbie, or just serving real housewife realness, to get your big break in RuPaullywood you’ll need to make an even bigger splash and really shake things up!

tuck (hyde penis and balls in the body),
Beverly Hills Adjacent, name given by realters to area next to Beverly Hills. 
fresh princess of Bel-Air... allusion to the sitcom Fresh Prince of Bell-Air
real housewife realness, reference to the reality show Real Housewives
you’ll need to make an even bigger splash, allusion to the up comming mini challenge in which the queens have to enter a pool full of water. 

Mini Challenge
“What we’re looking for is underwater glamour.” RuPaul. “…like…giv’ us fish.” Mike Ruiz.
“Please, notice there’s no p in the water.” RuPaul plays with the sentece there’s no p in pool.
“It’s the bumblefish.” Ruiz identify the queens with differents types of fish; he calls Detox of bumblefish. Bumblefish doesn't exist, but is a deviation of bumblebee.
“The time’s come for you to sink for your life.” RuPaul corrupts his own catchphrase replacing the original lip-sync for sink.
“I can see your seafood platter. Your paella is showing.” RuPaul alludes to Selena ChaCha whose privates parts aren't tucked. 

“Don’t be so shallow Alyssa.” RuPaul says b'cos Alyssa stays closer to the service; RuPaul uses an admonishing tone since shallow also means a 'superficial person'.

“Jynx Monsoon welcome to the drag lagoon.” RuPaul uses rhyme with the name Jynx 'n refers to the film title The Blue Lagoon.
“Jynx there’s got to be a morning after.” RuPaul makes reference to the song ‘The Morning After in the film The Poseidon adventure.
“Deeper Penny Tration. Girl you’re gonna put Shelley
Williams out of work.” R
“Alaska is underwater. Damn you global warming.” RuPaul, talking to Alaska.
“It’s Honey Mahogany!… Honey, I sunk the kids.” RuPaul referes to the film Honey, I shrunk the kids.’

“Sparkle Lineysha!” (Sparkle ‘brilha’ Lineysha) RuPaul talks to the drag Lineysha Sparx.

“Serving Tuna Turner. Instant Coco, just add water.” RuPaul talks to Coco Montrese making reference to Tina Turner and coconut.

Main Challenge

“All that ass.” RuPaul makes reference to the film title of All That Jazz.
"I dream of Jynx.” Santino makes a reference to the series I Dream of Jeannie.
“Loofah my ass” RuPaul uses 'my ass'  - an expression of disagreement - making a reference to the loofah sewed in the back part of her costume.
“She’s detoxing from crack by the way.” RuPaul making a reference to the drag Detox with the verb detex and allude to crack (butt crack).

“The lady boy in red.” RuPaul makes reference to the film title The Lady in Red.

“Let’s have lunch at The Ivy” RuPaul, alluding to Ivy Summers.
“You can catch more flies with Honey Mahogany.” RuPaul.
The men love me, the women love me.Ruiz mentions this from the 1975 film Mahogany, alluding to Honey Mahogany on the runway.
“Ding, ding, ding…” Ruiz mimics the sound tune of NBC network because Jade wears the simbols of the channel.

“A Penny for your thoughts.” RuPaul alludes to Penny Tration.

“I’m walking slow and letting them take all the Penny Tration in.” Penny Tration and another pun with her name
“I wonder if she has a twin; she’d be double Penny Tration.” Ruiz.  

“Alaska. I can see Russia from here.” RuPaul refers to the drag Alaska and allude to her bottom as she lives the runway.

During the deliberation the judges still created neologisms:

Eloguent, compound of Elegant and Eloquent which started from a slip of the tongue of Michelle Visage.
TP, normally toilet paper; here means total package.
Coutorture, compound of Couture and Torture.

The show ended here. The end wasn't aired. But whoever watches the full new episode will now be more prepared to the linguistic oddities of RPDRace.

26 January 2013

Gentlemen, start your engines…

RuPaul on the runway (left) & Judges (right)
…and may the best woman win. When RuPaul announces this, we know a show is about to start. But the fun is not restricted to the runway presentation of the drag queens; it also comes from how RuPaul & the judges use language during the presentation. What they say illustrates the linguistic deviations quite characteristic of the Drag Queen’s English.

This initial statement itself characterises a non sequitur sentence, since a woman cannot win a competition of gentlemen – it only makes sense as we know the gentlemen in the race are in drag.
Other types of strangeness can be heard during the runway presentation. Here is a top list of the first two seasons.
Season 1 (Episode)
Jade: African Style
“Ooh, it’s severe up in here.” RuPaul uses rhyming to refer to Nina Flowers – severe meaning ‘awsome’ (1).
“Ooh, lion queen.” RuPaul makes a reference to The Lion King in his comment on Jade’s outfit which has an African savage style (1).
“Tammy Brown is in town.” RuPaul uses rhyming to announce Tammy’s entrance (1).
Shannel Juggling

“Boom, boom, boom-boom. Boom, boom-boom. Boom, boom-boom.” Quest judge Debra Wilson says rhythmically as Rebecca struts off the runway, drawing attention to Rebecca’s voluptuous bottom (3).
“Oh my Gok!” Perhaps a slip of the tongue, but this is what RuPaul says after seeing Shannel juggling on the runway (4).
Nina Flowers & Her Drag Sister

“Do not accept an apple from this woman.” RuPaul makes a reference to Snow White tale, implying that Nina Flower’s look reminds the wicked witch (5).
“CE Oh my my my…” Merle Ginsberg comments on Bebe Zahara’s executive look, blending CEO – Chief Executive Officer – and the interjection oh my (6).
Shannel mimicking Hannibal Lecter

“Yes… Something to wash down the fava beans.” RuPaul makes an allusion to The Silence of the Lambs after Shannel mimics Hannibal Lecter’s slurping noise that follows his words ‘I ate his liver with some fava beans’ (6).

Bebe Zahara Bene, Raspberry Costume

“Ms Diana Rossberry.” RuPaul comments on Bebe Zahara, whose outfit represents raspberry (6).

“Fruit is the new fur.” Rupaul comments on Nina Flowers, whose outfit has pieces of mango in the collar and belt (6). 

Season 2 (Episode)
“Sonique-a-nique-a-nique-a-nique-a-nique-aaah…” RuPaul adds an odd eco to the contestant’s name Sonique in a manner that recalls the French song Dominique (2).
“…Oh, she’s making a Sonique boom.” RuPaul makes a reference to sonic boom alluding to Sonique’s evident large hips and behind (2).
“Oh my, this just is wicked…” RuPaul makes an allusion to the character of the wicked witch since the contestant’s costume reminds one of a witch (2).
Mystique: Big Queen
“I’m serving fish, honey – and this ain’t trout.” Jujubi says meaning that she’s dressed like a real woman, not like a drag (2).
“That girl will eat Beyoncé in one swallow” RuPaul means that the contest will obliterate Beyoncé fame and also alludes to the contestant’s plus size (2).
“Oh… my… sweet Gherkins!” Rupaul’s reaction to Tyra (2).
Sonique: Catwoman Style
“Even the cowgirls get the blues…” Guest judge Tanya Tucker alludes to Pandora’s Boxx jeans with the title of the 1994 film by Gus Van Saint (3).
“Julie Newmar eat your heart out… Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” RuPaul comments on Sonique referencing Julie Newmar and the exploitation film of 1965 (4).

“Honey, if that skirt were any shorter, we’d have to arrest you for dealing crack!” RuPaul uses a subordinate sentence that doesn’t seem to complete the main sentence; dealing crack is an allusion to butt crack (4).
Raven: Dress with Ruffles
These ruffles have not any ridges.” Guess judge Lisa Rinna makes a reference to the crinkle cut chips ruffles alluding to the ornamental frill on Raven’s costume (4).
“That’s tutu much.” Guest judge Mathu Andersen alludes to the tutu costume that Sahara Davenport wears (5).
Main Challenge: Mother Daughter Drag
“It’s ten o’clock. Do you know where your drag mother is?” RuPaul makes a reference to the popular question presented on American television in final decades of the 1900s (8).
“The apple bottom don’t fall far from the tree.” RuPaul modifies the idiom to allude to the contestants’ apple bottoms and their mother daughter resemblance (8).

This was a long one. I bet it won't feel as long as the two days wait until we can watch the new queens of RPDRace (Season 5 - 28 Jan) making an entrance and parading their English.

18 January 2013

Read This Blog to Filth...

I was helping Clifford – my Northern boyfriend – at the garage where he works when, out of the blue, I turned to him and said: “I’ll read you to filth…”
“What…?” Clifford looked puzzled.
“Would you say that I’ll read you to filth is a sentence of English?”
“Never eard it b’for. It don’ mek sense.” 

Ill read you to filth is often uttered by the queens of Rupauls Drag Race (see Drag Queens English). The first time I heard it was during the first mini-challenge ‘the library is open’ (s. 02, ep. 07) when Jujubee, hands on hips, pledged: “I’m not nervous. I’ll read a bitch. I will read you to filth."

to filth, I suppose, means ‘utterly, to the bitter end.’

Rupauls Drag Race only aired in the UK in 2009, on E4, and no further season was aired on a British channel. It was natural that Clifford, born and bred in West Yorkshire, never heard of reading as ‘the drag high art form of shrugging off insults’ (see DragQueen’s English: Vogue).

As a non-native speaker of English myself, I understand Clifford’s reaction to Ill read you to filth.

Reading, by the way, is one of the highlights of RPDRace in terms of English language. Each instance of reading in RPDRace becomes a fertile soil for linguistic strangeness. Here are some interesting ones taken from the ‘library’ mini-challenge.

Jujubee reading (throwing shade)
Season 2:
2.1 “Ms Tyra, was your barbecue cancelled? Your grill is f***** up.” Jujubee.
(grill referring to teeth)

2.2 “…legendary you think you are? Legendary… looks like leg.en.dary” Jujubee. 
(leg en dary
is homophone to
leg 'n' dairy).

Raven reading (throwing shade)

2.3 “You got a grill that could put Black’n’Decker out of business.” Raven. 

2.4 “You wanna call me a top model mommy? Bend over and take it like a man! I’ll be your top… model.” Raven.

Season 3:
Yara Sofia reading (throwing shade)
3.1 “It’s not because you’re Asian. It’s because I need some patian to deal with you!” Yara Sofia. (Yara pronounces ‘patience’ as patian purposely, and patian rhymes with Asian).

3.2 “Is that your teef or your feet?” Yara Sofia. (Yara pronounces ‘teeth’ as teef purposely).

Manila Luzon reading (throwing shade)

3.3 “Your blue contacts are so creepy, that it makes my skin itchy itchy itchy-pa’lante!” Manila Luzon. (Manila makes a reference to a phrase in Spanish used by Sofia: ‘echa pa’lante’)

3.4 “It’s Dinner time Delta, and you are serving body-ody-ody” Manila Luzon.

3.5 “I know you call yourself top model, but I think Tyra Banks and I would agree… you’re just fashion roadkill.” Shangela.

Season 4:

4.1 “Dida Ritz, I don’t know if that’s hot couture or hot coutorn ’cause there’s holes in that shirt.” Dida Ritz.
4.1 “Jiggly Caliente, BMW... Body Made Wrong.” Latrice Royale.
Each instance falls in different categories (which will be dealt with in future posts) of strangeness: while 3.4 has an unusual echo (body-ody-ody), 4.1 has a modified word or neologism (coutorn), etc.

Also, the degree of linguistic strangeness among these instances varies. And some may even disagree that they’re strange at all - comments welcome.

As I'm looking forward to the season 5 (January 28), next post will be on the top runways readings involving strangeness on RPDRace.