“Slay” – folk speech

1. Text

Main Piece: The informant provided an instance of folk speech: the word “slay”.

2. Context

Relationship to the piece:


“So I guess a form of folk speech that I’m familiar with as part of the queer community is probably the word ‘slay'”

“I know it’s really generic but it’s a word I use a lot and my friends use a lot and also a form of queer empowerment in general”

When do they use it:


“If you do something really well, you like ‘slayed that'”

“same thing with like ‘you ate and left no crumbs'”

“like you did something really well and there’s no debate about it”

Where they heard it:


“I sort of just learned it on the internet and like being associated with the queer community I also picked it up as well”

“I don’t really know where it came from but it’s fun to say”

3. Analysis

With the information from the informant, “slay” seems to be a slang in the category of folk speech that is used by the queer community as well as those in support of the queer community as a word that empowers individuals, especially queer people, by celebrating their accomplishments. This is important for the queer community that has had a difficult history so coming up with slang that celebrates their own people is a powerful thing. It seems to be used in casual settings mostly between friends and has a positive connotation that cheers each other up. It seems to be pretty widespread as it is described by the informant to be “generic” and “used a lot”. It also seems to be part of the internet culture as well since the informant mentioned “learning it on the internet”. This shows how the internet and social media has been a huge changing force in bringing together the queer community and empowering the community.