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What’s the tea? Merriam-Webster Officially Added ‘Shade’ to the Dictionary

Once again pop culture, or in this case drag culture, has worked it’s way into the American lexicon. writes, “Merriam-Webster added more than 1,000 new words to the dictionary this week, including the queer slang, “Shade,” first largely introduced by LGBTQ legend Dorian Corey in the 1990 documentary, Paris is Burning.

“‘Shade’ is a subtle, sneering expression of contempt for or disgust with someone—sometimes verbal, and sometimes not,” Merriam-Webster’s site explains.

The slang has been a part of the American black experience since slavery, according to E. Patrick Johnson, a professor of African-American studies at Northwestern University. With Paris is Burning, “shade” began slowly infiltrating popular culture in the early ’90s, before becoming a LGBTQ staple when RuPaul’s Drag Race launched in 2010. “

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