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"drag queen?"

Posted by Dana Turner on May 06, 2006

...they've got "designer dyke" but not "drag queen?"
i've heard two specific etimologies for the term 'drag queen.' one feels right to me, the other naught. any disscussion?
1) Vaudevillians (maybe minstrels?) who toured from theatre to theatre lovingly referred to their costumes & props as "drag"...Men who performed as women needed greater amounts of costumes, wigs, props, etc. and were ergo called, "drag queens."
2) Elizabethan theatres announced auditions for "feminine" roles [which were played by men since were not allowed to work in theatre] as: "Dress Required As Girl - D.R.A.G."

Frankly, I find this second explanation absurdly specious. I've heard this similar "medieval abbreviation method" offered as a source for our ultimate four-letter word, "Fornication Under Consent of the King."

Really, now? I had a medieval theatre graduate student swear to me that both were true. I just don't buy it. Any discussion?