Fannish Glossary

Newest definitions: Medfet, Britpick, Crack, Craic, Fill, Land, NSFW, NWS, Sockpuppet, Prompt, and Vid.

Additions, corrections and clarifications are welcome, so please let me know if you have any to add.

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Acronym A word made up of the first letters of the words in a phrase or series of words, such as WYSIWYG, which means What You See Is What You Get. Internet slang is full of acronyms.
Admin Another word for moderator.
AFAICS As Far As I Can See.
AFAIK As Far As I Know.
AFAIR As Far As I Recall. Or, As Far As I Remember.
Age rating Rating.
Age statement Many websites have an age rating, i.e. the list owner would prefer not to have anyone accessing the website who is underage, because the fiction and/or discussion may be best reserved for an adult audience. The way a webmaster often tries to arrange this is by asking the prospective new subscriber to send an email containing an age statement and/or date of birth, or will check the newbie's profile for this information.
AH All Human.
All Human A type of AU in which all the characters in a fandom where being a vampire or a werewolf is not unusual are in fact human. A very common type of fic in Twilight fandom. Usually abbreviated to AH.
Alternate universe A story that differs from canon. Sometimes an AU is a story using the same characters in a different setting: a transplant AU. Examples: Mulder and Scully in Renaissance France, Buffy and the Scooby Gang in outer space, Jim and Blair from the Sentinel as pirates. Sometimes the story follows canon to start with and then branches off at some point -- a trouser legs of time AU. Examples: a Buffy The Vampire Slayer fanfic in which Willow dies hideously, or Kendra hasn't died hideously, or one of the characters marries a goatherd and moves to Peru. Finallly, there is the differing detail AU, in which one or more facts about or preconditions of the universe of the characters is not the same as in canon. Examples: All the Twilight characters are human instead of vampires and werewolves, Napoleon won the battle of Waterloo. All fiction is AU to a degree, because none of them are exactly what you'd see on screen, but some are so AU they're barely recognisable. Which can be good or bad, depending, of course, on the ability of the writer. Alternate universe is sometimes abbreviated to AU or A/U.
Alternative universe Alternate universe.
Andromeda An American science fiction TV series, in which a starship captain is frozen in time, and revived when the peaceful Commonwealth he worked for has been brought to chaos. He immediately recruits the nearest motley crew of pirates and sets about restoring order to the universe, like an intergalactic Martha Stewart on speed.
Angst A feeling of profound sadness and despair. The term is borrowed from post-modern philosophy. When used to describe a piece of fanfiction, it means that the piece contains depressing themes, unpleasant events, or emotional trauma.
ATM At The Moment.
Archive A website where lots of fanfiction is stored. The fanfiction equivalent of a library.
AU Alternate Universe.
Author's notes Part of the headers for a piece of fanfiction, which provide an opportunity for an author to thank his or her beta reader(s), provide references for and clarification of the content of the story, and basically say whatever he or she feels like. Some authors choose to put the notes at the end of the story instead of at the beginning, in case their content spoils the story for the reader.
ATF An established and shared AU in the Magnificent 7 fandom, updating the original Western setting to the modern day, and where the seven are agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Created by the late lamented BNF Mog.
ATG Any Two Guys. A slash term meaning that the story in question could have written about any couple. Therefore it describes a piece of fanfiction that may be lacking in characterization. Often used to describe bad PWPs. If you could use search and replace to change the characters' names, and the story would still make perfect sense, then you are reading an ATG fic.
B7 Blake's Seven.
BAMF Badass Motherfucker.
Blake's Seven British science fiction series. In a nutshell, Blake and the crew of the Liberator are rebels attempting to evade the forces of evil, led by Servalan. The series was notable for having one of the first female villains (Servalan) and one of the first morally ambiguous heroes (Blake's right hand man, Avon. The Lex Luthor of his day).
B5 Babylon 5.
Babylon 5 American science fiction series. In a nutshell, Babylon 5 is a space station caught in the middle of interstellar intrigues. Often abbreviated to B5.
Banning If an admin is displeased with your behaviour on a site, mailing list or forum, she or he may forcibly unsubscribe you from the site or list, or take your name off the forum register. Generally banning is preceded by a warning, or a period of having your posts moderated, but not always. It depends on the admin and the site policy. Avoid getting banned, by (a) reading the FAQ, and (b) not behaving like a schmuck!
Beta A beta is someone who agrees to read your recently completed fanfiction and give you his or her opinion on it, and also, with any luck, his or her suggestions for improvements to it. Using a beta reader is the number one thing an author can do to improve her or his writing. The suggestions a beta reader may make include simple things like spelling and grammatical corrections, but also more complicated stuff such as characterization, plot flow, pacing and so on. Good places to look for a beta include on Dreamwidth or Livejournal, on mailing lists, on message boards, and among your online friends, if they are interested in the same fandom(s) you are.
BDSM A category of sexual practices that include bondage, domination, discipline, sado-masochism, and other activities that feature the use of consensual pain or control for pleasure.
Blog An online diary. See weblog and livejournal.
BNF Big Name Fan. Someone of whom most other fen in the same fandom will have heard, usually because the BNF organizes cons, maintains a fanfiction archive, or is an author of repute. Astolat is a good example of a BNF. She is involved in founding the OTW, writes archive code, makes vids, and writes fanfiction.
Bookverse See movieverse.
BOTW Bitch Of The Week. Or, Bimbo Of The Week.
Britpick To edit with an eye to making text read as though it was written by an English person, in English idiom. A type of beta reading. For example, in America, a rubber is a condom. In England, a rubber is an eraser. This is not the kind of thing you want to mix up in the middle of a sex scene... presumably.
BSB Backstreet Boys. See popslash.
BSG Battlestar Galactica.
Battlestar Galactica An American science fiction series, recently updated and relaunched. In a nutshell, humans are a space-faring species who are being hunted to extinction by the Cylons, a sentinent android race. The Cylons were created by the humans, who used them as slaves. The Cylons, understandably miffed, overreact a tad by attempting to commit genocide against the humans, and when that doesn't work immediately, they chase them across the stars.
BSO Beloved/Beautiful Sex/Slash Object. Hottie. Babe.
BTVS Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
BTW By The Way.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer American fantasy/horror/humour TV series. In every generation, a girl is born who has the supernatural strength and speed to kill vampires.
BuffyVerse An abbreviation of Buffy-Universe, the "world" in which the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series takes place, and the set of assumptions, or the core mythology, by which it operates. Each science fiction or fantasy story/TV show/movie/play has its own universe, some less like our own, some more. For example, in the BuffyVerse, vampires and slayers do exist, and there's a town called Sunnydale in California that has a Hellmouth under its high school. In the Highlander universe, certain individuals are immortal and prone to wearing trenchcoats while they hang out in abandoned warehouses. In the TrekVerse, warp speed is achievable, the inhabitants of the earth no longer use money or have any need for war, and transporter technology works. In the XenaVerse, the deities pop by regularly, you can kill someone with a frisbee if you're hard enough, and forging your foundations garments out of metal is an acceptable fashion choice... As you've probably gathered, when you watch one of these shows, their universe is where you go when you suspend your disbelief. When a piece of fanfiction differs from the canon universe, it becomes AU.
Canon The source material of the fandom, such as the book, movie or TV series, and the facts established in that series or movie or book. That Buffy is a young woman with supernatural abilities, that Legolas is an elf, and that Harry Potter has a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead, are established canon facts, for example.
Canonized To have something, such as a piece of fanfiction you've written, or a cherished belief about a character, confirmed by developments in canon. The term is derived from the Christian practices of making saints and accepting certain writings as holy scripture. This is also known as being inked, and is the opposite of being jossed.
Caveat lector Reader or viewer beware. The term is Latin.
CC Canon character. Credit card. Carbon copy, as when sending an email to multiple addressees.
Challenge An invitation from one fan to others to write some fanfiction including certain elements. An element can be literally anything, from a historical setting, to a list of random keywords.
Chan Slash fanfiction featuring interaction between two characters where one or both of the partners are under the age of consent.
Character An individual, usually a fictional one. The qualities and distinguishing traits of the psychology and history of such a person.
Character death The death of a main member of the canon cast. See header and warnings.
Characterization To describe a person by his or her qualities or distinguishing traits. That Scully is sceptical, that Bones is ascerbic, that Starbuck is cocky, and that Xena is brave are some of their characteristics.
Chlark Stories in the Smallville fandom that contain a romantic or sexually charged relationship between Chloe and Clark.
Chlana Stories in the Smallville fandom that contain a romantic or sexually charged relationship between Chloe and Lana. Slash.
Clana Stories in the Smallville fandom that contain a romantic or sexually charged relationship between Clark and Lana.
Clex Stories in the Smallville fandom that contain a romantic or sexually charged relationship between Clark and Lex. Slash.
Comicverse See movieverse.
Con Convention. A fan gathering.
Crack A story that is bizarre, unusual or hilarious, perhaps so much so that it might possibly give the impression that it was written while the author was high. Not the same thing as craic.
Craic Fun. Irish slang.
Creepypasta Creepypasta is a corruption of copypasta which is a corruption of 'copy & paste'. It's short horror/ghost stories told via internet, like teenagers telling spooky stories around a campfire.
Crossover A story containing characters and/or settings from more than one fandom universe. Sometimes abbreviated to xover or X/O.
Curtain story A story, usually slash, in which the couple go shopping for soft furnishings or otherwise behave in a cutesy, possibly overly domesticated way.
Cut tag A kind of markup used to hide spoilers or other information.
DD Domestic discipline.
Deep Space 9 One flavour of Star Trek. The series is set on a space station, the eponymous Deep Space Nine, which is on the edge of a wormhole. The wormhole is unusual because it is stable and therefore provides a reliable corridor to the highly unreliable Gamma Quadrant, a largely unexplored area of space. The space station used to belong to the Cardassians, who had invaded and until recently, were oppressing the crap out of the inhabitants of the nearby planet, Bajor. The station is now staffed by Starfleet and by Bajorans, who view the aliens who reside in the wormhole as their deities. This religious aspect, the residual tensions from the occupation, the static setting (rather than the mobile setting of a starship), and an evolving plot including a major war, set DS9 apart from the other Star Trek series.
Defriend On most blog sites, notably livejournal, a user can define a certain set of other users with special rights of access to read or comment on his or her journal. To remove a person from this list is to defriend him or her. See flist.
Denial fic A story in which the author chooses to ignore the fact that a certain canonical event happened. The ignored event is usually the death of a character, such as Doyle in Angel the Series, or Richie in Highlander. The opposite of res fic.
DILLIGAF Do I Look Like I Give A Fuck?
Disclaimer A sentence or paragraph attached to a story, in which the author disclaims any legal right to the characters and settings of the story, instead crediting these to the creator of the movie or show whose characters he or she is using.
DMC Devil May Cry, a demon-slaying game universe.
DNR Do Not Read. Some people keep a DNR list so they can skip stories or posts from certain authors.
Doctor Who A British science fiction TV series. The Doctor, (who looks like a human but is actually a two-hearted alien Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey), travels through space and time in his Tardis, (which looks like a smallish vintage phone box but is actually a hugely powerful spaceship), with his Companion, (who looks like a regular human, and actually is a regular human). The show is the longest running science fiction TV series in the world, which is quite amazing when you think that it used to be made on a yearly budget of approximately ten pence and a carrot. The show was recently revived and is so successful, it even has a couple of spinoffs, called The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood. Doctor Who is often abbreviated to DW.
Dodecal A piece of fanfiction consisting of 144 words.
Dom A person who enjoys being dominant during sex. See BDSM.
Domme A female person who enjoys being dominant during sex. See BDSM.
Domestic discipline An euphemism for stories containing corporal punishment, i.e. one partner in a sexual relationship is spanked by the other when he or she "does something wrong." The physical beating and humiliation is given as an alleged "proof" of the love between the two characters, apparently. Domestic discipline is sometimes shortened to DD. This type of activity is related to, but differs from, BDSM.
Domlijah Dominic/Elijah, a pairing in LotRips.
Drabble A piece of fanfiction consisting of 100 words.
DS Due South. Or a reference to BDSM.
DS9 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
DueSer A fan of Due South.
Due South A Canadian TV series. Mountie Benton Fraser comes to Chicago, accompanied by his wolf Dief, to hunt the men who killed his father. For reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, he becomes unofficial partner to Ray Vecchio, an Italian American detective. Later, RayV has to go undercover and is replaced by Ray Kowalski, a Polish-American detective. The series was notable for its use of magic realism and humour.
Dusted When a vampire in the BuffyVerse gets staked through the heart, drinks holy water, is exposed to sunlight, or is decapitated, he or she explodes into dust. This is unfortunate for the vampire, but convenient for the vampire slayer, as otherwise she would have a huge pile of vampire bodies to explain or bury after a hard night's patrol.
DW Doctor Who.
Editor In the context of the web and fandom generally, an editor is a person who is planning to produce a zine, and who has control over which stories to include. Also sometimes used as a more formal term for a beta reader.
Egypt Smallville fandom shorthand for fanfiction that maintains that the relationship between Lex and Clark will continue happily. A synonym for RWR fic. The opposite of rift fic. The term derives from the expression, "Denial isn't just a river in Egypt," and is also applied to all types of fiction that deny a certain set of canon events.
EIG Everyone is Gay.
EOTW Explosion Of The Week. An EOTW episode is a filler episode, the opposite of a plot arc episode.
Emoticon A symbol or combination of typed characters which expresses emotion. For example, there's the classic smiley :) which is used to indicate that the writer is joking. (No idea what I'm talking about? Try looking at the emoticon again, this time with your head tipped to the left.) Emoticons are commonly used in informal email and in online conversation generally. In fact, most forums provide a selection for members to use, although forum emoticons tend to be a lot more sophisticated than the standard text emoticons, with colour, high level design and even animation available.
ENT Star Trek: Enterprise.
Enterprise A flavour of Star Trek. This series was set in a time in our future but in the past for the original Kirk-era Star Trek, and dealt with the adventures of a pre-Federation Enterprise.
Episode guide Frequently, a person may become a fan of a television series when the television series has already started running. In fact, the series may be on its second, third, or later season. If so, the newbie may want to catch up on what he or she missed out on, sometimes just so he or she can understand his or her fellow fans in conversation, or certain plot details in fanfiction. If DVDs or downloads of the missed episodes are not available, the newbie can always read websites with episode guides, which give you the synopsis of each episode, in chronological order. Alternatively, there are many useful transcript sites. Episode guides are slowly becoming obsolete as downloads become more widely available such as on iTunes, Amazon and Netflix, and as DVDs of series are released earlier and earlier in the run of a series.
ETA Edited To Add. Estimated Time of Arrival.
Everyone is Gay A story in which the author portrays all the main characters as gay. Stories of this type are somewhat unrealistic, like writing a story in which every character is straight.
EWE Epilogue? What epilogue? Fiction that ignores the end of the last book in the Harry Potter series due to fannish objection to its content. Nothing to do with sheep, or so one devoutly hopes.
F2F Face to face.
F.n, a large multi-fandom fanfiction archive. Popular with authors for its ease of posting, but disliked by many readers due to its awkward reading interface and its ban on most adult material.
F/f Female/female. See pairings.
F/m Female/male. See pairings.
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions. A file or page where a mailing list or website owner answers all the questions he or she gets asked a lot. If you are new to a list, message board, service, or site, taking a couple of minutes to read the FAQ is a good idea, as it can save you time and embarrassment later.
FotR Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The first book or movie in the trilogy.
FPS Fake People Slash.
Fake People Slash Slash using fake people (i.e. fictional characters) as opposed to regular people as the protagonists. Often abbreviated to FPS. The opposite of RPS.
Fanart Art based on pre-existing stories. The same thing as fanfiction, but in a visual medium. See PhotoShop and illos.
Fandom The group of activities to do with a particular interest. The group of fans carrying out the activities, such as watching their preferred movie or show, joining a mailing list, visiting websites, talking with other fans in a chatroom or face to face, reading fanfiction, going to cons, being completely obsessed... The term fandom is also used, more rarely, to refer to all the fans of every movie and TV show, or even sports, as one big group.
Fanon A widely accepted "fact" or set of facts in a particular fandom that might have no basis in canon, it's just that the fact has been repeated in fanfiction so often, or simply appears to make such good sense in terms of what is seen in the movie or show, that it is taken as gospel by new writers of fanfiction.
Fanfiction Stories based on other stories. Fanfiction has always been around. Even Shakespeare based most of his plays on historical figures (e.g. Henry V, MacBeth, Julius Caesar) or on mythological folk tales such as A Midsummer Night's Dream. In its modern sense, fanfiction is a form of writing that is believed to have originated in zines around the late sixties or early seventies, in the Star Trek fandom. A fan would write a story using the characters and/or settings from a movie or TV series, and publish it in a zine, which was then sold by post or at fan gatherings. Once the web was widely used, fans started to publish their stories on it, and the phenomenon really exploded. Fanfiction explores the characters in ways that the person or persons who created the movie or TV series didn't have the time, interest, leeway, or (sometimes) imagination to do. Fanfiction is distinguished from profic by the fact that no profit is made and it's written purely for fun and for love of the characters and settings.
Farscape An American science fiction TV series. Astronaut John Crichton, piloting a test flight, is zapped through space to another galaxy, where he meets all sorts of funky people, and has all sorts of adventures. Black leather features prominently, as do people with blue skin. It's complicated.
Feedback An email telling the author of a piece of fanfiction what you thought of it. Synonym of LoC.
Femslash Slash featuring women or girls. This term isn't often used. Most people just use slash to mean stories with homoerotic content, whether of women together, or of men.
Femmeslash Older spelling of femslash.
Fen Fans.
FFS For Fuck's Sake.
Fic Fanfiction.
Filk A piece of music, especially one written by fans for fans. Either a pre-existing song is taken and the lyrics rewritten, usually with inspiration taken from the science fiction and fantasy genre; or the filk may be completely original, right down to the melody. Folk music is a favourite of filkers, but filk in every musical style imaginable exists. In fandom circles, filk can be the musical equivalent of a piece of fanfiction. Distinguished from song fic. See this essay for more information.
Fill To write a story in fulfillment of a prompt.
Filler A run of the mill episode that is self-contained and has nothing interesting to contribute in terms of character development or plot. Examples include MOTW and EOTW episodes. A filler episode is the opposite of a plot arc episode.
Flame A post to a message board or an email to a mailing list or direct to an individual, which is nasty, abusive, rude, and/or generally not well received. Saying that you think someone is wrong is debate. Saying that you think someone is stupid is a flame.
Flame war An argument, usually a pretty serious argument, carried out online via a series of flames.
Flist Short for friends list. On most blog sites, notably livejournal, a user can define a certain set of other users with special rights of access to read or comment on his or her journal.
Flock Short for friends lock. On most blog sites, notably livejournal, to flock is to set the security settings for one post or all entries of one's journal, so that only people in a previously-defined list of friends can read or comment on it.
Forum A site on the web where users can post public messages. Also known as a message board.
FotR Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Frell Fucking Hell. A swear-word that originated in Farscape fandom.
Frex For Example.
FWIW For What It's Worth.
Gack To borrow an idea, or to steal it outright. The term was originated by Heinlein.
Gen Any fanfiction which is not het or slash. In other words, a story that contains no sexual activity. Gen is short for general audience, and comes from the movie rating system.
Gender non-specific pronouns A group of invented pronouns, such as xe and ze, both of which mean both "she" and "he"; and hir which means both "his" or "her". These terms were conjured up by web groups who have among their members people who are transgendered or androgynous. They use these terms because they are more inclusive than the traditional black-and-white, you're-either-one-thing-or-the-other, binary system, male and female words. They are useful if you want to refer to someone and you don't know his or her gender, as you can't always tell from a person's pseudonym. Gender non-specific pronouns are not widely used as yet. Most people, on- and off- line, tend to rely on the plurals "they" and "their", even though these terms are not, strictly speaking, grammatically correct.
GIP Gratuitous Icon Post. When someone posts to their blog because they have a new icon.
GMTA Great Minds Think Alike.
Googlebomb To artifically manipulate the production of search engine results, by deliberately linking a word to a single website from multiple webpages. The end result is that search engines put the linked site higher up in the search results than they would in the normal course of events.
GSF Group sex fic.
Guh An exclamation that can be translated as "I have been so gripped by lust that I am temporarily incapable of forming complete sentences."
Guhflail An exclamation that can be translated as, "I have been so gripped by lust that I am temporarily incapable of forming complete sentences. Indeed, I have temporarily lost control of the use of my limbs."
HAND Have A Nice Day. Sometimes, in fact often, meant sarcastically.
Handle Your handle is your familiar name, nickname, screen name, or username. The term originated in the world of CB (Citizen's Band) radio.
Happy happy joy joy A somewhat derogatory term for a story in which everything goes swimmingly for the characters. This kind of fanfiction is fairly rare because it tends to be light on drama and plot.
Header The section usually found at the top of a story in which the author gives some brief preliminary information about it. Headers vary, but the author may list some or all of the following:
H/c Hurt comfort.
Harry Potter British book and movie series. In a nutshell, Harry Potter is an orphan enduring a dreary life, who discovers on his eleventh birthday that he is in actual fact living in a world where wizards and witches exist and live a life parallel to that of ordinary, non-magical humans, whom they refer to as muggles. He also discovers that he is a wizard himself and starts his magical education at Hogwarts, the school of wizardry and witchcraft. This new world is all sunshine and sugar-cookies, so to speak, until he comes across the sizeable fly in the ointment, in the shape of the rising threat of Voldemort. Voldemort is an evil genocidal wizard who has murdered Harry's parents, who attempted to murder Harry when he was a baby, and who would like to knock that task off his To-Do list as soon as he finds a way to come back from the almost-dead.
Het Heterosexual. If you see this in a header, the implication is that the story you're about to read contains heterosexual smut.
Hhjj Happy happy joy joy.
Highlander An American series of movies and TV series. The premise is that there exists a mysterious race of Immortal beings, who look like regular humans, but who cannot be killed, except by decapitation. Immortals are always foundlings, always sterile, and they fight other to the death in an ancient Game, competing for an obscure Prize, which is presumed to be something to do with gaining unimaginable power. Each head an Immortal takes, gives him or her the beheaded Immortal's Quickening, which seems to be the personal power and possibly memories of the dead Immortal. The Immortal tends to be unaware that he or she is an Immortal until the first time he or she dies -- it has to be a violent and/or premature death -- and then miraculously revives. Immortals can sense the approach of another Immortal. The activities of the Immortals are observed by an order of Watchers (unrelated to the Watchers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The main character in the movies is Connor MacLeod, and the lead character in the TV series is Duncan MacLeod, who is supposed to be a clansman of his. (Yeah, I know I just said that the Immortals are always sterile and always foundlings. :)
Hir This invented term is a substitute for both "her" and "his." It is one of a group of gender non-specific pronouns.
HL Highlander.
HoYay Homoeroticism -- Yay! Slashiness.
HP Harry Potter. Higher Power. Hewlett Packard...
HTH Hope This Helps.
Hurt comfort A type of fanfiction in which one of the characters suffers in some way, and one of the other characters comes to his or her aid. As you would expect, this type of fic tends to be high in angst, and frequently leads to smut!
IAWTC I Agree With This Comment.
IAWTP I Agree With This Post.
IAWTPSFM I Agree With This Post So Fucking Much.
Icon An icon is a small picture, usually the size of a thumbnail, that's displayed beside a person's posts on a messageboard or in a blog. The icon may be a photograph of the person, but that's pretty rare these days. More usually it's a newly created or manipulated image.
IDIC Infinite Diversity In Infinite Combinations. A phrase originating in classic Star Trek. Now often used simply to mean that variety is the spice of life.
IDK I Don't Know.
IDEK I Don't Even Know.
IKR I Know, Right?
Illos Illustrations. Drawings or photographs reproduced in a zine.
IOWASW I Once Wrote A Story Where...
IRC Internet Relay Chat. A way to communicate online that's faster than email.
IIRC If I Recall Correctly. Or, If I Remember Correctly.
IM Instant Message. A way to communicate online that's faster than email.
Immie Short for Immortal.
Immortal See Highlander.
IMO In My Opinion.
IMHO In My Humble Opinion.
IMNSHO In My Not So Humble Opinion.
Inked To have something, such as a piece of fanfiction you've written, or a cherished belief about a character, confirmed by developments in canon. A synomyn of canonized. The opposite of being jossed.
JMHO Just My Humble Opinion.
JMO Just My Opinion.
Jate Jack/Kate, a pairing in Lost.
Jawyer Jack/Sawyer, a pairing in Lost.
JoLa Joey/Lance, a pairing in Nsync popslash.
Jossed To have something, such as a piece of fanfiction you've written, or a cherished belief about a character, blown out of the water by developments in canon. This happened frequently during the run of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was created by Joss Whedon, hence the origin of the term. The opposite of being canonized or inked.
Jumped the shark A fandom phrase that means a TV show has passed its peak and is heading inexorably into decline, and/or that it is using increasingly desperate measures to keep its ratings high. The expression refers to an episode of Happy Days in which Fonzie jumped over a shark on his motorbike.
Katana space The mysterious quantum space about his or her person where an Immortal keeps his or her sword. A Katana is a kind of Japanese Samurai sword, sharp enough to cut a human body in half through the torso. See Highlander.
K'Immie An Immortal villain. A Highlander fandom term. It was noticed by several fen that evil Immortals, such as Kronos, tended to have names that started with the letter K.
Kink Something that's to your taste, or that really appeals to you. It doesn't need to be a rational appeal. The opposite of a squick.
Land An interactive community focused on one topic or fandom. Sign up for one of several (usually four) teams, and then participate in challenges ranging from graphics to writing to vidding to games, and earn points for your team. Usually blog-based.
Lemon Adult fanfiction that has sex scenes.
Lime Adult fanfiction that has snogging in it.
Listadmin A type of admin. Variants include list dads, list nannies, list goddesses, list owners, list moms, and so on.
List sibs List siblings. Fellow list members.
Livejournal A type of weblog, set up and accessed via Often abbreviated to LJ.
LJ Livejournal.
LMAO Laugh My Ass Off.
LMK Let Me Know.
LOC Letter Of Comment. Or, Letter Of Critique. An email telling the author of a piece of fanfiction what you thought of it. Feedback.
LOL Laughing Out Loud.
Lost American drama TV series, in which survivors of a plane crash attempt to survive on an isolated island.
LotR Lord of The Rings. The three-volume book by J.R.R. Tolkien, or its movie adaptation.
LotRips RPS using the actors who starred in LotR.
M7 Magnificent 7.
Magnificent 7 American Western TV series. See here for an introduction.
Mailing list An email-based communication method. Register with the list service, join a list, such as any of the ones on Yahoo!Groups for example, and send and receive email with a big group of fellow fen. The mailing list was the main method of fandom conversation before Livejournal and now Dreamwidth.
Male pregnancy A type of story in which, as the name implies, one of the blokes gets pregnant. Abbreviated to mpreg.
Manip Manipulation.
Manipulation An image that has been edited using software such as PhotoShop. A kind of fanart. Frequently abbreviated to manip.
Mary Sue A too good to be true original character. One who is believed by a reader to be either the representation of the author, or the representation of who the author would like to be. Mary Sue characters are usually easy to spot because they are shown as being incredibly beautiful, charming, and knowledgeable. They tend to have very unusual eye colour, hair colouring, past histories, and abilities. They are often named after the author who is writing them. They usually show up, sleep with the canon characters that the author would most like stripped, bathed, and brought to his or her tent; and then proceed to save the day. Following the day-saving, they either marry the babe canon character, or die a heroic and much lamented death. Mary Sue characters are not much liked, mainly because the reader is reading the fiction because he or she is primarily interested in the canon characters, not original ones, no matter how brilliant or beautiful. Mary Sue is also not going to do much for the plot, considering (a) she is perfect and therefore dull, and (b) you know from the outset that the day will be saved. Mary Sue characters are not always female, there's a male form too, and their use is not limited to fanfiction. The Wesley Crusher character in Star Trek: The Next Generation is widely believed to have been one, because he was good looking, hyper-intelligent, promoted to bridge officer (even though he was school age), and frequently saved the ship from disaster. He even was named with the show's creator's middle name. As you'd expect, Wesley is regularly voted most despised Star Trek character ever.
Maurice Stu The male version of a Mary Sue.
McShep Rodney McKay/John Sheppard, a pairing in Stargate Atlantis.
Medfet Medical fetish.
Meme A concept or idea, especially one that spreads like a virus.
Message board A site on the web where users can post and reply to public messages arranged in threads. Also known as a forum.
Meta A type of fanfiction that uses post-modern motifs, such as the characters being "aware" that they are in a story. Related to uber. Also can be commentary on or discussion of a movie, show, or book.
M/f Male/female. See pairings.
M/m Male/male. See pairings.
MM Multimedia. It can mean multimedia in the sense of the use of more than one type of material, as in an audio-visual show having both sound and film. Or it can mean something containing materials from many fandoms. Or more rarely MM may indicate slash. See pairings.
Mod Moderator.
Moderated posts An admin, list admin or mod may choose to moderate the mailing list or message board he or she runs. This means that he or she will have to manually approve each message or post before it gets forwarded to the group, or in the case of a message board, before it gets publically displayed. This allows the list admin or mod to filter out inappropriate material, such as that from trolls, spam, or off topic items. Sometimes the threat of being moderated is used if a poster behaves inappropriately. If the behaviour doesn't improve, then the list admin or mod may ban the poster.
Moderator A person who created, owns and manages a mailing list, message board, or site. He or she does the administration, keeps an eye on the posting, updates the FAQ, and so forth. A common synonym for the admin or the listadmin, although moderators can be either the actual person who owns the message board, mailing list, or site, or simply volunteer helpers of the person who does. Moderator is usually abbreviated to mod.
MOTW Monster Of The Week. A MOTW episode is a filler episode, i.e. one that is complete in itself and doesn't advance the plot arc episode.
Movieverse When a comic book or book is filmed, often the original source material has differences to the movie. For example, in The Lord of the Rings book, Arwen is found in a footnote, rather than as a pivotal character, as she is in the movies. So, fanfiction based on the movie rather than on the book is essentially operating in a slightly different universe.
Mpreg Male pregnancy.
MR Michael Rosenbaum. Actor. Hottie. Plays Lex Luthor on Smallville.
MS Mary Sue. Manuscript. Microsoft.
MSR Mulder Scully Romance.
MTE My Thoughts Exactly.
NC-17 The highest rating, in terms of adult content, a movie can receive in the American movie rating system. Equivalent to an 18 certificate in England. Usually implies a lot of sex and/or extreme violence.
Nc Non con.
Newbie A new person. An amateur.
Nick Nickname. See pseudonym.
Non con Non-consensual sexual act(s). Abbreviated to nc. See also rape.
Noromo Someone who prefers that the relationship of the characters remains a platonic one. The opposite of a shipper.
NSFW Not Safe For Work.
NWS Not Work Safe.
OC Original Character. Orange County (as abbreviated to O.C. in the TV series of that title).
OFC Original Female Character.
Off list When using a mailing list, two or more of the members may wish to continue chatting without the entire list being privy to their conversation, either because they want to discuss something privately, or because their conversation will be off topic for the list. This situation might arise, say, if they are on a list that exclusively discusses how adorable Klingons are, and they want to debate the warm fuzziness of the Cardassian culture. In this case, they would continue offlist by sending each other email or by going to IM. Sometimes a moderator will instruct the two members to take their discussion off list, if they want to avoid being banned, especially if the discussion's showing signs of developing into a flame war.
Off topic A post or email on a subject that it is not covered by mailing list or message board's main interest or mission statement. If you are on a Stargate mailing list, for example, you shouldn't suddenly start discussing Mongolian history unless the message board permits off topic discussions, or you clearly mark your post as off topic. You could get banned otherwise.
OMC Original Male Character.
OMG Oh My God.
OMFG Oh My Fucking God.
OOC Out Of Character. A character doing or saying something that he or she normally wouldn't. Examples: Faith being demure. Garak being straightforward. Benton Fraser being impolite. Oz being long-winded.
OOP Out Of Print.
OP Original Poster. The person who started the thread.
Organisation for Transformative Works A group of fans that all are welcome to join, which aims to protect the rights and facilitate the activities of creative fans. For more, visit their website.
Original character A character in fanfiction who doesn't appear in the movie or television series canon.
OT Off Topic.
OTOH On The Other Hand.
OTP One True Pairing. The only pairing considered valid/reasonable/interesting by a particular fan in a particular fandom. Examples of some pairings often considered OTP by many in their respective fandoms: Clark/Lex in Smallville, Mulder/Scully in the XFiles, and John/Aeryn in Farscape.
OT3 One True Threesome. See OTP.
OTT Over The Top. Excessive, melodramatic or exaggerated.
OTW The Organization for Transformative Works.
PTerry Terry Pratchett, a quite literally fantastic author.
Pairing The pairing note in the header of a story indicates to the prospective reader which two (or three or more!) characters are going to be getting it on in the fic. As you'd imagine, pairings mostly apply to stories that show a romantic or sexual relationship between the characters. M/f and f/m both mean a female with a male. M/m means male with male. F/f means female with female. Canon characters are usually indicated by their initial, so A/B means Angel with Buffy. Whereas A/f would mean Angel with an original character of the female persuasion. See slash.
PhotoShop PhotoShop is the name of a product, which, like "Hoover" before it, has been adapted into a verb. To photoshop an image now means to digitally manipulate it.
PGP Post Gauda Prime. It's a reference to the last episode of Blake's Seven, which took place on a planet called Gauda Prime.
Plot arc A plot arc episode is one that advances the main storyline of the show. The X Files, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5 are examples of shows famous for having not just EOTW or MOTW episodes, but a deeper underlying theme. In the X Files, this was the search for the truth about what happened to Mulder's sister, who disappeared when they were children; in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Dominion War provided a major plot arc for the later seasons; and in Babylon 5, the entire series was conceived as one single "novel." Plot arc episodes are especially enjoyable for existing fans of the show but are believed not to attract new viewers, so TPTB tend to take a dim view of them.
Plot bunny An idea for a story. They are called bunnies because they breed as fast as rabbits.
Popslash A kind of RPS which, instead of being based on characters from a book, TV series or movie, is based on the proponents of aggressively cheerful music sung by people chosen for their ability to dance.
POV Point Of View.
Postage Shipping and handling. The cost of sending an item by snail mail.
Post numbering and part numbering When posting a story to an individual, to your journal, or a mailing list, the preferred method is to break up the whole enchilada into bite size chunks and post each one individually. Obviously the reader wants to read the different sections of the story in the right order, so to help with this, the sender puts a post number in the subject line of the mail. It's also good form to stick the rating in there, even though you'd normally put this information in the header as well. Example: If you were sending the first part of an adult six part story called "Truth," you'd have a subject line like so: Truth 1/6 NC-17. Part numbering is especially important in the case of WIPs, where the parts can be received irregularly. Often an author chooses to number his or her posts as 1/?, 2/?, 3/? and so on if he or she is writing a WIP, because he or she may not know how many posts he or she will eventually end up writing. Some headers, once you've included author's notes and so on, can nearly be the size of a post themselves. Posting header information separately to the rest of the story gives people who hate headers the option of ignoring them. For these reasons, it's becoming more common to post an 0 post, which contains all the header information but none of the actual story. In this case, the subject line for the 0 post would look, as you'd expect, like so: Truth 0/6 NC-17. See header for more information.
Posting spree If a poster starts posting large numbers of frequent, trivial posts to a community, mailing list or message board, an admin, list admin or mod may choose to moderate that person, or to ban him or her. A posting spree may be a sign of a newbie inadvertently displaying that he or she is at the start of the learning curve that everyone goes through, or it may be a troll at work.
Prawn Smut.
Pr0n Smut!
Pro fic Professional fiction, such as that found in novels that you'd buy in a bookstore. Writing for profit. As opposed to fanfiction.
Prompt A suggestion.
Pseud Pseudonym. It literally means "false name." The username a writer, or a poster on a mailing list or message board uses to conceal her or his real life identity. Quite a few writers have posted stories under their real name and later regretted it.
PWP Plot? What Plot? Or, Porn Without Plot. A story that is heavy on the sex and light on the plot and character development, as the name implies.
Q A recurring character on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Noted for having the powers of a demi-god, a bizarre sense of humour, and a very sharp tongue.
QAF Queer As Folk.
Queer As Folk Drama TV series that originated in England and was later remade in America, detailing the lives, loves and libido of a group of gay people. The main writer was the same guy responsible for the renaissance of Doctor Who and the naissance of Torchwood.
Rant A lengthily or forcefully (or lengthily and forcefully!) expressed opinion.
Rape Being forced to have sexual intercourse against one's will. See non con.
Rating An informal system which fanfiction writers often use to give the reader some idea of what to expect. Ratings are based on the American movie ratings system, and indicate the lowest age for which the material is suitable. Ratings range from G (General, very mild stuff you could read to your grandmother), up through PG (Parental Guidance), and PG-13 (Parental Guidance required advised for people under the age of 13), to R (Restricted, contains some sex or violence) and finally to the highest rating, NC-17 (not suitable for those under the age of 17, contains lots of sex and/or extreme violence). Because the rating system is a courtesy from the story's author to the reader, the author uses her or his own judgment to apply the rating.
RayK Ray Kowalski. One of the canon characters in Due South.
RayV Ray Vecchio. One of the canon characters in Due South.
Ray Wars A kerfuffle that occurred in Due South fandom when the original Ray, Ray Vecchio, was replaced by RayK, Ray Kowalski. In RL, the original actor who played Ray Vecchio left the series. In canon, RayV had to abruptly go undercover with the Mafia.
Real life Where you are when you're not watching a movie/watching a show/online/engaging in fandom. This term is sometimes shortened to RL.
Real people slash Slash using real people as opposed to fictional characters as the protagonists in fic, often abbreviated to RPS. A lot of people are squicked by this kind o' thing, because they think that fictional characters are not real and so can be worked with freely, but real people have real feelings and a right to privacy. (On the other hand, RPS writers say that they base their writing on the public persona of the real person, not on the actual person.) For this reason, and to avoid legal action, many sites won't accept RPS or RPF.
Real people fiction A blanket term for fanfiction that uses real people such as celebrities instead of fictional characters as the protagonists. See RPS.
Reset button The tendency of some shows to have a circular plot, i.e. the characters end up where they started at the beginning of the episode. A prime characteristic of a filler episode.
ROG Really Old Guy. A nickname for the character Methos, a.k.a. Adam Pierson, in Highlander. Methos is supposed to be around five thousand years old, which makes him the most ancient of the Immortals.
RPG Role Playing Game. An interactive creative entertainment, such as Dungeons And Dragons, often played online.
Res fic Resurrection fic. Where a canonical event such as the death of a character is overcome by the author, bringing the character back from the dead. Distinguished from denial fic.
Rift fic Smallville fandom shorthand for fanfiction that deals with the end of the relationship between Lex and Clark. The opposite of Egypt fic.
RoS Robin of Sherwood
Robin of Sherwood A British TV series written by Richard Carpenter that retold the Robin Hood stories with interesting depth. For one thing, RoS emphasised the political situation at the time, i.e. the conflict between the Saxon peasantry and the Norman overlords; secondly, it showed realistic medieval living conditions, and thirdly, it mingled the adventures of the outlaws with pagan mysticism. Although there were notable Robins before RoS, such as Errol Flynn's, and notable Robins afterwards, such as Kevin Costner's, Patrick Bergin's, and Russell Crowe's, Robin of Sherwood is still arguably the most faithful version of the story of the folk hero who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.
ROTFL Rolling On The Floor.
ROTFL Rolling On The Floor, Laughing My Ass Off.
RotK Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King.
Round robin A story written, not by just one person as is usual, but by a group. One person starts off and writes the first bit, then hands it to the next person, who writes the second bit, and so on until the story is complete.
RL Real Life.
RPF Real People Fiction.
RPS Real People Slash.
RST Resolved Sexual Tension, i.e. shagging.
RTFF Read The Fucking FAQ.
RTFM Read The Fucking Manual.
Rutting Fucking. An old word for having sex, especially mating like an animal. Its use as a swear-word originated in Firefly canon.
RWR Rift? What Rift? Smallville fandom shorthand for fanfiction that maintains that the relationship between Lex and Clark will continue happily. A synonym for Egypt fic. The opposite of rift fic.
Schmoop The quality of sweetness, or romance, perhaps to excess. A term used to describe a piece of fanfiction in which a character makes declarations, either by word or deed, of how important their relationship with another character is to them.
Schmuck A person in need of spiritual guidance and/or a kick in the head. A term of abuse that originated in Yiddish.
Scully Dana Scully was a character in the X Files, noted for her scepticism. So, to scully someone is to be sceptical towards them. This use comes from Buffy The Vampire Slayer canon.
The Sentinel American TV series. Jim Ellison, a former Army Ranger and current detective, discovers with the help of anthropology graduate student Blair Sandburg, that he is a genetically enhanced watchman for his tribe. The two of them work together to fight crime. Abbreviates to TS.
Series Any set of pieces of fanfiction that have something in common. They may have a continuing theme, a common plot arc, or be set in the same universe.
SG Stargate: SG1.
SG1 Stargate: SG1.
SGA Stargate Atlantis.
Shagging Sex.
Shiny "Good'" or "Yay!" The term originated in Firefly canon.
Ship Any relationship-oriented fanfiction, from G to NC-17, whether gen, het, or slash.
Shipper A person who is interested in a particular relationship. For example, someone who would like to see Clark and Lana on the show Smallville get together, is called a Clana shipper. The term first originated in the X Files fandom, when broadly speaking the fandom could be divided into shippers, i.e. people who wanted to see Mulder and Scully get together, and noromos, who thought Mulder and Scully's relationship should remain platonic.
Shuk Fuck. From Angel canon.
Sire To create a vampire. It involves the vampire sucking the victim's blood, then the victim sucking the vampire's blood... it's a whole big sucking thing.
Slash A sexually or romantically charged relationship between two people of the same gender. The term originated in the way pairings are noted at the beginning of fanfiction. For example, a Spike and Angel slash story would be noted as S/A.
Smarm A term used to describe a piece of fanfiction in which a character makes declarations, either by word or deed, of how important their platonic friendship with another character is to them.
Smut A piece of fanfiction that depicts the characters having sex. Usually deserving of a NC-17 rating.
SN Sports Night.
Snail mail Regular mail, as opposed to email.
Snakehead Derogatory term for a Go'auld, a type of evil alien parasite, from Stargate canon.
Snark To be sarcastic in an amusing manner.
Snogging Kissing. In the sense of passionate making out, rather than the peck-on-the-cheek, greet-your-auntie type of kiss.
Sockpuppet Someone who creates multiple accounts with which to create an appearance of support for their own arguments.
Song fic A piece of fanfiction that incorporates lyrics from a song. Song fics are often reviled because it is difficult for a reader who doesn't know the song quoted to have the reaction to the story that the author wants. Distinguished from filk.
SOP Standard Operating Procedure.
Spackle To fill in the gaps in canon with fanfiction. The term is derived from the American word for repairing and smoothing out cracks in plasterwork.
Spam Unsolicited commercial email. The term is derived from the Monty Python sketch of the same name.
Spec Speculative fiction. Fiction that contains a fantasy or science fiction theme or element. Also, how fanfiction is referred to in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles fandom.
SPN Supernatural.
Spoiler To be told about a story's ending or its important plot twists prematurely.
Spoiler ho Someone who tries to find spoilers.
Spoiler tag To use special cut tags to avoid spoiling other people accidentally.
Spoiler space In order to avoid accidentally spoiling other people by giving away important plot twists or an ending, posters on forums and people updating their blogs may use spoiler space, so that other people can avoid scrolling down and reading the spoiler. Spoiler space looks something like this:

Spoiler virgin Someone who tries to avoid spoilers.
Spoiler warning Fanfiction authors try to warn their prospective readers about any spoilers in their fic, by putting a note in the header of the fic, listing the title of any episode that might be spoiled for you if you read on. Posters on forums try to allow spoiler space in their posts, so people who don't want to read the spoiler know not to scroll down. A lot of this care is necessary because the movies and shows with which fandom concerns itself are usually made and shown first in America, and the fans in the other countries around the world will always be a little behind in the movie release or viewing schedule. However, some people want to know in advance what happens, so they actively search for sites with good spoilers.
Spoiler whore Variant spelling of spoiler ho.
Sports Night Sports Night. A short-lived high quality drama/comedy set around a sports TV programme. The writer was Aaron Sorkin, later to write The West Wing. Abbreviated to SN.
Spree Posting spree.
Squee To make a noise like a trod-on tribble out of sheer excitement.
Squick Something that's not to your taste, or that freaks you out. It doesn't need to be a rational reaction. The opposite of a kink.
Squint A story that can be read as gen, or as slash, if you squint. Squint is also a synonm for a technician or a scientist in the Bones fandom and canon.
ST Star Trek. Any or all flavours.
ST: DS9 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The one based on a space station near a wormhole full of aliens and the planet Bajor. The captain is Benjamin Sisko. Major themes include religion, war, and religious war.
ST: ENT Star Trek: Enterprise. This is the version of Star Trek set after the original series but before The Next Generation. The captain is Jonathan Archer. Major themes include early space exploration, and beagle-keeping.
ST: TNG Star Trek: The Next Generation. The captain is Jean-Luc Picard. Major themes include space exploration and diplomacy.
ST: TOS Star Trek: The Original Series. The one with Kirk and Spock. Major themes include space exploration and Kirk snogging everyone with a pulse.
ST: VOY Star Trek: Voyager. The one with the space ship that gets stranded in a distant galaxy and has to make its way back to Earth. The captain is Kathryn Janeway. Major themes include the Odyssey, terrorism, the danger of cheese, and the ethics of survival.
Stargate An American movie and subsequent TV series. In the 1920s, a large circular stone artifact is excavated near the pyramids in Egypt and taken to America. Much later, the American Air Force draft in a maverick archaeologist, Daniel Jackson, who translates the symbols on the artifact and figures out how to use it. It turns out that the artifact, called a stargate, enables the user to travel using an ancient, yet highly technologically advanced, network, to cross vast distances in space. The Air Force puts together a series of teams to use the stargate to explore the universe and seek out allies in the cold war against the Go'auld, an evil race of parasitical aliens. The popularity of Stargate the movie so far has spawned two TV series, the eponymous long-running Stargate SG-1 and the more recent Stargate Atlantis. All three versions, particularly the TV series, are notable for strong female characters, an unusual blend of ancient mythology with science fiction, and mixing drama and snark.
Stargate Atlantis A spin off from Stargate. A group of explorers go through the stargate to another galaxy to occupy the ancient city of Atlantis, and are unable to return. They set out to explore the wonders of their new world, while resisting the attacks of the Wraith, a race of mind-numbing, spirit-crushing, lifeforce-sucking evil albino-rasta-space-vampires. I am not making this up. Skaredykat's SGA Fic Readers' Guide is an excellent resource for this fandom.
Sub A person who enjoys being submissive during sex. See BDSM.
Subtext The meaning(s) underlying the obvious meaning. What you see when you read between the lines. When used by slash fen, this means that the fen are seeing a slashy relationship between two of the characters. Sometimes the subtext ain't so sub, as in the X Files episode when Krycek kissed Mulder.
Summary A brief description of the start of the plot of a story. Usually found in a fanfiction header, or in an archive story list.
Supernatural A spooky TV series which details the adventures of brothers Dean and Sam Winchester as they Fight Evil and hunt for the thing that murdered their mother and Sam's girlfriend. Often appreviated to SPN.
SV Smallville.
Smallville American fantasy TV series, detailing the youth of Clark Kent, a.k.a. Superman. Abbreviated to SV.
TC Torture Clark. Fanfiction in which Clark undergoes angst.
TCBOO There Can Be Only One. A phrase from Highlander fandom, and a rule of that universe.
Teal Deer Too long; didn't read. Same thing as TL;DR.
Torchwood A British science fiction TV series, a spinoff from Doctor Who. Torchwood is the secret group which combats unwanted supernatural creatures, such as aliens and monsters, and occurrences from their lair under Cardiff. Basically Torchwood is Doctor Who for adults, in that it covers similar material but with way more swearing, shagging and snark. The group is led by the mysterious Jack Harkness, who is unusual in three respects: firstly, he cannot die; secondly, he has Biggles' dress sense; and thirdly, he is hotter than Satan's hair tongs.
TL;DR Too Long; Didn't Read.
TYK Thank You Kindly. An expression that originated in Due South canon, because ultra-polite Canadian Mountie Benton Fraser was always saying it.
Thread A topic or subject of discussion.
The Powers That Be In ordinary use, this phrase means anyone who has authority over your life, such as the government, for example. In BuffyVerse and the AngelVerse, The Powers That Be are the higher forces working both directly, and through people with special abilities, such as the Slayer and Angel, to effect changes for good. In terms of the actual show in RL, The Powers That Be are the show's creator, and the company funding the show's production. Often shortened to TPTB.
TIA Thanks In Advance.
Timbertone Justin Timberlake/Joey Fatone, a pairing in Nsync popslash.
Timbertrick Justin/Chris, another pairing in Nsync popslash. That Justin gets around, doesn't he?
Timed out When a zine has been OOP for a certain length of time, the authors of the stories are free to publish the stories on the web.
Tinhat A person with strong beliefs who chooses to be deaf to all other possibilities. Derives from the name given to certain individuals who attempt to block out government mind control/alien transmissions by wearing headgear improvised from aluminium foil, as seen in the movie Signs.
TPTB The Powers That Be.
Transcript For reference purposes when writing fanfiction, or because a certain television series may not be available in your area, or just out of interest, you may want to read a transcript. A transcript is basically a written record of all the dialogue of an episode, sometimes with stage directions and the transcriber's comments included. Alternatively, there are many useful episode guide sites.
Trickyfish Chris/Lance, a pairing in Nsync popslash.
Troll A kind of schmuck who wishes to cause trouble. The terms originates in European folklore, where it means a loathsome demon who typically lives under a bridge or in a muddy hole and annoys passers-by for the sake of it.
TS The Sentinel.
TSbyBS The Sentinel by Blair Sandburg. The final episode of The Sentinel series.
TSBS Variant spelling of TSbyBS.
TTT Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers.
TTYL Talk To You Later.
TTYS Talk To You Soon.
TTYN Talk To You Never, i.e. fuck off.
TW Tom Welling. Actor. Hottie. Plays Clark Kent on Smallville.
Twilight A book and movie series about a young woman who falls in love with a vampire. I know what you're thinking: How original!
Twincest The pairing of twins, such as Fred/George Weasley in the Harry Potter fandom, original characters, Dante/Virgil from DMC, Elladan/Elrohir from LotR, or Aya/Aki from Ayashi no Ceres.
TWOP Television Without Pity. A popular TV recap, review and discussion site. Known as Trolls Without Purpose by its detractors.
TWW The West Wing.
Uber A story in which the canon characters are transposed to another setting. A type of alternate universe fanfiction, although on the Xena television show, there was, I'm told, at least one episode where the canon characters of Xena and Gabrielle were moved to a modern-day setting. The characters were played by the same actors and had similar characteristics to the canon ones. All very meta. It's also slang for a member of the genetically engineered Nietzschean race in Andromeda canon and fandom.
Universe In real life, the universe is everything that exists. In fandom, it means the larger setting of the movie, book, or show. See BuffyVerse for more information.
UST Unresolved Sexual Tension. What one observer has eloquently described as "quivering in each other's arms and pointedly NOT snogging." the X Files, until recently, was the prime example of this. UST is reputed to be the mysterious factor that gives many a show its spark. Once the pair in question finally get it on, the show itself is notorious for going rapidly downhill. Case in point: Moonlighting.
Vanilla A slang term for sexual activities that do not involve the use of BDSM.
VG Velvet Goldmine, a movie starring Ewan McGregor, and loosely based on the early careers of Oscar Wilde, David Bowie and Iggy Pop. A fertile source for slash fanfiction, as the film features scenes of homoeroticism.
Vid A series of video clips set to music. A vidder takes the canon material of a TV series or movie and recuts it to tell a different story, in the same way that a fanfiction writer takes the characters from a book or movie and makes a new piece of fiction using them.
Vignette Commonly taken to mean a very short story, but more than that, it can mean one that is meant to capture a moment out of the life of the character, and thereby illustrate something crucial about him or her. Apparently, a well written vignette can take as long to write as a book-length piece, because the choice of each word or phrase is so important to the mood. In this way, vignettes are to fanfiction what the short story is to the novel. The term is more or less exclusive to the X Files fandom.
Viggorli Viggo and Orlando, a pairing in LotRips.
Warning A notice attached to the top of a piece of fiction, letting the prospective reader know about something in the content that might be upsetting. Character death and rape are examples of the kind of thing about which readers generally appreciate being warned. Some writers feel that having to warn ruins or damages the story, and so prefer not to issue warnings, but it is generally considered a minimum of good manners.
Weblog A form of online diary, such as a Livejournal or Dreamwidth account. Entries can be public or private. Visitors to the webpage the weblog is displayed on often have the option to leave a comment. Weblog is usually abbreviated to blog.
The West Wing American TV series, set in the White House and centering on an US President, who must be imaginary as he appears to have a conscience. Not that I'm bitter.
Wincest A story that contains Dean/Sam incest. A common feature of slash in the Supernatural fandom.
WIP Work In Progress. A fanfiction story that is not yet completed. On a mailing list, posts of the parts of a WIP are numbered as 1/?, 2/?, 3/? and so on. Some prefer to avoid reading WIPs, because there is always the possibility that the story will never be completed. There's also the fact that the author may finish the story and give it a final polish or even a total re-write before having it archived. So the version you are reading may not be anything like the best one. On the other hand, the progress of a story from WIP to final version holds its own interest. And following the emergence of a WIP is the best way to get that groovy cliffhanger feeling, as Dickens' readers did, when his books were originally published in magazines in serial form.
Woobie Someone undergoing angst.
WNGWJLEO We're Not Gay We Just Love Each Other. Rather weak explanation sometimes given in fanfiction for why two previously heterosexual characters have suddenly resolved their sexual tension.
WTF What The Fuck?
WTAF What The Actual Fuck?
WYSIWYG What You See Is What You Get. Pronounced "Wizzywig."
XF The X Files.
The X Files American supernatural drama TV series. The main characters were Scully and Mulder, FBI agents who set out to find the truth about aliens and the paranormal.
XPhile A fan of the X Files.
Xe This invented term means both "she" and "he." One of a group of gender non-specific pronouns.
X/O Crossover.
Xover Crossover.
Yenta A person who acts as a matchmaker. One whose primary goal in a story is to get the couple together. Originally a Yiddish term.
YMMV Your Mileage May Vary.
Your Mileage May Vary A way of saying, "We will have to agree to disagree."
Ze This invented term means both "she" and "he." One of a group of gender non-specific pronouns.
Zines Magazines. A published hard copy of fanfiction.
! Occasionally you see a term such as Alien!Clark or Profiler!Mulder or CleavageySlutBomb!Faith. This punctuation is a shorthand way of noting that a character is showing a particular trait at a particular juncture.
:) Smile. An emoticon.
:( Frown. An emoticon.
;) Wink. An emoticon.
*g* Grin. An emoticon.
*eg* Evil Grin. An emoticon.
*beg* Big Evil Grin. An emoticon.
0 post The first post of a series containing a piece of fiction, usually the one with the header information and none of the actual story. See post numbering for more information.
404 An error message that is displayed when a webpage can't be properly accessed for some reason, such as an incorrectly typed url, a deleted domain, or a server being down. A dead end.




Many people have kindly helped with corrections and additions to this fannish glossary. I am very grateful to Verbscape, Juniju, GermanKitty, Toasted Toad, Nitzan, Zoe, Kate, Germankitty, Emily, Thad, Logan Clark, Jape, Ella (twice! :), Celeste, Kranja, Chris, AJ and Tiger M for all their assistance.

If you have an addition, correction or clarification for the fannish glossary, please let me know.


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