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Fandom Lexicon: B

Last week, we debuted our long-in-the-works Fandom Lexicon by sharing the terms we’ve currently got logged under the letter “A.” We got a few suggestions and updated it, and now we’re back with the second installment. Let us know if you spot anything we’ve erred on or any terms we’ve missed that you think should be included!

Note: future updates will not update this blog post, but will update the main Lexicon page in our webpage Resources.

Lexicon Terms Beginning with B:

Babygirl: A term used to refer to an adult character, almost always a cisgender man, that the speaker thinks is cute despite (or perhaps because) of questionable and/or pathetic behavior. Read more about the term “babygirl.”

Baihe: Baihe is the Chinese term for wlw books.

Bang Path: Refers to when an exclamation point is used to separate a character’s name from a defining trait, usually (but not exclusively) when referring to different versions of a character. Example: Florist!Kirk or Human!Castiel. Originates from classic email structure where exclamation points were used to denote how a message should be routed. Read more about bang paths.

Bashing:1. Action: Hating on characters, people, media, or themes that one does not enjoy. 2. Photo bashing: Combining multiple reference photos to create one cohesive image

BB: Abbreviation, stands for “big bang.” See Big Bang.

BDSM: Abbreviation, stands for “bondage, domination, and sadomasochism.” An umbrella term for individuals who engage in bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism, and/or masochism in their lifestyles and/or community and/or platonic or sexual relationships. Read more about BDSM.

Bechdel Test: A test for assessing the extent to which women are represented in a work of fiction. The work passes the Bechdel test if 1) the work contains at least 2 women, 2) and the women talk to each other, 3) and their conversation is not about a man. First depicted in a 1985 comic called Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel. Read more about the Bechdel test.

Beta: A secondary gender term used in works with Alpha/Beta/Omega dynamics. While the specifics are up to the writer, betas are often characterized as lacking the physical and hormonal features that differentiate alphas and omegas from each other, thus making betas the closest to real life humans in terms of appearance, capability, and mentality. See Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics.

Beta Reader: Someone who provides feedback on a completed, but unpublished, written work. The particulars of what betas do depend on the individuals, but common tasks include providing feedback on plot, pacing, and characterization; cheerleading; proofreading; and editing for readabilty, consistency, and other issues. Read more about “beta reader” as a general term.

BF: Abbreviation, usually either for “boyfriend” or “best friend.”

Bias: In K-Pop fandoms, bias is a term that refers to a fan’s favorite idol from a given group. Read more about the term “bias.”

Bias Line: In K-Pop fandoms, having a “bias line” instead of only a “bias” refers to having multiple, joint favorite idols from the same group. See Bias.

Bias-Wrecker: In K-Pop fandoms, a bias-wrecker is a fan’s second-favorite idol, one they like so much that this second-favorite could supplant the favorite and therefore “wreck” the previous bias. See Bias.

Big Bang: A collaborative creation-oriented fandom event in which authors write fanfictions to fit a specified theme, typically no less than 10,000 words in length (events focused on shorter works are often referred to as mini-bangs); artists then choose the work they want to collaborate on through an anonymized claiming process and produce at least one but typically 2 or more pieces of art for that fic. The fic and art are then published and shared by the event runners and/or creators on a pre-scheduled day. Read more about big bangs.

Bingo: In fandom spaces, typically refers to a fandom event in which a “bingo card” is created with a different prompt in each square, and artists/writers/other creative types create things to meet those prompts. The creator gets to select which prompts they fill. They get a “bingo” if they manage a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line of prompts, and a “blackout” if they make something for every prompt on the card. Typically creators are required to make something new and unique for each square, but the requirements for these creations are usually much less strict than for bangs (sketches and mini-fics versus fully completed art pieces and lengthy fics, for example.) Usually fandom bingos use 5 x 5 square grids (25 prompts total), though sometimes 3 x 3 (9 prompts total) or 4 x 4 (16 prompts total) are used instead. Read more about fandom bingos.

Bird App: A moniker for the social media platform formerly known as Twitter (now X).

Bishie: See Bishounen.

Bishie Vision: When a bishounen character is introduced in a Japanese anime or manga, they are often shown with flowers, sparkles, rainbows, or other diaphanous decorations around them. This is called “bishie vision.”

Bishounen: Bishounen is a Japanese term for an especially beautiful young man, often in shoujo or shounen-ai manga. Read more about bishounen.

BL: Abbreviation for “Boys’ Love.” See Boys’ Love.

Blacklist: Oxford dictionary: “a list of people or things that are regarded as unacceptable or untrustworthy and should be excluded or avoided.” Many websites and/or browser extensions offer blacklisting functionality that enables users to block out text that includes specific terms, hides posts that include those terms, etc. People use blacklists to avoid content they don’t wish to see for any reason.

Blorbo: A person’s favorite character. Originated as “blorbo from my shows,” from a post by Tumblr user thelustiestargonianmaid, but can be used to refer to characters from other media sources. The original post has been deleted. Read more about “blorbo.”

BMP(file format): Abbreviation for “bitmap.” An image file format.

BNF: Abbreviation for “Big Name Fan.” An individual who is well known within their fandom (and occasionally outside it). Read more about the term BNF.

Boff(-ing, -er): Boffing is a type of Live Action Roleplaying (LARP) where people use carefully constructed foam weapons to enact fights and battles. A boffer is a person who participates in boffing. Read more about boffing.

Boomer: Short for “baby boomer.” Use is almost always derogatory. Read more about the origin and use of “OK Boomer” as a meme.

Bottom: 1) The recipient of penetration. 2) The submissive in a D/s relationship. 3) In shibari, the person being tied up. These uses are often conflated but are not actually synonymous.

Boys’ Love. A Japanese manga genre focused on romantic relationships between male characters. Often abbreviated BL. Sometimes conflated with yaoi and/or shounen-ai, but also commonly used as a distinct and separate sub-genre. Read more about the BL genre.

BRB: Abbreviation for “Be Right Back.”

Britpick: Reading a written work that is set in the UK to check for linguistic and cultural references that someone in that setting would use and that may not be familiar to someone not from that setting. While [otherculture]pick terms are also in use, Britpick is the most common. For example, britpicking might flag spelling (e.g. color vs. colour) or language choices (e.g. vacuuming vs. hoovering). Read more about Britpicking.

BroTP: Abbreviation for “Bro True Pairing,” a humorous alteration of the term OTP, or “One True Pairing.” A platonic pairing between two characters. Canon sibling relationship not required, nor must the characters be male. See also OTP (below, pending).

BTS: Abbreviation for “behind the scenes”; can also refer to the K-Pop boy band Bangtan Boys. When not referring to the K-Pop band Bangtan Boys, BTS most often refers to “behind the scenes,” as in footage, images, recordings, and other material taken behind-the-scenes of a show, concert, movie, etc., showing the performers when they are not acting.

Burn: A specifically directed insult; the act of directing specific insults at a target.

BYI: Abbreviation for “before you interact.” On many social media platforms, people will include a “before you interact” statement in their profiles or on their Carrds, including information about what people should know and/or be okay with before they follow or interact with the person who wrote the BYI.

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