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Fandom Lexicon: T

Lots of social media platforms in our “T” update. What’s up with that?

View the entire fandom lexicon posted thus far.

See an omission? Notice a mistake? Let us know!

Lexicon Entries Beginning with T:

T4T: Abbreviation for “trans for trans.” Typically used to refer to relationships (platonic or romantic) in which both partners are transgender. Can also be used in a “personals” setting to indicate a trans person looking for other trans people. See also: Bi4Bi.

TANSTAAFL: Abbreviation for “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” An old internet abbreviations meant to indicate that people shouldn’t expect to get anything for free (and that if someone got taken in by a scam or bad actor, they brought it on themselves for thinking they could get something for nothing – and as such, it’s a little victim-blamey).

TBH: Abbreviation for “to be honest.”

TBR: Abbreviation for “to be read,” most often used to refer to books one intends to read but hasn’t yet.

Tea: Gossip, insider information, all the gory details of a drama. Typically used in phrases like “spill the tea” (share the gossip), “that tea is piping hot” (fresh gossip shared with personal commentary), or “sipping tea” (watching a drama occur with a sort of “I knew that would happen” attitude).

Teal Deer: See TL:DR.

TERF: Abbreviation for “trans-exclusive radical feminist/feminism.” What it says on the tin: radfems/radical feminists who do not consider trans women to be women and therefore explicitly exclude trans women from their feminism. TERFs are not welcome here. Read more about TERFism.

The Cake is a Lie: A reference to the game Portal, in which the cake is, in fact, a lie. Became widely used as a way of saying “a promised reward doesn’t actually exist/isn’t real.” Read more about the “The Cake is a Lie” meme.

Thembo: Portmanteau of “them” and “himbo/bimbo.” A good looking and well-intentioned nonbinary person who is lacking in foresight/intelligence. See also: himbo.

There Was Only One Bed: A fic trope in which two people are forced to share a bed and as a result develop (or act on existing) feelings for each other. Read more about the “there was only one bed” trope.

Thirst Trap: Typically used in reference to sexually charged photos, GIFs, or videos of an attractive celebrity or character. Read more about thirst traps.

Tiktok: A social media platform focused on short videos as the primary content, and/or the videos created and shared on that platform. Visit Tiktok.

Tinhat: A fandom conspiracy theorist who believing something absurd with very little supporting evidence; believing something absurd when all evidence is against it. A person who does this is a tinhatter, and the verb form is tinhatting. Especially commonly used when people who ship an RPF ship believe, despite any existing evidence to the contrary, that their ship is real. Read more about tinhatting.

TL:DR: Too Long: Didn’t Read: Originally created as an accusation, as people opted out of reading posts and said they didn’t because it was too long and they didn’t read it. Later, posters co-opted the term, and it’s now often used at the end of a long and/or complicated written piece to providing a short summary of the contents of that post. The term “teal deer” is a made-up pronunciation of TL:DR. Read more about the term TL:DR.

Tokusatsu: A genre of live-action Japanese media, usually involving superheroes, giant monsters, and/or mecha. Read more about tokusatsu.

Tone Indicator: A system by which some people mark what they write with an indicator meant to communicate the tone in which something was said. For example, if they’re being serious versus being sarcastic, if a question is genuine or trolling, etc. Tone indicators are most often written with a slash followed by an abbreviation, however the system can be confusing for people who aren’t familiar with the abbreviations, the more so because different communities will use the same abbreviations to mean different things. Read a list of common tone indicators.

Top: 1. The giver of penetration. 2. The dominant in a D/s relationship. 3. In shibari, the person doing the tying. These usages are often conflated, but they are not actually synonymous. See also: bottom.

TPB: Abbreviation for “trade paperback,” a size of book.

TPTB: Abbreviation for “the powers that be.” Usually refers to the producers/creators of a specific franchise, because they are all knowing/all powerful as relates to that franchise and can dictate what fandom can only speculate about. Read more about TPTB.

Transmigration: A genre of East Asian media wherein a character who is either in a coma or dead finds themselves awakening in a different world, often but not always a world of a book, show, or video game. See also: isekai. Read more about transmigration.

Troll: Someone who says offensive or objectionable things, or engages in a conversation in bad faith, with the intentional goal of provoking those they engage with. However, this term is sometimes used facetiously to refer to someone (including oneself) being humorously obnoxious. A fundamental rule of the internet: never engage with the troll. Read more about trolls.

Trope: Any plot device found across many stories and many genres, that can be reduced to a common descriptive phrase. Tropes can be a convenient short-hand for indicating what the content a piece of media includes. In and of themselves, tropes aren’t bad or good, but they can be used to flag the presence of objectionable material or favorite motifs. Examples: enemies to lovers; there was only one bed; coffee shop AU. Read more about tropes.

TTRPG: Abbreviation for “tabletop roleplaying game.” A roleplaying game played with pen, paper, and dice. Examples: Dungeons & Dragons; Pathfinder. See also: DM, JRPG, MMORPG. Read more about TTRPGs.

Tumblr: A blogging platform that is popular with fandom, in part due to the site’s structure, and in part because (with a handful of notable exceptions) celebrities and businesses don’t go there. Visit Tumblr.

Tumblr Porn Ban: In December of 2018, Tumblr instituted new rules against pornography and other explicit photographic content because the Tumblr app had been removed from the Apple App Store. Many accounts were instantly terminated, and automated filters and contracted moderation teams unfairly targeted queer and trans individuals as a result of this policy. The restriction of depicting “female-presenting nipples” led to especially wide-spread ridicule. Read more about the Tumblr porn ban.

TVTropes: A website that names and lists story tropes. Visit TVTropes.

TW: Abbreviation for “trigger warning.” An accessibility tool meant to help individuals with PTSD avoid triggering content. This tag must be accompanied by a descriptor to be useful; for example: “TW: Rape” or “TW: gore.” There is, unfortunately, little agreed-upon formatting for whether the TW part goes first or last, whether punctuation is used, etc., but it’s worth aiming at least for internal consistency on one’s own blog or platform so that people can block terms accordingly. See also: CW. Read more about triggers and trigger warnings.

Twincest: Incest between twins. Read more about twincest.

Twitch: A streaming platform, most often used for gaming. Visit Twitch.

Twitter: A microblogging platform now called X. Its prominence as a fandom platform has been slowly dwindling since it was purchased by Elon Musk. Visit Twitter.

Two Cakes: A fandom-standard response to when someone says, “I can’t do X, it’s not original, someone else has done it before.” It’s a reminder that while creators may feel that their work is duplicative/unoriginal, readers usually want a lot of stories and art that shares similar themes – no one who has one cake goes, “damn, no, I don’t want this second cake,” they go, “holy shit, two cakes!” Read more about the two cakes meme.

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