The Fandom Lexicon

While it’s a given that every fandom has it’s own fandom-specific language, many people find entering general fandom difficult because as a whole, fandom uses a lot of slang, abbreviations, and language in ways that people are unfamiliar with. Encountered a word you don’t know? Maybe we can help!

Because it’s hard to draw a line between “this is fandom terminology” and “this is general internet lingo,” we’ve included a lot of terminology common to many internet spaces even if the term isn’t fandom-specific.

Note that in the future we also hope to do fandom-specific lexicons, containing abbreviations, portmanteaus, and other terms specific to individual fandoms, but we want to get the core lexicon done first.

This is a huge project, so we are unrolling it gradually, letter by letter. You can see the full list of terms we intend to define here. Encountered a term we haven’t covered? Feel free to send it our way and we’ll help if we can – you can ask us on Tumblr or e-mail us.

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A/B/O: Abbreviation for Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics. Note: Writing the abbreviation without a divider is considered bad etiquette in many fandom circles because it looks like an Australian slur.

A/N: Abbreviation for “author’s note.” A note at the beginning of a fanfiction written by the author.

A/S/L: Abbreviation for age/sex/location. In ye olde internet days, it was common for people to try to find hook-ups by messaging strangers “A/S/L,” requesting their age, sex, and location as the initial step of forging a connection.

Abandoned: A work that the creator has stopped updating, leaving it incomplete. See also: WIP (pending).

Ace: Abbreviation for asexual/asexuality. The overarching term for people who do not experience sexual attraction, as opposed to those who are allosexual. Read more about the term “asexuality.”

Achillean: An umbrella term for men or men-aligned people who love other men, regardless of the sexuality of the men in question. Read more about the term “achillean.”

Adoption: When the author of an abandoned work allows (explicitly or by lack of response) another person to finish it. In many fandoms, it is considered rude to adopt a work without permission.

AFAB: Abbreviation for “assigned female at birth.” Someone who got ye olde “F” on their birth certificate based on the birth attendant’s judgment of their genitals. Read more about the abbreviation “AFAB.”

AFK: Abbreviation for “away from keyboard.”

AIM: Abbreviation for “AOL Instant Messenger.” A messaging service commonly used in the mid 1990s to mid 2000s. Read more about AIM.

AITA: Abbreviation for “Am I the Asshole?” Both an inquiry and a reference to a popular subreddit. Visit the AITA reddit.

Allo: Abbreviation for allosexual/allosexuality. The overarching term for people who experience sexual attraction, as opposed to those who are asexual. Can also be used for romance, i.e alloromantic/aromantic. Read more about the term “allosexual” and the term “alloromantic”.

Ally: Typically used to refer to someone who is not a member of a specific oppressed group, who supports and advocates for the rights of an oppressed group. For example, a straight person who supports and advocates for LGBTQIA+ rights would be an ally. Read more about the term “ally.”

Alpha: A secondary gender term used in works with alpha/beta/omega dynamics. While the specifics are up to the writer, some common characteristics of alphas include: larger, stronger bodies; social dominance; a strong sense of smell; eyes that turn red when angry or aroused; hormone-driven sexual “ruts”; and canine-esque genitalia. See also: Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics, Beta, Omega (pending).

Alpha Reader: The first person, other than the author, to read a written work. An alpha reader typically offers feedback on plot, structure, characterization, and other such subjective details. Read more about alpha readers. See also: cheerleader.

Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics: an original type of alternate universe created by fandom in which characters, who may be human, part-human, or non-human, are born with a second gender in addition to their main gender. The details of how these worlds work vary widely but the basic idea is that in addition to being born as female, male, non-binary, etc., characters are also born as alphas, betas, and/or omegas, and this impacts their sex lives. Read more: Fanlore; our blog post about Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics.

AMAB: Abbreviation for “assigned male at birth.” Someone who got ye olde “M” on their birth certificate based on the birth attendant’s judgment of their genitals. Read more about the term “AMAB.”

AMV: Abbreviation for “anime music video.” A fan-made video combining music of the creators choice with apropos scenes and screen captures from an anime(s). Read more about AMVs. See also: edit, fan edit.

AN: Abbreviation for Author’s Note. See A/N.

Angst: Typically used to describe a fanwork that deep-dives into feelings of anxiety, fear, insecurity, grief, and other heavily negative emotions. Read more on about the term “angst.”

Anime: Animated media from Japan.

Anon: Abbreviation for “anonymous.” Usually used to refer to the person who sent an anonymous communication such as a Tumblr ask or a fic comment. See also AYRT, DA.

Anti: Shortened term for anti-shipper, though it is often used as just “anti” without the implication of being specifically against shipping/a ship in modern fandom parlance. 1. Someone who strongly dislikes [thing], where thing is usually a fandom, character, ship, or kink. 2. Someone who has developed (or been exposed to) a set of restrictive and unrealistic moral standards about behavior and/or beliefs that they apply to all media they encounter and expect everyone else to adhere to as well. Those who do not meet these standards are typically painted as morally reprehensible by the anti community, and they are subsequently subjected to harassment, bullying, dogpiling/brigading, exposure to offline social circles and/or employers, doxxing, and/or threats of real harm, all of which can occur online or in the physical world. Testimony from former antis indicates that it is easy to fall into this behavior but extremely difficult to escape it. However, it is worth noting that not all accusations of “antism” are accurate, and the term “anti” is sometimes deployed against those trying to reasonably critique a work, especially those raising concerns of bigotry in the source material, as a way of dismissing the criticisms. Read more about the term “anti-shipper” and it’s subsequent development.

Anti-anti: Someone who hates antis as much as antis hate them. See also: pro-shipper (pending). Read more about the term “anti-anti.”

AO3: Abbreviation for “Archive of Our Own.” An extensive archive of fanworks, especially fanfiction, maintained by the Organization for Transformative Works, created in response to censorship destroying fanworks and history on other platforms. Visit AO3.

Apologism: Read about the term “apologism.”

Appropriation: Short for “cultural appropriation.” Read more about appropriation.

Archive Warnings: Refers to the required content warning labels on Archive of Our Own. Specifically these are: “Choose not to use Archive warnings,” “None of These Warnings Apply,” “Graphic Depictions of Violence,” “Major Character Death,” “Rape/Non-con,” and “Underage.” Anyone who posts a creation to the Archive must include at least one of these warnings.

Aro: Abbreviatio for aromantic/aromanticism. An overarching term for people who do not experience romantic attraction. Read more about aromanticism.

ASL: Abbreviation for American Sign Language or Age/Sex/Location. See also: A/S/L. Read more about American Sign Language.

AU: Abbreviation for “alternate universe.” Typically used when a fanwork lifts the characters from a the source material and places them in a completely different reality. For example, placing Buffy and Spike in a story set in medieval times. Read more about AUs.

Avatar: 1. Another name for a PFP, the icon next to a user’s name on a social media platform, forum, or other online setting. Depending on what platform you are using, avatar may be the most-commonly used term for this image. 2. Shorthand for the TV show Avatar the Last Airbender. 3. A sci-fi movie by James Cameron. See also: PFP (pending)

AYRT: Abbreviation for “Anon You Responded To.” In conversation involving one or more anonymous parties, a way of distinguishing which anon is being referred to.

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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. See also: danmei.

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. Examples: 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. See also: manip (pending).

BB: Abbreviation for “big bang.”

BDSM: Abbreviation 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: 1. 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 also: Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics, Alpha, Omega (pending). 2. Another way of referring to a beta reader.

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 also: 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 also: 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. See also: Creation Challenge. 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. See also: Creation Challenge. 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.”

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. Some people prefer the term “blocklist” due to a belief that the origin of the term blacklist is racist (whether it is or not is debatable, but if a community is uncomfortable with the term that’s reason enough to not use it and the term is likely to fall out of use due to the possibility of misinterpretation and the risk of harm to people of color).

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. Increasingly, BL has become the preferred umbrella term for all these media. 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 (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. See also: flame.

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. See also: DNI.

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C Drama: Abbreviation for “Chinese drama.” TV dramas from China

C Pop: Abbreviation for “Chinese pop.” Pop music from China.

C-Ent: Abbreviation for “Chinese entertainment.” Overarching term for the Chinese entertainment industry.

C&C: Abbreviation for “comments and criticism.” Typically used by a creator when indicating whether they do or do not want comments and/or criticism on their work. For example, an author’s note might read “C&C Welcome.”

Camp NaNo: Shortened term referring to “Camp National Novel Writing Month.” A week-long writing event that occurs twice every year, in April and July. It is hosted by NaNoWriMo, but unlike the original NaNo, participants in Camp NaNo choose their own goals. See also: NaNoWriMo (pending).

Canon: Facts about a narrative provided within the published context of the media being referred to. What does and does not count as canon is often up for speculation and scrutiny by fans with different interests/perspectives. Generally considered separate from “Word of God” explanations of the text – canon events must have happened “on the page” or “on the screen” or “in the recording” for the media in question, depending of course on the original format for the media. See also: fanon, head canon (pending). Read more about what canon means.

Canon Compliant: A fanwork that follow the rules/characterizations/plot of its source material, as interpreted by the creator of that work. Truly canon compliant works follow canon so closely that they could exist in canon without violating any known information about the world and characters, though that can be a moving target for canon compliant works created while canon is still being written/created/released. Read more about canon compliance.

Canon Divergent: A fanwork that begins at an established point in the source material’s canon, then takes off in its own direction. Read more about canon divergence.

Canon Insert: Most typically refers to when a writer’s original character is added to canon or replaces an existing canon character. Less typically, refers to a character from franchise A who is added to a canon or replaces an existing canon character in a fanwork about franchise B. Read more about character inserts.

Carrd: A service that hosts simple, easy-to-make websites for free, or more advanced ones for a fee, used by fans and other people to provide a central place for their contact details, interests, and personal information they want to share. Learn more on the Carrd website.

Casefic: A genre of fanwork in which the main characters are solving a case. Most common in fandoms where there are episodes or books that are each case-based, such as The X-Files, CSI, or Supernatural. Read more about casefic.

CBT: Abbreviation for “cock and ball torture” and for “cognitive behavioral therapy.” A classic example of just how important context can be for understanding what an abbreviation means!

CC: Abbreviation for the Creative Commons. A license that a user can assign to their own creation, giving permission to use the creation in their own projects provided they follow the terms of the chosen Creative Commons license. Read more about the types of Creative Commons licenses on the Creative Commons webpage.

Cheerleader: A person who reads a fanfic before it’s published and cheers the author on, so they keep up their motivation. The difference to alpha or beta reader is that the cheerleader usually does not offer any concrit nor do they do spelling and grammar (SPAG) editing. Sometimes referred to as a “cheer reader” instead. See also: alpha reader.

Chibi: A type of art in which the characters are shown with unrealistic proportions, most often with unusually large heads and eyes. Also sometimes called “SD,” which stands for super-deformed. Read more about the term “chibi.”

Cishet: Shortened term for “cisgender heterosexual.” An individual whose assigned gender at birth matches their gender identity and who experiences sexual attraction to the opposite gender and only the opposite gender (excluding non-binary people and other genders outside the binary). While intended to be used to refer to people who are not queer, the term has often become a short-hand insult for aromantic and asexual people, and for bisexual people who are in relationships with person who are of the opposite in-the-binary gender. Read more about the term “cishet.”

Cisswap: See Genderbend (pending).

Citrus: See Citrus Scale.

Citrus Scale: A method for rating works from general to explicit without using lewd terminology. Read more about the citrus scale on Fanlore or in our blog post on the topic.

Claims: Typically refers to the point in a Bang of any size when artists are given an anonymized list of fic summaries, choose their favorites, and subsequently find out which authors they will be working with. In reverse bangs, it refers to when authors choose the artist they will be working with. For another usage, see faceclaim.

CNTW: Abbreviation for “chose not to warn.” The creator chose not to use warning tags/labels. This abbreviation and usage is based on the AO3 Archive Warning “Creator Chose Not to Use Archive Warnings.”

Coda: A fanwork that adds a scene that fans wish had been included in the source material. Often described by citing the season and episode that the fanwork is a coda to. For example, “coda to 5 x 2” would be a coda/new final scene created to follow the events of episode 2 of season 5. Sometimes referred to as an “episode tag.” Read more about codas.

Concrit: A shortened term for “constructive criticism.” 1. Critique of a creation that actively contributes to its improvement. In this definition, the criticism is usually intentionally solicited, and the critique is done by the editor or beta reader in collaboration with the writer, after discussion of what the author is trying to accomplish and what their goals are. 2. Unwelcome and unsolicited critique from commenters on fanworks, which givers often try to excuse by leaning on definition 1. See also: C&C.

Conlang: A shortened term for “constructed language.” An artificially created language, for example Klingon in Star Trek and Elvish in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. Read more about conlangs.

Consentacles: A portmanteau of “consent” and “tentacles.” Used to refer to tentacle sex enjoyed with enthusiastic consent. “Dubious consentacles” is also in use, indicating that the consent is more ambiguous.

Cosplay: Dressing up like a character from a given franchise. Ranges from exact replications to crossovers and/or creative reinterpretations of the source material. Read more about cosplay.

CP: Abbreviation for “couple,” except when it means “child pornography.” In East Asian fandoms, CP refers to the main couple in a work. In Western fandoms, CP most often stands for “child pornography.” This difference has caused many, many problems. Read more about the different uses of CP as an abbreviation.

Crack: A speculative concept that is unbelievably ridiculous. For example, “what if all the characters were chicken nuggets?” Read more about crack.

Crackship: A ship between that is unbelievably ridiculous, such as a character with an object, a location with a creature, or two people who would genuinely never in a thousand years ever work out in a relationship. Not the same thing as an unpopular ship or rare pair. Read more about crackships.

Creation Challenge: A fandom event in which the host(s) come up with a theme and/or a list of prompts, and participants are invited to create fanworks in response to that prompt. Examples of creation challenges include Big Bangs, Bingos, and Exchanges.

Crossover: A term with many uses in different contexts; in fandom, it refers to when a fanwork combines multiple sources in some way. Mulder and Scully showing up in a Doctor Who fic, for example. See also: Fushion. Read more about crossovers.

Crucifix Nail Nipples: A well-known story told by Tumblr user thebibliosphere. Often referenced as an example of just how ridiculous erotica can be. Read the original post.

CSEM: Abbreviation for “child sexual exploitation material.” What it says on the tin – this is a legal/technical term for materials featuring actual children photographed or filmed in sexual situations. Creating or possessing these materials is illegal in most of the world. Read more about the usages and legal definitions of this term.

CW: Abbreivation for “content warning.” Used to alert viewers that the content that follows might be disturbing or objectionable in some way. This tag must be accompanied by a descriptor to be useful; for example: “CW: graphic injury” or “CW: discussion of eating disorders.” See also: TW (pending).

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DA: Abbreviation for “different anon.” When anonymously commenting or sending an anonymous ask, DA or “different anon” will be used to differentiate that a person is not the same anonymous commenter as another anonymous commenter that has already spoken. DA may also refer to the fandom for Dragon Age, the organization “Dumbledore’s Army” in the Harry Potter fandom, or the website DeviantArt.

DA: Abbreviation for “DeviantArt,” sometimes written dA. A website where artists can host their artwork in galleries, interact with other artists, and participate in different types of challenges. DA may also refer to the fandom for Dragon Age, the organization “Dumbledore’s Army” in the Harry Potter fandom, or may mean “different anon.” Visit DeviantArt.

Danmei: Chinese media (literature and other types) featuring gay (specifically men) love. See also: baihe. Read more about danmei.

Dashcon: A truly terrible Tumblr convention that was held in July of 2014. The feature most often referred to was a very small ball pit; instead of offering refunds for a panel that fell through, the organizers offered disappoint fans “an extra half-hour in the ball pit.” Read more about DashCon.

Dead Dove/Dead Dove: Do Not Eat: A fanwork tag used alongside other tags to indicate absolute truth in advertising; in other words: heed the tags, because they clearly articulate what is within. Most often used for works with darker themes. Name is derived from a scene in the sitcom Arrested Development in which a bag is labeled “Dead Dove: Do Not Eat” and when a character opens the bag, it contains… a dead dove. And he says he’s not sure why he expected anything else. Occasionally abbreviated as DD or DDDNE. Read more about the phrase “Dead Dove: Do Not Eat.”

Disaster Bi: A bisexual person who is deemed to be a “disaster” due to lack of personal awareness, inability to process feelings, struggles with self-acceptance, or well-intended but not well thought out acts of kindness, to name just a few possibilities. If the character is a mess and is also bisexual, they are a disaster bi.

Disc Horse: A facetious way to refer to discourse.

Discord: A chatting platform. Visit

Discourse: Ongoing/circular/repetitive discussion about an actual or perceived problem that some people feel strongly about, and others wish would simply stop. Discourse can either be within a fandom (“there’s discourse about (character name)”) or about more general meta-fandom issues (“time for the annual discourse about kink at Pride”). See also: wank (pending). Read more about the term “discourse.”

DL;DR: Abbreviation for “don’t like, don’t read.” 1. A warning to potential readers to pay attention to the tags/synopsis and move along if they don’t like what they see. 2. A reminder to people getting up-in-arms about other people making content they don’t like – “if you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it.” Sometimes abbreviated without the colon. Read more about the term DL;DR.

DM: Abbreviation for “dungeon master.” In many roleplaying games such as Dungeons and Dragons, the DM is the person responsible for creating the overarching story and running the game in accordance with the chosen rule’s systems rules. DM may also refer to “direct message.” Read more about DMs.

DM: Abbreviation for “direct message.” On many messaging platforms such as Discord, DMs are the in-platform way of contacting another person directly, without involving other people in a chat. DM may also refer to “dungeon master.” See also: PM (pending). Read more about DMs.

DNI: Abbreviation for “do not interact.” An acronym often used alongside a list of characteristics, interests, or other attributes that a social media user does not want to interact with the things they post. Often shared via a Carrd or pinned post. Read more about DNIs.

DNR: Abbreviation for “did not read” or “do not read.” 1. Used on reading sites like Goodreads to indicate that the person chose not to read the book in question and/or does not recommend that others should not, either. 2. A term aimed at a previous poster in a chain of comments/responses on the same, especially one who was long winded, to indicate that a subsequent reader has not read what came before. 3. When someone is opining on a book or article, DNR may be used to indicate that they haven’t read one or more of the works they are referencing.

DNW: Abbreviation for “do not want.” Something a person actively dislikes. Often used in fandom exchanges, where participants are expected to list their “do wants” and “do not wants” as part of guiding their exchange partner in what kind of work they’d most like to receive.

Donghua: Animation/cartoons from China. Read more about donghua.

DP: Abbreviation for many things; in fandom spaces it most often refers to “double penetration.” In pornographic works, DP refers to a person being penetrated in two ways. May refer to penetration in two holes, or double penetration in one, and also may refer to having two penetrating partners, or one penetrating partner using multiple appendages and/or toys.

Drabble: Traditionally a drabble is a piece of fiction that is exactly 100 words long. In more recent use it refers to fiction that is roughly one paragraph in length. Sometimes can now be used to refer to any micro-fic; anyone in fandom over a certain age will fight you if you use it that way, though. See also: ficlet, flash fic. Read more about drabbles.

Dubcon : Shortened term for “dubious consent.” Used to refer to situations where it is uncertain whether a sex act is actually consensual. Can be as mild as “someone didn’t ask permission before kissing someone they’ve been dating for months” or as extreme as “well they kind of seem to want it so I went all the way…” Often modified with a word indicating the degree to which the consent is dubious, ranging from “mild dubcon” (like the kiss) through “extremely dubcon.”

DW: Abbreviation for Dreamwidth. A blogging platform build similarly to Livejournal. DW is also the abbreviation for the popular fandom Doctor Who. Visit Dreamwidth.

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Edit: Aside from the obvious definition of “suggested changes made to a written work to improve it’s spelling, grammar, and readability,” referring to something as “an edit” has several meanings in fandom. 1. Used to indicate a post has been edited, and how. For example, “Edit: since I made the original post, I’ve learned…” 2. A video of compiled scenes from a visual media property, set to music of the creator’s choice. See also: AMV, fan edit. 3. A video of compiled scenes from a visual media property, arranged to tell a different story than what was seen in the original.

Eeby Deeby: 1. Originally a reference to the sound Twiki the robot makes in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Often made into a sex joke. 2. Referenced in a meme with an elevator that says “Eeby Deeby” on the screen. 3. Hell or purgatory. Read more about the term “eeby deeby.”

ETA: Abbreviation for “edited to add.” On platforms where posts can be edited after posting, an ETA may be added and labeled as such if the original poster decides to change the post for any reason. As many platforms include both an original posting date and an “edited on” date, including an ETA is a courtesy way of helping people who see the post quickly understand how it may have been changed since it was posted. See also edit.

Exchange: A fandom event in which the participants sign up and provide a few examples of things they like and things they don’t like (See DNW), and then are paired up with another participant to create something for that person. Ideally, every participant will get a gift from another participant, and no one will know who is making what for whom until the big reveal at the end when all works are shared out. Sometimes called a “gift exchange.” Read more about exchanges.

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Faceclaim: When someone assigns a celebrity’s face to their original character. Most often used in a roleplay setting. Those participating in a roleplaying scenario together may make rules against multiple characters having the same face. See also: fancast. Read more about faceclaims.

Fan edit: 1. A short video in which the creator patches together clips from the source fandom(s) and sets those clips to music and/or uses them to tell an abbreviated version of the original story or an entirely new story. See also: edit. 2. A photo manipulation in which a creator takes images from their fandom and modifies them. Often called a manip (pending). Read more about types of fan edits.

Fanart: Artwork based on original media, often using the same characters and/or settings, but placing them in new contexts. Read more about fanart.

Fanartist: A person who creates fanart.

Fanboy: Someone who gets very excited about something they’re a fan of, but in a way that is seen as more “masculine.” Despite the gendered language, this term can be applied to any and all genders; several non-gendered variations (such as “fanswirl”) have been proposed, but none have caught on. See also: fangirl. Read more about the term “fanboy.”

Fancast: When a fan decides that a specific character would be best depicted by a specific real individual. This usually involves actual actors, but that isn’t necessarily a requirement. Similar to faceclaiming, but typically focused on characters from other media rather than on an individual’s original characters. For example, if someone reads a book and then decides which performers they’d like to see portray the characters in a live-action adaptation, that’s a fancast. Read more about fancasts.

Fandom : 1. A collective term for everyone who is a fan (of anything and everything – from a book through a sport’s team to an activity such as fishing and everything in between). 2. A collective term for people who are fans of a specific thing (media, character, actor, sport, etc.). 3. A term for the environment in which a person might express their enjoyment of a specific thing/things. Read more about what a fandom is.

Fanfic: Shortened term for “fanfiction.”

Fanfiction: Written works of fiction based on original media, often using the same characters and/or settings, but placing them in new contexts, extending the storylines, or otherwise transforming them per the writer’s specifications. Read more about fanfiction.

Fangirl: Someone who gets very excited about something they’re a fan of, but in a way that is seen as more “feminine.” Despite the gendered language, this term can be applied to any and all genders; several non-gendered variations (such as “fanswirl”) been proposed, but none have caught on. See also: fanboy. Read more about the term “fangirl.”

Fanlore: A wiki run by the OTW that compiles fandom-related information – basically a much, much larger and better documented version of this lexicon. See also: AO3, OTW (pending). Visit

Fanmix: A fanmix is a selection of music, such as would be on a mixtape or mix CD, that a fan has compiled because of how they feel the music relates to a fandom or fandoms of their choice. Read more about fanmixes.

Fanon: An idea about a character, setting, plot, or other detail about a story that is not explicitly stated in the source material but is believed to be true. Fanon may be personal and believed by only one person or may become popular and become an established part of the fandom vernacular for a given fandom. See also: canon, head canon (below, pending). Read more about the term “fanon.”

Fanwork: The collective term for all creations that fans make as part of their participation in fandom, such as fanfiction, fanart, edits, manips (pending), filk, meta (pending), and more. Read more about fanworks.

Fanzine: See zine (pending).

Feelings Yakuza: See Okimochi Yakuza (pending).

Feels: As in “right in the feels.” Used to describe when something makes a person emotional despite themselves. Read more about the term “feels.”

Femslash: Lesbian and wlw fanworks, shipping female characters together. See also: slash (pending). Read more about femslash.

Fest: A fandom event centered on a specific theme, often characterized by many prompts or other interaction opportunities scheduled over a period of time that result in the creation and sharing of numerous informal/smaller creations. Read more about fests. Abbreviation for A website that hosts fanfiction. Visit

Fic: Short for fiction or fanfiction.

Fic Rec: Shortened term for “fanfiction recommendation.” A fanfic that someone has recommended because it’s one of their personal favorites and/or on some criteria (for example, “fanfics set at a beach.”) Fic recs are often compiled into rec lists (pending). Read more about recs.

Ficlet: A short fanfiction. Ficlets are usually under 1,000 words. See also: drabble, flash fic. Read more about ficlets.

Filk: Essentially fanfic in music form, though the medium may make the connection less obvious. For example, Come With Me by chxrlotte is about Aziraphale and Crowley from Good Omens. Read more about filk.

Fix-it: A fanwork that fixes a perceived or actual problem in the source material. For example, a fix-it might offer an explanation for an actual plot hole, or it may be created to segue between canon and popular fanon, or it might be used to change an unhappy event in canon (such as a character dying) into a tale with a happier ending. Read more about fix-its.

Flame: To be intentionally offensive toward someone on the internet. Often used as a verb. Read more about flames and flaming.

Flamewar: When two or more people engage in reciprocal flaming, exchanging increasingly offensive and/or violent posts with each other, the resulting back-and-forth is called a flamewar. This term has largely fallen out of fashion; “discourse” and “wank” are used more often now. Read more about flamewars.

Flash Fic: Shortened term for “flash fiction.” Very short fiction stories, typically not more than a couple hundred words. See also: drabble, ficlet. Read more about flash fiction.

Fluff: Refers to works or scenes that are soft, soothing, calm, domestic, and/or loving – the in-betweens and soft points we rarely see on the published page or the TV screen because they are the opposite of conflict. Read more about fluff.

Follow Forever: Someone an individual will never stop following on social media, even if their interests diverge. In the past, “follow forever” posts were popular on Tumblr, where an OP would make a list of other users they would never unfollow. Follow forevers have fallen out of style.

Forum: 1. A message board, usually privately owned/not connected to social media. 2. A specific type of Discord channel that bears some resemblance to how Reddit works. 3. The message board section of a large webpage that may have other functionality as well, such as the forums on Ravelry. Read more about forums.

FTM: Abbreviation for “female to male.” A way of referring to a transgender man. Some people find this term offensive, and others do not. Some transgender people use it to discuss their own gender and their transition, and others do not. Read more about the abbreviation “ftm.”

Fudanshi: A Japanese term for a man who is a fan of BL and yaoi (mlm) content. See also: fujin, fujoshi. Read more about fudanshi.

Fujin: A gender-neutral Japanese term referring to fans of BL and yaoi (mlm) content. See also: fudanshi, fujoshi. Read more about the term fujin.

Fujo: Shortened term of “fujoshi.”

Fujoshi: A Japanese term for a woman who is a fan of BL and yaoi (mlm) content. See also: fujin, fudanshi. Read more about fujoshi.

Fursona: Refers to the name, characteristics, and physical attributes that a furry has chosen for their animal persona. See also [thing]sona (pending). Read more about fursonas.

Fusion: Specifically in a fandom sense, fusion is used to refer to when a fanwork combines two or more different fandoms into one shared universe. The most famous example is Superwholock, the fusion ‘verse of Supernatural, Doctor Who, and BBC Sherlock. See also: Crossover. Read more about fusion fanfiction.

Futanari : A Japanese word that is often used in fandom to describe characters with sex characteristics from both genders. This and the shortened term “futa” are, in the West, most often used to describe a genre of pornographic anime and manga. Read more about the term “futanari.”

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Terms that start with Numbers or Punctuation

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