Difference between revisions of "Common Jargon"

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; rabbit hole: a reference to Alice in Wonderland. Often used to describe discussions that may very quickly result in headaches for all involved. (could probably use some more expansion.)
; rabbit hole: a reference to Alice in Wonderland. Often used to describe discussions that may very quickly result in headaches for all involved. (could probably use some more expansion.)
; Razz: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Razz_(poker) A variant of poker.] According to Rah, "Razz is the reason why poker players drink." Rah plays Razz too often.  
; Razz: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Razz_(poker) A variant of poker.] According to Rah, "Razz is the reason why poker players drink." <s>Rah plays Razz too often.</s> rah no longer plays Razz too often because the DOJ shut down her online poker site :(
; red cape: 1) [http://xkcd.com/239/ Cory Doctorow is said to wear a red cape and goggles and blog from a high-altitude balloon.] [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cory_Doctorow#In_popular_culture Really.]
; red cape: 1) [http://xkcd.com/239/ Cory Doctorow is said to wear a red cape and goggles and blog from a high-altitude balloon.] [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cory_Doctorow#In_popular_culture Really.]

Revision as of 07:32, 24 March 2012

The Dreamwidth project has some jargon in common use that may not be familiar to the general public. While these are not official terms that you should know, or necessarily Dreamwidth-specific, general explanations or definitions may be helpful.

Dreamwidth-Specific Jargon


This is largely unofficial slang/jargon, and is intended as a helpful reference for understanding actual conversation, rather than a prescriptive definition. For the official word on phrasing, capitalization, and so forth, in Support answers and the like, see the Manual of Style.

using two platforms, such as both Dreamwidth and LiveJournal (seen in the wild at http://elke-tanzer.dreamwidth.org/1040811.html)
circle, encircle
v. To add someone to your circle (subscription, access, or both).
n. The whole collection of subscription, access, and sometimes readers and those who have granted one access.
In fiber arts, a specific dye color or combination of colors as applied to a type of yarn, for example, Noro's 'Silk Garden' yarn in blue and green might be the 'Royal' colorway. The combination of the colors and the type of yarn (the combination of fibers, the type of spin, and the number of strands) forms the colorway. The same colors may be available on other types of yarn, and the same types of yarn may be available in other colors.
In journal styling, a theme could be analogous to a yarn colorway -- applying a specific color variation on an existing style.
Developer Communicator. The staff liaison with volunteer contributors, aka [info]karzilla. Derived from CapCom: "capsule communicator; a NASA position, the liaison between an in-space crew and mission control."
dlist, dreamlist
Reading page. Sometimes also used to address various circle members.
Journal, contraction of the portmanteau dream + log, related to blog = web + log.
The unofficial mascot of Dreamwidth, a small sleeping cartoon sheep with a thought bubble. There are icons. Also see [info]dreamsheep
Coined by [info]denise and [info]mark, a portmanteau of "dream" + "bandwidth". Note that it is a single word, with an initial capital and no internal capital. (The font in the logo is fanciful and switches mid-word, but the canonical capitalization is one single capital to start with and lower-case the rest of the way.) Mark shares the history of the naming process.
Reading page. A contraction of the portmanteau "Dreamroll", formed from "blogroll". Compare LiveJournal's "flist". Sometimes also used to address various circle members.
dual siteizenship
Maintaining active accounts (for reasonable definitions of "active", like updating, reading people/comms/feeds, commenting) on (at least) two different journaling sites, such as both Dreamwidth and LiveJournal. (A slightly twee Azz-ism melding "dual citizenship" with "website".)
DW, Deewee, Dth, DWJ, ДримВис
Abbreviations for Dreamwidth.
DW (disambiguation): Also used as an abbreviation for the BBC television show Doctor Who or the Debian Women group, and sometimes even the game Dragon Warrior. Active Doctor Who-Inclusive Communities on Dreamwidth Dreamwidth interests: "doctor who" Dreamwidth interests: "debian"
DWJ = Dreamwidth Journal; has also been used to mean Diana Wynne Jones. Dreamwidth interests: "diana wynne jones"

dweebs, dweeps
Dreamwidth people: members of your circle on Dreamwidth: or Dreamwidth peeps. As you can see, they were words that started with "dw".
A portmanteau of "dw" + "denizens". Used more inclusively than just one person's circle; may mean all of Dreamwidth, or all of the #dreamwidth channel.
smashing "DW" and "circle" together.
dwitch, dwitchers
Glitch players from Dreamwidth.
Stands for Dreamwidth Studios Coalition. Originally the dwscoalition.org domain was registered as part of the company naming process, with the idea that the service name and the business name did not need to be the same. It ultimately wound up holding the wiki, bugzilla, and a few staff email accounts for a few years before being retired (a date would be nice for this).
References to dwscoalition.org should be replaced with the modern equivalent unless it's clearly in a historical context. Staff email accounts are @dreamwidth.org. Wiki links are wiki.dreamwidth.net. Bugzilla has been succeeded by GitHub; inquire in the usual dev places if you need history on any specific bug (partial caches exist but not the whole thing).
smashing "flist" (friends list) and "circle" together; seen in the wild used to address readers on some crossposted DW/LJ entries.
Horrible hack
a (obsolete as of 2013 Nov 24) workaround which routed own-journal notifications through the old notification system, rather than through ESN (and therefore the inbox).
The problem with an option that would allow notifications to skip the inbox is that email notifications can be delayed or go missing, both from problems on Dreamwidth's end, problems with third-party services Dreamwidth uses (Amazon S3), or email providers deciding that Dreamwidth is a spammer (because someone clicked the spam button on a notification). Some proposed solutions include a "trash" area and sending opted-out notifications straight to the trash, where they could still be viewed for a number of days in case of email failure.
oopsed, oops'd
Accidentally deleted, especially in the absence of a viable backup.
"I oopsed the FAQ; does anyone still have that page open or am I making a field trip to archive.org?"
There are two types of reply (comment) forms, standard (separate page) and Quick* (inline, does not lose your place when reading). The standard reply form is accessed via the ?mode=reply link from any entry or comment, and does not require scripts. The Quick*Reply forms appear inline and require scripts. All the Quick* family are actually the same thing under the hood, but for Historical Reasons "QuickReply" typically refers to inline commenting on journal entry pages and QuickerReply refers to inline commenting on the reading page. It is hoped that the meanings will collapse into one another. The clever suffix conventions of Quick{,er,est,ish,ly,ening,sand,...}Reply originate with #1622.
Standard reply form: The standard reply form includes the entry and its various metadata, a count of comments, and the full comment form. Opening the comment link in a new tab or copying and pasting the link will result in the standard form. The standard reply form is also the fallback if there is any problem with the Quick*Reply scripts (such as Quick*Reply not being available in the style, a browser extension preventing the scripts from loading, brief internet malfunction due to sharks eating packets, or other issues). In Support issues where standard reply happens where Quick*Reply was expected, an investigation to make sure that the scripts can load properly can sometimes prove fruitful.
History: In the beginning, there were no comments. Legend has it that comments were hacked together quickly one evening when someone was Wrong On LiveJournal and Brad didn't feel like hunting down the email address of that friend to admonish them. Instead, he hacked together a method to reply to any given journal entry. Thus ?mode=reply was born. At some point after that, a less-option-filled inline version was written, called QuickReply and using a separate code path. QuickReply allowed leaving comments without leaving the comment thread. After Dreamwidth forked from LiveJournal, Dreamwidth implemented an inline reply from the reading page.
rlist, reading list
Reading page. Sometimes also used to address various circle members.
A tickybox that remembers your preferences without being part of a dedicated settings page, a la the time preference and disable auto-formatting tickyboxes on the Update Entries page. (Note: neither of these remembers the state they were put into as a result of doing something on the Edit page.)
Common: "unlock [an entry]": to change the security of an entry from a more restrictive to less restrictive security setting, most often from Access to Public. Rare: "unlock to [a person]": To grant access to a person.

Old Terms from LiveJournal

This is not intended to collect all of the terms in current common use at LJ, but to collect the terms still in use on DW and their application on DW, particularly for those who are unfamiliar with the original LJ terms and environment. (Some of the items listed here originated on LJ, but not with the LJ Support/volunteer crowd.) For a more complete list of terms likely to be in use at LJ, try the LJ Support wiki list archive (often LJ volunteer specific).

For a developer-centric view of some of these (and more), see Explanations.

"bankrupt my pants"
Short for "been away, not catching up on the flist, point me at it if there's anything you need me to see" -- and yes, in the original discussion, these are UK pants. Variations include "my pants are bankrupt" or declarations of friends-list bankruptcy.
blinkie, Blinkie the Ponie
Creative, colorful, and not infrequently eye-searing adventures in journal styling, and related topics. Used mostly by people who were there on LJ.
When 50 or more comments are made to one entry, comment threads "collapse", showing only the comment's metadata, to fit a large number of comments on the page more neatly, to reduce server strain, and to reduce load time.
ctsc (commenting to see comments)
see "empty comment (phenomenon)".
When used by a member of the general public, this tends to mean "went away" or "isn't there anymore".
It's also a term of art for the user-initiated and user-recoverable process of deleting a journal, in the timespan before it is purged (permanently deleted, called expunged in the code). The non-user-initiated and non-user-recoverable one (done on LiveJournal by the Abuse Prevention Team, on Dreamwidth by the Terms of Service team) is called 'suspended'.
empty comment (phenomenon)
Less a term and more a cultural use of comments, sometimes a comment is left that has no text (a non-breaking space or other non-displaying character) or null-content text (an X, or similar). There are several possible meanings.
  • Presence-marker: A signal that the commenter was present and read what you wrote, even if they have nothing to say.
  • Icon says it all: A comment must have text in order to post, but their icon is sufficient to convey their feelings. This is when they have selected a non-default icon.
  • Comment emoticon says it all: One can select from a small range of comment emoticons when creating a comment. Again, a comment must have text in order to post.
  • +1/-1, plus or minus a larger number: This is not meant as null text, but as a signifier of agreement or disagreement. Threading matters. When the comment is directly in reply to the original entry, it indicates agreement with the entry. If it is in reply to a comment, it indicates agreement with the comment. This has a long history in FLOSS consensus culture.
  • On LiveJournal, often seen as "." or "ctsc" ("commenting to see comments") -- during periods of high site load or DDoS mitigation, the caching system will delay updates by up to 5-10 minutes for logged-out users, and comments may appear and disappear depending on which webserver answers your request. Commenting will update the URL to a new URL (with the just-posted comment's number as an argument) and force an update of the cache.
  • On Tumblr, an x may not be null; it may be the text of a discreet link to a source.
expunge, expunged
Back-end terminology for deleted-and-purged journals.
On LiveJournal, accounts which have been suspended by their Abuse Prevention Team will also be expunged after a few years of continuous suspension. Unfortunately this process has re-exposed spam comments from spammers who were previously suspended. Unfortunately, those spam comments can then be imported to Dreamwidth.
1) the use of custom security groups to further restrict access to certain entries. When such entries are created, the author often indicates in the entry that access has been restricted using a custom group.
2) the use of a custom reading group to filter one's reading page
Friends list. (Used, variously, of one's reading page, the members of one's access list, everyone who has you on their reading pages, and the intersection between one's access list and everyone who has you on their reading pages.)
Friends-lock. To lock to one's access list.
(verb) To add to one's circle. (Unknown whether this is used more for adding to read, granting access, or both at once.)
(noun) 1) Someone who one maintains a friendship with. 2) A member of various unspecified parts of one's circle. (Unknown what exact circle relationship this is used most often with.)
Paid Account Fairy, PAF
On LiveJournal, the practice of giving volunteers putting in a notable amount and quality of labor a complementary paid account. The "paid account fairy" delivered the upgrade. On Dreamwidth, the account [info]paidaccountfairy connects people who can't afford (or can't justify) the cost of a paid account, with people who are willing to support Dreamwidth by buying paid accounts for relative strangers. On both services, paid accounts can be sent as an anonymous gift. Dreamwidth has a feature which suggests a random free user who might appreciate the gift of a paid account (active and not opted out), making the matchmaking offered up at [info]paidaccountfairy less relevant. This can be found under the "Shop" menu, as "Gift a Random User".
rename plague
has renamed their journal. From LJ volunteers, when a bunch of people renamed their journal in a contagious-looking cluster.
the (possibly original) style language, which is/was used to build journal views and friends page views. S1 has been officially retired, but long-time LJ users may still make use of it. S1 is not supported on Dreamwidth.
the successor to S1. Dreamwidth uses S2, or at least a version thereof. There are many popular styles on LJ written in S2 which cannot be directly ported over to Dreamwidth to be used officially for the simple reason that LiveJournal owns them (or the artwork around which they are based) and DW can't go grabbyhands it as an official action without getting in trouble.
this has nothing to do with style languages, and is a recent change on Dreamwidth.
Support. Usually, things pertaining to technical support, and/or the greater community of technical support volunteers and staff, and assorted ancillary folks.
In Dreamwidth, this is usually #dreamwidth-support in IRC (also called #dw-support or # -support) and the Dreamwidth Support board. Also spelled "sprot", but less often.
On LiveJournal, this was #lj_support in IRC (also called #lj_s) and the LiveJournal support board. [info]PauAmma recalls that this abbreviation may have originated from [info]kamara.
tag, tagging
In the context of roleplaying, to "tag" is to leave a (generally quick) comment. This may derive from the turn-based game. If a roleplayer mentions technical problems with "tagging" in a way that does not sound related to entry tags, it may involve commenting to a roleplaying game. Feel free to ask clarifying questions.
Short fics set immediately after canon events (for example, after a particular episode of television) can be called an "episode tag". (Episode Tag on fanlore.)
More typically in the technical context of LJ and Dreamwidth, labels called tags can be applied to entries, both in personal journals and in communities.
unimportant fires
Generally this references a particularly unimportant shrubbery fire which made it to metaquotes.
zhzh, zhe zhe, ЖЖ
From the Russian translation of LiveJournal: Живой журнал (Zhivoĭ zhurnal). LJ is ЖЖ in Russian, and this is transliterated as zhzh or zhe zhe. English-speaking LJ volunteers were using this as an affectionate nickname for LiveJournal well before the SUP purchase. This always refers to LiveJournal, and in English-language Dreamwidth volunteer culture is mostly used by current and former LJ volunteers and staff.
Xenophobia/Russophobia as appearing in, or specific to, discussions of LiveJournal.


accessible, accessibility, a11y
Making things (websites, buildings, et cetera) able to be not only accessed but usefully and fully used by anyone, including but not limited to people in wheelchairs, people with other mobility impairments, people with visual impairments, people with hearing impairments, people with cognitive impairments, text-only browser users, screenreader-only users, keyboard-only users, custom keyboard users, pointing-device-only users, and more. The goal here is to make Dreamwidth as accessible as possible. Developers are encouraged to check out [info]dw_accessibility and the Accessibility Wishlist. [info]accessibility_fail is when people do accessibility wrong (or don't do it at all).
a11y is a Twitter-friendly abbreviation for 'accessibility': a + 11 letters (ccessibilit) + y.
Someone who intended to comment anonymously accidentally leaving the comment while fully identified, in a way that revealed their identity to anyone who happened to be watching (or subscribed to email notifications) before the comment was deleted. Usually said in relation to an ongoing anonymous discussion, especially in anonymemes.
anonymeme, anonymous meme
a discussion or game where all participants are meant to be anonymous. These are often associated with an uncensored, anything-goes attitude, and can be very high-volume.
backscroll, scrollback, scrool
Things that happened in IRC while someone was connected but not actively watching, often in the context of "What are you guys on about? BRB, reading backscroll." (Common to many IRC/chat forums, not just DW's.)
"bake you cookies and write you porn"
The helpful response of a tight-knit (usually fannish) internet community when one of their number is going through a rough patch.
baleet, bahleet
emphatic/silly form of 'delete'.
delete + ban
fandom (usually fic-writing/reading fandom) of various bands. http://zen.transformativeworks.org/wiki/Bandom_%28Music_Source_Text%29
verb. Emphatic/silly form of 'ban'.
the game.
A way of organizing the perennial invalid arguments/distraction tactics that come up against a divisive topic (particularly an anti-oppression topic), by collecting all the usual arguments and tactics and arranging them on a bingo card. See: porny presentation bingo, racism bingo, anti-feminist bingo.
"We have bingo": said when any given anti-oppression discussion or commenter to a particular anti-oppression discussion has trotted out a sufficient number of the listed problematic statements.
Nefarious little critters made of fear, doubt, and self-hatred that dwell in your head. The anthropormorphised (mustelidapormorphised?) representation of inwardly-directed negative thoughts.
B.S. Johnson
The Discworld Character, infamous inventor. Known to include steam power in some of his "works".
Gratuitous references to cake are often references to the "cake" motif in Portal, including the Jonathan Coulton song, "Still Alive" (video), that plays during the credits, although they may also refer to the meme "It is delicious cake. You must eat it." (from /b/), or even "MacArthur Park". However, gratuitous references to cake are sometimes merely referring to actual cake; one must not discount cake's innate tastiness.
cat macros
Images of cats with funny captions. Sometimes used as a form of protest and/or mockery. Also referred to as LOLcats. (From the internet.) See I Can Has Cheezburger.
"clean all the things"/"clean ALL the things?"
Most often a reference to Hyperbole and a Half: This is Why I'll Never be an Adult. Snowcloned as "X 'all' the Y?"
Things using the "X 'all' the Y?" snowclone could also be a reference to the older "I have ALL teh peas!!!" (has audio)
Danga Interactive
The original company founded by [info]bradfitz to manage LiveJournal.
a game where people "enter the darkroom" and allow others to interact with them. Often sexually explicit and/or kinky. Anonymity is often allowed or encouraged. Not to be confused with a kinkmeme.
The conscious or unconscious process of destroying and confusing a conversation about productive but uncomfortable topics. Derailing for Dummies
Dunning-Kruger effect
People who are sufficiently unskilled in a particular area lack knowledge of the benchmarks of that skill area, and perhaps the cognitive tools, to tell how bad they are, and will falsely estimate themselves at a far higher level of skill than they actually possess. (People at a high level of skill who assess their skills too low will often recalibrate their self-assessment upon seeing the actual performance of others.) Dunning-Kruger Effect on Wikipedia, Rough Theory: "Wearing the Juice: a case study in research implosion" (#surveyfail)
a song that gets stuck in your head. See [info]earworm and [info]earwormhole.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, EDS
A group of inherited connective tissue disorders. Also, why people in IRC tend not to freak out too badly when Rahaeli announces she's got another dislocated joint again. Mayo Clinic. Wikipedia.
Modeled after the standard C error library but not actually present in it, this error code expands to "Error: Not Parsed" (or "Sorry, I didn't understand that.")
A general term for a community of people who are fans of things, such as "sports fandom", or "Star Trek fandom". When used without qualification, it often (but not always) refers to Western science fiction and fantasy book and media fandom, or a certain subset of same.
fandom_wank, f_w
fandom_wank is an internet community, currently hosted on JournalFen.net, that collects and discusses reports of "wank" in the greater fandom community. "Wank" includes social trainwrecks and more, and the discussion allows anonymous commenting. Caveat lector: this community discusses social catastrophes anonymously, with a viewpoint valuing maximum humor/popcorn factor.
A sexual practice that gets mentioned a lot in IRC. Probably more information on it than you wanted. (Inherited habit from LJ Support IRC. [info]burr86 may be to blame.)
the "rip-it, rip-it" fashion of un-knitting, or un-crocheting too for that matter.
game, the
The only winning move is not to play. If you click the link, you may start playing. But not to worry!
gender binary
the concept that all humans neatly fit into biological male or female, or into social masculine and feminine. This is untrue first because of genetic or developmental conditions that do not fit neatly into male or female, second because not everyone identifies with social masculine or feminine (or the standard that a person picks one and only one), and third because some people's physical sex does not match the societal gender presentation they identify most with. (From LGBTQ~ activism. See Gender on Wikipedia.)
From the website: "Glitch is a massively multi-player game built in the spirit of the web." http://www.glitch.com/ Has a lot of Kingdom of Loathing references. People talking cooking with ... really unusual recipes ... in IRC are sometimes playing Glitch.
hit points
A means of measuring someone's ability to withstand damage/attack or perform tasks. Notional "hit points" can be regained readily/predictably by a generally-able-bodied/mentally healthy person. Contrast 'spoons'. (By analogy from hit points in gaming.)
Sharing the same brain or thoughts, usually expressed by saying the same thing at the same time. Commonly caused by spending too much time in IRC. (General term, popularized in IRC. See also: bees.)
Ia! Ia!
The thing you say when summoning one of the Great Old Ones. (In his house at Ry'leh Great Cthulhu lies dreaming, unless it's been summoned on irc again.) Also sometimes seen as "Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fth'agn!"
Impostor Syndrome
A spurious sense of incompetence in one's chosen field. Or even at adulthood, perhaps. Impostor Syndrome on Wikipedia, mostly useful for the references. (Based on the Dunning-Kruger effect, looking at the actual performance of others may be helpful, though the publicly available information about others in that field may not include all of their missteps and self-doubt.)
The concept that a person in a disadvantaged situation is likely to have more than one factor contributing, and the factors involved are likely to compound the bad situation. For example, a person who cannot afford the power chair that would allow them to take a job outside of the home; a woman of color who is hesitant to report a sexist co-worker to a racist boss; a jobless gay man with no savings who cannot get assistance from government, family, or church. Intersectionality on Wikipedia
a notable internet hoax involving illness and death.
(the) keys are right next to each other, keys are right etc.
A joke made about typos, generally under one of the following conditions:
1) The keys are, in fact, literally right next to each other on that keyboard layout. (Uncommon.)
2) Browser/phone/other interface autocomplete/autocorrect, or finger/other input autocomplete; so used to typing something that it comes out in situations where it's not entirely appropriate.
3) Something completely weird and out of context with absolutely no reason for it to happen, such as [info]bubba typing "emily" instead of "wireless" (and knowing no-one named Emily at the time): "My emily isn't working."
(Inherited from LJ Support IRC; may originate from bash.org.)
an often-anonymous, often sexually explicit, fanfiction prompting game. Usually the game defines the fandom that the game is set in and ground rules. People leave prompts naming character(s) and themes or plot points (originally, specific kinks), and other people post "fills", usually in the form of short fiction that contains the specified character(s) and prompt(s). Not to be confused with a darkroom.
memetic prophylactic recommended, mpr
A warning that the content at the other end of the link, while entirely possibly free from any of the sexual, strong language, scatological, and/or violent properties that might warrant a standard NSFW warning, may in fact contain the sort of "PEOPLE ARE WRONG ON THE INTERNET" reaction that may cause various rage, disgust, and the need to place one's brain in a wrongheadedness-proof condom to keep all the ew out. Coined by collaboration between [info]james_nicoll and his commenters: James Needs a New Tag, 'the new warning label will be "memetic condom recommended"', metahacker suggests the final form. First use.
"Minecraft is a game about placing blocks to build anything you can imagine. At night monsters come out, make sure to build a shelter before that happens." Description from Minecraft's official website. (Sort of like multiplayer Lego with optional exploding zombies.) If people in IRC are talking about grand construction and/or landscaping projects, it might be this.
The community for the DW IRC Minecraft server (moderated) is [info]minecraft_irc.
mouse, mice
An anonymous user or users. (A-nonny-mouse.)
A controversial LiveJournal event involving exposed nipples in default userpics. (From LiveJournal.) This is not the Open Source Boob Project.
Open Source Boob Project
Charitably put, a convention social experiment that rather notably did not scale well when proposed to be taken outside of the environment at that particular convention with those particular people. This is not nipplegate. On the Geek Feminism wiki
pastede on yey
very obviously an image manipulation, or some feature that has been very obviously added after the fact and in a particularly horrible way. (From a fandom_wank disaster wherein someone tried to claim an actor was her boyfriend with a "my hed iz pastede on yey" photo.)
To briefly contact someone, generally on their preferred form of short-form contact. This is usually to get their attention prior to longer discussion, or to bring a matter that needs their attention to their attention. In general use in technical circles; this is definition 3 from the Jargon File.
[info]mark has a highlight set up for 'xb95' in IRC. [info]denise prefers AIM, and tends to run silent (invisible status). Department head contact information viewable to other department heads.
It can be helpful to quickly describe the reason for contact, for example, "Hi, one of your developers might be on fire; is this a good time to converse about fire safety measures and flame-retardant jackets?" has more detail than "Hi, can I ask you something?" The answers to "Do you have time for a social chat right now?" and "Do you have time for a technical chat on this subject?" may also be different, especially depending on whether someone is off-duty or on-duty at that time.
1) An advantage or suite of advantages that most members of a non-minority class have as compared to most members of a minority class, often taken for granted by people who have this advantage. (A term of art from minority rights activism. More)
2) Special access to administrative functions of the Dreamwidth site. See Technical. (Inherited from LiveJournal's terminology for the same special access.)
pumpkin time
The time after which one will turn into a pumpkin. Generally a departure time or a bedtime. (Used in IRC, a reference to the Cinderella story.)
rabbit hole
a reference to Alice in Wonderland. Often used to describe discussions that may very quickly result in headaches for all involved. (could probably use some more expansion.)
A variant of poker. According to Rah, "Razz is the reason why poker players drink." Rah plays Razz too often. rah no longer plays Razz too often because the DOJ shut down her online poker site :(
red cape
1) Cory Doctorow is said to wear a red cape and goggles and blog from a high-altitude balloon. Really.
2) The Dreamwidth official staff account user-head icon is a version of the regular user-head icon, with a red swirl, as of the swirl in the Dreamwidth stylized 'd', wrapped around it. This swirl has been referred to as the "red cape".
September, Eternal September
The (constant) influx of people unfamiliar with Usenet/internet basic netiquette, or unfamiliar with the local community's standards for conduct that differ from the internet at large. (The Jargon File, Wikipedia)
scary devil monastery
alt.sysadmin.recovery, the Usenet group
Fanfiction involving same-sex attraction, sex, or romance. The most restrictive definition would apply this only to sex/romance between two men who are straight or unspecificed in the source text. N00bs sometimes use it to refer to any sexually explicit fanfiction. (From the fanfictiony parts of fandom.) Slash on Fanlore
snowflake, special snowflake
Someone who demands special treatment based on their unique circumstances, particularly when their circumstances are not unique, or when they believe themselves to be in an extreme circumstance and are unaware that others have surpassed their record. Urban Dictionary definition
"I think so, Brain, but if the plural of mouse is mice, wouldn't the plural of spouse be spice?" From a Pinky and the Brain segment. (In common use in the polyamory community.)
Finite physical/mental/emotional resources, at a level significantly below average ability levels, to handle daily tasks. More: WTF Spoons. (From disability advocacy; term originated from an article on But You Don't Look Sick?.) Compare 'hit points'.
A controversial LiveJournal event, involving the mass-suspension of a number of accounts, and the later unsuspension of most of them. (From LiveJournal.)
trigger, trigger warning, tw
A trauma trigger is an environmental stimulus that awakens the involuntary playback of memories of a traumatic event. This process is highly unpleasant.
A seizure trigger can cause seizures; of particular concern on the internet is photosensitive epilepsy.
A migraine trigger.
Some subcultures, particularly ones with a high percentage of people who have experienced trauma, have seizure disorders or migraines, habitually label content that contains common trauma, seizure, or migraine triggers. These labels are known as "trigger warnings"; this is sometimes abbreviated "tw".
Some common triggers include: graphic description of abuse, violence, or rape; detailed descriptions of medical or dental procedures; detailed descriptions of self-harm behaviors, depressive thinking patterns, or disordered eating; sudden loud noises; and rapid blinking (including rapid changing in light levels or rapid changing of colors). Some of these triggers are unpleasant even for people who do not have traumatic memories that result in flashbacks.
Aside from the obvious slang term, this also means any number of social upsets, generally of the sort that generate gossip and upsetness perhaps out of proportion with the actual problem. ("Did you hear about what Bit did to Figment?" "Yeah, talk about wank!")
"wrong on the internet"
A reference to XKCD: Duty Calls.
An addictive dice-rolling game, with a computer that cheats. Can be found in IRC, in #dreamwidth-games. (If you want to start a game, try recruiting players in #dreamwidth.) For all mentions of Zilch, developers take 6d6 hit to productivity.


Common Abbreviations

Abbreviations, acronyms, initialisms, and other fun shorthand. Some is internet-wide, some is specific to certain communities, and some is Danga-descended and Dreamwidth-specific.

As Far As I Know
Away From Keyboard
Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works, the other known majority-female Free Open Source Software project besides Dreamwidth.
Support shorthand for the Big Blue Box, also known as the Known Issues box. It can be found on the left-hand side of the main DW Support page. Inherited from LiveJournal Support. Anyone calling it the BYB (Big Yellow Box) is stuck in the early 2000s.
back. Returned from whatever AFK state.
See #Technical.
Big Name Fan. All the conflicting definitions seem to boil down to "a fan who is (very) famous within fandom". (From Western science fiction/fantasy book & media fandom.) More on BNF on Fanlore.
Blinkie Ponie Armie, a gaming guild composed mostly of former and current LiveJournal volunteers. (Crosses over with some current Dreamwidth volunteers.)
Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which is less fun than YMCA, which at least has a fun song. (It's harder to make a D with your arms and then get them back over your head for the M.)
In the context of IRC, usually Fey ([info]foxfirefey), rather than the similar emphatic minced oath, which can repeat the letter any number of times, usually from three on up.
For Fuck's Sake
Google Summer of Code. Official GSoC site; Dreamwidth wiki orientation page: Summer of Code; Dreamwidth participated in 2010.
I Agree With This Comment
I Don't Know. Sometimes followed by "my bff jill?" in reference to a TV commercial that aired in the US at one point.
If I Recall Correctly
ikr, inorite
I know, right? Often said by members of the Support Triumvirate when expressing agreement.
imo, imho, imao
In My Opinion, In My Humble Opinion, In My Arrogant (or other suitable A-word) Opinion
If You Don't Mind My Asking
Not Safe For Work / Not Work-Safe. Content that the average boss/mother-in-law might not appreciate. You can mark an entry as NSFW by setting the Age Restriction to Viewer Discretion Advised, and get warned about NSFW entries by setting your Viewing Adult Content setting to Content Should Be Viewed with Discretion. FAQ (From the internet.)
Original Poster. Usually the author of the entry; used in long comment threads. From message board slang.
Rather than Off The Wall or On The Way, this is likely to mean the Organization for Transformative Works when used in the context of Dreamwidth. They make the Archive of Our Own.
While the OTW's logo, a red arrow bent into a capital O, pointing counter-clockwise, enclosed in a red circle, can at a casual glance and small resolutions be confused with the simplified version of Dreamwidth's logo (a red line spiraling counterclockwise inward), the organizations are separate, with separate operations and leadership. There is some incidental overlap between OTW and Dreamwidth developers and technical support.
In the context of comment threads, this is usually Parent Commenter rather than Personal Computer or Politically Correct. From message board slang.
Phone. Away from keyboard on account of phone call.
Rather than an abbreviation for "password", People with Disabilities. From disability advocacy.
A type of fanfiction. Originally, this stood for "Plot? What Plot?", used of short mood pieces, smut without any attempt at a framing plot, or short action sequences without lead-in or resolution. As it is largely used for context-free smut, some readers have back-formed the initialism to stand for "Porn Without Plot".
Request For Comment. See Technical for more information.
Rich Text Editor. See Technical for more information.
Temporarily Able-Bodied: someone who is currently without physical disablity. From disability advocacy.
tl;dr, tl,dr
Too Long, Didn't Read. Usually said as either a joke or an insult. Sometimes "written out" or pronounced as Teal Deer.
Template Toolkit. See Technical for more information.
Things That Are Not The Same. Two or more things that were generally recently mistaken for each other by the person who just said that, usually of similar spelling but wildly dissimilar meaning, often hilarious and/or wrong if one is substituted for the other.
Universal Greeting Time. http://www.total-knowledge.com/~ilya/mips/ugt.html Why "Good morning!" upon entering an IRC channel, regardless of anyone's local time, is a thing.
Co-ordinated Universal Time. The world standard baseline time, and generally server time as well. http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/info/utc.htm
Work-In-Progress. Often said of a piece of fanfiction that is still being written (especially a piece of fanfiction that is being posted serially as it is being written), but also applies to other projects.
Often "What the Fuck"; on Dreamwidth, also "Watch-Trust-Friend"; see Technical
What You See Is What You Get.
What You See Is Not What You Get, and other joke initialisms at the expense of the Rich Text Editor. What You See Has No Relation To What You Get. What You See Is Only Sometimes What You Get. What You See Just Ate What You Got. And so forth.
Your Mileage May Vary; this is my experience or general experience, but yours may be different. ("your mileage may vary" is a disclaimer from auto commercials)

Other Resources

very large Webopedia list of abbreviations

also very large Netlingo list of abbreviations

Abbreviations.com list of abbreviations

gaarde.org list of internet acronyms and initialisms


Contrary to the precedent set by things like Gmail, "beta" actually means "we expect that stuff is going to be broken, that's why it's not out of beta yet". (From geek jargon.) (OMG, Gmail is out of beta now!! WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO!?) ....Annnd Dreamwidth is out of beta as of 2011 April 30!
Descending into increasingly-fine hair-splitting and world-ending pro/con over an issue that's rather small in the grander scheme of the project, particularly in a "push" environment such as e-mail. See Bikeshed. (From the Open Source technical community.)
bless, blessed, unblessed
Perl jargon involving objects.
Blocking Launch
An obsolete priority classification status for Dreamwidth bugs. Items that must be fixed before Dreamwidth can be launched/considered out of beta. Features that are listed as blocking launch will not be artificially delayed until the time of launch, but launch cannot happen until all of these are fixed/in place.
A kind of scary language that Brad created to write parts of the site in. Stands for (Brad/Better/Block) Markup Language. See the BML article on this very wiki. Brad's History of BML Dreamwidth is being migrated from BML to Template Toolkit, as BML makes it harder than it might be to separate code from design.
bug, b00g
Something that is broken (not working as intended), or broken-as-designed (working as intended, but "as intended" is not workable).
Any ticket filed in Bugzilla, whether it is an actual bug, an enhancement, a new feature, a documentation request, or some other request-for-work.
A network graphing tool that Mark uses a lot.
Cross-site Authenticated Reading List, the planned mechanism by which one will eventually be able to read locked entries from friends on other sites. It was originally intended for reading LiveJournal entries, but that had to be abandoned, and when implemented, it will likely be limited to sites running the Dreamwidth code.
Cross-site Authenticated Reading Page, a previous term for CARL. Discussion.
An exact copy, or a copy that is identical in most major respects. In the context of the Dreamwidth project, this is generally used to refer to other journaling sites based on the LiveJournal code that have not made significant functional alterations to the code. Dreamwidth is not, strictly speaking, a clone of LiveJournal. See: Fork, LJ-based_Services. Dreamwidth itself now has a few daughter sites that could be termed clones.
Debian is a free operating system that uses the Linux kernel and some GNU operating system tools.
While Debian's logo, a spattered red line spiraling clockwise inward, reminiscent of the Fibonacci spiral, can at a casual glance and small resolutions be confused with the simplified version of Dreamwidth's logo (a smooth red line spiraling counterclockwise inward in a roughly circular shape, derived from Dreamwidth's stylized lower-case D), the organizations are separate. It is unknown how many Dreamwidth-affiliated developers and users prefer or use Debian.
Dragon Naturally Speaking is dictation and accessibility software that can be used to give voice control of the computer. It can cause results similar to DamnYouAutoCorrect (gallery of images of hilariously awful autocorrections, mostly iPhone, mostly not adequately alt-texted).
Data that makes [info]foxfirefey very happy. See Data_Sources.
A change that improves or enhances an existing feature. Not quite a true bug, because the feature would have been working OK before that, and not a whole new feature, just something that makes an existing feature better.
Event-Subscription-Notification, the original development name for what eventually became the inbox/notification system. (From LiveJournal developers.)
FCKEditor, FCKEd, CKEditor
FCKEditor is the open-source WYSIWYG editor used by Dreamwidth and LiveJournal, more familiarly known as the Rich Text Editor, or RTE. The FCKEditor is named for its creator, Frederico Caldeira Knabben. With version 3.0, it was renamed the CKEditor.
Fork, code fork
Like a fork in a road, code that has been taken in a different developmental direction from the main project. In the context of Dreamwidth development, this generally is used to refer to Dreamwidth's relationship to LiveJournal, as Dreamwidth has active development in other directions. Colorful explanation.
An asynchronous job scheduling engine, of the type "do this somewhere else". Benefits: somewhere else, fast. Flaws: currently if it dies jobs are lost (apparently the team that manages it is working on that). Name is an anagram of "manager"; from LiveJournal days. IRC log with history/discussion
Guru meditation
an error code thrown by the Varnish cache server (and others, elsewhere, but DW uses Varnish). This is generally a temporary error, indicating that the server wants to be a lumberjack and has to take a moment to adjust its suspenders and/or bra.
a screenreader (assistive software for the visually impaired). JAWS homepage
Mogile FileSystem, the system that runs behind the userpics, is an anagram of OMG FILES. From LiveJournal development.
A monitoring system used to advise Mark (and IRC) about whether Dreamwidth is functioning properly. See the Volunteer/IRC section for further info.
A way for a website to know that you totally are who you claim to be from that other website over there. An informal explanation. Dreamwidth OpenID FAQ (From LiveJournal; Brad developed it!)
Peterstein, Disco King
The private support category that receives mail sent to the [email protected] email address. Blame Mark. ;)
Priv, privilege
Access to various special administrative site functions, such as viewing sensitive support requests, viewing screened proposed answers to support requests that other users have left, viewing spam reports, and taking various administrative actions. Privs are granted in a chain of trust that culminates with the site owners; one may be granted the priv to hand out more privs to others. Privs may be restricted by arguments or granted globally (unarged). "What privs do I have?" "Not enough to do your job. I'm granting you some more privs." (Inherited from LiveJournal.) See Privileges.
PubSubHubbub, PuSH
A way to make syndicated stuff update like greased lightning. From Google (and Brad!); the implementation is courtesy of our good friends in the LJ dev department. Sometimes also called Fred for short.
an open source data center automation and configuration management framework. That is to say, a way for the system administrators to set up computers quickly. See Production Puppet
replicate, cannot replicate, replication
Dreamwidth has two master databases that are supposed to be identical copies of each other. Nagios freaks out when one copy is lagging behind the other. Nagios also cheerfully informs everyone when things are back to normal.
Request For Comment. An invitation for constructive and thorough criticism of the proposed concept. In general use in certain technical communities. Also, one of the founding documents describing standards that the internet attempts to abide by. Examples: RFC 3330 RFC 2324
Rich Text Editor, something that lets you add formatting to text as well as just do plain text. Contrast with HTML editor (plain text, although you can type in HTML formatting manually). LJ's RTE gathered a lot of dislike from LJ volunteers. It is built based on the open source FCKEditor. The LiveJournal and Dreamwidth implementations have a reputation for being (pick your favorite) delicate, buggy, or broken. (From internet in general & LiveJournal.)
an item of assistive technology used primarily by visually impaired users. Screenreaders read text on web pages aloud, allowing users to use websites without seeing them.
An asynchronous job scheduling engine of the "Do this and tell me later" type. Has persistent queue support. It was named after Brad's manager, Mike Schwartz, the VP of Engineering at Six Apart, and may also have been a reference to Spaceballs (with Brad you never know). Solid, has a lot of overhead and a lot of setup. IRC log with history/discussion TheSchwartz on Dreamwidth TheSchwartz on cpan.org
Template Toolkit, TT
The templating system that's replacing BML when building site pages; all existing BML pages are planned to eventually be migrated to using TT. Free Open Source Software, 99% less Eldritch Horror. See Routing and Template Toolkit and http://template-toolkit.org/
A flag in Dreamwidth's implementation of Bugzilla that is a courtesy to LiveJournal developers, to alert them that a bug inherited from the LiveJournal codebase has been patched. LiveJournal is actively encouraged to pick up patches that have been flagged for upstreaming. Yay Open Source!
WTF/Project WTF
Rather than "What The Fuck", this is Watch-Trust-Friend(s), the project of splitting LiveJournal's original Friends into Watch/Trust (this eventually became Read/Access). (From LiveJournal development and then Dreamwidth development.)
When UTF-8 encoding, or lack thereof, causes problems.



Mark Smith is one half of the founding team of Dreamwidth. He is also known as [info]xb95.
Denise Paolucci is one half of the founding team of the site. She is known as Rahaeli or rah on IRC. She is also known as D and [info]synecdochic.
Afuna is the first full-time Dreamwidth employee. She answers to [info]Afuna or Fu.
Staff Page
All staff, and most department heads.
Married to [info]denise, helps with technical support.
Was married to [info]mark. A developer.

Collectively, the people who can handle staff issues are sometimes known as "MrsJ", which was short for the owners and their wives at the time of site launch: Mark, Rah, Sarah, and Janine. This personnel lineup has since changed, and now includes Mark (co-owner), Rah (co-owner), Fu (employee), Sarah (Rah's wife), and sometimes Robby (backup sysadmin).

Other People

Brad Fitzpatrick is the original creator of LiveJournal. While he is not affiliated with the Dreamwidth project, if someone name-drops "Brad", it's probably him. (However, [info]brad is not him.)
People the owners have worked with/near in the past, partial list
Brad ([info]bradfitz), Brad's Mom ([info]sandy), Hachi ([info]hachi), Abe ([info]burr86), Mart ([info]mart), MK, BB, Carrie ([info]coffeechica), Dave "worst username evar" Recordon ([info]daveman692), Tupshin ([info]tupshin), Stacey ([info]nova), Whitaker ([info]whitaker) (but not Whitaker's Mom).
Dave "Worst Username Evar" Recordon ([info]daveman692)
a legacy LiveJournal employee, involved with the creation of OpenID.
[05:20] <V_PauAmma_V> [...] I'm not sure how the "worst username ever" joke got started, but when LJ started listing the "purged, available to rename to" usernames list, that joke was enshrined on the LJ homepage blurb for that page.
[05:23] <rahaeli> it started because NONE OF US COULD EVER TYPE HIS USERNAME
[05:23] <rahaeli> it took us like two years to learn the numbers
[05:23] <rahaeli> so brad dubbed him "worst username evar"
[05:23] <rahaeli> (plz to note that it's 'evar' and not 'ever')

MissHat: [info]zarhooie|MissKat speaks fluent typo.

"... the kanji combo is 'guardian of the maple tree burial mound'. More or less. It's a really dorky reference to an old CLAMP [manga] series."
Pau's nickname is a reference to The Crab that Played with the Sea. The 'V's are pincers.

Confusingly similar nicks
Some people in IRC/mentioned in IRC look similar but aren't the same person.
rahaeli is not niqaeli, although they are certainly friends.
There are at least four IRC-folks over time starting with 'az':
[info]azurelunatic|Azz (two zs)
the former azalais|az (one z)
[info]bradfitz is not Fitzwilliam, [info]foxfirefey's younger flame point cat.
jc|jc` and JDC|[info]jd are not the same person, even though they've both been around since beginning days.
pineapple and pineapplechild are not the same person, nor is pineapple the mother of pineapplechild.
Nicks starting with RH are either [info]RebelsHeart in some afk mode, or a specific member of the Rhymers' House ([info]not_a_sniglet). Check the whois in your IRC client if uncertain.
_Simon_ and _NotSimon_ are both Simon, just the latter is afk.

Nicknames from DW-Drew
[info]dreamatdrew|DW-Drew has many nicknames for many people, many of which are not self-explanatory unless you happened to be there at the time. Sometimes other people also use these nicknames, but sometimes not.
A typo that DW-Drew assiduously attempts to avoid but sometimes runs into anyway, for Azzface ([info]azurelunatic|Azz).
vlion, based on the time when his attempted nick-change to vlion|biblestudy got truncated by one letter.
DW-Drew's mother.
fish, fishen
[info]ghoti, ghoti14 on IRC. While theoretically this is universal, in practice it is a mostly-from-Drew spelling.
"fish" may also refer to some of the "chatfish", members of a YA readers group of Azz's.
See also: "Fish are friends, not food." (ghoti is a friend-grade fish, not sushi-grade.)
[info]woggy, whose default userpic is a frog and whose username comes from "polliwog".
jeshyr|[info]rb, referencing an Asimov story in which a robot with the letters RB became Herbie.
[info]ivorygates, formed from the initials I.G.
xb95; this references the game EVE Online, where xb95 has an Amarr pilot.

Fictional or Otherwise Questionable Reality

These individuals, while present in IRC from time to time, are not always inhabiting the same reality as most of the rest of us. Sometimes it's not wise to follow them to their home dimension.

a Nagios IRC bot.
Sometimes present in IRC. See Tiferet's profile for details.
An IRC bot, run by [info]sophie. The bot gives different responses when addressed as "Fig" than when addressed as "Bit". Most of the time, the bot's answers are pre-programmed. Very occasionally, not. See IRC.
[info]twopointoh & [info]jdn. Fictional character, written by a number of people but usually Rah, sometimes shows up in IRC (as jdn). See Broken Wings and Mezzanine. (Warning: if you commence a scarily literary-crossed-with-lowbrow rant and find yourself losing your capital letters, you may have been channeling jdn. The standard cure is to finish writing the rant.) Not to be confused with [info]jd, who is in IRC as JD or JDC.
an IRC bot. See IRC.


(Previously) The Official Dreamwidth IRC Channel. Either refers to when the channel was on Mark's server (prior to March 2010) and was named #dw, or is shorthand for the current channel name.
The Official Dreamwidth IRC Channel, on irc.freenode.net, from March 2010 onward. See IRC. Sometimes referred to as #dw for short. All official Dreamwidth IRC channels on Freenode actually start with #dreamwidth- although people may say #dw- instead, as it is both the usual shorthand and was the channel name on Mark's old server. Sometimes sub-channels are abbreviated further, such as # -bitch for #dreamwidth-bitch, # -dev for #dreamwidth-dev, and so on. Sometimes unofficial channels, like #dw-tmi, are actually #dw-.
A popular interest, originating at a time that involved a lot of code refactoring that converted $lj methods over to generic methods, and when Rah needed an interest that started with a non-alphanumeric character to test something. A reference to http://qdb.dreamwidth.net/dw/73
Alton Brown anal nachos
Alton Brown's perhaps unnecessarily fussy recipe for nachos. (From IRC. You really had to be there. For those who weren't there, a log: it was a bit too saucy for the QDB. Also long.)
Usually a reference to the Basshunter song "Boten Anna" (YouTube, English lyrics), about an IRC bot named Anna. LJ Support IRC has a support-bot named Anna, from whom the #dreamwidth bot Fig is descended/cloned.
Payments silliness.
Affectionate term for a beginning developer. Generally used of developers who are new at development in general, not just new to the project. Gender-neutral.
An effort-minor bug that would be an excellent introductory bug for a beginning developer. See Newbie Guide for Windows People Working on Minor Bugs.
Make like a banana in the presence of ice cream and split! (Kat got bored)
bees, full of bees
A certain kind of metaphorical stingy badness. Brought to IRC mainly by [info]jld. References include Eddie Izzard: "Covered in beeeees", the supervillain Swarm, Conan: Oprah bee giveaway sketch, Urethra bees and "That'll get you bees." See also: hivemind.
In the early days of #dw, there was call for a 101-level cooking community. One person returned having created [info]boilingwater. Another returned having created [info]beginningcooks. Naturally, someone -- several someones -- mis-read the latter, in the same predictable way. And thus [info]beginningcocks was created.
Book of Wholesome Hobbies (that Denise has forbidden her volunteers from taking part in)
A list of ha-ha-only-serious rules for IRC denizens and volunteers.
Any of a generous number of possible monolithic large-corporate entities that certain members of channel may or may not work for. References the Star Trek villains.
Brad, in his dorm room, with BML
Reminiscent of the solution to a game of Clue, this occasionally is said of inherited code that has generally not been modified since its creation on LiveJournal. An Azz-ism.
(verb) to do something (answer a question, approve an entry in a moderation queue, etc.) faster than someone else. Common uses are "Bunnehed!" or "You bunnehed me!" Compare to "Jinx!" when someone has done something at the same time.
(noun) one who is fast and likely to bunneh others often. From "quick like bunneh", through a "Wow, that was fast!" user comment on a LiveJournal support request that got an answer very fast. (Note: the division of LiveJournal volunteers into bunnehs and sharks based on which requests they prefer to answer or act on appears far less common among Dreamwidth volunteers.) (Inherited from LiveJournal Support.)
A candy bar or a finger that is buttered. Mark branched out into fanfiction. (From IRC.)
bus (non-essential and/or metaphorical, often seen being sent to hEll)
A reference to "hit by a bus" as "unexpected tragedy", and discussions about what would happen if both Mark and Denise were to be hit by a bus at the same time. Operating_Agreement
Camp Permabanned
Where particularly enthusiastic/persistent spammers are sent. (An Azz-ism, and also a joke based on Camp Permafrost from Bujold's Vorkosigan series.)
Short for Support Category. (From LiveJournal support.)
freerangefatty's cat Mau nibbles on everything. Pictures of Mau
notional staples that are said to keep someone who keeps disconnecting from the server stapled there. (Popular in LJ IRC, and perhaps other places.)
chemla, the
a dance. Not to be confused with Chemla, who is [info]ChemicalLace the volunteer.
If someone in IRC has 'clocktower' after their name, it means they're pretty mad about something. (From LJ Support IRC, an irreverent reference to crazed campus shooters.)
coed(s), invite coed(s)
A deliberate misspelling of 'code', as in 'invite code(s)'. (From LiveJournal.)
Commit-and-Ditch pony
When someone does something that breaks stuff, and leaves everybody else with the mess, they are awarded the Commit-and-Ditch Pony. This can take the form of an actual toy pony, a pony virtual gift, or merely informing the offender that they now hold the pony. (From OpenMoko development, via LiveJournal volunteers.)
(gone to) Costa Rica (with the Peace Corps)
The default example for someone who has gone away from the internet for an extended length of time, but has not abandoned their journal despite lack of activity. From LiveJournal volunteers: long-time LJ volunteer [info]christine did just this.
Support's private category is powered by this. (Mark started it; Kat continued it.) See Technical, Peterstein.
Drewspeak, DW-Drew (obscure things said by)
[info]dreamatdrew has a set of jargon all his own, including some unique nicknames given to assorted channel regulars. "Drew, 'splain!" is a relatively common refrain. (Feel free to ask if you don't understand something that was said.)
Enthusiastic Little Fucker. Said of particularly prolific spammers before they are sent to Camp Permabanned.
fish and whistles
A more derisive variant of "bells and whistles", although it is probably useful to note that the power user is probably talking about "chrome". Specifically refers to features requested by users that would play out badly if implemented. (Originates from a mock flamewar in LiveJournal news, and references the classic IRC concept of trouting.)
football field
Azz is probably looking for her cellphone headset. (Azz lives in a Faraday cage. Azz talks on her cellphone to MissKat a lot.)
LiveJournal's goat mascot.
a more friendly name for PubSubHubbub (see Technical).
fruit loops
Appropriate-answer silliness.
[17:31] * ysobel dies giggling. you know, one of these days I really AM going to have to answer a request with gibberish
[17:31] <MissKat> Even if she's like "and then the pink sparkley ponies will come and delete all your entries and replace them with froot loops!" I figure it's isa and she must know what she's talking about.
[17:31] <domtheknight> OMG PINK SPARKLY PONIES
[17:31] <domtheknight> FRUIT LOOPS
(from IRC)
Since Drew can't teleport very well, he sends a gecko to take care of his people.
Glitterhoof the Magic Fix Pony
[info]mark, by way of [info]john.
Usually a reference to a legacy LiveJournal Support bot of that name. Goat reported on the current open support requests in a way similar to Anna, but with a different format. The command "Fig, be Goat" makes Fig give the report using Goat formatting. Goat made insulting comments to people who did not remember the syntax for his commands. Goat was probably named after LiveJournal's mascot, Frank the Goat.
going to the wiki
If you visit http://wiki.dwscoalition.org you see this message before it redirects to http://wiki.dwscoalition.org/notes/Main_Page. It has therefore become customary to announce "Going to the wiki!" in varying stages of capslock upon going to the wiki (to look up something or edit). (Popularized on IRC.)
a technical support question without an answer (or without an answer that has been reviewed and approved by senior support). Green is usually referred to numerically ("How much green?" "10."), which refers to the number of green requests. It can also be referred to in relative terms ("Lots.") or figurative ("Enough to fill a swimming pool!"). The support category "General/Unknown", commonly referred to as "G/Unk", spawned the phrase "green gunk", or "lime slime". (From LiveJournal support, based on the color coding of the Support system's user interface, which shows requests that are awaiting an approved response with a green background in the list of support requests.)
hEll, RWHell, Random Word hEll
An IRC bot in #dreamwidth.
One sends an item to hEll. hEll sneaks out a scaly hand and grabs the item. hEll's depths emit a sudden roar as it expels a previously entered item. Sometimes, hEll's depths continue to roar as it expels a second previously entered item. (Occasionally, hEll will burp and not expel any other items.)
hEll is neither endothermic nor exothermic, but maintains a fairly constant balance of items entered to items ejected. The rumor that hEll is sentient is just that, a rumor. (We hope.)
Read the origin story of Random Word Hell! And then one day Rah mentioned the bot in #dw, and Sophie got coding, and suddenly there was hEll. And then at the time of the server move, hEll became RWHell.
Hope This Helps, Have A Nice Day. Inherited from LiveJournal Support. A phrase that was used as a bad example: support answers were generally unsigned, and the specific phrase "hope this helps" implied some doubt that it might help at all. Picked up for sarcastic use to friends by some LJ volunteers.
kill you in the morning
A Princess Bride reference. What else do you expect from the Dread Pirate Rah-berts?
Sometimes it's really hard to type 'wiki' correctly on the first try.
a support category that has very few requests in it. Wordplay. Support Category = Category = Cat; cat that is very small = kitten. (From LiveJournal support.)
Mart bug death
Someone proposes something tiny and specialized, then Mart (a notable architecture astronaut) generalized it to the abstract case and said "we should do it this way so it can be used for this other stuff", turning it from a five-minute fix to a five-month fix. Then (the death part) whoever came along who could do the five-minute fix, but not the five-month fix, would look at it and go "screw this" and never do it. There were approximately four people who could do the five-month version, so it would never get done, because they had a gazillion five-month projects. (From LiveJournal development, seen in the wild mentioned by [info]mart in '04.)
Assistant or direct report. (I think Rah started saying she had minions, asking for minions to do various tasks, calling people minions, and/or people started calling themselves Rah's minions?)
People who can handle staff issues (see Staff. (DW Support shorthand.) Also, the regular communication sent from Support to staff listing issues that only members of MrsJ can handle.
If people start calling Mark "Muppet", it's MissKat's fault.
In IRC, nick nagios (now Alertsy after the Freenode server move) is the monitoring bot. Various people will change their nicks to _nagios_ or similar variations to make jokes about the bot. History of the HEY MARK HEY MARK HEY MARK jokes See Technical for more information.
Internet hiccup. Often accompanied by a pingout. Someone who had an internet hiccup probably missed the last several lines of chat.
The network in geekosaur's motel-of-residence sort of doesn't. Work, that is. It is built on fail hardware that is not watertight enough to stand up to local rain, and additionally has absurdly bad topology and hilariously bad oversaturation on certain access points.
'Help!' spelled backwards. (From LiveJournal Support.)
refers to the secret hiding place of the Triumvirate + pony
plumbing not compatible
a reference to a somewhat inappropriate conversation about orientation between Rah and Abe. Often accompanied by little hand gestures.
Quotes Database, a collection of particularly funny and/or memorable quotes uttered in various Dreamwidth IRC channels. This is maintained by [info]sophie. (The Dreamwidth QDB was previously hosted on the same server as the LiveJournal volunteer IRC QDB, which also contains quotes from some staff and volunteers' shared history.)
refers to a conversation involving Rah ([info]denise). Coined by [info]ysobel
Once upon a time, an underwear designer put a flaming skull on the front and back of a pair of briefs. (Ed Hardy. 2 Sword Skull.) Assorted #dw and #dw_nsfw people in and around [info]amusing_underwear pointed and laughed. [info]mayerman coined the name, and [info]remark elevated it into a catchphrase. [Of course there's an icon.]
SNH, Still Needs Help
A support request that has already received at least one answer, but the user has "regreened" (indicated that they still need help, moving it from "answered, awaiting close", to "green"), and has replied with a follow-up question or more information.
Speaking of <x>, hello <y>
You may be greeted this way upon entering IRC. Likely as not, <x> has nothing to do with you; it was just the topic the moment before you entered. (This greeting habit was more prevalent in LJ volunteer IRC but still persists.)
Since Drew can't teleport very well, the spider is his enforcer, like when people *cough*Inoru*cough* need to go to bed but aren't.
Swedish: skillet, frying pan. In Drewspeak, this is usually short for the Swedish "domedagengjutjärnstekpanna", which translates to "cast-iron skillet of doom". It is more of a weapon than a cooking implement.
teapatty, *|teapatty
Someone making reference to "teapatty" or changing their IRC nick to incorporate "teapatty" is either drunk or pretending not to be. At one point Wyn attempted to say "Not drunk, repeat, not drunk." Unfortunately for them, they were drunk enough that it came out "Not drunk, teapatty, not drunk." (From LiveJournal Support IRC.)
Tits Against the RTE
References a campaign to get the Rich Text Editor removed (or vastly improved) at LiveJournal during [info]tupshin's time there.
Triumvirate, The
refers to the current support wranglers: [info]Domtheknight (The Bug-Squashing Boots), [info]zarhooie (The Tact Hat) and [info]chemicallace (The All-Purpose Boa). The Triumvirate + Pony is the Triumvirate with the addition of the Froot Loop Pony, also known as [info]ysobel.
A candy bar, or a play on words involving "twixt". Mark branched out into fanfiction. (From IRC.)
wgw, what goes where
A document detailing how (what department and process) handles a support request of any given type. (From LiveJournal support.) What Goes Where
worst username evar
David Recordon [info]daveman692. Refers to a LiveJournal ad for rename tokens that featured his username. (From LJ.)


Dreamwidth IRC does not have very many non-standard emoticons in frequent use. There are occasional discussions where different non-standard emoticons are created, proposed, or used, but these are infrequent, and the same weird emoticon is rarely used twice. For example, [||||||| 8] \o/ might represent a bus and an alarmed pedestrian, but this is rarely seen in actual chat.

User or community
(), @, and <^> are variously used to denote a user or community in text-only environments like IRC.
()xb95 - user ; ()omnomnom - community (regular)
@mark - user (official Dreamwidth user, or Twitter-style direct address for any DW user or IRC nick - Bugsy objects to '@' starting lines, however); @dw_news - community (official); sometimes used for regular communities
<^>lj_support - (usually) LiveJournal community; sometimes used for Dreamwidth community
Surrounding a phrase, can indicate action or emotion, or emphasis: *grin*, *hugs*, "I *really* like it".
. o O (something)
Thought bubble, thinking but not saying.
<_<, >_>
Eyes looking to the left or right and mouth. Sometimes used to indicate untrustworthiness of a statement ("I have no idea who ate the last piece of cake >_>").
Eyes tightly closed and frown. Disgust, self-deprecation, annoyance.
Eyes, a flat mouth, and chin-scratching. Deep thought of some description.
o/, \o
Head with single (right or left) arm raised (waving, in greeting, or farewell).
Head with two upraised arms: arms in the air cheering (genuine or sarcastic: "I just got a promotion \o/", "my toaster is on fire \o/"); enthusiastic greeting; arms in the air in confusion or panic, arms up over your head in water (drowning).
common typographical error for \o/; (rare) scratching head in confusion.
a salute
Arms protecting head, hands clutching head, or bucket on head.
Waving (head with arms raised and motion squiggles) or drowning (head with arms raised and waves of water).
Head with two upraised arms and pompoms: cheering.
Head with two upraised arms and a line of asterisks: running around, either with head on fire, or waving a feather boa. (Inherited from LiveJournal volunteer IRC.)

Other Emoticon Resources

Wikipedia list of emoticons

Other Resources


Fanlore fandom wiki
Information on selected public forms of fannish expression, in convenient wiki format. From the Organization for Transformative Works folks.
Geek Feminism wiki
A resource for and about women in geek communities.


Jargon File
Many words from a gentler, more precise era of technology, although some are still in use today.
LiveJournal Support jargon
there is some overlap of vocabulary due to the number of volunteers and IRC inhabitants who are former or current LiveJournal volunteers.
Know Your Meme
Various bits of internet culture, sometimes the sort you'd find in a petri dish.
Urban Dictionary
Let the reader beware. (Often not safe for work -- or for other things, for that matter.)
Sassy Does It's Knitting Definitions
Glossary: Ravelry and Knit and Crochet Lingo and Acronyms (more extensive, however login is required, although accounts are free)


QDB stands for "Quotes Database".

Dreamwidth IRC QDB
A collection of quotes from Dreamwidth's IRC channels
Hilarity from around Dreamwidth, after the example of [info]metaquotes
LiveJournal Support QDB
Contains many quotes from the shared past of volunteers who originated in LiveJournal volunteer culture.
A much larger, multi-network IRC quotes database. Contains notably uncensored language and potentially offensive content.
Another QDB, a fork of the same source file as bash.org


the Internet Movie Database, with more information than you knew you needed to know about movies, TV shows, actors, directors, plots, and more.
A user-updated encyclopedia of everything notable in the world. Not generally accepted for academic research, nor updated frequently enough for current events, but good for background reading, general overviews, and a list of preliminary sources for proper research.
an open database of variously useful information. Now owned by Google.