Fandom Lexicon

We get it. There’s a lot of words and phrases just thrown around as though everyone knows what an RBB is. Flame was once a completely overwhelmed wee bean and in the spirit of saving you some googling – here’s the buzzwords you need to know! Note: If you’re not familiar with the Fanlore site, this is a great time to learn! Anything you’re curious about that we don’t cover here? It’s there.

A/B/O: Alpha/Beta/Omega or “Omegaverse”. Sometimes called ‘secondary genders’. Please head to Fanlore for the full explanation. Please note: to use the letters without the punctuation is a slur against Indigenous peoples in Australia. Ensure you use ‘a/b/o’ when talking about this trope.

Bang: Basically, a ‘!’ that denotes a character trait that’s out of canon. So, Fem!Tony, Hydra!Steve, Octo!Tony, etc.

Beta: This is a secondary reader for your fic. They can help with SPAG (spelling and grammar), continuity issues, typos, etc. Ferret and Flame both adore theirs and HIGHLY recommend using them for your fics. Editing only makes things better!

Big Bang: An event where authors submit a summary and an artist claims the summary and they create the story/art together. See also: Reverse Big Bang. Popular Stony ones include Cap-IMBB and IMBB. You may also see “Mini” or “Tiny” Bangs where the word count minimum is very low.

Bicycle: The character you’ll follow to other ships – just like how anyone can ride a bicycle. You know. *wink*

Bingo: A themed event where you get a card full of prompts that you fill in order to achieve bingo on the card. Prizes are usually wonderful badges, a great sense of pride, and more fanworks for us all to consume!

BNF: “Big Name Fan” The content creator everyone knows.

Canon: The professionally accepted, commercially available works of a certain storyline. IE: MCU Canon runs from Iron Man to SpiderMan: Far From Home at this present time and canon is whatever is in those movies.

Cheer-reading: This is someone who isn’t going to look at your grammar or typos, but is going to comment on things in your fic that they like, encourage you to complete the fic, and basically just shower love. These are also highly recommended.

Concrit: ‘constructive criticism’ – primarily the domain of beta readers, some authors solicit concrit through Ao3 comments.

Dead Dove: This is fandom shorthand for ‘pay attention to the tags, they’re not lying to you’ on fics with intense tags. Non-con is tagged? It’s going to be a non-con fic. The reference comes from Arrested Development, but we’ve adopted it as our own.

Discord: A giant group chat service that happens in real time. Wanna join ours?

Epistolary: A writing format where the story is told through letters/emails/text messages/etc.

Exchange: A challenge where participants give gifts to each other, usually anonymously. These frequently happen during holiday seasons, but not exclusively.

Fanon: The things we all accept as ‘canon’ that… aren’t. Like Clint Barton living in the vents, or Bucky calling Steve ‘Stevie’, or Thor loving Pop Tarts.

Headcanon: Instead of canon, this is a personal belief about a character or situation. For example, Flame’s headcanon for Peggy Carter includes that she wore Boots No. 7 lipstick and refused to wear anything American because the wax content was too high.

Multishipping vs. monoshipping: Basically, are you someone who exclusively reads one ship, or someone who bounces around? The PotsCast staff reads a lot of ships, but Marie takes the crown as the person who reads & writes the most ships.

OTP/OT3/OT4: One True Pairing/Polyship: Basically, this is shorthand for your main ship, however many people are in it.

Plot Bunnies: Fandom slang for story ideas. We call them bunnies because they tend to multiply like… like bunnies.

PWP: Porn Without Plot or Plot What Plot – basically, there’s gonna be a lot of sex and not a lot of story.

RACK: Stands for “Risk Aware Consensual Kink”. A philosophy governing BDSM relationships – everyone in the scene is aware of the risks, consents to them, and everyone’s on the same page. For more info, see here.

Rare Pair: A ship with under 2k works on AO3. Examples: Steve/Thor (aka ThunderShield), Tony/Nat, Steve/Sam, Tony/Steve/Sam, Tony/Steve/Nat, Tony/Steve/Bruce… you get the idea.

Rec: Short for ‘recommendation’

Reverse Big Bang: A bang, but the start of the process is the art.

Round Robin: Fanlore has a great explanation for this one, so we’re going to let them take it from here. “In a round robin, participants write a section of a story before passing it onto the next participant, until all participants have taken a turn at writing the story. Sometimes the collaborators have discussed a plot, theme, or desired end result; more often, the round robin is more free-form, with each participant challenged to figure out how to resolve what has been written previously while still leaving room for the next participant.

SSC: Stands for “Safe, Sane, Consensual” – which is an approach to ethical behaviour in kink communities. For more information, click here.

Ship: When you use it as a verb, it’s a short hand to refer to ‘relationship’. ‘To ship Stony’ for example, means you believe in Steve and Tony in a relationship.

Ship Names: Fandom is famous for our portmanteaus to describe ships. Here’s a few of the larger ones for fans of this pod.
~ Stony = Steve/Tony (obviously the OTP for many around here)
~ IronHusbands = Rhodey/Tony
~ IronStrange = Stephen/Tony
~ Romanogers = Nat/Steve
~ Science Bros = Bruce/Tony
~ Stuckony = Bucky/Steve/Tony
~ Stucky = Bucky/Steve
~ WinterIron = Bucky/Tony

SPAG: ‘Spelling and Grammar’. The main point of most beta reads.

WIP: Work in progress. Ferret and Flame often say “whip” and this is what they mean.

YKINMK: Short for “Your Kink Is Not My Kink (and that’s okay)” which is fandom’s way of saying we don’t shame each other around these parts. Something doesn’t work for you? Scroll on by, friends. Also known affectionately as KINKTOMATO.