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Oct 08, 2003



Ahh, there's so many. You might be better served using a chatlog from a gaming session and running that against a spelling/grammar checker (just as a first pass, to catch the acronyms and most obvious of oddities).

Some that would fall through that are:
Crowd Control
'Port(ing) (as in TELEport, lazy kids.)

That last one brings up an entire category(and subcategory) of terms that any "good" MMOG dictionary would have to provide - contractions, abbreviations, and mutations, such as (tele)port, OMW, res(urrect), T(hank)Y(ou), etc. Many of these are obvious to anyone that uses any form of chat, but many MMOG afficionados have never spent a single clock cycle in a chatroom(like me), though the message boards of MMOGs will sometimes have a post in the newbie(there's another one) section that has an acronym/term definition list that may or may not include the chat-style pseudo-words.

This is a great idea, as one of the biggest barriers to (true)newbies is learning the lingo without looking like an ebayer(and another one).


I should have mentioned that Greg Costikyan has a great piece in Verbatim, called "Talk like a gamer." http://www.costik.com/gamespek.html Very helpful.

Thanks for the thoughts DuckiLama. Will do some checking and start to add these ones. I'll post with definitions from time to time, so that hardcore gamers can deride me for being so l4m3.


I believe that Jessica Mulligan went thru this exercise at Biting the Hand once as well. And there's countless mud dictionaries out there--most of the MMO terms are taken from the mud usages.

Twink, btw, has evolved considerably over the years. I believe its original usage was similar to "d00d" or "griefer."


Must restrain impulse...

I find I write long comments here and then don't blog.

I'll reply on this topic there in a post in a bit. Have some additions to what's here and in Greg's piece.


Raph: "Twink, btw, has evolved considerably over the years. I believe its original usage was similar to "d00d" or "griefer.""

This is interesting. "Twink" (etym. "twinkie") is used in the gay literature for hairless young man, and Greg's piece mentions that the term probably comes from this source. I guess someone who was very new to gaming was like these twinkies, and then it changed to mean "d00d", "griefer" and now has its negative ebayish connotations. Interesting evolution of the term.


BTW (which means, "by the way"...trying to be as inclusive as possible here)

Raph mentioned some sources. For reference:
J.M.'s Biting the Hand: http://www.skotos.net/articles/BTH_08.html
Comments on BTH (including a comment by Raph with lots of definitions from his book-to-be "Insubstantial Pageants"): http://forum.skotos.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3622

MUD dictionaries are all over the place. Haven't trawled through them enough to say which is best.


In all the links and comments, I haven't seen one of my favorites:


Which, if I understand it correctly, means something like "a sudden outpouring of enemy PvPers from a teleportation gate, usually resulting in widespread dirt-nappage for the locals."

At least that's what I took it to mean in Dark Age of Camelot. What I liked about the term was that it seemed to have originated in another game, with some lore-ish explanation there for its origins. Transported into DAoC, the lore fell away, and only the flavor of ancient, exotic realms remained.


zerg (zurg) n.:

Large mass of players travelling in concert, usually for the purpose of PvP. Use is usually perjorative: "What's the use of tactics or planning, when the biggest zerg always wins?" or "Albion only wins because they zerg."

Originated from Starcraft; The "zergling rush" strategy of producing a large number of very weak combatants to overwhelm an opponent.


Heya. Just started reading here, thought I'd add my bit.

An addition to the term "mule": It can also refer to characters that do the "boring" bits of the game that would distract or weaken the main character (often crafting) or provide support (such as non-PvP characters helping out PvP combatants). Used as an insult to Meridian 59. ;)

Of course, there are terms that are working to replace this. "Buffbots" are big in DAoC, which refer to characters that stick around in safe spots that have cast persistent beneficial enchantments on the fighting characters. Shows the difficulty of pinning down an exact lexicon for this.

resist - short for "resistance", which is the ability to resist damage or spell effects.
uber- - prefix meaning "big" or "great", such as an uberguild (obvious etymology there).
CR - corpse recovery
grind - to gain experience points through a boring, repetitive method

There's all I can think of in a few minutes.

I'll also agree with what was said above: abbreviations and acronyms are common. Almost anything in the game will be distilled down to an abbreviation or an acronym. Hell, even the games are referred to by acronyms: M59, UO, EQ, AC, DAoC, AO, ATITD, etc.

Hope this helps,


There's a MUD1/MUD2 dictionary at http://www.mud.co.uk/muse/speke.htm . Although many of the terms are specific to that game, some have made it into the MUD world in general and beyond. Some etymology is included.

The other big one is Henry McDaniel's 1993-2000 "MUD Encyclopedia" at http://www.iowa-mug.net/muddic/dic/academic.html .



n00bie contributer here chiming in...

crack - a spell cast on someone to increase their rate of regeneration (usually mana).

i learned this in daoc, but i'm told it originated from eq.. the spell was like crack. you couldnt get enough after the first time.


buff - to strengthen characters right before an attack, usually with temporary protection or enhancement spells

mob - a group of monsters, who usually because of stupid AI act like one large organism and have to be treated like one

rush - to use a strong character to quickly advance a weak character to upper levels. the rushee could be called a twinker

many korean terms have become common for american gamers because there are so many koreans on Blizzard games, e.g. keke is sory of like a korean LOL

TP - town portal, a safe haven
cowing - to repeatedly do the secret cow level for mass experience, as in, i'm gonna go cowing for an hour or until i hit level 90
run(s) - to repeatedly kill the same monster over and over for the best loot as in, i did 500 meph runs yesteryday


Dan over at "Dislogue" has a wonderful essay on the lexicography of gaming, spurred by this post. See http://dansch.rr.nu/dislogue/archives/000152.html

Nice definitions of...well, head over and read. Nifty.

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