This originally started out as just a list of acronyms and expressions I found useful and/or humorous. Some are of my own creation; others are from the internets. Much of this is intended to be humorous. If you don’t find it funny, maybe it’s because you forgot to put on your big boy pants (q.v.).

Nota bene: Some are NSFW or NSFS. You have been warned.

Nota bene iterum: I haven’t provided a definition for everything. Sometimes I just put a word here, thinking that I’ll write it up later and then I forget all about it. If it bugs you, send me a message and I will fix it immediately (i.e., when I get around to it).

42 — The answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life, the universe, and everything?”

á la mode des racoons — dumpster diving

absolutle — “Absolute”, but used when you want to make sure someone is listening, or you need to bring amusement to their day. (See this comment on Reddit.)

amazingly adequate — Something that falls short of expectations, yet ahead of disappointment.

Amish option — Not using technology, or only using it when everyone else has no choice to use it (like walking into a room with fluorescent lights).

asshattery — The accomplishments of asshats.

automagically — How some people believe things happen on the internets. (No. We actually work really hard to make things happen.)

the bat of reality — Something used to beat unreasonable (i.e., stupid, idiotic, or purposely blind) people over the head with. Similar to, and sometimes interchangeable with, the stick of reality.

BBTThe Big Bang Theory television show. (Which honestly started out as something good and clever and witty and quickly devolved into just another blah relationship sitcom.)

big boy pants — If you get all bent out of shape over something I’ve written here or said in real life, it’s probably because you forgot to put these on this morning.

BITD — Back In The Day.

Bloom County — The greatest comic strip ever. Creator Berkeley Breathed’s site is here.

Browncoat — Someone who doesn’t like complications.

BT/DT — Been there, done that.

Caribou Barbie — Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

character traits — Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma. If you don’t recognize those, you should probably read this.

charisma — A basic character trait (q.v.). Are you not reading this in order?

ching jin — “Come in”.

chwen — dumbass.

Clarke’s Third Law“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Read this.

CoA — Certificate of Authenticity. For people who collect things, these are important things to collect about the things you are collecting.

con — Short for “convention,” but only conventions that attract geeks and nerds. If Star Trek fans have a convention, it’s a con. If comic book fans have a convention, it’s a con. If people who are into RPG’s have a convention, it’s a con. But if plumbers or car salesmen have a convention, it’s just sad. Read this.

craptastic — Something that is both good and bad.

crapton — An amount that is so large that it is both a good thing and a bad thing.

Cthulhu — A fictional evil character in the works of H.P. Lovecraft who is responsible for constant anxiety for mankind. Either that, or Dick Cheney.

D&D — Dungeons and Dragons, one of the original RPG’s. (Not to be confused with d&d, which means “drag and drop”.)

d12 — A twelve-sided gaming die. Absolutely necessary for RPG’s. (Don’t give me that. You never know when you’ll need one.)

The Dead Milkmen — One of the greatest punk rock bands to ever come out of the 1980’s in the United States. There website is here.


Dell at Work Syndrome — A skewed view of a product or service because someone has only had experience with the cheapest, and therefore crappiest, version of it. So called because many people who don’t like Dell computers don’t like them because they first encountered them at work, where TPTB purchased the cheapest, and therefore, most featureless and problem-ridden versions. In truth, Dells are about as good as any computer if you’re willing to pay a little more for a better model.

/dev/null — The place in my mind where I send bad people, bad websites, and other miscellaneous garbage not worthy of my attention (or yours). Read this.

di di — Little brother. (See also mei mei).

Doctorow’s First Law — Formulated by writer Cory Doctorow when dealing with electronic publishers who are not flexible about licensing, it states “Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you, and won’t give you a key, they’re not doing it for your benefit.”

dong ma? — “Understood?”

drink the kool-aid — To toe the party line even though it means your own (eventual) destruction. Poor people who support the Tea Party drink the kool-aid.

DRY — An initialism for “don’t repeat yourself” — a good thing when writing coe.

duppy — An evil spirit or malevolent ghost. Read this.

DWG — Dead White Guys. You know, the people who created the world as we know it. Largely, but not entirely, synonymous with TPTB.

EDM — Electronic Dance Music. (see this link.)

everything on the internet eventually dies — The philosophy that it is useless to include links to anything, because all of those links will eventually become broken. Kind of like a roller coaster with the last part missing: until then, enjoy the ride. (The only exception to this rule appears to be people’s devotion to MSIE. Apparently, it’s some kind of cult.)

the Far Side — The greatest single panel comic ever. Official site.

faster than the speed of meme — About as long as it takes for rumors to be born, live a long and meaningless existence on the internet, and then die. About 42 nanoseconds, if you’re counting.

fnord — Anything which is random or surreal, which has a coercive subtext, or anything which is jarringly out of context (whether intentional or not). Read this.

frak — An expletive from the television show Battlestar Galactica. Otherwise known as “the geek f-word.” Read this.

FSM — The Flying Spaghetti Monster.


get off my lawn — 1) A tagline added to posts to indicate, in the nicest possible way, that the respondent has more experience, knowledge, and (presumably) wisdom than the original poster. (Sometimes abbreviated as GOML, GomL, or goml.)
2) A tagline added to posts to indicate that the respondent is being told something he already knows.
3) A phrase equivalent to “no way”, “you’re kidding, right?” or similar expressions.

“Internet Explorer is the best browser out there.”
“Get off my lawn! Firefox rocks!”

GIYF — Google Is Your Friend. In other words, use the Google. You know, the one on the internets.

go shi — Crap, shit.

GTFO — Get the fuck out!

Have a Nice Hour — Interactions on the internets tend to last for a much shorter length of time than in real life, hence the traditional “Have a Nice Day” is truncated to “Have a Nice Hour”.

Higgins — A person who whines and complains, often with a strong sense of entitlement.

hoopy frood — Someone who’s got it all together. (From The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.)

humped — Screwed. (“If I can’t get my car started, I’m humped.”)

HUHY — “Help Us Help You” by telling us as much about the problem or situation as possible instead of making us guess. A moderator’s dream.

“I am a leaf on the wind; watch how I soar” — Don’t psyche yourself out. Take the next step. Go for it.

I D ten T — Pronounced “eye dee ten tee”, when written it looks like this: ID10T, meaning the person in question is an idiot. (See user errors.)

I have clouds to yell at — I am old, I am tired, and I am done with this ridiculous conversation.

I need to move my tractor — A friendly way to say “none of your business” when asked about personal matters by people and you don’t want to tell them. (see this link.)

IANAL — “I am not a lawyer”. (See also TINLA.)

IDM — Intelligent Dance Music. (see this link.)

IIRC — If I Remember Correctly.

IMHO — In My Humble Opinion. Of course, if you have to point this out, your opinion is probably anything but humble.

involuntary camping trip — Euphemism for getting evicted.

IPU — The Invisible Pink Unicorn. Something that’s only visible to presidential candidates of a particular political persuasion. Read this.

jam tomorrow — an unfulfilled promise.

JJPS! — Jumping Jesus on a Pogo Stick! An exclamation of amazement. (From “Stuart” by the Dead Milkmen.)

karma whore — A slashdot sycophant.

keep the kitty litter scooped — To make it a regular practice to keep shitty things (or people) out of your life. (See this.)

LARPing — Live Action Role Playing; in other words, acting out an RPG. Kind of lame—like Civil War reenactments with pretend dragons. (On the other hand, Civil War reenactments with real dragons—now that would be cool.)

lighthouses in the desert — People who are bright, but fucking useless. (See this post on Reddit.)

LOL — “Laughing out loud” or, less commonly, “lots of laughs”. Not “lots of love.”

H.P. Lovecraft — One of the fathers of the modern horror story, and an all-around weird guy.

the man with a bad idea generator where his head should be — A person who thinks they know what they are doing, but are utterly clueless, often cruel, and have a knack for picking the worst possible choice. See this comment

Mary Sue — Someone who is always so nice and friendly and sweet and positive that you want to put spiders down their back. A male Mary Sue is often called “Larry Stu.” Read this.

mei mei — Little sister. (See also di, di di).

microwavarian — A person who lives mostly off foods prepared in a microwave oven.

MMORPG — A “a genre of role-playing video games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world” (according to Wikipedia). I’m not really into this because I just don’t have adequate internet access.

The ModfatherPaul Weller.

mooncalf — A foolish person, often excessively or willfully so.

MSIE — A collection of bugs held together by those sharp strips of metal you get when you open cans of Spam.

mullet — A Mississippi Mudflap, an Alabama Avalanche, a Tennessee Tidal Wave, a Tennessee Tophat, the business-in-the-front-party-in-the-back haircut that is just waiting to make a comeback. You have been forewarned.

mustache twirlerb — An obviously (i.e., clichéd) evil person or character.

NAFS — Not Appropriate for School.

NAFW — Not Appropriate for Work.

NaN — Not a Number. Used when someone gives you completely irrelevant information when asking you to solve a problem.


nerdgasm — That all-over feeling of joy you feel when you see something that is really cool. Average people never have these.

Noel, the Deranged Christmas Elf — The true spirit of Christmas in this postmodern, hyper-capitalist society.

NSFS — Not Suitable for School. Not Safe for School.

NSFW — Not Suitable for Work. Not Safe for Work.

Occam’s Razor — Explanations should not multiply causes without necessity. In other words, when two explanations are offered, the simplest one is probably the best one. Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate.

Occam’s Big Paisley Tie — The urge to exhaust every possible explanation—no matter how convoluted, remote, unlikely, or totally fucking absurd. See this.

OMFSM — “Oh my Flying Spaghetti Monster”.

OTOT — One Thread, One Topic.

outrage monkey — A well known person whom you expect to express your outrage for you over social media. (Read this.)

Pareto Principle — 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Read this.

PEBKAC — A very common type of computer error: Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair. (See user errors.)

Perkins — Someone you treat as a servant, usually humorously, sometimes not.

Permanent Nap — Death. Read this.

The Peter Principle — People will tend to be promoted until they reach their level of incompetence. Read this.

phone it in — To just go through the motions without really caring about how something is accomplished or the quality of the results, as long as it gets done.

PIBCAK — A very common type of computer error: Problem Is Between Chair And Keyboard. (See user errors.)

PICNIC — A very common type of computer error: Problem In Chair, Not In Computer. (See user errors.)

Prasanna’s Law — They aren’t really bugs, but rather, unknown random features.

prolly — Probably, only in a contentious sort of way.

Rasta ProphetBob Marley.

Riepl’s Law — First formulated by Wolfgang Riepl in 1913, it states that new, further developed types of media never replace the existing modes of media and their usage patterns, and instead a convergence takes place in their field, leading to a different way and field of use for these older forms.

RPG — Role Playing Game. Dungeons & Dragons, or Magic: The Gathering, or any one of a number of video games.

RTFM — Either “read the freaking manual” or something else you can probably figure out on your own.

Rule 34 — If it exists, there is porn of it.

to see the fnords — To be unaffected by the hypnotic power of a demagogue’s words; to read between the lines.

self-sealing stem bolts — Stem bolts that seal themselves. In other words, something that takes care of itself. Read this.

shart — A combination of two particular bodily functions; definitely more common that polite society will admit to.

sheeple — People who just go with the flock. (“Sheep” + “people” = “sheeple”. You do the math.)

shiny — Cool, good, valuable.

slashdot — A web site providing news for nerds, stuff that matters. Often abbreviated as \.

smallest member of the Donner party — The next victim/volunteer.

Stan Lee’s Law — “Let talented people loss to get their best work.”

star chamber — Legal or administrative bodies that lack transparency or even visibility, and who issue strict, arbitrary rulings.

STFU — Shut the Fuck Up!

STFW — Search the Fucking Web! (Usually said because someone has asked where they can find something that can easily be found by using the Google.) The polite form is GIYF.

the stick of reality — Something used to beat unreasonable (i.e., stupid, idiotic, or purposely blind) people over the head with. Similar to, and sometimes interchangeable with, the bat of reality.

Sturgeon’s Law — is really Sturgeon’s Revelation: 90% of everything is crap. Read this.

ta — “Thanks”.

Take the Hogwarts ExpressAnother way of saying GTFO.

teajad — A war or struggle against liberals, women, the LGBTQ community, intellectuals, people with a college education, the “liberal media,” anyone who is not a fundamentalist Christian, science, common sense, poor people, and brown people.

TINLA — “This is not legal advice”. (See also IANAL.)

tl;dr — Too long; didn’t read.

TPK — Total Party Kill. You may need to read this.

TPTB — The Powers That Be. Not you. Not me.

trash panda — A raccoon.

Trekker — A fan of Star Trek (either the original series or its many incarnations), but doesn’t want to be associated with the “weird” Star Trek fans, who are called “Trekkies”. Read this.

Trekkie — A fan of Star Trek (either the original series or its many incarnations), but doesn’t want to be associated with the “weird” Star Trek fans, who call themselves “Trekkers”. Read this.

twelve-sided die — Best Christmas present ever. At least twice as good as a six-sided die.

tweople — People who follow you on Twitter.

UTFG — Use The Fucking Google! (Even stronger that STFW.)

The Valley of Chula — Where things go when you sacrifice them for some greater good. For example, once you have children, your memory, your sense of being well-rested, and your ability to touch things without wondering beforehand if they are sticky, all go to the Valley of Chula. (If you don’t recognize the reference, first, get off my lawn, and second, read this.)

xei xei — “Thank you”.

Warnock’s dilemma — Possible ways to interpret the lack of response to something you posted online. (See this.) In short, the reasons for a non-response boil down to

  1. You’re brilliant, and nothing further need be added.
  2. You’re stupid, and we’re not going to waste the time/energy/keystrokes/bandwidth to say so.
  3. We’re brilliant, because we RTFM, and wish that you would, too.
  4. We’re stupid, and don’t know the answer.
  5. No one saw, for whatever reason. (You posted in the wrong forum, you posted in a dead forum, your post looked like spam, etc.)
  6. No one understood, possibly because you can’t spell or write grammatically, or because our universal translators were confiscated.
  7. No one cared. Possibly because we’ve dealt with you before and have banished you to our mental phantom zone. Either that, because any child who cares to RTFM or STFW will find the answer in five seconds.

Warnock applies — An appropriate response to someone who inappropriately bumps a thread to which they received no reply.

Warnocked, to be — To not get a response to something you posted online.

H.G. Wells — The author of such classic works as The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, and one of the fathers of modern science fiction.

Wesley-hate — Hating someone not because they are different from you, but because they are so much like you. Exactly like, and yet the complete opposite of, prejudice.

Wheel of Fail — Trying one thing after another, none of which work.

White privilege — If you’re wondering what it is, you probably have it. (Also, there are other forms of privilege.)

WIP — Work in progress.

Woot — What you say when something good happens. You are almost at the end of this list. Woot! (Also spelled w00t, with zeros instead of those round letters, or w00+ or w007, but only by teenagers who are trying to sound cool by using leet speek.)

WTF? — Where’s the food?

YMMV — Your Mileage May Vary

Yoder toter — One of those white (why are they always white?) 15-passenger Ford (why are they always Fords?) vans that transport Amish people (why are they always named Yoder?) from their quaint picturesque farms to McDonald’s and Walmart. As in “Hey, we don’t want anything to do with twentieth-century technology, but would you mind giving us a ride in your Yoder toter to Walmart? And can we stop at McDonald’s on the way back?”

Published on: 21 September 2011

Lasted edited on: 16 July 2024

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