The internet is a cruel place to newbies, youngsters, oldsters and vaguely normal, sociable people. In fact, unless you live on Tumblr, you’ll find something every day that you just don’t understand.
With some help from friends and the urban dictionary, I’ve put together a glossary of a few words or phrases that you might come across on deviantART, Tumblr, or other places online.
gpoy – Gratuitous picture of yourself. Used when someone posts a picture that you strongly identify with.
For example, if I saw this picture on Tumblr, I might add a caption saying ‘gpoy’, because I feel like this on a regular basis.
ship / shipping / shippers – Comes from the word ‘relationship’. If you ‘ship’ a couple, either you like the fact that they’re together, you want them to be together, or you’ve written fan fic in which they are together. A lot of people ‘ship’ John and Sherlock in the BBC series. They call it Johnlock. That’s another thing – they tend to join names together. Gwen Cooper and Jack Harkness would be Gwack. Yes. It’s rather unfortunate. Janto is Jack and Ianto. A shipper is anyone who ships anyone. Basically. Personally, I ship Ianto Jones and Irene Adler, but that’s only because it would be amusing to watch.
otp – Another of those confusing abbreviations on Tumblr. Related to shipping, it means ‘one true pairing’. It’s the couple you ship above all other couples ever. (In my opinion? The Doctor and the TARDIS. For ever.)
ftw – For the win. For example, “NaNoisms ftw!” It’s a little tricky to explain. Apparently, it can also mean ‘free the whales’. This is why I don’t recommend using Urban Dictionary as an information source! Oh, and people also use it to mean ‘f**k the world’, but we’re more polite than that here.
fandom – The fans of something. Like, the Sherlock fandom is the people who like Sherlock. Also known as Sherlockians. The Doctor Who fandom call themselves Whovians. I’ve heard, though I can’t attest to its accuracy, that the Glee fandom call themselves Gleeks. But we don’t talk about them. By the way, if you want to read an absolutely amazingly hilarious fic about fandoms (fic = abb. of fiction, usually to mean ‘story’), you can find one here. Though I warn you, the font isn’t the easiest to read. It’s worth it, though.
Some confusing internet phrases are more specific to one fandom. One Tumblr user posted the following:
SHERLOCKIAN:Oh my godtiss! THIS GIVES ME REICHENBACH FEELS.
STANDARD ENGLISH:I find this very upsetting yet deeply moving.
SHERLOCKIAN:Not my Division.
STANDARD ENGLISH:I am not responsible for that/I don’t want to do that.
SHERLOCKIAN:I NEED WHOLOCK NOW.
STANDARD ENGLISH:I think it would be great if there was a crossover between Doctor Who and Sherlock.
SHERLOCKIAN:*crying* All praise the Cumberlord!
STANDARD ENGLISH:I find Benedict Cumberbatch to be a unique, attractive, and talented individual.
SHERLOCKIAN:Aww look, Martin Freeman!
STANDARD ENGLISH:What an adorable hedgehog!
meme – To take the definition with which we are presented by Google,
You may have seen those pictures on Facebook where there are six boxes. They’re each labelled things like “What my friends think I do” “What my mum thinks I do” “What my boss thinks I do” “What I really do”, that sort of thing. At the top is your name. Or, there’ll be one for an entire fandom (the Doctor Who ones are very entertaining). That’s a meme. The Ridiculously Photogenic Guy was a meme too. Google it. You might find it amusing.
WIP – mainly used by artists and writers. Means ‘Work In Progress’. In art context, generally means ‘Here are some pictures of this while I was drawing it so you can see the process’. In writing context, generally means ‘My current novel’ or ‘The soul-sucking evil thing that is my project’.
Most other abbreviations on the internet are relatively easy to work out. THG, for example, is short for The Hunger Games. DW is Doctor Who. TW is Torchwood.
Are there any other words and contractions I ought to add to this list, or things I could have explained better? Leave me a comment! (And I do urge you to go and read that fic. It made me laugh SO HARD.)