Fandom Primer

 FanFiction terms

A glossary index in order to help navigate and understand the linguistics and terminology of fandom.

A/B/O - Alpha/Beta/Omega verse. Typically known as a kink trope where characters have a secondary gender aside from male/female, ie. male!alpha, male!beta, male!omega. How this is explored can vary wildly, but often includes graphic sex, wherein male omegas are able to conceive and give birth, and female!alphas are able to impregnate their partners, as all alphas have a penis, and all omegas a uterus, as well as inclusion of additional animalistic features, such as increased smell, hearing, etc. (See: knotting)

*Side note: it is important that this be written A/B/O as ABO is completely different and a derogatory slur with no correlation to fandom.

AU - fanfic term meaning Alternate Universe. There is no limit to these, common ones including coffee shop AU’s, lawyer AU’s, always-a-girl AU’s, Hogwarts AU, Beauty and the Beast AU, etc.

Beta - is both a noun and a verb, sort of like an editor and proofreader for fics.

Beard - used to describe the spouse believed by tinhat fans to be in a puppet show marriage to hide a celebrity’s secret love/marriage to another celebrity, usually of the same gender. Often, it is used in a derogatory manner and the spouse in question receives a lot of targeted hate for keeping the perceived lovers apart. Can be used as a noun or verb.

Bibro/Bronly - term ‘bibro’ originally meant to signify loving Sam and Dean equally rather than being a Sam or Dean girl, later was adopted to mean the dislike of Castiel, and continued to become a derogatory term, including bronly/bronlies, referring to a specific subset of fandom who care only about Sam and Dean with exclusionary, antagonistic actions and views, often involving harassment and hate

Blanket Permission - creators, usually of fanfic or fanart, will give ‘blanket permission’ for others to create transformative works of their original creations. This can apply to blanket permission to podfic a work, or to create fanart based on a ‘verse they created. Permission must always be asked for and granted in order to create transformative works, this applies less to to fanart, and more to the translation or narration of someone else’s fics.

BNF - this is an older term that still gets used on occasion meaning Big Name Fan, fans well-known within fandom to an almost minor celebrity status, often due to their contributions to fandom such as popular fanworks or BTS access and interviews with those involved in the source material.

Brotp - Two characters paired together in a profound, even sibling/sibling-like friendship that is in no way romantic or sexual, but emphasizes their closeness and friendship. Ex. Dean Winchester and Charlie Bradbury, Dean Winchester and Sam Winchester, or Sam Winchester and Castiel.

Canon -  something that is strictly confirmed within the context of the source material.

Canon Compliant -  fanfic term referring to stories written that do not go against the established canon and could very well have happened within established canon.

Canon Divergent -  when a story includes canon, but there veers off as at specific point, with the story continuing in a different direction than it did in canon.

Cockles - shorthand way of referring to Misha Collins and Jensen Ackles or their friendship and interactions, can also be used as a shipping term for RPF/RPS

Concrit -  Constructive Criticism, there are rules and etiquette regarding this, but the purpose is self-explanatory, meant to help the author in specific areas to better their writing, and not with the purpose of bashing their efforts or pointing out all the things you disliked. If you can’t do it politely, don’t do it.

Crack - has dual meaning. (1) an older descriptor to express addiction to a fic or series; (2) a fic that is based on a ludacris premise, sometimes meant as pure comedy, others taking the obscure as a challenge and making something sensible of it-- this often with addendum stating it’s not ‘pure crack’.

Crack Ship -  like the above, it’s generally involving characters being paired together for the silliness of it, like Impala and Pimpmobile, or due to characters never having met or interacted in canon, such as Bela/Castiel.

Crossover - when two fandoms are combined in a fic or other work, ex. Scoobynatural. Avengers and Justice League also count as crossovers, as each character exists independently of the others in their own story.

Curtainfic - a popular fic trope where characters/pairing are generally in a domestic setting living very domestic lives.

Destiel/DeanCas - refers to pairing Dean Winchester and Castiel together in a romantic relationship

Destiellers/Destihellers - Derogatory term used by bronlies to mock non J2-only fans regardless of actual shipping choices, as well as immediate correlation to being a Misha stan, which is often inaccurate.

Fanon - a general widely accepted headcanon that is not confirmed within canon, sometimes even contradicting canon.

Genderswap/Rule 63 - characters are turned into the opposite gender, either temporarily, permanently, or always-a-girl/boy. This is a very old trope, whose popularity ranges from fandom to fandom. Rule 63: if it exists, there’s a genderswap of it. (‘Rule 63’ is an older acknowledgement of the trope as a whole, rather than specifying its presence in a work)

Goggles- het goggles, slash goggles, etc. refers to seeing only what you want to see, regardless of narrative, disregarding anything that upsets your preferred interpretation of canon.

Headcanon -  is a personal belief of something that happened within canon, but is not canon, and may or may contradict canon. Jensen Ackles’ headcanon about his character Dean Winchester is that Dean possibly exchanged sex for cash as a way of getting funds when needed.

Hiatus/Hellatus -  time period when Supernatural episodes go a period of time without airing.

Hurt/Comfort - fanfiction trope that involves the physical pain or emotional distress of one character, who is cared for by another character. These can have a subset of other tropes attached and layered, such as Angst or Fluff.

Knotting - fic trope in fics with animalistic or alien characteristics, based on the bulbus glandis, "an erectile tissue structure on the penis of canid mammals", where partners are basically stuck together (generally giving excuse for cuddling, physical affection, and talking) until the swollen ‘knot’ at the base of the penis goes down and partner can withdrawal. (See: A/B/O)

Lemon/Lime - very old terms from the days of FFN and LJ that acted as a indicator of sexual content. ‘Lime’ referred to minor, non-explicit sexual content. ‘Lemon’ was graphic sexual content. These are mostly outdated, but fans who have been in fandom for a long time often wish for their return due to the specific nature of the indicator.

Meta - used to describe a discussion of fanworks of all kinds, fan work in relation to the source text, fanfiction characters and their motivation and psychology, fan behavior, and fandom itself.

Mishalecki -  shorthand way of referring to both Misha Collins and Jared Padalecki or their friendship and interactions.

Mpreg - Fic trope referring to male pregnancy

Non-con/Dub-con - warnings for fics containing non-consensual or dubious-consent sex.

NOTP - A pairing that a person is steadfastly against.

OTP - Initially standing for One True Pairing, its meaning has become more lax as to simply refer to a person’s favorite pairings, rather than being restricted to only one.

OC: Original Character; OMC - Original Male Character, OFC -  Original Female Character.

OMC - Oh My Chuck! As within the Supernatural canon, God goes by the name Chuck Shurley, and adapted by fans as a fun way to reference the show with a familiar phrasing.

OOC - Out of Character, reflects a discontinuity in the characters actions, thoughts, speech given canon.

OTT - Over the Top, excessive or melodramatic reaction.

Podfic - can be used as both a noun and verb. It is the narration of a fanfic into an audiobook and made available online. Creators are referred to as podficcers.

PWP - fic trope that stands for Porn With Plot

Rarepair - is a pairing that has only a small number of fans, therefore there is minimal content about that ship, ie., Crobby (Crowley/Bobby Singer) is a rarepair.

RPF/RPS - fanfic trope where real-life people are treated as characters and fans write fanfiction about them, their lives and relationships. RPF stands for Real Person Fiction, while RPS is Real Person Slash, referring to same-sex pairing.

Rule 34: if it exists, there’s porn about it.

Ship - a term that can be both a noun or verb and is shorthand for relationship between two characters.

Slash - same-sex pairings with slash generally referring specifically to male/male pairings, while female pairing are differentiated using ‘femslash’.

Smut - explicit sexual content

Squick - an older fan term to describe when content upsets or otherwise makes you uncomfortable. Another term fans wish would regain popularity due to its specific nature and the misuse of the term ‘triggering’, which is not the same thing. Just because something is discomfiting, often as it is intended, does not mean you are triggered.Can be used as a noun, verb, or adjective. Ie, “That’s my squick”, “It squicked me out”, “It’s very squicky.”

Tags -  fic descriptors detailing the different tropes or warnings contained within a specific work.

Tinhat - comparing of fans to conspiracy theorists based on their belief that their favorite celebrities are really a couple, forced by The Powers That Be to keep their relationship a secret. (See: bearding)

TPTB - The Powers That Be, those with any control over the source material, such as directors, producers, show runners, and network executives.

TLDR/TL;DR - Too Long; Didn’t Read. This can be either to inability to read extensive blocks of text, or in disregard and dismissal of said content

Trigger - is a sudden and involuntary reaction to a specific thing relating back to personal trauma, drug use/addiction, or self-harm. Triggers are personal/trauma specific and can vary wildly, even something as simple as scrambled eggs because of how the brain associates it with a traumatic event. This is not the same as a ‘squick’, and is often misused.

Trope - descriptor for popular themes or elements in fanworks. Hurt/Comfort, Bedsharing, Caregiving, Kid fic, A/B/O, Reverse verse, panty fetish, PWP, etc.

Verse - Short for universe, referring to a world created within a work or a continued series.

Whump - a trope that is heavily focused on inflicting hurt, emotionally or physically, on a specific character. Can also be used as an adjective and verb, ‘whumpage’, ‘whumping’.

Wincest - the incestual shipping on Dean Winchester and his brother Sam Winchester.

YKINMK - Your Kink Is Not My Kink, is a way of agreeing to disagree on particular enjoyment of different tropes and content within a fic without claiming there is a right or wrong way of enjoying fandom content.

YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary, ie. “This was my experience, yours might not be the same”


Fandom Primer