Fandom Vocabulary Intro

If Fan Culture is new to you, here’s a quick glossary of terms, crafted by #FandomPlay playwright Carrie Behrens!

Cosplay with FANDOM cast members

Cosplay with FANDOM cast members

AU –Alternate Universe.

Canon – Characters, pairings and elements of a story that are accepted as part of a fictional universe’s “official” mythology.

Cosplay –The practice of dressing up as a fictional character.

Crossover –When characters from one fandom encounter the characters, universe, events from another fandom.


FANDOM rehearsal sketches by Playwright Carrie Behrens

Fan Art –A piece of art that utilizes the characters and/or settings from a pre-existing work of fiction.

Fanfiction – A piece of fiction that utilizes the story and/or characters from pre-existing work, such as a TV show, comic book, movie, etc.

Feels –Short for feelings. When something in fiction hits you on a deep emotional level.

Gamergate –Way to complicated to explain here. But it’s a big deal. Look it up.

Gifsets – A set of GIFs.

Glomp – A very enthusiastic hug that often results in a tackle. Commonly seen in anime and manga.

Headcanon –Interpretations and theories of a fictional universe accepted by an individual fan, but is not supported in the official canon.

IRL –In real life.

Mary Sue—In fanfiction, a Mary Sue is a poorly written original character that is unrealistically perfect. Generally deemed to be an idealized version of the author themselves.

MMO—Massive Multiplayer online video game, such as World of Warcraft.

N00b –Newbie. Any fan that is new to a fandom.

Otaku –Japanese word for “obsessive fan.”

OTP – One true pairing. The ship you root for above all else.

Pairing –Two characters in a romantic relationship. Also known as a “ship”.

Panel –A small group of people brought together to discuss a particular topic.

Podcast—A digital audio file that you can download from the Internet, typically available as a series.

Rek or Rekked –Short for recommended. When someone recommends a piece of fandom fiction to someone.

Shipping – Derived from the word “relationship”, it is the act of really really wanting two people to hook up.

Slash –Pairing two characters of the same sex. Most commonly used for male/male pairings.

Shooter –First-person shooter. A video game centered on shooting a gun through a first-person perspective.

Spoiler – Any information about a story, plot, or character that is revealed ahead of time.

A sneak preview of our dystopian future (and the concept of the play) ‪#‎FandomPlay‬

A sneak preview of our dystopian future (and the concept of the play) ‪#‎FandomPlay‬

Tabletop –Any game that can be played on a table, such as a board game or role playing game (as opposed to a video game).

Tropes –A storytelling short cut for a concept that the audience will instantly recognize and understand, such as a character type, narrative structure, or plot trick.

Word of God—A statement about an unclear aspect of a piece of fiction (book series, TV show, etc) that is made by someone considered to be the ultimate authority, such as the creator or director.

FANDOM cast at Comicon

FANDOM cast at Comicon

Fandom by Carrie Behrens will be performed at the Phoenix Center for the Arts June 13 – 21. Tickets can be reserved here Join the conversation on our Facebook (, Twitter & Instagram (@risingyouththea) and by using the hashtag #FandomPlay

Comments are closed.