World of Warcraft Terminology and Abbreviations Guide

World of Warcraft Terminology and Abbreviations Guide by Oflegends

Hello! This is my guide to WoW Terminology/Abbreviations, and New Player Tips Guide. Constructive criticism and feedback is welcome. Actually, any criticism is welcome. :) I want to try and keep this bumped towards the top so (hopefully) new players will see it if they come here. Thank you, and please keep comments civilized.
Also, please don’t quote this. We would end up with reeeeaaaallllyyyyy long pages. :P

When players are new to WoW, it can be both confusing and frustrating to run into terms in chat that they do not recognize. Several players feel embarrassed if they ask, but oftentimes asking is the only way to find out. Not so long ago, I was a new player myself, and I when I first subscribed to WoW and browsed the forums, there was a guide of WoW terms for new players. Since the introduction of the Cataclysm Forums, all articles prior to a certain date have been deleted, and the thread that helped me is no longer available. I have created this thread in an attempt to give new players the same help I received*, and to make their first ventures into WoW somewhat easier to understand. In this way, new players will (hopefully) not wonder about terms, and can instead concentrate on the game. In an effort to help, I present this…

Guide to WoW Terminology/Abbreviations*

Basic Abbreviations/Terms – Can be used on almost any site; Terms are at bottom.
AFAIK – As Far As I Know
AFK – Away From Keyboard
ATM – At the Moment
BRB – Be Right Back
BTW – By The Way
FYI – For Your Information
FTL – For the Loss/Lose (meaning you dislike something)
FTW – For the Win (meaning you think something is awesome)
GG – Good Game
GJ – Good Job
GL – Good Luck
H/O – Hold on
IDC – I don’t care (IDRC can also be used for “I don’t really care”).
IDK – I don’t know.
IIRC – If I Recall Correctly
IMHO/IMCO – In My Honest(Humble) Opinion/In My Considered Opinion
IMO – In My Opinion
IRL – In Real Life
LMAO – Laughing My A__ Off
LMK – Let Me Know
LOL – Laughing Out Loud
MMORPG – Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game
NPC – Non-player character (a computer-run person in the game)
NTY – No, Thank You
OIC – Oh, I See
OMG – Oh my gosh
OMW – On My Way
OP – Original Post (forums), Overpowered (class, spell, etc)
Pls/Plz – Please
PvE – Player versus Environment
PvP – Player versus Player
ROFL – Rolling on Floor Laughing
RP – Role Play (Usually PvE)
RPPvP – Role Play Player versus Player
TL;DR – Too long; didn’t read
Troll(ing) – Insulting term for someone who intentionally provokes unfavorable reactions in others
TY – Thank You
WB – Welcome Back
WTH – What(Who) The Heck
XD – A smiley face. Think of the biggest grin you can make.
Newb – Newbie (A new person), not usually used to insult
Noob – A generally insulting term for someone who is disruptive/inattentive. (Some players think newb and noob mean the same thing, and refer to newbies as noobs.)

Basic WoW Terminology
^ – This icon means the person agrees with the above post or line of text.
Addon(s) – Feature(s) supported by WoW which some players choose to download.
AH – Auction House
Aggro – Provoking a mob to attack you or someone else
Alt – Any character who is not the person’s main (Alternative)
AoE – Area of Effect, as opposed to a single-target spell or ability
Battleground – any PvP instance
BC – Burning Crusade (1st WoW expansion)
BGs – Battlegrounds (Most are not frequently mentioned, so we won’t get into them here)
BoA – Binds on Account (Actual term is BTA, or Binds To Account)
BoE – Binds on Equip. All “bound” gear is untradeable to players.
BoP – Binds on Pickup
BoU – Binds on Use
Cata – Cataclysm, the 3rd expansion
CD – Cooldown. It means the wait time between certain spells or abilities.
Dailies – Refers to daily repeatable quests players do for reputation or money
DoT(s) – Damage(s) over Time
DPS – Damage per Second (Often refers to a class whose role is damage)
Faceroll – Insinuates that something is easy.
FP – Flight Path
Ganking – Attacking a player who has no chance of surviving
GCD – Global Cooldown. The one-second refresh period on most abilities.
Gearscore/GS – An addon which is an outdated version of item level.
GM – Game Master, a person who works for Blizzard (name is preceded by BLIZZ logo)
Griefer – A player who goes out of their way to anger other players
Heals/Healer – Keeps everyone alive during encounters
Heirloom – Another word for BoA gear.
HK – Honor Kill, you receive honor for killing another player.
HoT(s) – Heal(s) over Time
HP – Hitpoints, Health
HPS – Heals Per Second
Inc – Incoming (Often used in PvP)
iLvl – Item Level. Appears on gear as: “Item Level 15”. Needs no addon.
Kite/Kiting – Staying out of combat range by running while attacking at a distance
LF – Looking For (Usually followed up by someone with a certain profession)
LFG – Looking for Group
LFM – Looking for More (players)
LFW – Looking For Work, used by people with maxed professions
Main – Refers to the person’s main character
mDPS – Melee Damage per Second (Specifically advertises that your class does damage close up)
Mob(s) – Anything that is aggressive to your character
MT – Mistell (Used when a player sent a message to the wrong person or channel)
Nerf – Used to describe an ability which has had its damage, heals, etc reduced.
OS – OffSpec, the spec a person uses least (Opposite of Main or Primary Spec)
PKing – Player killing
Proc – Indicates an ability with a chance to occur, such as certain trinkets.
PST – Please send tell
Pulling – Aggroing. 
QFE – Quoted for excellence (Used on forums)
QFT – Quoted for truth (Used on forums)
QQ – A term used to insult someone who is complaining, meant to look like teary eyes
rDPS – Ranged Damage per Second (Specifically advertises that your class does damage at range)
Scrub – WoW community’s version of “noob”, used to describe inexperience
Spec – Specialization. Refers to player talent trees.
Stats – Statistics. Refers to how much agility, stamina, spirit, intellect, etc is on a given object.
Tag – Marking a mob as yours by hitting it, guaranteeing you the loot
Tank – The person who makes mobs attack them
Toon – Character
Twink – A player with the best gear in each slot for their level, usually with disabled XP
UI – User Interface, the place with all your settings
Vanilla – Refers to 1-60 WoW, before expansions (Also zones that existed during this time)
WotLK – Wrath of the Lich King (2nd expansion)
WoW – World of Warcraft :)
WTB – Want to Buy
WTS – Want to Sell
WTT – Want to Trade
XP – Experience. Also called Exp.
Zerg – Used when referring to instances outgeared by the toon(s) in question, making everything easy to kill, and the instance easy to complete. Interchangeable with “faceroll”. Can also mean attacking something with many more people than are needed.

Class Abbreviations
DK – Death Knight
Drood – Druid. Some people prefer to use the term “drood”.
Lock – Warlock
Pally/Pali – Paladin
Shammy – Shaman
War – Warrior
Priest, Mage, Rogue, and Hunter are generally not abbreviated. Some people refer to Hunters as “Huntards,” which is a term used to insult.

City Abbreviations – Larger cities are the only ones usually abbreviated
(A) for Alliance, (N) for Neutral, (H) for Horde
Darn – Darnassus (A)
Exodar – The Exodar (A), generally not abbreviated
IF – Ironforge (A)
SW – Stormwind (A)
Dal – Dalaran (N)
Shatt – Shattrath City (N)
Org – Orgrimmar (H)
SMC – Silvermoon City (H)
TB – Thunder Bluff (H) (TB can also refer to Tol Barad, an 85-only zone)
UC – Undercity (H)

Profession Abbreviations
Alch – Alchemy
Arch – Archaeology
BS – Blacksmith (Blacksmithing)
Chanter – Enchanter (Enchanting)
Herb – Herbalism
JC – Jewel cutter (Jewelcrafting)
LW – Leatherworking
Scribe – Inscriptionist
Maxed – A skill has reached its highest level possible.
Xmute – Transmute, used in Alchemy.
Other professions are not or rarely abbreviated.

WoW Dungeon/Raid Abbreviations/Terminology*** – Terms are at bottom.
BH – Baradin Hold
BFD – Blackfathom Deeps
BoT – Bastion of Twilight
BRS – Blackrock Spire
DM – Deadmines
GB – Grim Batol
Gnomer – Gnomeregan
ICC – Icecrown Citadel
LBRS – Lower Blackrock Spire
Naxx – Naxxramas
RFC – Ragefire Chasm
SC – Stonecore
Stocks – Stormwind Stockade
UBRS – Upper Blackrock Spire
WC – Wailing Caverns
10m/25m[/i] – Refers to 10 man and 25 man raids, usually preceded by the raid’s abbreviation: ICC25
Add(s) – A term for additional mob(s) in aggro range of your primary target
Boss – A term for a mob needing more strategy to kill than any mob preceding it (Usually harder)
Buff – A spell which is beneficial when cast on self or others
CC – Crowd control (A spell used to bind, freeze, or otherwise render a mob incapable of attack)
Debuff – A spell which has a negative effect, usually cast by bosses
Dungeon – An instance requiring 5-person coordination
Instance – An area of the game in which you can only see those in your party/raid group
LoS – Line of Sight; When a player cannot heal or attack because the target is out of LoS
OOM – Out of mana/low on mana (Usually said by healers)
Pat – Patrol (A mob or mobs that patrol in an instance)
PUG – Pick-up Group. People found on the spot rather than friends or guild mates
Raid – An instance with harder bosses, requiring more than the usual 5 players
Recount – An addon some people use to display damage output or heal output.
Rez – Resurrect, a spell used by DKs and any class with a healing tree.
Run – Indicates players want to “run”, or do, a certain instance.
Trash – Usually insignificant mobs between and before all raid/dungeon bosses

My dungeon/raid list is meant to include a few lower level instances as well as the terms most likely to appear in chat often. If you run across a term in game I have not listed, a complete list of dungeon and raid abbreviations can be found at: .

* If I’ve forgotten anything you feel needs listed, feel free to tell me so.
** Lists follow alphabetical order.
*** This is not an all-inclusive list. It is the terms which are most likely to appear in chat.

In continuation, I would like to take my post a bit further, to also provide some new player tips. I feel that new players can benefit from this information significantly if this is their first MMO, and that this information is especially helpful to new WoW players. Much of WoW is a learning process, but again, a lot of players do not like to ask about everything. I will refrain from mention dungeon/AH/raid strategies and wil just stick to the basics. Again, if you feel something needs mentioned, let me know in your comment. 

New Players’ Guide to WoW (Simplified)

Chat Basics
There are several options available with chat in WoW. We will start with the basics.
/s – Say. Switches back to Say mode after responding to a whisper or channel.
/y – Yell. The next thing you type will show in red text and will be seen by more players than /s.
/r – Replies to a whisper. Cycle through previous whispers with Tab.
/g – Used to talk in Guild chat
/p – Used for talking in Party chat
/bg – Used for Battleground chat
/raid – For talking in Raids
/rw – Turns your chatbox into a Raid Warning (if you are leader or assistant leader of raid)
/t (PlayerName) – sends a tell (whisper) to the player if they are online.
/1 – Used to talk in the first channel, usually general chat.
/2 – Used to talk in the second channel, usually trade chat.
/3 – Used to talk in the third channel, usually looking for group chat.
/4 – Used to talk in the fourth channel, usually defense chat.
/who – Used to find a certain person or groups of people, such as “/Who 85 Paladin” would give me a list (up to 49) of all level 85 paladins online. You can also /who cities and specific people.

To leave or join a chat channel, type: “/leave General”, or “/join Trade”. Leaving can also be done by clicking your friends list, clicking on the bottom tab (Chat), right clicking the channel, and clicking “leave”.

If you get sick of Defense chat flooding your screen, a safer (and less spamming option) is /join World Defense. This channel lets you see defense messages from any factional zone.

/ is used in front of a word to make emotes: /laugh, /cry, /hug, /dance
/e can be used to create your own emote.

Only emotes WoW recognizes can be seen by members of the opposite faction.
Making an emote with /e will appear as “_____ makes some strange gestures” to opposing players.

Communication between factions is not possible. An opposing faction member cannot read any words you type, nor can they read any custom emotes. Bypassing this language barrier is considered to be against the rules: the only way to talk to a Horde member if you are Alliance is to create a Horde character on their realm.

Emotes with sounds, such as /flirt, /cheer, /silly, etc. cannot be heard by other players unless you are in party with them. Everyone, however, can hear /lol.

A complete list of emotes (there are too many to list) can be found here: .

Linking Objects
Linking objects gets almost unthinkingly easy once you learn how to do it. We will start with in-game linking.

Let’s say you want to sell a Rabbit’s Foot in trade chat. If you have the object in your inventory, or see the object in Auction House, you will hold shift and then click on the object. When doing this with gear, any player who clicks the link can see the stats of the gear, the vendor price, and the item level.

For forum linking, it isn’t quite as fast (or simple). First, I would find the object I’m looking for on wowhead (or some other such site), and I would look for the item identification number. You are looking for this number: (I have disabled the link to show the number more clearly.) I recommend using wowhead because the number is easy to find, but sites such as wowwiki can also be used.
Next, to use the link in a forum post, you want to click on the button above your text that says “WoW Item”, and is on the far right. It looks like a sword. It will give you a script prompt, where you will enter the number found above (ONLY the number). When you hit enter, you will be left with a neat little link, which looks like this: Rabbit’s Foot.

Dungeon Basics
Understandably, it takes new players time to learn that the tank must attack first. Generally, it is considered bad manners to attack everything in sight in an instance – you want to let the tank grab aggro first. So how do you know who is the tank?

The tank will be the person with the blue shield next to their portrait while in party. Look at this person’s name, then at their toon, so that you can memorize who is pulling. The tank’s job is to force all the mobs to attack him, so that no one else in the party/raid is taking damage.

Healers have a green plus sign next to their portrait. It is their job to keep everyone alive, and they seldom attack mobs. If more mobs aggro than the tank can handle, it becomes the job of DPS to get aggro off of the healer – you never want the healer to have to heal themselves if you can help it.

Damage dealers, or DPS, will have red swords by their portraits. In parties, there will be three damage dealers. Their role is simply that: deal damage. Usually, it is best to wait a few seconds after the tank attacks to avoid pulling aggro off of them. Ideally, you want the healer to never have to heal anyone but the tank.

The dungeon guide will have a bluish green flag next to their portrait, as well as their role icon. The role of dungeon guide, by default, goes to the person who selects “tank” in dungeon finder, but can also go to anyone who selects “guide”. This person should know the way to go in an instance.

Sometimes, you may encounter a moment (or acquire some gear) that you always want to remember. For this, WoW even has its own Screenshots folder within the World of Warcraft folder. After you take a screenshot, just go to the folder, and it will be there. :)

To take a screenshot for Windows: Print Screen – Will include entire desktop.
Alt + Print Screen – Captures only the active window.

Screenshot on other systems (I had to look since I use windows): .

To hide the UI on WoW: Alt + Z


I would like to take this moment to thank anyone who read the post, and I hope somebody got some information out of it. Please keep comments civilized; we don’t want this thread getting derailed and deleted as a result. Also, let me know if you think I need to add something in there. This list was mostly comprised by me from memory, so I probably overlooked a lot of stuff.

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