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The name WikiSpeak was chosen based on George Orwell's fictional language Newspeak, described in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four as being "the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year". However as the vocabulary got bigger instead, it became obvious that it owed at least as much to the pioneering work of Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary.

This is meant to be taken no less seriously[1] than the Devil's Dictionary or more seriously than 1984. Please feel to contribute, so long as you don't breach any of Wikipedia's Byzantine and Kafka-esque policies or guidelines and end up in Wiki-Hell.


  • Similar to its use in imperative programming (!= means "is not equal to"), an exclamation mark is used as a prefix to signify that whatever it is you actually did, you really did the exact opposite. For example !voting means you're "not voting" even though you are about to vote. Used preemptively to ward off having to later use allcap blue NPA and allcap blue civil when someone doesn't start their response with respect. Particularly useful for those charged with establishing consensus, as they are at liberty to ignore all votes.
  • A socially acceptable way of typing a Wiki-taboo word. Prefixing such a word by "!" makes the meaning understandable to the reader while still maintaining the appearance of social propriety. Comparable practices in the Victorian era included the use of "limb" in place of "leg" in polite conversation. Modern usage would encourage "!leg" instead of "limb".
3RR n.
A policy intended to prevent edit warring by drawing a clear line in the sand. Specifically, if an account editor reverts the same edit any edit any non-vandalism edit any edit that is neither vandalism nor in violation of WP:BLP by a given editor any editor an editor who is not presently blocked banned blocked or banned to a given article any article a single page more than twice three times three non-consecutive times within a day a 24-hour period, and someone pushing the opposite POV another editor is able to navigate an insanely complex and confusing template reports the incident to the appropriate noticeboard, that editor will may be blocked, except under certain circumstances (such as being an administrator). See also wikilawyer.


Admin coaching in progress
administrator n.
The be all and end all of Wikipedia. Alpha and omega, the ultimate wikipedian. Administrators are the role models all wikipedians should strive to emulate. They display superior intellect, outstanding article building abilities, captivating physical attractiveness and, above all, a stupendous and awe-inspiring modesty.
Administrator "assuming good faith" with an editor with whom he has disagreed
An important power-up bonus on Wikipedia. Adminship gives the player an extra life that protects them from one instance of invicility, personal attacks and vandalism, all of which result in an instant GAME OVER for normal editors.
Paul Blart role-playing as Dirty Harry.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy provides a useful definition: "A bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes." Curiously, a laptop browsing Wikipedia:Administrators from 1,000 years in the future conveniently fell through a worm-hole in space, where the page simply displayed "A bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came."
admin abuse n.
Abuse by an admin, especially the one who blocked you.
(rarely) Abuse directed toward an admin.
admin coaching n.
  • One of the few ways to avoid the potentially fatal accusation of canvassing while still letting as many people as possible know that you will be initiating an RfA at the end of the month. Also designed to teach candidates the correct answers to the questions likely to be asked at their RfAs, even though nobody bothers to read the answers anyway.
  • Quick and easy shortcut to finding quality RfA candidates to oppose.
Administrators' noticeboard n.
Not quite the Slough of Despond, but you can see it from there.
Adopt-a-User n.
A WikiProject where experienced wikipedians aim to help new editors get to grips with editing, by explaining to them why all their contributions have been removed and how many policies they've just violated.
AfC n.
  • Another term for GAN.
  • Articles for creation. A place where articles don't get created, but sit languishing in purgatory.
    • A place to sneak in articles about your local garage band without being subjected to speedy deletion.
    • A place to write a lengthy article about a notable 19th-century mechanical engineer, only to have it rejected by a 17-year-old Pokémon fan six weeks later because the formatting was a bit wonky.
AfD n.
  • A place to send an article you don't like.
  • A place to send an article created by an editor you don't like.
  • A place to send a potentially productive editor to spend his or her time with frivolous deletion arguments rather than with actual contributions.
  • A place to send an article that needs cleanup.[2]
  • A training ground for RfA, according to your admin coach.
  • A place where you will inevitably, through no fault of your own, irritate enough people to destroy your chances of ever passing RfA.
  • The Wikipedia community's primary way of thanking you for your contribution.
  • A frathouse for newcomers to the project to be ritually humiliated by the regulars when they plead for mercy, generally by those who've recently failed an RfA and want someone to take it out on.
  • A finely-tuned, objective process which prevents Wikipedia from being cluttered with trivial articles on garage bands, my neighbor's pet hamster, and iconic characters of 20th-century U.S. literature, stage and film.
"AfD is not a vote"
  • AfD is a vote that administrators are allowed to count any way they like.
allcap blue civil n.
(appears on screen as such: CIVIL). Used in a similar way, often at the same time as, allcap blue NPA.
American English n.
  • A piece of text in which alternate words are spelt alternately. See also British English.
  • a gud eskoose fore ritin a simpsonz artikle withowt payin no attenshun too spellin typin grammer punkchooaishun or nothin stoopid like that, no wut i'm sayin?
ANI n.
  • Plural of ANUS. See also IANAL.
    ANI. Note how editors happily interact in a constructive fashion to bring a behavioral problem to an amicable end.
  • Administrators' noticeboard for incidents. A place where administrators and other editors consider reports of various incidents on Wikipedia, engaging in lofty, open-minded discussion, presenting reasoned, rational arguments, and listening to one another with tolerance and good will, before reaching a consensual decision to block anyone who steps out of line. The largest fire hydrant in the kennel.
anorak n.
Editor, typically male, who feels compelled to inflict as much boring detailed information and trivia as possible on the rest of the online population by writing articles on sheds, skips, the A215 road and all things railway-related. Named after their garment of choice which comes in a range of colours: from dull, boring browns and blues, to high-vis iridescent. Anorak is an alternate name for trainspotters, the group which both inspires and unquestionably overlaps with anoraky editors.
Arbcom n.
A committee of the best and brightest editors Wikipedia has to offer, who have dedicated three years of their lives to discussing what punishments are appropriate for a motley band of typing students, critics and friends of gays. Combines the role of CenCom with the efficiency of WorldCom and the gravitas of Comic-Con.
Accompanied by their faithful hounds, a merry band of Arbcom members go a-hunting‍—‌one holds aloft his prize: the testicles of a transgressor. Top right: Suitably chastened, the unfortunate editor-animal slinks away. Bottom right: Next in line for the chop, a desperate editor abases himself before the crowd.
arbitrary section break n.
A break in a very long thread. It provides the appreciative audience member a chance to go to the bathroom and get extra popcorn during a really good drama festival. Carefully calculated placement of these, followed by your own comment at the top of the new section, allows you to have center stage for the next round of cabbage-hurling and dead-catting.
arbitration n.
The final step in Wikipedia's dispute resolution process. Editors first compile random diffs they hope no one will click on relevant evidence, then offer shrieking denunciations of the other parties carefully crafted proposals for settling the dispute. Arbcom then either blocks two randomly selected editors from each side of the dispute, or issues "admonishments" all around and everybody has a good laugh.
Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions (ATA)
A comprehensive listing of all reasonable arguments that can be used in a deletion discussion, together with excuses for immediately dismissing them.
article n.
  • A motley collection of boring, vague lies, sometimes punctuated by extremely useful and interesting images from Commons.
  • A succinct and insightful exposition of the subject's sexual orientation (see allcap blue BLP).
  • An obscure pastime of boring editors with no talent for noticeboard drama, incivility, policy-whinging, sockpuppeteering or writing userspace widgets. The things made by editors you haven't heard of.
article assessment n.
  • An additional facility offered for the use of editors who find the current facilities of edit warring, content disputes, and personal attacks insufficient in their scope for fruitful action. Periodically, the logic and the structure of article assessment is overhauled with more elaborate yet vague and unspecified schemes to allow editors even more scope to spice up their jaded argumentation skills.
  • A great way to up an edit count (see RfA) and get barnstars.
Article Feedback Tool (AFT) n.
A box to type in things like:
  • "This page needs a picture"
  • "this page needs a picture"
  • "the page is bad"
  • "SH"
  • "bewbs"
  • "This page needs more pictures plz cuz i luv u 43v3r"
  • "What is meaning of Christopher"
  • "This article needs a picture of Muhammed to give people an idea of who he was and what he wore"
  • "harry"
  • "free popcorn"
  • "fuitiyiyfryfgjuudtydsdf"
  • "I was looking for a Damn CHRISTIAN NOT AN ATHIEST!"
  • "This page definately needs a picture."
(Editor's note: the above is actual feedback, which used to be listed here with links. The links were stripped after the removal of AFT rendered them non-functional. So much for preserving history.)
Article Rescue Squadron (ARS)
A way of stopping an article being deleted at AfD by shouting KEEP as loud as you possibly can. Bonus points if you get a large crowd to do it.
A historic gathering of the Article Rescue Squadron, where an angry mob descended on an administrator who dared to question the encyclopedic importance of Pizza cheese.
assume bad faith
assume good faith
  • An admonition to experienced editors to take duplicity, malice, and transparent lies seriously. The subtle but delightful jab is in wikilinking it – which implies that an editor of three years standing has never heard of it.
    Assume good faith
  • A handy phrase with which to taunt an editor whom you are trolling.
  • A convenient Wiki pacifier to pop in the mouths of disgruntled editors. This is most effective when accompanied with a soothing no angry mastodons reminder.
"You've remilitarized the Rhineland and annexed Austria and the Sudetenland. I don't believe that you really want a peaceful resolution to the Danzig issue."
"Oh, come on – WP:AGF!"
attack site n.
Any website that's ever said anything rude about you. Sometimes called a BADSITE.
automated tool n.
  • A valuable time-saving device used by an editor you like to automate tedious, repetitive tasks.
  • A device used by an editor you don't like to artificially boost edit count.
Not to be confused with "automation tool" a device used by Arbcom to desysop ban an editor they don't like.


bad adj.
  • Anything you don't agree with.
  • A degenerate form of I'm sorry, I made a mistake, as in my bad. Intended to give the impression that the user is cool, hip and fully up-to-date with the latest WikiSlang. In reality it indicates that the user is probably still in school and struggling with basic English grammar. Or American.
bad block n.
See oxymoron.
See tautology.
See badblocks(8).
badger v., -ing n.
"The candidate I proposed for RfA has superb intellect, outstanding physique, amazing prowess, telepathy and can walk on water, therefore your oppose vote must be a personal attack and I feel the need to spell this out to you in full to make me feel better."
Multiple instances of these are found at the top of an article talk page, placed by different WikiProjects to indicate their ownership of the article. Banners will often include article ratings, from Stub- to A-Class, assigned by the projects; ideally, these should all be different.
barnstar n.
  • A way of telling an editor that you hate them and are jealous of their contributions without being blocked.
  • Something highly active users give to their friends.
  • A solicitation for praise, particularly in advance of the bestower's RfA.
  • There are rules about barnstars: first, never thank the givers; rather, they should be grateful to you for accepting it. Anyone you have disagreed with is disallowed from giving you a barnstar; all attempts must be deleted, because they're just using false praise to make you think about behaving better.
battlefield n.
  • Any discussion where somebody disagrees with you in the slightest
battleground n.
See #battlefield
"be bold"
An exhortation made by established editors to encourage newcomers to go ahead and make a bunch of stupid mistakes, so that they can then be indefinitely blocked with impunity.
Newbie reaps the benefit of boldness
beans n.
A popularly-held view amongst many with access to the block button, ensuring that every new editor's journey is an eventful, adrenaline-fuelled passage along Wikipedia's webbed hallway. The fundamental principle is that if we told you the sorts of things which will get you blocked, you might want to try them out. Instead we simply warn you of the consequences, leaving you to discover where the traps are. Isn't that much more exciting?
(Occasionally still found in the archaic administrator greeting: "Chill thy beans")
bias n.
  • A complaint made by a Randy (qv) whose academic credentials are being questioned by an expert (qv).
  • Systemic bias: the acknowledgement that — since the average Wikipedia contributor is a pubescent American male geek with insatiable yet frustrated sexual curiosity, gay issues and unfettered internet access — Wikipedia will naturally have obsessive, disproportionately detailed coverage of Grade I listed buildings in Runcorn, Mesozoic mammals of Madagascar, the 1952 Winter Olympics, York City F. C. and the Oslo Metro.
bit n.
See mop.
The way of the admin. Their lot in life. Presumed to be the ne plus ultra on Wikipedia, in reality it leads to misery, drudgery, and burnout. That is, if wheel warring does not lead to a desysop first.
The admin's bit is not a happy one.
block n.
The means by which an uninvolved admin prevents an editor from answering back. See also indefblock.
block evasion n.
BLP (sometimes allcap blue BLP)
  • A Biography of a Living Person. By "Living" Wikipedia means Living or Dead. The Undead — vampires, zombies and such folk — are also included. "Persons" includes Animals, Inanimate Objects, Theoretical Constructs and South Park characters. "Biography" includes but is not limited to Treatises, Comic Books (including manga), How-to-Manuals, and Chats with Your Friend Over a Beer.
  • The best reason to revert an edit by an editor you don't like on an article about someone in popular culture you've never heard of.
  • BLP (Biography of Living Persons) articles are held to the strictest standards of verifiability and sourcing. And North Korea is a workers' paradise.
  • As a rule of thumb, any proper Wikipedia BLP will read, in its entirety, "[Subject of article] is a notable but completely non-controversial person who has never done anything disreputable in his or her life." (For BLPs of blood-thirsty dictators, mass-murderers, cannibals, gangland figures, and the like, one can append the statement, "And no RELIABLE source says otherwise.")
{{blp prod}} n.
See prod
boomerang n.
bot n.
  • Automated editing tool used by someone whose edit count is already over 10,000. N.B. Wikipedia's rules on vandalism, "templating the regulars", civility, and nearly everything else do not apply if you get your bot to do it.
  • Automatons which exist to perform useful tasks like this.
    What remains after a bot has efficiently deleted a sourced Fair Use image for being unsourced because the sourcing statement was in a non-machine-readable format, such as English
broadly construed adj.
Phrase used in sanctions. Roughly translated, it means "We can't really explain what you're restricted from doing, but we'll know it when we block you for doing it."
brilliant prose n.
Text so dense, dull, and filled with words that haven't been used for three hundred years that no one can comprehend it, let alone object to it. See also American English.
British English n.
  • A reason to fail a Featured or Good Article candidate.
  • Something to revert on sight with the edit summary "correcting spelling"—a particularly useful tactic on slow days, when there hasn't been much action on the talk page or at ANI.
bullying n.
  • (rarely) Bullying.
  • Any objection to one's conduct or edits, especially objections based in Wikipedia policy.
bureaucrat n.
bury in paper v.


cabal n.
There is no cabal
canvassing n. & v.
—v. Informing one editor who might possibly disagree with you of an ongoing discussion that you are losing. Not to be confused with "appropriate notification", which is informing a large group of editors likely to agree with you of an ongoing discussion that you are winning.
caps lock n.
A means for conveying the Truth in the absence of evidence.
category n.
A way to slip unreferenced assertions into an article without anyone asking too many awkward questions.
checkuser n. & v.
—n. A tool that enables a user with appropriate permission to read the minds of Wikipedia's users. This ability has never been openly admitted; instead, the official story is that the tool merely gives access to a user's IP addresses and user agent string. Its mind-reading abilities are officially held to be false. By using this official line, lazy checkusers (see second noun definition below) can deny any request they don't feel like fulfilling.
—n. One of the privileged few who hold access to the above tool. Do not get one of these people angry at you. The least they will do is ignore your request, leaving you unable to whack-a-mole report/block whatever vandal you are chasing, while knowing that said vandal is laughing in your face. The worst they will do is say that they ran a check on you, that you are a sockpuppet of Willy on Wheels, and block you indefinitely, e-mail blocked, talk page disabled, credit rating ruined forever.
—v. To use the aforementioned MediaWiki mind-reading software.
citation n.
A reference to an obscure publication which contains some[dubious ] of the words in your article. Also a fancy-pants name for a reference.
[citation needed] n.
  • A suffix often seen following a personal opinion, to ensure that its removal can be legitimately reverted. Extreme uses of the template, shotgunned over a section of an article like confetti, indicates an editor got really, really upset reading something conflicting with their own opinions and threw their toys out of the pram in response.
  • I thought about checking this, but couldn't be arsed.
  • A last ditch effort to cast doubt on statements in an article that you don't agree with but have failed to successfully blank. See also [citation needed], weasel words.
  • No reasonable person would disagree with this, but I like to force people to do unnecessary time-wasting research anyway.
civility n.
  • The state of grace two editors achieve when they are in agreement with one another.
    Editor on right has learned to be civil
  • A common inspiration for accusation, abuse, and insult. A tempting occasion for hypocrisy without consequence. A quality, the alleged absence of which has occasioned some of the most rancorous fights in the history of Wikipedia. The phlogiston of noticeboard discourse and combustion.
  • The skill of abusing, insulting and humiliating another editor without the use of intemperate language.
    N.B. RfAs, RfCs and a few other processes for comment on an individual editor are considered Civility-free zones on Wikipedia. Feel free to hurl your most outrageous insults while participating in one of these, as, while the most anal-retentive form of PC-speak is expected elsewhere, you can vent your spleen with impunity here.
clarify v.
To backpedal in the face of blowback or block threats after you've insulted somebody. "I want to clarify that when I said 'you're a baboon's ass' on your page, I wasn't referring to you."
{{cleanup}} n.
  • A tag added to an article when you don't like the creator's writing style or POV, but can't immediately think of a criterion under which it can be speedily deleted.
  • A graffiti-like banner (or "tag") with which to muck-up a respectable article. Clean-up often entails only the removal of the cleanup tag.
close v.
To declare discussion of a matter complete, the result being whatever the closer would like it to be. Alternatively, if the closer has no strong opinion in the matter, declaring whichever option obtained the most !votes.
Alternatively, or relatedly, a means by which to increase the amount of alt-colored background on a discussion board while also being able to tell further potential participants to go away.
clue n.
Well, if you have to ask you obviously haven't got one.
Essence of wet trout, medicinal doses of which are occasionally administered automatically by ClueBot.
ClueBot n.
Wikipedia's scarecrow.
collaborate v.
To agree to work productively with another editor, following twelve edit reversions, eleven block threats, ten talk-page threads, nine reports to ANI, eight RfCs, seven wheel wars over page protection, six community bans, five ArbCom cases, four indef blocks, three requests for mediation, two angry blog posts, and a partridge in a pear tree.
collaboration n.
One editor taking credit for someone else's work.
Two WikiProjects claiming ownership of the same article.
comma n.
Test. Adhering to official "Vampire Weekend" style guidelines, please insert no more than two commas into the following paragraph:
"By train plane and sedan chair Peter Ustinov retraces a journey made by Mark Twain a century ago. The highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector."The Times
See also Overuse of commas.
common sense n.
  • "I have no justification for my opinion, but wish to imply my utter contempt for anyone who would consider supporting an alternative point of view."
  • Opinion arrived at without reflection, often more correctly categorized as bollox. It only takes common sense to realise that uncommon sense is a far rarer, more admirable, quality.
Commons n.
A website where editors who have annoyed too many people on Wikipedia for anyone to listen to them, but are too boring to be blocked, go to discuss poorly made amateur pornography and blurred photographs of disused buses.
Part of Commons's ceaseless mission to educate the masses and document important world events through informative illustrations
A place to upload your image if it's really free, as opposed to a copyvio fair use.
communication n.
The act of templating an editor's talk page to tell them that their article or image is about to be deleted.
community n.
  • The collective hive mind of Wikipedia: its actions and decisions are pure and incontestable, no matter how manifestly stupid. These are generally taken on the community's behalf by a self-selected panel of between one and a dozen editors with nothing better to do at that moment.
  • A group of people of some common characteristic who are imagined to be in unity with one another but actually aren't.
conflict of interest n.
Editing an article on any subject that you actually understand.
Uncommon, and sanctionable, expertise.
consensus n.
One of the three states that can be reached at the end of a discussion after all parties have become thoroughly fed up with it; the alternatives are no consensus or for pity's sake, I wish I'd never gotten involved in this. Consensus is calculated by counting the votes on either side of the debate, remembering that each vote cast by an editor with whom you are on good terms should be counted at least twice.
Any group in agreement about something whose opinion is the same as yours; antonym of cabal.
The concept by which it has been decided that the official language of the English Wikipedia is now Mandarin Chinese.
A mythical state of utopian human evolution. Many scholars of Wikipedian theology theorize that if consensus is ever reached, Wikipedia will spontaneously disappear.[3]
see also: The 19th century history of consensus, The Madness of Crowds
see also: The 16th–18th century history of consensus, the liberum veto.
A torch and pitchfork, tools traditionally wielded by large groups who have reached consensus.
conspiracy n.
The only conceivable reason why your impeccably sourced and persuasively expressed assertion or edit is being resisted by other editors. See cabal
content dispute n.
See harassment (whichever editor has the lower edit count is the harasser).
contributor n.
An editor to be {{welcome}}d (qv) and subsequently patronised. Obviously of no value to the project because he or she is distracted into improving articles, instead of participating in the noticeboards or other similarly useful symposia.
controversial administrator n.
Administrator who blocked you.
Administrator who blocked your friend.
(rarely) Batshit insane administrator.
controversial editor n.
Blocked editor. See block.
cool-down blocks n.
97.4% of all blocks are issued as cool-down blocks. Please note that it is strictly against Wikipedia policy to call them this. You will swiftly fail an RfA if you, at any time, misuse the acronym WP:CDB.
Wikipedia's equivalent of the brank, or Scold's bridle. When removed, expect the scolding to continue, at a higher pitch and intensity—and hotter than ever.
copyediting v.
To make an article unrecognisable by changing all the spellings, and paraphrasing in a manner that makes it clear you don't understand it at all. Also a great way to start an edit war with a vested contributor.
An article needing copyediting, but probably a result of copyediting
Designed by a committee of indefinite membership and no qualifications.
Crowd-sourced horse
Suffix applied to anything you don't like, as in Listcruft, or Linkcruft and especially Cruftcruft.


dash n.
The most important aspect of an article. Anyone reading through, for example, the featured article on the main page, will carefully note each of the dashes, and suffer a mental breakdown if an en dash is used instead of an em dash, a hyphen is used instead of an en dash, or even worse, an em dash — which looks like this — is spaced.
The likely result a misplaced dash will have on an unsuspecting article at FAC
dedicated wikipedian n.
Editor without a girlfriend or boyfriend.
Editor soon to be without a girlfriend or boyfriend.
Editor who is too young to know what a girlfriend or boyfriend is.
Editor whose spouse has left them for a guy from another planet and filed a thoroughly unpleasant divorce, and who consequently believes reverting vandals for 18 hours a day will make them feel better.
See wikipedian.
Deletion Review n.
XfD round two, where "delete" voters come to say "endorse" and "keep" voters to say "overturn". Or vice versa, if the page was kept.
deletionist, n.
See exclusionist.
deprecated, adj.
Utterly impermissible, yet utterly unenforceable.
desysop, n, v.
The greatest spectacle in the world since Sir Thomas More was served discretionary sanctions over extreme POV pushing by Henry VIII. The barbaric ritual begins with the soon to be ex-administrator being led to the Tower of Arbcom. If it is determined that "the admin is the Weakest Link, goodbye" the hapless victim is summarily hanged, drawn and quartered, with their entrails paraded in front of an enthusiastic lynch mob. If decapitation occurs, the head may be displayed on AN. Garish bunting is strewn across hundreds of user talk pages and refreshments are served from nearby stalls.
An admin about to get a desysop
Often accompanied by the legal fiction "[Admin] has been desysopped. He may regain his administrator privileges at any time following a fresh Request for Adminship." This fails to mention that the odds of passing a second RfA after desysopping are about as likely as a large full-frontal nude picture of Jimmy Savile being well-received at the Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Despite being morally condemned by the European Court of Human Rights, the practice still intermittently continues.
Note : the word is a portmanteau of "deactivate" / "delete" and "system operator", thus proving that Wikipedians will just make up whatever words they like for anything.
developer, n.
A member of the true inner cabal. Those with all the powers, but whose names appear in no rights logs.
DGAF (Don't Give A Fuck)
A laid-back New Age philosophy certain to distress any sysop attempting to impart the knowledge of their rank gained over many years since running the gauntlet of their RfA. Designed to confuse any administrator under the age of 14 due to its use resulting in the removal of computer privileges by either parent.
DYK (Did You Know)
A venue where fanatical editors vie with one another to see who can promote the dullest trivia onto the main page. See also: inclusionist.
A Did You Know enthusiast attempts to lob his latest hook onto the main page, before an unscrupulous reviewer decides "biggest army" is POV and pulls it.
diff n.
  • Something you add to an argument to prove your point in a discussion, thereby winning over other editors and boosting the vote count in your favor. The contents of the diff are irrelevant, as no one reads them.
  • A thumb in the eye of Context. A toothsome morsel for those who cannot read all three words of "Attention Deficit Disorder" without becoming either disoriented or blocked for non-responsiveness.
disambiguation n.
A page you redirect to when your article has the same name as another but is less notable and worse written. This way, if your article cannot be the primary target of a search, no one else's will be either.
discussion n.
A frank exchange of views.
A discussion is a frank exchange of views
A vote.
disruption / disruptive editing n.
  • Editing an article that someone else has already edited.
  • Saying anything I don't agree with.
  • Any edit to a featured article, particularly one that improves its factual accuracy and readability.
  • A blocked editor using their talk page for anything other than groveling.
  • Any edit by an IP address without an edit summary, especially if it is a copyedit that improves readability.
dog and rapper vandal n.
A handy excuse for admins to block every T-Mobile IPv6 user for 2 years.
See not done.
drama n.
See wiki-drama.
draft n.
  • Wikipedia's L plates, used by newbies who don't want 14 cleanup tags on a new article, all of which mutually contradict each other, the minute they press "Save".
  • A userspace draft is a page where an editor can say whatever they like and it is retained indefinitely, unless an administrator doesn't like it, whereupon it is deleted and the editor cautioned to never do it again.
draft namespace n.
See AfC.
DUCK n. or "The duck test"
Wikipedian version of a loyalty oath: if it has four legs, moos, and lactates, and consensus says it's a duck, then it's a duck. Subsequently calling it a cow results in a block.


edit n.
Some typing, followed by a mouse click. After a short delay, a reversion, an outburst of wrath, and a noticeboard thread. Often followed by a block.
edit v.t. or v.i.
A circular activity that can take a number of equally productive forms, such as nonsensically linking and then nonsensically unlinking dates in thousands of unsourced stub-articles. Generally done by bots, leaving the humans free to play grab-ass with each other on drama boards.
edit conflict n.
Not an intuitive description of Wikipedia's collaborative content-creation process, but a technical term for the MediaWiki software spasm that occurs when attempting to save an edit to a version of an article that's been altered since you opened the edit window.
An edit conflict. The two contributors are looking for the talk page.
  • In mainspace, a good reason to overwrite the offending interim alterations; tagging a sentence with {{fact}} is clearly more important than someone else's four-hour copyedit. No editor can be counted a true article-writer until, through the use of multiple browser tabs, they've inadvertently edit-conflicted themselves.
  • In talkspace, often an indication of a particularly juicy thread. Any post prefixed by (ec) or one of its variants means that the preceding post doesn't count and should be ignored.
  • Administrators can edit conflict too. So if your best friend gets blocked for a year, you can change the block to 24 hours and claim an edit conflict. The other admin is then hosed, because if they change it back, they're wheel warring and can get their admin tools taken away. Get in! (please note, this never happens as administrators are never wrong)
edit count n.
The true measure of an editor. Users with a high edit count are definitely on the fast track to adminship. However, if this edit count was obtained by evil, despicable means such as using automated tools, then the user clearly needs to be humiliated for such iniquities at RfA.
edit summary n.
A creative opportunity to simultaneously insult the previous editor, continue the talk page dispute, and place the verisimilitude of your edit beyond any reasonable doubt, in 500 characters or less.
edit war n. & v.
Repeatedly replacing the current error with the previous error.
editor retention n.
(This space intentionally left blank.)
editor review n.
A social networking service aimed at matching up masochists with sadists for their mutual enjoyment and satisfaction. Nowadays, the service is subtle yet still potentially powerful: with many requests for editor review being ignored, the refusal to provide satisfaction to one party satisfies both. In a yet further development, it appears that fewer editors are putting themselves forward for the pain of review, thus denying reviewers the opportunity of inflicting that pain. So now, denying satisfaction to both parties satisfies both. Very efficient!
encyclopaedia n.
A vulgar error that should not be perpetrated.(ref)
See encyclopedia.
encyclopedia n.
encyclopedia builder n.
An editor who writes a string of formulaic articles on topics no-one cares about, while at the same time driving away dozens of genuinely useful editors with their puerile talk-page behavior.
encyclopedic adj.
English: Comprehensive, complete, thorough, exhaustive.
WikiSpeak: Limited, censored, excluded, particularly with reference to subjects of which the writer disapproves or of which the writer has no knowledge. Example "OK, theoretically Beethoven wrote four symphonies before 'da-da-da-dum'. But if I – who know absolutely nothing about music – have never heard of them, how can they possibly be notable? Not encyclopedic. Delete!"
Content of Wikipedia, June 2008
essay n.
  • A carefully written userspace rant monograph setting out notions so obviously lunatic and/or so eminently sensible that it will never become policy.
  • A way to passive-aggressively vent off frustrations on an editor you dislike, without mentioning them by name.
established contributor n.
Someone who has been quietly and doggedly writing and improving articles for years, instead of furthering the project. Not to be confused with contributor, for whom there is still some hope of reform.
evil adj
Anything I or my friends don't like.
exclusionist n.
  • An editor who believes that nothing (not even nothing) is a worthy subject for a Wikipedia article. See also inclusionist.
    Deletionist/exclusionist armed with new definition of "Notability" in her left hand preparing to Prod and AfD Wikipedia into a bloody pulp
  • An inclusionist whose article on the garage band in which they played tambourine for a summer during high school has just been deleted.
  • The larval phase of the species of editor which eventually emerges from its cocoon as a full-blown administrator.
  • An editor who believes no new content should be added—or ever should have been added—to Wikipedia, and strives to make Wikipedia more concise by halving existing article content, doubling talk-page content, and multiplying rules and regulations by 10.
synonyms: deletionist, anti-encyclopedist
expert n.
An editor who has lied about his or her qualifications.
expertise n.
See conflict of interest.
external link n.
A hyperlink that directs a reader to a website that doesn't have the word "wiki" in it. Many articles thoughtfully incorporate a dedicated section for these, where you can add external links to your website, blog, MySpace page, school, or the sites you plagiarized examined for useful content. See also reliable source.


FAC n.
Acronym for Featured Article Candidate. The acronym also expands to Facts Aren't Compulsory; some claim this is merely a coincidence unrelated to the fact that alleged "off-line sources" are assumed to be correctly cited even when completely unavailable to other editors.
A rare glimpse into the FAC process
See also GAN.
FAC reviewer n.
  • Abusive editor.
  • Sadist.
  • Jealous editor on a power trip.
fair use adj.
Picture you got from the Internet that you think is cool. See also unfair use.
fanboy n.
An editor who opposes the deletion of an article that you want deleted. For example, should the article on the character Falstaff come up for deletion, a fanboy might defend the article by arguing that the character is commonly quoted, years after his creation. An extreme fanboy might then proceed to cite references to the character in print. A useful counter-argument to such fanboy tactics would go something like, "Oh get a load of the Falstaff fanboy! He don't want his precious Falstaff article deleted?! Boo hoo! Aw, somebody get the poor widdle Falstaff fanboy a hanky!"
{{fancruft}} n.
A tag designed to let you slip fancruft into as many edit summaries as possible on the basis that you are just informing other editors of the tag you have used.
Friendly banter - don't block!
Friendly Banter – Don't Block! The perfect prophylactic against humour-impaired, pearl-clutching, trigger-happy banhammerers. As a bonus, using this tag means one can now insult one's opponents with impunity.
  • "Jimbo Wales is a dishonest cunt of the highest order." [FBDB]
(N.B. tag sometimes placed at the start for the benefit those who will never get as far as the end of the sentence.)
featured article n.
  • Article with proper use of em- and en-dashes, just the right number of references included with meticulous syntax and placing, and more than two pictures. Factual accuracy is strictly optional. See also good article.
    The ratification of the Alaska Mental Health Enabling Act as a featured article
  • The very best that Wikipedia has to offer on a wide range of subjects.
  • An article that retains none of the author's writing style or flair following the onslaught of FAC reviewers. See good article.
  • An article that grants its batshit insane author a free pass at RfA and life-long immunity from incivility blocks.
  • An article included in a random list of articles, which may or may not one day be linked from the main page.
featured article candidate n.
A well-written and well-referenced article that gets re-written and re-referenced because the reviewers are envious of the nominator's superior writing style, and can't be bothered to get hold of the sources to check them for themselves.
featured article process n.
  • A black hole formed from the collapsed enthusiasm of the editors whose work has been mercilessly criticised by one or more FAC reviewers.
  • An example of the law of diminishing returns.
featured article review n.
  • Deep, thoughtful, scholarly and authoritative scrutiny of an excellent article by a panel of international experts.
  • A number of reviews forcing the creator or nominator of an article to make many little changes that in fact do not add anything of value to the article
  • People telling the featured article nominator to make changes that they could make themselves in two seconds if they tried.
featured list n.
Content Contributors
Factoids in sortable tables Can't write full sentences
Trivia in boxes People who resent any suggestion that Featured Lists are not shining examples of Wikipedia's best work
"find my secret page"
"I am too ugly for Facebook and the coding on Myspace looks complicated." In the case of any userpage in which the phrase "Congratulations, you found my secret page" occurs more than three times, the E-meter (see userboxes) is automatically set to zero.
Flow, n.
  • A replacement for talk pages, finally enabling Wikipedians to have discussions without having to indent and manually sign posts, set up bots to maintain archives, navigate through complex markup to put a reply in the appropriate place, and without edit conflicts constantly getting in the— OH MY GOD, WHERE IS MY MULTI-COLOR COMIC SANS SIGNATURE??? FUCK THIS PLACE, I QUIT.
footnotes n.
Any fact so blatantly fabricated that it would be spotted in the main body of the article. Because there is no way to differentiate a footnote from an in-line citation without actually checking,[4] they have the added bonus of giving the impression an article is sourced.[5] Experienced editors may also attempt to hide blatant lies under the more sophisticated shortened footnotes with Harvard referencing[6] which not only makes fact checking near impossible, but gives the lofty impression the editor actually knows what he or she is talking about.[7]
Hey buddy, "God told me to" doesn't give you the right to put footnotes before the punctuation. And "Revealed Word of the Lord" sounds like original research to me.
Foundation n. also WMF; formally Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
The pointy-haired boss of Wikipedia.
founder n.
Jimmy Wales. Full stop. Definitely not in collaboration with [name redacted]. Next question.
A 400,000 word epic poem designed to herald the endtimes between the massed armies of the Community and the WMF daemons over who owns the messy sandbox.
Friendly n.
An automated tool for reverting vandalism and templating n00bs. Called Friendly to avoid personally attacking, and to spite new users. Synonym: !Twinkle.
See ownership.
Wikipedia's policy against giving a fuck. An editor who gives a fuck may engage in such un-Wikipedia-like practices as attempting to change and apply policies rationally, opposing bias, or adding content. The obligatory response to any fucking attempt to mildly aid Civility. Should one encounter an editor who appears to be in the midst of giving a fuck, this template is useful:
You appear to give a fuck. Please note that Wikipedia has a strict policy against caring about content. If you continue to give a fuck, you may be blocked from editing without further notice. Have a nice day. ~~~~
fuck off (U.S.)
"Go away, and if I see you in real life, I will physically assault you."
fuck off (U.K.)
  • The most versatile phrase in the English language. It can be used for just about anything.
  • A hearty Lancashire greeting.[1]
  • An adjective describing a significant change in an article eg: "I can't believe I logged in this morning to find there's been this big fuck-off change that cites The Sun of all things!"
  • A noun, giving thanks and praise eg: "I'd like to give a big fuck-off to the West Staines Massif for adding a reliable source to Staines railway station. Respec'"
Acronym meaning "You are clearly an ignorant fuckwit."


GAC / GAN n.
Gamergate n.
  • A revolution led by angry young male teenage nerds who can't get a date. Look, sometimes saying "Wikipedia is not censored" isn't such a great idea.
gender disparity n.
  • Too many men editors compared to women editors.
  • Too few editors of which each has a made-up pronoun for xirself hirself eirself xemself perself themself.
Godking n.
Jimbo Wales Malleus Fatuorum the keeper Giggy The Oxi Clean Guy The ShamWow Guy "Bob" Randall Munroe[8]
Good Article n.
  • An article with attractive images, proper formatting, and just enough references to look impressive. Accuracy and neutrality are irrelevant, if not outright disqualifiers.
  • An article with proper use of em- and en-dashes, just the right number of references included with meticulous syntax and placing, and more than two pictures, written by an editor who's recently had an argument with somebody active at featured article candidates.
  • An article that retains very little of the nominator's writing style or flair following the onslaught of GAN reviewers. See featured article.
  • Not be confused with the unrelated term "good article".
good faith n.
A blind and uncritical acceptance of whatever nonsense the editor asking you to assume good faith has presented. Questioning another editor's good faith will always result in a response that to so question is bad faith. Pointing out that their categorisation of your questioning of their good faith as bad faith is in itself bad faith is bad faith and will result in blocking.
Just admit I am right and be on your way.
good faith block n.
Only about 2.6% of blocks are good faith blocks, so in the unlikely event of you stumbling across one be sure to quickly:
  • add "endorse" to the talkpage of the editor who has been blocked, thereby getting some of the credit for the block, and then immediately
  • go to WP:AN to share your firm grasp of blocking policy by emphasizing that you tried to do the block yourself, but were "beat to it". Use lots of ALLCAPs, and add random diffs to things as evidence of the appropriateness of the block. (Don't worry about where the diffs go, no one clicks on them anyway.)
good faith edit n.
An edit subsequently reverted by someone you don't like, especially if the reverter's edit summary is missing or uses too many three letter acronyms
gravedancing v.
Unexpected early retirement?? WikiTroll Funeral Plans offer you a 24-hour party of joy, over your Talk Page, by an army of willing editors, long after you're gone - all at no extra cost. But as Voltaire once said "To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth..."
Tip - remember to keep it subtle, as blatant gravedancing will soon lead you to a similar fate.
Gravedancing - users who have waited years for a fellow editor to be "indeffed", dance gleefully over the corpse of the newly blocked victim
guestbook n.
For editors of a certain demographic, their third major contribution to the world's largest online encyclopedia (stages one and two being their creation of a userpage and a signature). Even habitual sockpuppets don't bother with this when setting up this week's account.
guideline n.
A stick similar to, but slightly smaller than, a policy. While policies are self-consistent, a guideline may contradict other guidelines, particularly when they say something comprehensible.
Guild of Copyeditors (GOCE) n.
A group of world experts in taking prose where nobody except you knows what it's talking about, and changing it so even you don't know either.


harassment n.
The Swiss Army knife of WikiSpeak. Covers most things, from real-life sexually motivated stalking to pointing out flawed logic or even pressing the "edit this page" button. See also hounding.
Further information: How to harass and help, help, I'm being harassed!
harmless adj.
I see no reason why a useless template which has been subject to five long and painful no consensus TfDs deteriorating into accusations of bad faith should not be kept.
hat n.
A useful navigation tool to help editors find the real juicy mudslinging in an otherwise boring wall of text. From "Hidden archive template"
A navigation tool designed to put links to extremely obscure and irrelevant articles at the top of major, important ones, for the sole purpose of garnering unfair publicity for a deservedly ignored article. Simultaneously, one of the few navigational tools that can possibly save a vital article from being completely overlooked by people who don't know that it is in fact the article they are REALLY looking for, not the one they found.
highly active user n.
Not to be confused with actively high user.
honesty n.
A term for incivility when committed by yourself or a friend. Has little resemblance to the dictionary definition of honesty. See also call a spade a "long-handled digging implement with a flat blade".
hounding n. (to hound, v)
Following someone around and systematically revert or otherwise oppose their edits, so give them a subtle hint that they are a ne'er do well or some other kind of persona non grata. A faithful hound such as this can be useful to editors tempted to engage in devil's advocacy or even disruption to prove a point... merely advance the opposite of the disruptive POV, and with luck the hound will adopt it and do the disruption for you.
A (presumably) faithful hound
Further information: How to harass and help, help, I'm being harassed!
Huggle n.
Rollback that has washed down the crack-cocaine with a Red Bull. It's that quick. But no, it won't give you wings.[citation needed] Sorry.
humor n.
Obscure in-joke nobody except you thinks is remotely funny.
A particularly hilarious in-joke. This one was such a rib-tickler that Jimbo Wales preserved it on his userpage.
A tremendously useful template; its presence tells you that a page was intended to be a joke (see humor). Because you would never be able to recognise it yourself by inspecting the page's contents.
It should be noted that this page possesses the humor template. Therefore, this page is in fact funny. If you want to not have to laugh at this content, you must first remove the humor template at the top of the page, where it will be immediately—and without a sense of humor (or irony)—added back by whichever editor is currently lurking here to revert edits not done by them.
Also used by editors with no sense of humor in a vain attempt to prevent essays which are both useless and unfunny from being deleted.


Not as exciting or titillating as it sounds, unless lawyers in denial turn you on.
  • An incredibly valuable !policy for use in AfD debate. Quoting IDONTLIKEIT instantly exposes the complete lack of merit in any exclusionist arguments for the deletion of an article you like, and establishes your credentials as a) an AfD insider, and b) a dedicated wikipedian. Unless the nominator is an admin, in which case the correct procedure is to vote "per nom". See also: ILIKEIT.
  • "The nominator has made a statement that I cannot understand or that I disagree with. Instead of asking for clarification or addressing it like a civilised person would, I am going to ignore it and accuse the nominator of ulterior motives." Synonym: WP:POINT. See also: good faith.
  • An incredibly valuable !policy for use in AfD debate. Quoting ILIKEIT instantly exposes the complete lack of merit in any inclusionist arguments for the retention of an article you don't like, and establishes your credentials as a) an AfD insider, b) a dedicated wikipedian, and c) potential Administrator material. See also: IDONTLIKEIT.
Ignore All Rules
Ignore all rules except the ones I agree with, which it is a blockable offense to ignore. See also block.
image n.
Wikipedia's most efficient method of preventing novice editors from editing articles: Sisyphus-like, they find and/or create images, upload them, and then witness their inevitable deletion. Once an aspiring editor comes to the realisation that Wikipedia simply does not accept images, he/she has achieved the status of "editor in good standing", and is ready to proceed to the next stage of Wikipedia editor maturity: the AfD.
immaturity n.
A negative character trait shared by every poopy-pants pee-pee head who disagrees with you. See also maturity.
An acronym meaning "The correct opinion follows."
An acronym meaning "Gather closer my children and take heed of the timeless wisdom furnished by Wikipedia's very own Socrates..."
in popular culture
  • In Family Guy.
  • A section provided in articles about music for you to show everyone how clever you were to recognise [insert piece of music] (or something that sounded a bit like it) on the soundtrack when you were playing [insert computer game] or watching [insert film or television program].
  • See also midden.
in the news pp.
In context to ITN, something that is considered newsworthy to:
  • You.
  • International news sources (excluding those found in the U.S.).
  • Hypothetical people in third-world countries (see the Kid in Africa).
  • Fans of Gaelic football.
  • Whoever is the presiding administrator.
Unfortunately, you cannot put actual news here as Wikipedia is not a newspaper.
incivility n.
See uncivil. Note the "u", dumbass.
inclusionist n.
indefblock n.
A technical measure to prevent an editor from ever answering back again. Usually results from having said something rude about an administrator or one of his friends.
indiscriminate information n.
Any information you don't like and want deleted; see also unencyclopedic.
infobox n.
A box of irrelevant or semi-relevant information put on an article against its main contributors' wishes by gnomes who think edit counts are more important than sex, money and well-being, and who think edit-warring over musical genres is a rib-tickling jape.
A featured article writer desperately tries to scrub an infobox that a drive-by editor put on.
inherently notable adj.
interaction ban n.
A process by which Wikipedia transforms two editors incessantly arguing into two editors incessantly arguing about an interaction ban.
involved admin n.
See uninvolved admin.
IP editor n.
  • Vandal. It is quite safe to revert the edits of any unregistered user and issue a warning—even if not obvious vandalism—as nobody will listen to their explanation anyway.
  • A highly intelligent editor who, despite obvious expertise, has not yet managed to master the highly complex process of account creation. Perhaps the arduous task of remembering strong passwords like "pass1" is to blame.
IP editing v.
  • For the aspiring vandal, without doubt the best way to edit. Create endless havoc with no chance of being indefblocked.
  • The simplest way to perform sockpuppetry.
IPA n.
pronounced (/aɪ♥©¿₨/) Abbreviation for International Phonetic Alphabet, a phonetic system devised by the International Phonetic Association. It is incomprehensible to the vast majority of the English-speaking world, and therefore has been adopted as the standard pronunciation aid for English Wikipedia.
Often resembles the typing of an editor who has drunk too much IPA; this may not be a co-incidence.
IRC n.
Abbreviation for Internet Relay Chat. Very useful for real-time canvassing; no need to wait for someone to check their talkpage.


Jimmy Wales n.
User who racked up less than 40 mainspace edits during 2017 and has made fewer contributions in nine years than a reasonably experienced user can make in a month, but nonetheless knows better than you what the current issues affecting Wikipedia are.
Michelangelo's depiction of a momentous event, which was also celebrated by Haydn in Und Gott schuf grosse Walfische ("And God created great Wales") from his oratorio The Creation. You won't be able to get this image out of your head for at least a week.
Jimbo Wales's Talk Page n.
Walls of text from self-centered windbags on uninteresting topics, interspersed with Jimbo's barnstars for being a demigod. Reading all 230 archives must be like a trip to Hades. Jimbo wisely stays out of most of it, possibly from being on TV too much, or jetsetting to exotic locales; but he corrects the occasional egregious mistake, or comments when an interesting issue actually arises.
Jimbo Wales's User Page n.
You can edit this page! And we can indefblock you! Enjoy your ten seconds before the revert, and bye.


Kid in Africa, the n.
Wikipedia's target user. Despite having to walk three miles each day to get fresh water, then work for 12 hours in the fields, the Kid in Africa nevertheless owns a computer with a fast ADSL connection and has a burning desire to know exactly when Brigg railway station was opened.


lede n.
Lead. No, seriously. Cf. neologism.
legal threat n.
There are no legal threats on Wikipedia. Threatening legal action is one of the few things for which an editor may be blocked instantly – no warnings, no second chance, no Mr. Nice Guy. A remark that may be interpreted as a legal threat is a legal threat, such as "my sister once dated a lawyer." Thinking about someone who has a similar name to the lawyer that your sister once dated is a legal threat.
An administrator expels Adam and Eve from Eden for making a legal threat.
If you make a legal threat, Wikipedia will sue you for everything you're worth.
link n.
  • A means of adding colour to a dull and dreary article.
  • A means of escape from a dull and dreary article.
linkspam n.
External link added by an editor you don't like. See also unreliable source.
Lua n.
  • A programming language popular with video games, now being deployed on Wikipedia by ubergeeks who think Wikipedia should be a video game.
  • A tactical weapon to readdress the balance that too many "normal people" have got hold of the citation templates and can - shock horror - even understand them.
  • A language in which Wikipedians write Java code.
  • The way in which Wikimedia templates finally get to exemplify the Greenspun's tenth rule.


A rule barring you from using Wikipedia to document anything you or your friends invented. It is bad form to point out that this rule was simply MADEUP (qv).
mailing list n.
  • (public) A place you can rant and attack other editors with colourful terms since no one reads them.
  • (private) A place you can plot with your fellow cabalists on which editor to ban next.
mainspace n.
That part of Wikipedia written by those incapable of good drama, and with poor Myspace skills.
Manual of Style n.
  • A random collection of personal opinions, prejudices, and arbitrary rules. Thankfully, nobody has to abide by it, because it's just a guideline, not policy.
  • Enforced blandness and vapidity. To article content what "Civility" is to the talk page.
    The FAC reviewers uncover an editor who put footnotes before the punctuation.
maturity n.
  • A positive character trait shared by everyone who agrees with you.
  • An attribute of any Wikipedian who has passed puberty or a RfA, whichever comes sooner.
meatpuppet n.
  • Anyone who agrees with anyone. See WP:TEAMWORK.
  • A person who disagrees with you.[3]
mediation n.
A process initiated by an aggrieved party, designed to convince them that they are just as guilty as those whose behaviour they are complaining about.
meme n.
A widely held view that you find inconvenient but are unable to refute.
mentor n.
An experienced, knowledgeable, and well-respected editor, who through a momentary and inexplicable lapse of judgement finds him or herself performing a role that resembles a cross between Dennis the Menace's father and Hannibal Lecter's defence counsel. Only two eventual outcomes are possible: either the mentor can do the honourable thing and, having nailed their colours to the mast, go down with the ship when their padawan is community-banned by general acclamation; or, having been informed of their apprentice's nth appearance at WP:ANI, jump ship and join in the pile-on. Both are equally entertaining for bystanders. See also Schadenfreude.
mentoring n.
A means by which control freaks can indulge their passion under the guise of formally assisting and guiding editors in their use of Wikipedia.
meta aspects of the project n.
See project space.
minor edit n.
Any edit you don't want anyone else to examine too closely.
MfD n.
A place to send essays like this one.
mop n.
Admin toolset. Failure to show proper respect will result in the editor being mopped up.
Administrator using the mop in full power
moral support n.
  • "I think you're an idiot and I refuse to honor you with so much as a serious oppose."
  • "Ten other people already think you're an idiot and I want to be the one person here who doesn't get flamed."


namespacing n.
A misfeature intended to clearly separate articles from meta aspects of the project. This obviously undesirable functionality should be combated with cross-namespace hatnotes and cryptic pseudo-namespace shortcuts.
navigational template n.
A handy device to ensure that anyone who wants to look up a Beatles song downloads the entire list of 200 linked articles for every song they ever played, every album they ever recorded, every tour they ever went on, whether they want it or not. See also SEO.
neologism n.
A term nobody had ever heard before Wikipedia popularised it.
neutral v.
A statement used in votes (see discussion) to show that you can edit, but at the same time avoid pissing off your friends who happen to be split between support and oppose.
New page patrol n.
Target practice.
newbie n.
Any editor who still makes the majority of his edits in the mainspace.
no consensus n.
  • An excuse to revert to your preferred version. If you are an administrator, you can enforce your POV NPOV against no consensus with protection and blocks.
    Nope, no consensus here, I'll revert.
  • "I would rather close this as 'keep', but I am too afraid of deletionists who spouted all these WP:IDONTLIKEIT arguments taking me to ANI."
  • "I would rather close this as 'delete', but I am too afraid of inclusionists who spouted all these WP:ILIKEIT arguments taking me to ANI."
  • "I'm not bloody well reading through that wall of text. Everyone is guilty as hell and you're all sentenced to a year in the Gulag."
nomination statement n.
A statement in which the nominator foresees all possible concerns (e.g. "I know many people will think that this is a bad faith nomination ...", "I know some might say this article isn't suitably referenced for FA ...", "I know I've been blocked 15 times and banned twice ...", ad nauseam). This obviously turns the concerns into ludicrous nonsense, and anyone bringing them up is assuming bad faith.
nominator n.
  • Incorrigible optimist.
  • Inexperienced first-timer: innocent sacrificial lamb.
  • Experienced veteran: skin of a rhinoceros and balls of steel.
non-notable adj.
  • A subject you're not interested in.[3]
  • "I've never heard of it."
  • A superfluous U.S. President, or someone like Lee Harvey Oswald whose claim to fame is based on only one event.
  • "It doesn't come up on the first page of a Google search."
  • "I don't like it." (see also: IDONTLIKEIT)
  • Does not currently have an article on Wikipedia. A good rule of thumb when proposing a new article is to first check if Wikipedia already has it - if not, it is non-notable so don't bother.
n00b n.
Anyone with fewer edits than you, thereby making them clearly incorrect and you their intellectual superior.
notable adj.
* Please note: Subjects are often nominated for deletion due to concerns over their notability. At these AfD trials, Wikipedia prefers total ignorance of a subject in order to ensure objectivity. For example, if you, as a self-appointed judge of notability, should see a subject on ancient Korean culture appear at AfD, and if you do not speak a word of Korean, and in fact, couldn't tell Korean from Swahili, and you're not sure where Korea is but you think it's probably in South America, then you are the ideal participant at this AfD. Should a Korean-speaker accidentally stumble into the AfD, and sputter, "But I see mentions of it in Korean sources here, here, and here", the proper response is to do a half-hearted Google search in English, find nothing, say so, and then accuse the Korean-speaker of either assuming bad faith, trolling, conflict of interest, or sock-puppetry. Hopefully you will get the Korean-speaker into a battle during which you can endlessly quote Wiki-law verbatim, while flaunting your proud ignorance of the subject at hand.
not done
I don't like you, so I'm ignoring your comments.
not here to build an encyclopedia
I don't like you but I can't actually find (or, more likely, can't be bothered to look for) any specific instance of you doing anything wrong.
not how I
"That was a bad block but I can't say that out loud."
Example: "That's not how I would have handled the situation but that's a legitimate block."
not scientific
I don't like the fact your google search just clearly showed I'm wrong.
noticeboard n.
A place for public punishment, humiliation, and shaming: Wikipedia's equivalent of the cucking-stool or stocks. Noticeboards are also popular venues for entertainment, as those who initiate an action, intending to have another editor pilloried, often end up on the whipping post themselves.
notifications n.
A WMF invented tool, carefully and scientifically engineered to make it harder to know you have an important message, requiring your urgent attention.
NPOV n. & v.
  • —n. The point of view of the last editor who edited the article.
  • —n. The point of view of any editor who has access to the block button. See administrator.
  • —v. To rewrite an article as a promotional press release, as in the edit summary "NPOVing a few things".
  • The version achieved in a tug-of-war between groups of screaming, frothy-mouthed extremists with opposing views. An article on Earth produced by this process will read something like, "The Earth is flat.[Note, some dispute this fact and claim the Earth is triangular.]" An impartial Admin will protect the article in this state and permanently topic-ban the round-Earth community for edit-warring and personal attacks.
  • —n. Your point of view[3]


obvious n.
Said of a conclusion or interpretation necessary to promote the writer's personal agenda.
Ogg Theora n.
A video file format. It is not supported by most commonly used video software and is unheard of by anyone other than extreme free software nerds, and therefore has been adopted as the standard video format for Wikipedia. See also WebM.
Ogg Vorbis n.
An audio file format. It is not supported by most commonly used audio software and is unheard of by anyone other than extreme free software nerds, and therefore has been adopted as the standard audio format for Wikipedia.
oppose v.
I wouldn't have written the article like that, so it's obviously crap. See featured article.
I don't like you, so I'm going to make up a reason to oppose your RfA.
Prima facie—'Nuff said.
A stake in the heart of consensus, and a singularly effective way for an egotistical person to call attention to himself. Most effective when delivered after five or ten "supports"—which comment is, by the way, a wimpy and unmanly utterance redolent of "groupthink". The quickest way to rise to power in Wikipolitics is by strategic use of "oppose" in highly visible debates, always after a string of supports, preferably after a section break, and followed closely by a fierce assault of indignant invective.
optional RfA candidate poll n.
As if RfA wasn't enough, here's another chance to be told how much you suck. Like a RfA, but smaller and with less point to it all.
optional question n.
The pet bugaboo of a !voter, with a tacked-on question mark, at your RfA; leave it unanswered and earn their undying enmity. Example : "You come across two fictional editors having a dispute on an article that doesn't exist. Editor 'A' has attributes that correspond to no real editor I know, while editor 'B' has different attributes that fail to correspond with reality either. If all history is relative, there can be no such thing as existence. True or false?"
Orange bar n.
Garishly coloured banner that interrupts you for no good reason every ten minutes when you're trying to concentrate. As an added bonus, it often causes automated tools to crash. Named after the bar in which Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger got drunk enough to think that allowing a mob of random strangers to edit with no checks or vetting procedure would be a good idea.
original research n.
  • Personal knowledge, also known as The Truth. Not to be confused with expertise.
  • Anything not directly plagiarised.
  • Inconvenient facts.
    n.b. Original research is strictly forbidden during the writing of an article. However, it is openly encouraged—and any reference to a reliable source strictly frowned upon—during the mob-frenzy-based creation of any of Wikipedia's multi-faceted definitions of notability.
Often used at AfD debates. In this context means that the articles I like and want to keep should not be risked by you in defence of an article that I don't like. Not to be confused with OTHERCRAPEXISTS which means "this article is shit and so are these ones".
oversight n.
  • An ingenious measure to remind administrators that their power is limited, and to deny them the pleasure of reading the really juicy stuff reserved for the developers.
  • Wikipedia's resident Thought Police.
  • A consequence of a new editor leaving a real name and telephone number as a contact on a talk page. Oversighting serves as a short, sharp, shock to them that it is completely unacceptable to use old fart methods of communication.
overuse of commas n.
See Shatner commas.
ownership n.
rv – see talk
The concept those editors who won't leave my article alone fail to grasp.


paedophilia n.
A Power Word: "As this block is related to pedophilia-related articles, you may only appeal this block privately via email to arbcom-l". Generally used to ensure that a hasty, ill-thought out block, can never, ever, be undone. If you're a Brit please feel free to annoy American editors by inserting the missing "a" into the correct place.
peacock adj.
The insertion of terms, frankly quite obvious to any reasonable person, that correctly describe the subject of the article in terms similar to those that describe the fantabulous male peacock. A small, mentally ill brotherhood of people (who coincidentally happen to have all lived near a peacock at some point in their life) feel these wonderful, glowing terms are not appropriate for peacocks, and cry out against such terms in shrill, plaintive voices reminiscent of a cry for help. Their equivalent abound on Wikipedia, to the dismay of all those who strive to incorporate appropriately accurate adjectives to articles on glorious REO Speedwagon, riveting He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and heartwarming Thomas Kinkade
A truly splendiferous creature, no citation necessary for this fact[citation needed]
penis n.
A meaningless word, often inappropriately thrust into Wikipedia articles. By the time those responsible have discovered the thing's proper uses, another crop of naïve penis-inserters has arrived. Bless them: it is thus that the cycle of Wikipedia life continues.
"per nom"
  • "I have strong feelings about this, but I don't want the grief that will follow by typing any more than these six letters and four tildes."
  • "I don't have strong feelings about this, but the nom is a friend of mine, and is never wrong."
  • "I don't have strong feelings about this and I have no idea what I'm doing, but my admin coach told me to contribute more in Wikipedia space."
  • "I don't understand a word of what's going on here, but the nominator is really popular, so agreeing with him will give me a huge amount of street cred and a free ride in the RFA I'm filing next month."
personal attack n.
  • A wide-ranging term intended to be used liberally whenever someone points out a fault in your logic, presentation, article quality, or other action on Wikipedia without prefacing it by with respect. If an editor decides not to start their post to your talkpage with with respect, and indeed says I think you're talking bollox, then you can return fire with please refrain from personal attacks. Appears on screen often as WP:NPA. See also allcap blue civil.
    A personal attack: an uninvolved admin (left) is about to recommend the dispute resolution process.
  • The "money notes" of noticeboard opera. Truly spectacular high Cs result in applause, laughter, and trial by arbcom (unless the perpetrator has a couple of FAs under their belt).
Peter principle n.
See administrator.
pile-on n.
  • The magical tipping point in a discussion (such as RfA) where the proposer clearly doesn't have enough friends the gift of the gab sufficient consensus to pass, and everyone spontaneously realises they can lodge a well-aimed "me too!" strong oppose vote without fear of harassment or retribution.
plagiarism n.
  • Anything that's not original research.
  • Any well-written prose by someone other than you, that vaguely resembles something written by the person mentioned in the footnote.
Please do not bite the newcomers
  • A prime example of why ignore all rules is policy. In order to defend Wikipedia against newcomers (i.e. likely trolls and vandals), they must not only be bitten, but feasted on and spat out on a regular basis.
  • A retort dished out to an editor who hit the speedy delete button on twinkle faster than you did
  • (in black): "You have made a statement I totally agree with."
  • (in blue): "You have made a statement I disagree with, and I therefore wish to disparage you and indicate your opinion is worthless, by linking to an essay I have barely read and certainly do not understand."
Don't disrupt Wikipedia to make a point. You may however disrupt Wikipedia for lulz.
pointy adj.
  • Filler word. See also: uhm, aha, um.
  • Belligerent. To use the word belligerent, though, would obviously be a personal attack.
Pokémon n.
A cultural artifact of unknown significance. On Wikipedia, chiefly used as a Godwinesque debate intensifier. For example, as any debate between inclusionists and deletionists lengthens, the probability of either side referring to Pokémon approaches one.
A policy guideline prohibiting users from using their userspace to host raw evidence of flaws in the Wikipedia community; as opposed to secret pages, guestbooks, userboxes, incoherent rambling essays, "humor" pages, barnstars awarded for skilful breathing and indefinitely languishing drafts.
policy n.
A big stick that permits you to speak softly, or even incomprehensibly.
popular culture n.
  • The single subject Wikipedia does best.
  • The single most reviled subject on Wikipedia.
porn n.
Something absent from Wikimedia. Perhaps you were looking for educational images.
POV pushing n.
"I don't agree with you, but I have no arguments." Its nuanced meaning can vary from "POV pushing" to the quasi-synonymous "NPOV pushing". Used exclusively by POV pushers. See also NPOV.
preventative adj.
Punitive. Often used in conjunction with block, as in preventative block. Editors who find themselves in disagreement with an administrator are advised to surrender immediately, otherwise a preventative block is almost inevitable. Insufficient breast-beating after a punitive block retroactively renders it preventative and the blocking admin receives kudos for inspired decision-making.
preview button n.
An infrequently used tool which allows timid editors to see the likely consequences of their disruptive edits before their submission.
process creep n.
The tendency of Wikipedia policies and procedures to become more complicated over time. This is greatly encouraged, as it provides work for administrators and makes them feel important, as well as providing excuses to block people they don't like for failure to keep up with the reforms. If processes still worked like this instead of like this, people might spend more time writing articles, and Wikipedia might run out of server space.
  • I don't much like this article, but it's been a long day and I just can't be arsed to search through all the speedy deletion criteria to find one that might work.
  • A de-luxe version now available is {{blp prod}}, which has the added advantage of not just being reverted because the article's creator thought it was vandalism.
project space n.
See drama.
protection n.
A feature used by administrators to ensure that their contributions are not modified by trolls.
public relations tone n.
Also PR tone. A complaint that can be registered against any comment that does not contain any of the following: profanity, personal attacks, or vehement agreement with the person who started the discussion.
puffery n.
An attempt to disrupt the proper outcome of an AfD by adding a sourced assertion of notability to the article. Can be turned to advantage by first removing any such puffery from the article, and then putting a {{Puffery}} banner on the article to further condemn it in the eyes of !voters.


questions n.
A mechanism of bugging people so you will get more messages on your talk page.


Randy n.
Short for Randy in Boise. An editor who dares to disagree with you on your all-time favourite subject even though they have never attended a convention and may even have gaps in their fanzine collection. Antonym of expert.
An expert politely but firmly corrects a Randy.
RBI n.
An indefinite banning of an editor who mistakenly made three dubious edits in a row, and whose appeal for an unblock will safely fall on deaf ears.
reasoned argument n.
Text by an editor that begins by stating something so innocuous and self-evidently true it hardly seems worthwhile mentioning. Then, by a series of logical manoeuvres, transformations, and manipulations, each one of which everyone thinks uncontroversial, it gets transformed into a conclusion so fantastic and outlandish that no one can accept it. Often used by editors acting in a "devil's advocate" role to persuade people to reject critical thinking as a tool that can help resolve disputes on Wikipedia.
recent changes n.
Imminent reversions.
red tape n.
See bureaucrat.
redact v.
  • The <censored> of <censored> statements by another <censored> in order to <censored> and <censored>, thereby stimulating <censored> and a free exchange of <censored> and ideas.
  • The favored technique of discourse among those who are on the losing side of an argument, know they are right, but can only prove it if no one on the other side of the argument can say anything in reply.
redirect n.
  • Relic of a wheel war that lies forgotten for at least a year after the event.
  • An elaborate trap set up to lure foolhardy non-administrators into recreating deleted material, which is a blockable offense. For the less daring, the page history serves as an example of what to avoid.
redlink n.
  • A clever trap placed for newcomers. It leads directly to speedy deletion: first of the article, then of the newcomer.
redundancy n.
A fatal, deadly and often lethal flaw or error in the type or style of writing known as "redundant", in which ideas and concepts are stated more than once, and statements and assertions are repeated multiple times (generally by being stated more than once). Keep in mind that, in addition, this also may annoy the reader, particularly when a repeated point that has already been repeated is repeated again, to the point of annoyance. It has been said by some that writing of this type also may include from time to time a number of more or less somewhat vague phrases. It is noteworthy to note that redundancy is an excellent, first-rate and high quality strategy or tactic for getting trivial articles fluffed up enough so that they pass the DYK Did You Know 1500 character minimum to qualify for DYK, which has 1500 as the minimum number of characters that is adequately sufficient enough to satisfy its 1500 character minimum. It is important to note that this technique of repetitious writing has been considered by some to be a fatal flaw.
redundancy n.
A fatal, deadly and often lethal flaw or error in the type or style of writing known as "redundant", in which ideas and concepts are stated more than once, and statements and assertions are repeated multiple times (generally by being stated more than once). Keep in mind that, in addition, this also may annoy the reader, particularly when a repeated point that has already been repeated is repeated again, to the point of annoyance. It has been said by some that writing of this type also may include from time to time a number of more or less somewhat vague phrases. It is noteworthy to note that redundancy is an excellent, first-rate and high quality strategy or tactic for getting trivial articles fluffed up enough so that they pass the DYK Did You Know 1500 character minimum to qualify for DYK, which has 1500 as the minimum number of characters that is adequately sufficient enough to satisfy its 1500 character minimum. It is important to note that this technique of repetitious writing has been considered by some to be a fatal flaw.
ref desk n.
  • A free but not necessarily accurate resource for homework answers, relationship advice, identifying pictures of scary insects, and tracking down that film you saw ten years ago which might have had a lead character called Steve who drove a red car.
    Those tireless frequenters of Wikipedia's ref desk, twenty minutes after someone asked how to evaluate
  • An experiment in artificial intelligence that generates random answers from a list of stock phrases such as "do your own homework", "we don't give medical advice", "look it up on Google" and "it's probably the motherboard".
reference n.
  • Magic pixie dust, sprinkled in the form of a number at the end of a sentence (technically this is an in-line citation but don't let your mind be dulled by such trivia). A liberal sprinkling of references here, there and everywhere is a vital tool for the hardened editor, as without this, everything in the sentence is widely considered apocryphal, heretical and factual nonsense, even if said prose claimed the Pope is Catholic, and must be aggressively removed. Optionally, the offending editor may be blocked for committing the heinous crime of adding unreferenced content. Note that an article devoid of references is a prime target to be vaporised, especially if it's on an important, but neglected, 19th century French philosopher or major head of state in an African dictatorship. Note : Nobody ever actually bothers to check the information in the reference, so you might as well cite Hello Magazine.
(Also "best regards", "cheers" and variants.) Used as prefix to a signature when making a veiled threat or giving "constructive" criticism. Its sarcastic use is designed to infuriate the receiver whilst giving the appearance of leaving a polite message. The matching bookend to with respect.
N.B. When conversing at Simple English Wikipedia, the identical synonym "Fuck off" is preferred.
The !owners of an article, project or set of guidelines. (Note: Wikipedia does not have owners, it has regulars.)
reliable source n.
  • Any source, no matter how insignificant or patently insane, that agrees with you. See also unreliable source.
    Reliable source
  • Not you.
    * ...not even if you are editing the article about yourself to correct a simple mistake, such as when you were born.
    * N.B. an unimpeachable source from a respected, mainstream academic journal becomes unreliable if you are its author.
Reliable Sources Noticeboard (RSN) n.
  • A place to argue ad infinitum on whether you can use a piece in the Daily Mail to cite that the Pope is Catholic.
respect n.
Often used as in with respect, or with all due respect, euphemisms for I think you're talking bollocks. Most frequently seen in the postings of editors with aspirations to become an administrator, or those who do not have the courage to say I think you're talking bollocks. See also regards.
{{retired}} adj.
  • "The single purpose of this account was rumbled, so I made a new one."
  • "One of my other sockpuppet accounts already made it through RfA, so I don't need this one any more."
  • Not retired, but sick and tired of being flamed on my talkpage.
  • Lonely, in need of Wikicookies from 12-year-old editors pleading with me to come back.
  • Busy working on a revenge that is truly worthwhile.
  • see also {{Wikibreak}}, user essay
revert v. & n.
—v. To correct the well-meaning but misguided efforts of less experienced editors by restoring an article to its most accurate version (i.e. the condition it was in following your last edit).
—n. The source of Wikipedia's most productive editor interactions, the products being edit wars, blocks, and protracted reports on the Administrators' noticeboard.
"Reverted good faith edits by..."
"The editor I have just reverted is an incompetent fucking arsehole, and I would dearly love to say so honestly, as if Wikipedia permitted an open and free exchange of ideas, but 'Civility' restrictions, and their self-appointed enforcers, prevent me from doing so other than through this bland, condescending, hypocritical, soporific phrase."
RfA or RFA n.
  • An institutionalised ritual humiliation that every candidate applying for access to the administrator tools is required to endure. In many ways identical to an RfC, with the exception that the RfA is often more harrowing for the examinee, who, having done nothing uncivil to warrant the examination, is expected to continue acting in a civil manner ... unlike the subject of an RfC. Wikipedians submit to the process because it is the final rite of passage before becoming an administrator. For RfA-like rituals in non-Wiki cultures, see: Flyting, The dozens, Sun Dance, "yo mama so fat...", and admissions.
    Sketch of a Siouan RfA ceremony by George Catlin
  • The process by which Wikipedia separates the merely good editors from the good editors who also have an uncontrollable lust for power.
  • A chemical reaction producing in abundance heat, light, hot gas, ash, and other waste matter, the latter of which is often enhanced with administrative privileges. Occasionally the process fizzles, producing only a bad smell.
(For a detailed analysis of what an "oppose vote", a "neutral vote", or a "support vote" means at RfA, please see the RfA decoder)
RfArb or RFAR n.
A request for arbitration. It is recommended that you get into an edit war before you file one of these.
A diagram showing features of a typical Wikipedian exchange likely to lead to an RFAR
RfC or RFC n.
  • A place where editors who know absolutely nothing about the subject chime in in an attempt to destroy an article further.
  • A place where a self-selected group of the loudest naysayers concerned Wikipedians oppose a software update which breaks people's workflow.
  • Also see RfC/U.
RfC/U or RFCU n.
A place to bring anyone you have a longstanding grudge against. There, they'll be subject to countless attacks by uninvolved editors (also known as "outside views") and generally be tortured until they agree to submit to your every whim. Unless they are a popular editor, or have admin friends, in which case the RfC will be dismissed as bad faith and someone will find a reason to block you indefinitely.
Update: Despite being a superior way to aggravate and inconvenience an adversary, RfC/U was closed down on 7 December 2014. You'll have to make do with ANI.
Right to vanish n.
The calm before the vendetta. Invoked as a prelude to sockpuppetry, disruption, and the really good noticeboard drama. "Vanished" editors can thus become the most prominent and noisy of all.
rollback n.
A tool that reverts edits quickly. Its almost mythical status is based on the fact that only administrators can grant rollback. As a result, it is seen as a trophy, an award, a line on the resumé that virtually guarantees a successful RfA.
The most satisfying of clicks. Often executed with mouse-destroying force.


"Save page" button n.
Sets in motion a bizarre sequence of events which, by strange quirks of fate, ultimately lead to either a block (see also edit), or purgatory RfA.
See also v. t.
!Spam – a random list of Wikipedia pages whose topics would be mentioned in the article if only they were in any way relevant to the subject.
SEO n.
"Search engine optimization": the use of Wikipedia article(s) to get attention for something you don't like.
"Show changes" button n.
Reveals the extent of the productive work put in by others on the same article while you have spent 25 minutes deliberating one stupid minor edit.
signature n.
The primary means of identifying the perpetrator editor. Ideally, a "sig" should contain links to at least five other pages, bear no relation to the Username originally registered, and occupy no less than 40% of the edit window as viewed on a widescreen VDU. Bonus points if one of the links is to a guestbook, the sig changes more than twice a week, and/or the sig includes <marquee>. See also highly active user, ~~~~.
Silence implies consent
A phrase used by the party on the losing side of a debate to instigate a Wiki-Staring contest. In real life, when one comes to the realisation that one's opponent is a driveling idiot, one has the option of simply walking away from the argument. Not so on Wikipedia. No matter how carefully considered one's argument and how water-proof one's logic, should the opponent's, "Yeah, but you're a poopyhead" go unchallenged, all work has been in vain, all previous points are invalid, and one is, under Wiki-law, a poopyhead until this assertion has been challenged. "I know you are, but what am I?" is an effective rebuttal.
single-purpose account n.
New user who expresses an opinion that you dislike. Demonstrate your intellectual superiority to them by calling them a word that ends in "puppet".
sleeper sock n.
An account that has done nothing objectionable, but must be blocked indefinitely for having the temerity to edit from the same public library that a vandal once used.
A rationale used to speedily end a debate in your favour before the opposition shows up.
sockpuppet n.
  • Anyone who agrees with someone who disagrees with you.
    Suspected sockpuppets awaiting blocking
  • A user who has been editing Wikipedia for only a week and is already better at it than you.
spam n.
Any article about a company or product you've never heard of. These articles can be dealt with in one of three ways:
  • If the article is unreferenced, it can be safely deleted as nobody will bother to check how important it is.
  • If the article is referenced, it can be safely deleted and the author blocked for adding external links.
  • If the article is referenced and well-written but you've either never heard of, or don't like, the author, it can be deleted and the author tagged as a suspected sockpuppet of MyWikiBiz.
Any reliable source used in more than one article.
speedy deletion (or WP:CSD) n.
  • (especially to newbies) "This article is shit. Piss off."
  • Where you send articles that are created by red usernames. Double bonus points for also changing their red talkpage to blue with your deletion warning template.
  • Using automated tools to tag articles for deletion as soon as they are created, thus boosting your edit count and showing your worthiness to be an administrator. There are many categories, most of which mean that the article just doesn't look right somehow.
SPI n.
Especially sneaky tool used when involved in an edit war with two or more editors. A forum to present your circumstantial speculation of a suspected sockpuppeteer's efforts and then have them verified by the equally dubious IP speculation of the Checkuser. A favorite haunt of amateur sleuths, conspiracy theorists, and opponents of intelligent design.
standard offer n.
We're hoping that in six months time you will have undergone your psychiatric treatment, and/or left junior school. After all, how could any sane, mature person doubt the infinite benevolence and competence of the blockers/banners?
start-class article n.
A stub with at least one reference and an image. These need not have any relation to the text.
strikethrough n.
A form of meta humor meta humor metahumor.
stub n.
A small collection of words in no particular order. Punctuation optional, no references or images. Often accompanied by an AfD notice.
A means of turning a red link temporarily blue.
suggestion n.
200kb of semi-coherent gibberish demanding a solution to a problem that only the author thinks exists.
sum of all human knowledge n.
A minuscule fraction of a complete description of the universe. Its collection and publication is the stated aim of Wikipedian idealists. Regrettably, the vast majority of human knowledge is of little interest to the vast majority.
An anonymously-written condensed version of the Encyclopædia Britannica, which leaves out the bits of no interest to English-speaking teenage boys.
synthesis n. & v.
An application of logic utterly prohibited in article-writing. Should one source state that A equals B, and another state that B equals C, making the transitive connection that A must therefore equal C singles out an editor as a loose cannon with little respect for proper scholarly research. Their GAN/FAC/RfA may be opposed in good conscience. Such behaviour is, of course, strongly encouraged everywhere else.


tag n. & v.
Justified vandalism.
A way to increase your mainspace edit count for your pending RfA without actually knowing a lick about how to add content to the mainspace.
tag team n. & v.
Two or more editors who demand adherence to those annoying policies on reliable sources and undue weight.
These two contributors do not seem worried by the policy of undue weight.
Two or more editors who disagree with you.
Either of the above is automatic grounds for an RFCU.
talk page n.
A discussion page which accompanies every article on Wikipedia. A weapon of last resort, available in case threats of indef bans, full article protection, wheel warring, ArbCom, and Wikimedia's lawyers fail to win the edit war.
These two Wikipedians are having a screaming row, but because they're clever enough to do it on the Talk page, nobody else cares.
A place where you rubber stamp major changes to an article such as a large revert, so you can later claim it was "per consensus."
User talk pages are just like article talk pages, with the additional feature that you can target conspicuous warning templates precisely at individual editors who disagree with you. Admins frequent these pages to endorse each other's bans and to chide users they dislike over their inappropriate use – "they should only be used for improving articles." Access to your talk page may be revoked if you write a sufficiently compelling unblock request.
talk page stalker n.
See highly active user.
{{talkback}} n.
A template you should add to another user's talkpage after you've left an extraordinarily witty retort on your own talkpage that must be read immediately.
Teahouse n.
  • A place where spammers, POV pushers and people who mistake Wikipedia for Facebook are met with a friendly welcome.
  • A place for discussion which aims to make it easier for new editors to become familiar with Wikipedia's practices by inventing their own, completely different: from thread order, through barnstars badges, and ending on talkback templates.
  • A community handing out awards for tireless efforts put into working on articles.
See also: Esperanza.
tendentious editing n.
Regularly editing about a particular subject matter. This is an inerrant indicator of underhand motives and partisanship. Editors are sometimes forgiven for having such knowledge and interest in a subject as might give an impression of basic competence, but anything in excess of this is dangerous and may result in a topic ban.
thank you v.
At the end of a sentence, it is a Wikispeak euphemism for "fuck off", but much less likely to lead to a visit to ANI than the more direct approach.
Today's featured article n.
The name given to the article that is chosen to be the day's magnet for vandalism. Fortunately, there is a seemingly inexhaustible supply of inept vandals who fall for it.
transwiki v.
A process for moving content from Wikipedia into one of its sister projects, then deleting it from both.
trivia n.
  • Any information about anything in popular culture.
  • Information somebody doesn't believe should be in an article, even if it is sourced
See also ~cruft; indiscriminate information; unencyclopedic.
trolling v.
Disagreeing with someone who has a higher edit count than you, or who has been on Wikipedia longer than you.
trollish adj.
Insufficiently meek.
trout v.
The action of whacking someone with a certain type of colourful fish, since the word "trout" is so clearly a verb and not a noun. Generally, this is used to admonish an editor who has done something you disagree with.
trust n.
Necessary for RfA candidates, and therefore neither defined nor expanded upon since we all know instinctively what it means. Not to be mistaken with "trussed"—which is what Wikipedia would be, having had "red tape" used against it if, as some say, we tried to make clear the nature of trust to assist and inform us in appointing administrators.
truth n.
  • Obvious bollox, and as a POV pusher you are rightly subject to ridicule if you believe in truth.
  • Something in which, by long-standing policy, Wikipedia has no interest whatsoever.
The Truth n.
Not to be confused with truth, The Truth is a vital aim of Wikipedia which must be sought above all else. Therefore edit-warring, incivility are all sorts of other tactics are justified in your pursuit of this noble goal. People who oppose you are clearly deluded. Bots who oppose you are wrongly programmed. So set forth and save Wikipedia from the lies that encompass it!
truthiness n.
The closest a highly active user who speaks American English can get to the word "truthfulness".
tweak n.
Used as an edit summary when:
  • you couldn't be bothered to concoct one.
  • a proper, reasoned justification for your edit would fill up the article's talk page.
  • your edit is not susceptible to explanation.
  • you really haven't a clue what you've just done.
Twinkle n.
Tool to abuse utilize rollback without having to bribe ask an admin. Excellent for reverting minor corrections of comma splices with an edit summary of vandalism and leaving a polite threat to block the user if they ever even think of doing it again, all with one click of the mouse.
Look at this mess! And all because an admin wannabe went apeshit with Twinkle for an afternoon.
A tool which makes it possible to delete content from the encyclopedia without lowering oneself by touching the keyboard like vulgar Inclusionist riff-raff.
Typography Refresh n.
A project to encourage Wikipedians to refresh their memories of the Monobook skin.


A means by which a recently-blocked editor can request to have their block endorsed by an uninvolved administrator. The request is then followed with either of two responses:
  • Decline; hasn't addressed reason for block. (Translation: There's no way I'm reading that 30kB of prose and diffs you've produced. You look guilty.)
  • Decline; endorse reason for block. (Translation: I haven't actually read the reason for your block but I'm friends with the blocking admin.)
uncivil adj.
Did you get here by following the link from incivility? If I'd told you to put your hand in the fire, would you have done that as well? What's happened to the education system so much of our taxes are spent on, when people like you still can't think for themselves?
Not incivil.
unencyclopedic adj.
I don't like it.
unfair use adj. or n.
  • Image uploaded by someone you don't like.
  • Image you think is porn.
  • Image with a description in a non-machine-readable format, such as English, which thus must be tagged for deletion by various bots.
uninvolved admin n.
See involved admin.
uninvolved editor n.
  • My friend.
  • My sockpuppet.
unreliable source n.
  • Any source that disagrees with you, such as the Oxford English Dictionary or the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Any source that would require more than 30 seconds of effort to verify. Example: "The Moving Metropolis isn't in my school library. Therefore, it is not a reliable source for articles about public transportation." (Note: this conversation really happened) (Also known as Print source)
  • You.
unsigned adj.
A message appearing on talk pages in the format — Preceding unsigned comment added by Example (talkcontribs) , that usually identifies a newbie, and whose opinion can therefore be safely ignored. If name is an IP address, the user is almost certainly a troll, a vandal, a sockpuppet or possibly an administrator pretending to be all three as a thigh-slapping party jape.
{{unsourced}} adj.
A tag to put at the top of articles on subjects of which you disapprove. The existence of sourcing at the article is irrelevant, if not a provocation.
userbox n.
Wikipedia's equivalent of the E-meter, which enables the usefulness of an editor to be measured scientifically. The proportion of any given editor's userpage taken up by userboxes is in a perfect inverse relationship to the probability of any given edit made by this editor being useful. Some commonly found userboxes and their meanings are:
  • This user is female. This user is male.
  • This user is male. This user is 12.
  • This user is a native speaker of the English language. This user wants to show off that he "speaks" other languages too.
  • This user is an administrator. Go vandalise someone else's userpage.
  • This user is not a Wikipedia administrator.
  • This user desperately wants to be a Wikipedia administrator but realises that self-nominations always fail and hopes you'll take the hint.
  • This user failed an RfA under very acrimonious circumstances.
  • This user is not a Wikipedia administrator, but would like to be one some day. This user will never be a Wikipedia administrator.
  • This user is not a Wikipedia administrator and does not want to be one. This user wanted very badly to be an administrator, but it didn't work out.
  • This user is an expert Wikipedia editor. This user makes messes for expert Wikipedia editors to clean up.
  • This user performs non-admin closures at articles for deletion. This user makes messes for expert Wikipedia editors to clean up.
  • This user has Rollback rights on the English Wikipedia. This user makes messes for expert Wikipedia editors to clean up.
  • This user is a member of the League of Copy Editors. This user makes messes for expert Wikipedia editors to clean up.
  • This user reverts vandalism in the blink of an eye with Twinkle!. This user cannot use more than two fingers to type with.
  • This user serves the Wikimedia Foundation in the capacity of.... This user makes really big messes for expert Wikipedia editors to clean up.
  • This user is a member of the Counter Vandalism Unit. This user wouldn't recognise a featured article if one came up behind them and said "boo", and therefore is reduced to making large quantities of small messes for expert Wikipedia editors to clean up.
  • This user identifies as a fascist. This user is a journalist who has realised that their "my month on Wikipedia" article is going nowhere and desperately hopes someone will start a flamewar.
  • This user is an anarcho-syndicalist. This user probably read a few pages of a Noam Chomsky book and will doubtless be first against the wall when the World revolution occurs.
user page n.
The place for editors to boast about achievements, mainly for self-validation purposes. Includes barnstars from editors' sockpuppets, and FA articles editors made single edits to. Can also function to annoy visitors through the extreme use of userboxes. Some need to be seen to be believed, being really odd, and/or as long as War and Peace.
user talk page n.
User stalk page.
Where the bulk of time-wasting takes place. Either for networking with editors you're trying to win over, or else for aggressive rebuttals, or just for idle gossip. Stalking user talk pages is a fine art of general nosiness and intrigue, and is usually more fun than contributing.


V1.0 n.
An attempt to prove that it is possible to nail jelly to a wall.
valuable contribution n.
An edit you agree with. See also vandalism.
vandal n.
  • An editor with fewer than 100 edits and an opinion. Excellent candidate for a cool down block. Should help them realize that everything they've done was silly and wrong, and will most likely make them into a valuable and constructive editor in no time.
  • A newbie's term for any editor they disagree with. The term of choice for more seasoned wikipedians is sock.
vandalism n.
1. Knowingly and willingly adding nonsense to, or removing content or images from, Wikipedia by an IP editor. To be distinguished from knowingly and willingly adding nonsense to, or removing content or images from, Wikipedia by a registered editor.
May be met with severe penalties unless done by a bot, in which case it usually leads to Adminship.
A term used by deletionists when any non-U.S. pop culture material, or U.S pop culture older than 1995, is added to an article.
2. An edit you disagree with. See also valuable contribution.
3. An edit you didn't make.[3]
vanity n.
The principal motive for all contributions to the project.
Vested contributor, n.
An editor who has become difficult to block, usually because they have a long track record of useful editing and positive interactions with others. This is a bad thing, and vested contributors should be removed from the project as quickly and humanely as possible.
You don't want to mess with this vested contributor.
Village Pump n.
The central venue for the ceremonial drowning of editors who have had two bad ideas in a row, the second being to make the first public. It comprises five sections:
  • Policy – The place where the news first arrives after n00bs commit suicide by pasting {{policy}} on pages without approval from the cabal.
  • Technical – The shrine of the Universal Truth of Troubleshooting: "Bypass your cache". It's written in the FAQ at the top, but most people conveniently ignore it for the thrill of a brief word with the developers.
  • Proposals – Here editors strive to formulate the best version of a question regulars are sick of replying to, aspiring to an eventual induction to the Hall of Fame.
  • Idea lab – For ideas that are even more half-baked than in the proposals section.
  • Miscellaneous – Nobody really knows what this is for. So you can use it for anything really.
There used to be one more section, Assistance, but it didn't survive competition with the Help Desk consortium.
Five of these are running 24/7 at the Village Pump. Like the servers, they're powered by cats.
VisualEditor, n.
  • A WYSIWYG editor for Wikipedia, designed to increase the proportion of fresh contributors by alienating the established contributors with its slow, unreliable and obnoxious implementation.
  • The device used by more experienced vandals for their noble deeds.
voting n.
A process that interferes with achieving consensus, as it does not allow the proper weighting to be given to the votes cast by those editors with whom you are on good terms. It is therefore deprecated and considered evil.
n.b. Should an editor cast a !vote in opposition to your campaign to delete a topic, feel free to remove that !vote and block the editor if s/he restores it. Remember, Wikipedia is not a democracy. It is a kakistocracy. And you're in charge!


watchlist n.
Wikipedia's equivalent of Big Brother, although even the Party couldn't monitor information that did not yet exist.
A large shoulder suitable for placement of abundant chips. A subversive anti-productivity tool designed to bring your day-job, or your career, down in flaming ruin.
weasel words n.
  • Some argue that under certain circumstances it may be acceptable to add any statement to an article that your dorm mate's brother's cousin told him last Thursday, as long as you feel it could be cited, someday.[weasel words]
  • Perhaps words used by somebody to describe some weasel; or it could be words that might be said by some weasel if it was more able to communicate, hypothetically at least.[weasel words][according to whom?][vague][dubious ]
{{welcome}} v.
  • A template that earns you a barnstar when it's added numerous times with an automated tool.
  • A way to round up new editors to join in your edit war.
welcome n.
A generic block of vaguely encouraging text placed on a new editor's talk page before outlining in detail how much they suck.
WHAAOE acronym initialism
"We Have An Article On Everything" (actually, we have lots of articles on anything and everything, even one about nothing).
"What Wikipedia is not" policy
A helpful list of the sort of content Wikipedia discourages if it is to avoid turning into a farcical caricature of Encyclopædia Britannica.
A Kafkaesque list devised by neo-Nazi book-burners targeted specifically at preventing me from writing about the garage band in which I played tambourine for a summer during high school.
If one says A is not B often enough, and loudly enough, then A is not B, even when A really is B. Such robustly optimistic presumption is even occasionally convincing.
wheel war n.
An escalating disagreement between administrators. The feelings of anyone caught in the crossfire, such as contributors, are disregarded and quickly forgotten by the administrators. The possibility is documented here for completeness – it is largely academic since administrators are all in the Cabal and therefore always agree with each other.
wiki n.
A model for the creation of enormous, diverse and constantly-updated online libraries of human behaviour, for the benefit of sociologists and social historians. Accessing resources based on this model with certain web-browser technology causes artefacts to appear. For example, in one a partially accurate and occasionally usable online encyclopedia may sometimes be observed (see Wikipedia); in another, a collection of useful and interesting images (see Commons). According to reliable sources, the wiki model was at different times and in various forms proposed by Urukagina, Democritus, Taliesin, Vlad the Impaler, John Locke, The Marquis de Sade, Little Tich, George Orwell, Harpo Marx (in a series of whistles and honks interpreted by Chico), Martin Bormann, Alan Turing, The Doctor, Douglas Adams and Muhammad Bazlul Haq.
wikibreak n.
A voluntary period of abstinence from Wikipedia, taken for any of a number of reasons. These could include:
  • a cock-up so monumental that, were the editor responsible not friends with at least three admins, they would already be indefblocked.
  • a desire for 'me time', devoted to quiet reflection, therapy, or heavy substance abuse, in the aftermath of one of Wikipedia's community review processes. See also AfD, FAC, GAN, RfA, Wikistress.
  • a lack of Internet access, perhaps whilst on holiday. See also the Kid in Africa.
{{Wikibreak}} n.
"Hold on, I need to use the bathroom, I'll be back in a minute."
Wikicops n.
A group of editors whose sole purpose at "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit" is to prevent anyone from editing it.
Wikicops about to spring into action and pummel a new editor with policies, guidelines, PRODs, AfDs, and relentless "AGF" warnings
wiki-drama (alt. Teh DRAMAZ, Teh DRAHMA). n.
wikilawyer n.
A Procrustean editor, who believes that if Wikipedia policies do not fit his contributions then they must be hacked or stretched until they do. Wikipedia guidelines and essays are policy if they support his contributions, but policies are guidelines and essays (that don't mean what they say) if they support the other side. Strangely, wikilawyers constitutionally ignore IAR, because it is hard to mutilate. It is hugely counterproductive to call a wikilawyer a wikilawyer: any semi-competent wikilawyer will seize on such accusations as an opportunity to broaden the discussion interminably.
wikilawyering n.
A gerund used when an editor doesn't have a valid counterargument to a well made interpretation of policy.
WikiLove n.
  • A shared spirit of collegiality and mutual understanding among wiki users, more often than not freely spread by editors on illillegal shubstanances ... hee hee! Damn, thish ish gooood shit!
  • A piece of software which allows Wikipedians to effortlessly spam other users' talk pages with valueless banners containing a boring picture and a half-hearted congratulatory caption. See also: barnstar.
wikimarkup n.
A mechanism by which the simplest text may be rendered almost impossible to edit.
A subtle ploy to prevent editing of Wikipedia by the unwashed masses, and reserve it for the high priests of Wikipedia. Its arch enemy is VisualEditor, which has been all but vanquished, which can only be described as "revenge of the wiki-nerds".
Wikipedia n.
  • A sandcastle on the shore of the sea of time. Within play dramas on miniature stages, as the actors argue over the exact position of each grain of sand, unaware of the approaching tide.
    An editor editing Wikipedia
  • A unique experiment in collaborative editing, invented in 2001 by Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales. The name is derived from the Hawaiian wiki, "edited at high speed", and the Greek παῖdh, "by children".
  • Evidence that an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of keyboards may not produce the complete works of Shakespeare, but will certainly produce an ever-growing pile of monkey shit.
  • The first recorded attempt to compile an encyclopedia by giving the janitors managerial control over the writers.
  • A group of 12-year-olds debating the alleged "notability" of some ancient dude called Frank Sinatra.
Wikipedia Adventure n.
An attempt by the famous MMORPG to appeal to the "children 5–9 years old" demographic.
"Wikipedia is not a battleground"
A policy statement with which to taunt your opponent during Wiki-battle. Employment of this stratagem will ideally enrage the enemy so that s/he will commit tactical blunders, enabling you and your allies to encircle the enemy camp and inflict further damage. In the resultant melee, you can then administer a final coup de grâce, emerging victorious.
"Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy"
"Wikipedia is not a democracy" policy statement
A democracy is a system in which the majority is persuaded through a complex system of lies, half-truths, bait-and-switching, wedge-issues, and diversion into putting into power incompetent, arrogant and power-hungry leaders who harm the society they are supposed to benefit. Wikipedia, on the other hand, is a system in which consensus is persuaded through a complex system of lies, half-truths, bait-and-switching, wedge-issues, and diversion into putting into power incompetent, arrogant and power-hungry leaders who harm the society they are supposed to benefit.
"Wikipedia is not censored" policy statement
Stock response to anyone who thinks that two dozen penis images might be a bit excessive, especially for an article on rice flour.
"Wikipedia is not a social network" policy statement
👍 Moonythedwarf likes this.
Not facebook not like thumbs down.png137,092 users dislike this.
See also: userbox.
Wikipedia namespace n.
A place for pages about Wikipedia, that primarily exists so you can create an essay and cite it as if it was an official policy without anybody noticing, particularly if you use the WP: prefix eg: "I reverted your edit because it violates WP:CB."
Wikipedia Review n.
  • Retirement home for former Wikipedia editors who have become so dull, irritating and whiny that nobody on Wikipedia listens to them any more.
  • A place to complain when your fully sourced article about your band/website/school gets deleted by the atheist anonymous idiot pedophile conspiracy.
  • Wikipedia without the articles.
Wikipedian n.
  • Free labour.
  • A bored refugee from Yahoo!'s now-defunct flame-war boards.
See also: "Not a Wikipedian"
Wikipert n.
A person with pretensions of expertise based solely on reading a Wikipedia article
WikiProject n.
  • A group of like-minded editors who have come together in a spirit of collaboration to ensure that those articles within their interest are well-maintained, accurate, detailed (see fancruft) and cannot be successfully edited by anyone else.
  • A group of editors united by their ignorance of and hostility towards a particular subject area.
Wikiquette n.
A set of rules for how other editors should treat you.
WikiSpeak n.
See fnord.
wiki-stalking v.
  • Reverting all of someone's vandalism
  • Checking whether the error you found in one article has been repeated elsewhere.
  • Noticing that someone is ruining more than one article simultaneously.
  • Viewing another user's contributions to ensure they do not make more than one or two productive edits in a 24-hour period.
Wikistress n.
  • Insanity brought on by arguing circularly with the same twits for the last six months.
  • A feeling of angst, grumpiness and the need to listen to emo after someone deleted your page.
  • A condition admins have the tools to inflict upon anyone they choose, including themselves.
  • Slang term for WikiLove.


The great expanse of wasteland including places of suffering and darkness such as AfD, CfD and MfD. Here, the ghosts of departed editors can be seen moaning and drifting about the dry, barren earth as their former articles / categories / templates / redirects / WikiSpeak essays are torn to pieces by the ravenous wolves (also known as deletionists).
Also known as CRAMITfD (for Categories, Redirects, Articles, Miscellany, Images, Templates for Destruction).
The most non-sensical all-cap blue redirect in all of Wikipedia.
Three times the fun of WP:X and eight times the popularity.


you n.
A person inferior to me. Not even the second person. Unless you are one of them.
An inclusionist, frustrated because he can't think of a subject for an article that starts with a Y
Someone who can be blocked for obvious disruption (unless one of my sock- or meat-puppets, or some other editor in my cabal).


Zoo n.
An exhibition that allows public entry. The live exhibits, their varied surroundings, and the sideshows create a constant source of fascination and entertainment. The casual visitor gains a warm feeling of superiority over the squabbling animals, who can be poked, teased, and jeered at when their harassed keepers' backs are turned. The dedicated student of behaviour finds a huge range of individual and social habits with which to fill their dissertations. Remind you of anywhere?


  1. ^ Shhh! Don't tell anybody, but this is not a humorous essay at all. It just has to be labeled as such in order to prevent its Self-evident But Inconvenient Truths from being censored by the Supreme Cabal and its minions.
  2. ^ Example: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Buzzword
  3. ^ a b c d e Lore Sjöberg (2006-04-19). "The Wikipedia FAQK". Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  4. ^ Admit it. You would never normally have bothered, would you?
  5. ^ Munroe, Randall. "Advertising Discovery". Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  6. ^ Munroe, p. 47.
  7. ^ Munroe, Randall (2003). Advertising Discovery for Dummies. LaLa.
  8. ^ Munroe, Randall. "In Popular Culture". Retrieved 21 November 2012.

See alsoEdit