32 Conversations

The Complete List3N4242ismAcedACEsAFAIKAGG/GAG/CACAlabastardisedAlabasterAlabasteredAlternative Writing WorkshopArchangelsArchsArthur DentASAPASLAssistant Community EditorsATMBacklogsBBCBCNUBeebZaphod Beeblebrox[The] BinB'logBlogBrunelBTW[The] Campaign to Rename the Thingites 'Prats'Campaign to rename Thursday 'Thing'CensorsClassicCollaborative Writing WorkshopCUL8RArthur DentDNAdnaDontbryDoobryDoublepost Douglas Noel AdamsDriftEdited GuideEditorsElvisFiction CentalFlame WarFlamersFlea Market[The] FoopForaFord PrefectForumsFroodFTSOGAGem-polishersGemsGoo[The] Great FoopGuardeesGuardian angelsGuideGuide Markup languageGuide MLGurush2HHGTTGH0G0HoopyHootooIMHOIMOInfamous Intelligence ThreadInfinite Improbablility DriveInterregnum[The] ItalicsKiwi SpoonKlogl33tL8RLlamaLindaLMAOLOLLurkersMarvinMCMiners[A] Modest ProposalModeratorsModsMusesn2g2NewbiesnighthooverNo no noNowhere to Go toOMGPeer ReviewPGGBPisa PeoplePoetsPosts[The] Post[The] Powers[The] Powers That Be[The] Powers in the TowersPRFord PrefectPremodReadersReview ForumsRipleyRLROFLRTFMRupertSBVMScoutsSerendipity ButtonSfanespSimpostSimulpostSin BinSingle Sign-OnSirius Cybernetic CorporationSkinsSmall But Vocal MinoritySmall furry creatures from Alpha CenturiSmileysSoditSporkSporkitesSSOSubSubeditorsSubbingT3NTFHThingThingitesThreadsThursdayitesTIATopic driftTowelTPTBTrillianTrollsTypo[The] UnderguideURLVogonsWibbleWimpyWIPWriter's WorkshopWriting WorkshopWTFWWYikesYikesedZaphod BeeblebroxZaphodistasZaps* - E13373N4242ismAcedACEsAFAIKAGG/GAG/CACAlabastardisedAlabasterAlabasteredAlternative Writing WorkshopArchangelsArchsArthur DentASAPASLAssistant Community EditorsATMBacklogsBBCBCNUBeebZaphod Beeblebrox[The] BinB'logBlogBrunelBTW[The] Campaign to Rename the Thingites 'Prats'Campaign to rename Thursday 'Thing'CensorsClassicCollaborative Writing WorkshopCUL8RArthur DentDNAdnaDontbryDoobryDoublepost Douglas Noel AdamsDriftEdited GuideEditorsElvisF - MFiction CentalFlame WarFlamersFlea Market[The] FoopForaFord PrefectForumsFroodFTSOGAGem-polishersGemsGoo[The] Great FoopGuardeesGuardian angelsGuideGuide Markup languageGuide MLGurush2HHGTTGH0G0HoopyHootooIMHOIMOInfamous Intelligence ThreadInfinite Improbablility DriveInterregnumIRL[The] ItalicsKiwi SpoonKlogl33tL8RLlamaLindaLMAOLOLLurkersMarvinMCMiners[A] Modest ProposalModeratorsModsMusesN - Sn2g2NewbiesnighthooverNo no noNowhere to Go toOMGPeer ReviewPGGBPisa PeoplePoetsPosts[The] Post[The] Powers[The] Powers That Be[The] Powers in the TowersPRFord PrefectPremodReadersReview ForumsRipleyRLROFLRTFMRupertSBVMScoutsSerendipity ButtonSfanespSimpostSimulpostSin BinSingle Sign-OnSirius Cybernetic CorporationSkinsSmall But Vocal MinoritySmall furry creatures from Alpha CenturiSmileysSoditSporkSporkitesSSOSubSubeditorsSubbingT - ZT3NTFHThingThingitesThreadsThursdayitesTIATopic driftTowelTPTBTrillianTrollsTypo[The] UnderguideURLVogonsWibbleWimpyWIPWriter's WorkshopWriting WorkshopWTFWWYikesYikesedZaphod BeeblebroxZaphodistasZaps

In this community there are lots of words which could puzzle new -and established - readers. Not everyone realises that the phrase;

'Hey, weren't you my Ace? I haven't seen you since before Rupert - we all thought you'd done an Elvis'1

can be confusing to the uninitiated. Some words are unique to h2g2, others are found on the internet in general. The purpose of this mini-guide [sic] is to clear up a little of the confusion. Maybe.

How to use this guide

If you're looking for a specific word, skim through the alphabetical lists at the top. Otherwise you can just browse the page itself, which is clumped into rough sections...

A/t stands for 'associated terms', while Aka stands for 'also known as'.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy jargon

This site began with the concept of building an Earth-edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the cheap and highly disreputable electronic guide to anything and everything in the universe featuring in the radio series2 of the same name. Users don't have to be familiar with the series to use the website, but many users are and inevitably they slip references in when they think they can get away with it.

  • There are far too many characters to name them all, but some of the best known are:
    • Arthur Dent was the central character of the series. He was an earthman who escaped when the planet blew up, and went on to travel the galaxy in his dressing gown.
    • Ford Prefect was the alien who saved Arthur, and was involved in most of his subsequent adventures, explaining things to him along the way.
    • Zaphod Beeblebrox was a two-headed three-armed alien. At the beginning of the series he the President of the Galaxy, and he was highly dedicated to having as good a time as possible in all circumstances.
    • Trillian was the only other human to have escaped from the Earth. She was a scientist who hitched a lift with Zaphod Beeblebrox.
    • Marvin was an extremely depressed robot who claimed to have a 'brain the size of a planet'.
  • 42. The meaning of life3. Researchers here go to extraordinary length to find it in whatever they can, especially their user numbers. ie U168963 becomes 16+8+9+6+3 A/t
    • 42ism - the calculation that finds 42 in a user number. It is hypothesised that there is a 42ism lurking in every user number. Coined by Argon0.
  • Hoopy is quoted as meaning 'really together guy'. It tends to be used as a adjective to replace 'cool'.
  • Frood - really amazingly together guy.
  • A Towel is the one essential item all hitchhikers carry. If you know where your towel is you are one hoopy frood.
  • Small furry creatures from Alpha Centuri are mentioned several time in the series without it ever being clear exactly what they are. It's an easy way to make a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference without actually meaning anything.

Officials and their names

  • The late Douglas Noel Adams, who wrote the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the concept behind this website. Aka
    • DNA, his rather convenient initials
  • The Editors run the site. Aka:
    • The Powers That Be
    • The Powers in the Towers, because not only did they work in a tower, but - joy of joys - it rhymes
    • TPTB - abbreviation for The Powers That Be
    • The Powers
    • The Italics - because their names appear like this
    • Pisa People - coined by pheloxi
  • The ACEs, or Assistant Community Editors, are people who roam the site trying to make everyone feel at ease: Aka
    • A**hole where the first three letters are a-c-e - an offensive term for a bad ACE. If you use it in its entirety it may well be starred out by the moderators to look like A*****e. Probably coined by Arpeggio

    • To be Aced - to be greeted on your user page by an ACE, who will normally offer a welcome message and some handy links4
  • The Community Artists draw those snazzy pictures you'll sometimes see on recent edited entries or in The Post, as well as designing some of the smileys. If a picture has been drawn by a community artist there will be a credit to them on the page - if not it was probably drawn by U19, the former h2g2 staff artist.
  • The Gurus help out people with queries about the site, and can usually be found in the feedback forums
  • The Scouts have the job of choosing which articles go into the edited guide.
  • The Subeditors edit entries that have been picked for inclusion into the edited guide. Aka
    • Subs- a shortened version of subeditors, not anything else that springs to mind, unless you're in a conversation that probably isn't suitable for a family site such as this

    • Subbing, short for subediting
  • The Moderators are people who used to read every word that's written here, checking that the content was suitable and removing it if it wasn't. Nowadays we use a different system, so they only read posts that have been complained about. Aka;
    • The Mods
    • The Censors
    • All sorts of rude terms that they'd only star out if I wrote them down.

    • Premod - people who persistently break the House Rules are put on Premod. Everything they posts is hidden until the moderators have a chance to read it.

Unofficial people

  • Trolls are people who say nasty things purely to provoke an argument, and are supposed to be dealt with severely by the editors.
  • Flamers are people who lose their temper and post hastily nasty things which are often regretted. Flaming is also forbidden. A/t
    • Flame War - an argument between researchers which results in them repeatedly flaming each other
  • Newbies are new researchers.
  • Lurkers are people who frequently read conversations without commenting. Aka:

  • The Guardian angels are an unofficial group who adopt anyone who wants a mentor, befriending and helping them, although they're no longer a particularly active bunch. Aka:
    • GAs

    • Archangels are the angels in charge of the Guardian angels.
    • Archs are archangels
    • Guardees are people who are being looked after by an angel
  • AGG/GAG/CAC search the guide for for good articles that for various reasons will never be edited, but are still worth pointing out. The initials stand for Another Galaxy Guide/Galactic Anomolies Group/Committee for Alien Content.
  • A mug is something you drink tea out of. A MuG, on the other hand, is a member of the Musicians Guild.
  • The Muses are artistic folks devoted to cheesecake and the ancient Greeks.
  • U183456 started an account, made two posts in the cancel thread before leaving. Shortly after his departure from the h2g2 plane he was declared a prophet, and the cult of nighthoover eagerly awaits the second coming. You might just find enlightenment at The Nighthoover Shrine.
  • SBVM stands for The Small But Vocal Minority, an ex-club.
  • The Thingites lead the Campaign to rename Thursday, "Thing", and also want to change the names of the other days. A/t
    • Sodit, Wimpy, Wibble, Thing, Poets, Doobry, Dontbry are the proposed names for the days of the week, from Monday to Sunday.
    • The Spork is the Thingite weapon of choice
    • A Spork
    • No no no, aka 3N, is the longest conversation on h2g2 and quite possibly the entire course of history. It conists of well over 50000 posts of thingite silliness.
  • The Thursdayites oppose the Thingites and their quest to rename the days of the week. Their mission is to make sure Thursday stays Thursday. A/t
    • The Campaign to Rename the Thingites 'Prats' - If mere Thursdayites are too liberal, you can join the fanatics. Possibly the opposite number to the Sporkites (see below).
    • The Thursdayites shun the spork, instead favouring the altogether different discipline of the way of the Kiwi Spoon
    • T3N is the Thursdayite equivalent of No no no, the protest thread on the Thingite page6. It began as a call for Thursdayites to abandon their campaign and return to the Thingite cause, and is now well on the way to 2000 posts.
  • The Sporkites are hardcore thingites, devoted to the Thingite cause (with some additional campaign points) and rather more obsessed with sporks. A/t
    • Sfanesp - the official Sporkite food. It is jelly-like, and can only be eaten with a spork.
  • Zaphodistas are a group of people who protest about how the site is run. The name is an amalgamation of Zaphod7 and Zapatista8. Aka
    • Zaps

Places and things

  • The Guide is the whole of h2g2, both community and entries. aka
    • Hootoo because this is eaier to pronounce than h2g2, notwithstanding the fact that it's harder to type.

    • h2 is the software that powers the message boards. We tend to avoid using it as a shortening for h2g2 to avoid confusion.
  • The Edited Guide is the section of the guide containing edited entries - high-quality9 articles specially picked for inclusion. The entries are factual, although not always competely serious, and have to comply with the Writing Guidelines. The idea was based on the concept of building an earth version of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and was the starting point for this entire website.
  • The Underguide calls itself the creative counterpart to the edited guide. It is made of high-quality entries that fall foul of the Writing Guidelines. It enjoys a semi-offical status - underguide entries are displayed on the front page, yet the volunteers have no official status or tools. A/t
    • Miners are the volunteers who search for suitable entries.
    • Gems are articles the miners find.
    • Gem-polishers put the finishing touches on the gems.
  • Forums, or fora, are found at the bottom of every page. There is one forum per page, and each forum can contain many Threads, or individual conversations. To read one just click on it, and to contribute click on the reply button.
  • Posts. These are the individual contributions to forums, with their own number. There are a maximum of twenty to a page, for as many pages as neccessary- some forums have over a thousand posts, but they are thankfully the minority. NB; Not to be confused with The Post, the h2g2 newspaper.
  • Read the post
  • Backlogs are the previous messages on a forum. It is polite to read the backlog before contributing to a serious forum, in order to make sure your point hasn't already been made, but if you're pressed for time then mention in the post that you haven't read the backlog. aka
    • Klog
    • Blog/b'log - however, on the internet in general this stands for 'weblog', and covers online journals rather than forums. Just to confuse matters.
  • Skins are the backgrounds you can choose to view h2g2 with. They change the colours and the format of the pages you read, including your personal space. They can be changed by clicking on the preferences button. A/t:
    • Classic was the original h2g2 skin. It is dark blue10 with white text.
    • Goo, the common name for Classic.
    • Alabaster was the default skin for a couple of years. It is white, green and orange, with black text.
    • To be Alabastered is to have a page load in alabaster when you didn't want it to.
    • To be Alabastardised is the same, but contains a rude word smiley - yikes and so sometimes gets starred out. As Alabaster is no longer the default skin, both terms have fallen out of use.
    • Brunel is the newest skin, and is now the default.
    • Plain and Text only are uncluttered skins with minimal graphics.
  • The Yikes button is the screaming face on every post. It looks like this in Alabaster, like this in Brunel, and like this in Classic Goo. If you click it up pops a box for putting your complaints in. If you abuse it by complaining about spellings or other trivial matters you'll get in trouble, so only use it for complaints about breaches of the House Rules.
    • The Linda button- not to be confused with Linda the community assistant. Coined by U25551

    • To Yikes a post is to complain about it
    • To be Yikesed is to have your post complained about.
  • Simpost. Simultaneous post, ie two researchers submit a reply to a post at exactly the same time. This is generally only noticed when they made the same point, looking like the one displayed last didn't read the previous post. Aka
    • Simulpost
  • Doublepost- when a researcher gets impatient with the slowness of h2g2 and clicks the 'post message' button again, so the same post is made twice. This happens especially with newbies who don't realise that the minute they pressed the button the reply was stored. It isn't unusual to see triple or quadruple posts. Apparently a feature now exists to prevent these occurances.
  • A Typo is a typing error, pointed out when entries are submitted to the edited guide.
  • Guide ML is Guide Markup language, an easy version of HTML which can be used in entries if we like. It makes life much easier and allows us to use graphics and the like.
  • Smileys are little tiny pictures which we can use in forums and entries smiley - biggrin. You can find them in lots of internet chatrooms, sometimes going under the name emoticons, but ours are the best smiley - cool It's also common to see, in forums, Pseudo-smileys. These are bits of code that look like they're for a smiley - but no smiley actually exists for them. A common example is <raisedeyebrow>. If you're looking for big pictures try the Graphics Library - these are for entries only.
  • Review Forums are places to submit articles you've written for other people to read. There are five of them altogether:

    • Peer Review is the place to submit finished articles you would like to see added to the edited guide. Aka:
      • PR
    • The Writing Workshop is the place to submit entries that you'd like advice on. Aka
      • The Writer's Workshop
      • The WW
    • The Collaborative Writing Workshop is where you can turn up with an idea and work with someone else on a joint article
    • The Alternative Writing Workshop is a place to put pieces that don't obey the Writing Guidelines, and so are unsuitable for the Edited Guide, but that the author would still like help improving.
    • The Flea Market is where entries are moved to if their authors desert h2g2. Then other researchers can finish them off.
    • *Extra Bonus Forum* The Sin Bin used to be where entries were placed when they were put into the wrong forum, or were in a bad format. Now technology exists to stop this happening, so the Bin isn't needed any more.
  • To Elvis is to leave11. This is most often found in the review forums, where the author of a submitted article is nowhere to be found. A/t

    • One post/day wonder
  • A294833 is where you can have your stories displayed, should you wish to shun facts. It's a nice friendly place, and completely unofficial. Similar to a review forum, but much less formal.
  • Infinite Improbablility Drive is the facility which takes you to a random entry. Click Here to try it out. You can change the random entry by refreshing the page. Aka:
    • The Serendipity Button - probably coined by U160070
  • Topic drift, or just plain Drift, is when a conversation starts wandering off until it has nothing to do with the original topic. A very common occurence.
  • The BBC own h2g2, although they didn't always- h2g2 was once a little dot.com company. Aka:
    • The Beeb
    • The Sirius Cybernetic Corporation12
    • The Vogons13
  • Rupert was the period of time when h2g2 was shut down while the BBC were taking over14. Coined by U39466. Aka:
    • The Interregnum
    • The [great] Foop
    • H0G0
    • n2g2 (Nowhere2Go2) - spawning n2g2 at Yahoo
  • Single Sign-on was implemented in October. It means that only one account is needed to access all the dna sites, and in the long run should make life easier. In the short run, however, it caused all sorts of inevitable confusion, spawning a marvellous badge. I Survived Single Sign-onA/t:
    • SSO
  • Llama, Ripley and dna are all different versions of h2g2. The current one is dna.
  • The 'Infamous Intelligence Thread' was a thread in Peer Review which turned very long and nasty.
  • A Modest Proposal was the working name for the Trangressions Procedure - the punishments for breaking the house rules. It was written by Hoovooloo in Swift response to a researcher receiving a lifetime ban, and was eventually adopted as site policy.

Acronyms and abbreviations

There are squillions of these. Termed 'TLA's - Three letter acronyms - most of them are actually abbreviations of different numbers of letters. But that's just life, isn't it? Anyhow, if you see one that you don't recognise, just ask the person who used it. If you don't want to do that, ask me at the bottom of the page smiley - smiley

  • AFAIK - As far as I know
  • ASAP - As soon as possible
  • ASL (or A/S/L) - Age, Sex, Location15
  • ATM - At the moment
  • BCNU - Be seeing you
  • BTW - By the way
  • CUL8R - See you later
  • FTSO - For the Sake Of
  • HHGTTG - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • IMHO - In my humble opinion
  • IMO - In my opinion
  • IRL - In real life
  • l33t (pronounced 'leet') - Text which replaces letters with numbers and symbols. Once a hacker's way to write things without detection by search engines, now used by anyone who values coolness [sic] over clarity
  • L8R - Later
  • LMAO - Laughing my a**e off
  • LOL - Laugh out loud
  • MC - Mornington Cresent. This is a game involving the London Underground map. We aren't supposed to talk about it, although even if I could I wouldn't be able to explain it. It's fairly popular at h2g2, and even has it's own Appreciation Society
  • OMG - Oh My God
  • PGGB - Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster16 - any drink with suspicious ingredients and high alcohol content
  • RL - Real life
  • ROFL - Rolling on the floor laughing
  • RTFM - Read the f*****g Manual
  • TFH - Thread from Hell
  • TIA - Thanks in advance
  • URL - Uniform Resource Locator, the official name for the address of a webpage. www.h2g2.com is a URL.
  • WIP - Work in progress
  • WTF - What the f**k?


If you see that a word or phrase has been missed, please tell me smiley - smiley. Then you'll get your name in lights, just like these fine people:

1'Hey, weren't you the researcher who welcomed me to the site? I haven't seen you since before the BBC took over - we all thought you'd left for good'2And later TV series, books, infocom game, and - somewhen in the next twenty years - a film3According to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy4Some of them even link to this page5Badge designed by Ottox6Confused yet? Try writing about it7Zaphod Beeblebrox, a character in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy8Mexican rebels9For the most part10Unless you have a problem with your monitor, in which case it may be black11Elvis has left the building12From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy13From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy14From the fifth book in the Hitchhikers trilogy, Mostly Harmless15If you ask this people who understand what it means will assume you are a)American and b)Looking for some kind of relationship16From the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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