I've been actively using a few StackExchange sites for some months now, and it seems common for some users (especially the more experienced ones) to use abbreviations in their questions, answers and comments. These go from AFAIK, which are known and used elsewhere, to others like OP and CW, which appear to be internal to the StackExchange network. Others appear to be internal to SFF (this site).

While most abbreviations might seem natural to experienced users and native English speakers, I think there should be a list of common abbreviations for everybody to read. In my opinion, this should not be a question in meta, but a part of the FAQ.

In any case, this question in English Language & Usage meta seems to be a good read (at least the part of the StackExchange abbreviations), but it would be good to have a list here.

The reason for this post is that somebody replied to a comment of mine and used a name or abbreviation I've never seen before (WOMBAT), so I couldn't really judge whether his reply was well-founded. I already knew what FYI means, but, as I said before, this might not be natural for people with English as a second language, just as OP is not natural for new users.

If your answer is "Just google it": Yes, I could waste a few minutes using a search engine, but it'd be way better if there was a list of abbreviations as part of SFF. Actually, it'd make it more self-contained, which can only be positive.

(...besides, a google search for "wombat" just shows a bunch of Australian marsupials)

  • 5
    I've seen OP used elsewhere, and I think it actually fits better on forums/discussion sites; here there is occasionally confusion as to whether it's the OP of the question or the answer (when used in comments on an answer).
    – Kevin
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 16:37
  • 2
    @Janoma - you picked a really poor example, sorry. WOMBAT is an in-universe term from Harry Potter, and has nothing to do with your (otherwise very valid and good) question Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 19:16
  • 2
    @DVK What do you mean by in-universe? I said "name or abbreviation" because I didn't know what WOMBAT was at all (or if it was an abbreviation). And it's a perfectly valid example, since I'm asking from general abbreviations of English expressions to abbreviations specific to StackExchange, Science Fiction & Fantasy and even to subtopics of this website.
    – Janoma
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 19:22
  • @Janoma - I mean an abbreviation used by the author to be used in texts within the universe. WOMBAT is not a "common Engilsh" or "SE" or "SFF" abbreviation. It's an abbreviation invented by JK.Rowling to be used by her characters in the books or other HP materials. (and the reason your Google failed is because you didn't include "harry potter" in the query - if you did it's the first link) Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 19:27
  • @DVK That's why I included abbreviations for "subtopics of this website", like Harry Potter. In any case, I don't remember reading "WOMBAT" in the books. Also, "in-universe" should have its own explanation, then, because I thought it referred to the books only, and not additional material.
    – Janoma
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 20:30
  • See also lspace.org/faqs/acronym-faq.g.html on Discworld-related acronyms.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 15:02

4 Answers 4


Please avoid using abbreviations, especially on the main site. The following list is meant to be helpful if you encounter an unfamiliar abbreviation. It does not constitute an invitation to use these abbreviations.

See also: Stack Exchange Glossary - Dictionary of Commonly-Used Terms

Common abbreviations

The following is a list of acronyms and abbreviations common to the Internet, to Stack Exchange or to speculative fiction:

  • The Powers That Be can also refer to beings such as angels and gods that sometimes involve themselves in human affairs. ISTR that, in the TV show Angel, that there was some mention of such beings, perhaps in reference to the source of Cordelia's visions. Commented Mar 22, 2012 at 18:47
  • CW can also refer to the channel, most notable for being home to most of the Arrow-verse.
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 23:15
  • TPTB is super familiar to me, as it is a heavily-used acronym in the Harry Potter fandom, but there it does include moderators, generally. I'm glad SPaG is on this list. When I first came to SFF, I was regularly using "SPaG" as a reason for editing a post; it was several months until someone asked me what the heck SPaG meant! I had just assumed it was a well-known acronym. Never again will I assume, and I now typically try to avoid using lots of acronyms in posts and comments. I do use a lot of acronyms in chat, though. :) Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 13:20
  • @Donald.McLean yes, but it abbv'd as PTB or 'the powers' not TPTB
    – user68762
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 16:26

Harry Potter

  • AK - Avada Kedavra
  • COMC - Care of Magical Creatures
  • CoS - Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)
  • DA - Dumbledore's Army
  • DADA - Defence Against the Dark Arts
  • DD - Dumbledore
  • DEs - Death Eaters
  • DH - Deathly Hallows (Book 7)
  • DoM - Department of Mysteries
  • DP or TDP — the Daily Prophet
  • FBAWTFT or FB - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • GoF - Goblet of Fire (Book 4)
  • HBP - Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
  • HoH - Head of House
  • HoM - History of Magic
  • HP - Harry Potter
  • HP:MoR - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (a fanfic)
  • JKR - J.K. Rowling
  • MoM - Ministry of/for Magic
  • N.E.W.T.s or NEWTs - Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests
  • O.W.L.s or OWLs - Ordinary Wizarding Levels
  • OotP - Order of the Phoenix (Book 5)
  • PoA - Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3)
  • PS - Philosopher's Stone (Book 1, original British title)
  • QR - Quibbler Report
  • QTTA - Quidditch Through the Ages
  • RoR - Room of Requirement
  • Sly - Slytherincess
  • S.P.E.W. or SPEW - Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare
  • SS - Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1, US title)
  • TBTB - Tales of Beedle the Bard
  • TBWL - the Boy Who Lived
  • TDP or DP - the Daily Prophet
  • TWT - Tri-wizard Tournament
  • The Chamber - The Chamber of Secrets
  • W.O.M.B.A.T.s or WOMBATS - Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude Test
  • WW - Witch Weekly
  • WWN - Wizarding Wireless Network
  • WWW - Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes

A Song of Ice and Fire and/or Game of Thrones

Real life people

  • D&D - Dan Weiss & David Benioff, Producers of the HBO adaptation
  • GRRM - George R.R. Martin, writer and creator of the series

On site

Books & Show

  • ASOIAF - A Song of Ice and Fire, the name given to the books series.
  • AGOT - A Game of Thrones, First book of the series
  • ACOK - A Clash of Kings, Second book of the series
  • ASOS - A Storm of Swords, Third book of the series
  • AFFC - A Feast for Crows, Fourth book of the series
  • ADWD - A Dance with Dragons, Fifth book of the series
  • ADOS - A Dream of Spring, Seventh book of the series (Planned)
  • D&E - Dunk & Egg, Collective name given to a series of Prequels
  • GoT - Game of thrones, the name given to the HBO TV Adaptation of the books.
  • ToDaE - Tales of Dunk & Egg, official name given to the prequel novella series
  • TWOW - The Winds of Winter, Sixth book of the series (Still in progress)
  • THK - The Hedge Knight, First novella of Dunk & Egg series
  • TSS - The Sworn Sword, Second novella of Dunk & Egg series
  • TMK - The Mystery Knight, Third novella of Dunk & Egg series
  • TRP - The Rogue Prince, A Prequel novella
  • TPATQ - The Princess and the Queen, A Prequel novella
  • TWOIAF - The world of Ice and Fire, Companion book

In-Universe Characters, Events, Organizations and Places

  • AA - Azor Ahai
  • AAR - Azor Ahai Reborn
  • BB - Bobby B (Robert Baratheon)
  • BF - Blackfish (Brynden Tully)
  • BR - Bloodraven (Brynden Rivers)
  • BwB - Brotherhood without Banners
  • CotF - Children of the Forest
  • fAegon - Fake Aegon
  • FLM - Faceless Men
  • FM - First Men
  • HoBaW - House of Black and White
  • HotU - House of the Undying
  • IT - Iron Throne
  • JC/JonCon - Jon Connington
  • KG - Kingsguard
  • KS - Kingslayer
  • KL - King's Landing
  • KotLt - Knight of the Laughing Tree
  • LC - Lord Commander
  • LF - Littlefinger
  • MFG - Many Faced God
  • NK - Night's King
  • MMD - Mirri Maz Dur (the Maegi who caused Khal Drogo's death)
  • NW - Night's Watch
  • PW - Purple Wedding
  • QoT - Queen of Thorns
  • QoLaB - Queen of Love and Beauty
  • RR - Robert's Rebellion
  • RW - Red Wedding
  • StmtW - Stallion that mounts the World
  • TER - Three Eyed Raven (Used in Show)
  • TEC/3EC - Three Eyed Crow (Used in books)
  • TKitN - The King in the North
  • TPTWP - The Prince that was Promised
  • ToJ - Tower of Joy
  • WotfK - War of the five Kings
  • WW - White Walkers
  • YG - Young Griff

Popular Theories and Other Terms

  • AC - After Conquest

  • BC - Before Conquest

  • BotD - Blood of the Dragon

  • GNC - Grand Northern Conspiracy (Theory about Ambitions of Rickard Stark)

  • N+A = J

    Theory that Ned Stark and Ashara Dayne are parents of Jon.

  • R+L = J

    Theory that Rhaegar and Lyanna are parents of Jon.

  • SanSan - A fan theory that ships Sansa Stark and Sandor Cleagane together

  • T=T

    A fan theory that Tyrion is a Targaryen

  • YMBQ - Younger More Beautiful Queen

    (A reference to Prophecy made about Cersei's downfall)

  • 5
    I think in your spoiler under N+A=J you misspelled "wrong."
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 21:24

Harry Potter Fanfiction

  1. ! = The Exclamation Mark or 'Bang' Symbol -- refers to a short form for expressing the presence of a particular trait or defining quality of a character in a story.
  2. Ao3 = Archive of our own
  3. Daudinn = Death
  4. Dramione = Draco has relations with Hermione.
  5. Drarry = Draco has relations with Harry.
  6. DLP = Dark Lord Potter forums.
  7. Ffnet = www.fanfiction.net
  8. H/C = Hurt or comfort
  9. Indy! = Independent character. Usually used in Lordship fics.
  10. MPreg = Male Pregnancy
  11. NC17 = Strong violence and adult content.
  12. OC = Original character
  13. Pairing = Who gets together with whom
  14. Pre Het: Used to describe a heterosexual relationship between two characters that does not have an sexual component or actual romantic interest beyond unresolved sexual tension.
  15. R&R: Read and review
  16. RST = Resolved sexual tension
  17. Severitus = Snape is Harry's dad.
  18. Slash = Homosexual pairing
  19. Slave = Used in BDSM context for submissive
  20. TW = Trigger Warning
  21. URST = Unresolved Sexual Tension
  22. Xeno = Non Human pairing.
  23. X-Over = Crossover: fan-fiction which draws from two or more independent fictional universes.
  • 3
    Many of these seem to be about general fan-fiction and not specifically related to Harry Potter or to the Stack Exchange Network.
    – Skooba
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 17:13
  • Fanfic id questions are asked often and this might help someone who stumbled upon a common abbreviation. @Skooba
    – Neo Darwin
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 17:16
  • I've undeleted this answer. No matter how distasteful many of us find (a proportion of) HP fanfiction, it is on-topic for the site, and therefore people should be allowed to use meta to curate resources for it. I did, however, edit this answer to remove one or two particularly problematic entries (I'm not sure if that means what it sounds like, and hope it doesn't, but erring on the side of caution) and some redundant ones.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 12:13
  • 3
    @Randal'Thor - My issue with this one is that hardly any of these are common on our site. The fact that they're used elsewhere is really none of our business nor of any interest.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 12:15
  • @Valorum Then perhaps others can muck in and improve it. NeoDarwin, would you like to make this answer Community Wiki as other answerers here have done?
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 12:16
  • 1
    @Randal'Thor - I'm not sure he'd be happy with me deleting more than three quarters of his answer.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 12:20

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