From TrainSpottingWorld, for Rail fans everywhere


Note: while the definitions below may be useful for understanding and communicating on project and discussion pages, and with edit summaries, remember to explain jargon in encyclopedic articles, and write them in language which is readily understandable without specific knowledge of the Wikipedia project.

Don't overdo the use of Wikipedia jargon such as shortcuts on talk pages and edit summaries, either, at least not without providing explanatory links to the appropriate pages. See Wikipedia:WTF? OMG! TMD TLA. ARG! for an essay on this.


This is a glossary of terms commonly used on Wikipedia. For more help, see Wikipedia:Help, Wikipedia:FAQ, and Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ. For abbreviations often used in edit summaries, see Wikipedia:Edit summary legend. For common shorthands used in AfD (Articles for Deletion), see the Wikipedia:Guide to deletion. For common abbreviations and slang phrases outside Wikipedia, see List of Internet slang phrases.

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Voluntary (or sometimes ArbCom-imposed) one-revert rule. See One revert rule for more information.
See three-revert rule


Short for Administrator. A user with extra technical privileges for "custodial" work on Wikipedia - specifically, deleting and protecting pages, and blocking users.
Also used: Sysop.
The Wikipedia:Articles for deletion page. The AfD of an article refers to the discussion wherein Wikipedians consider whether an article should be kept or deleted.
See also Wikipedia:Guide to deletion for explanation of some terms used on AfD.
Abbreviation for "assume good faith", a guideline whereby one should not assume that an unwanted or disputed edit was done maliciously.
See Wikipedia:Assume good faith, and Hanlon's razor.
Also used: IP user.
Abbreviation for "anonymous user". This is what you are if you have not logged in.
An HTML term for code that lets you link to a specific point in a page, using the "#" character. You can use them to link to a section of a page, e.g. Wikipedia:How to edit a page#Links,_URLs,_images.
A subpage of a Talk page to which some parts of the discussion are transferred, to reduce the size of the Talk page. Rarely, the term may refer to the Wikipedia:Archive page, for outdated historical material.
See also: Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page.
Also, handwaving.
An assertion not supported by evidence; most frequently seen in articles for deletion discussions, when editors may assert that a subject is notable, but fail to make a convincing case. Such arguments are usually given less weight.
An entry. All articles are pages, but there are also pages that are not articles, such as this one.
See also Wikipedia:What is an article.


Bad faith nomination
A bad faith nomination is the nomination of a page, or more pages (usually for deletion at AFD) for disingenuous reasons such as making a point or vandalism.
Banning is the extreme, last resort action by which someone is prevented from editing Wikipedia for a certain length of time, limited or unlimited. Typical reasons for banning include a long history of biased edits (violation of NPOV), persistent adding of incorrect or doubtful material, refusal to cooperate with others, or extreme incivility and threats. If someone is banned, their username is blocked, and any username or IP judged to be the same person can be blocked without any further reason. See also: Block.
A banner is a template that is placed across the top of an article's talk page or at the top of a category to indicate specific details relating to the article or category's maintenance. They are often specifically linked to a WikiProject to indicate that the article or category falls within the jurisdiction of that project, but may also be related to article maintenance or protection. "Banner" may also simply mean the administrator who bans a troublesome editor.
Barnstars are a light-hearted system of awards given to Wikipedian editors by other editors to acknowledge good work or other positive contributions to Wikipedia. They take the form of an image posted to an editor's talk page, usually in the form of a five-pointed star. There are a wide variety of different types of barnstar, each indicating a different reason for the award having been given.
Be Bold
The exhortation that users should try to improve articles and fix mistakes themselves by editing, rather than complain about them. See Wikipedia:Be bold in updating pages.
Removing all content from a page. Newcomers often do this accidentally. On the other hand, if blanking an article is done in bad faith, it is vandalism. If blanking is done to a vandalized brand-new page, it is maintenance, and the page will be deleted by an admin within a few hours if no dispute arises. {{Delete}} should be added to the blanked page to draw attention to it, rather than just blanking it. Newcomers often mistake blanking for deletion.
Action by a sysop, removing from a certain IP-number or username the ability to edit Wikipedia. Usually done against addresses that have engaged in vandalism or against users who have been banned. See also: Ban.
A program that automatically or semi-automatically adds or edits Wikipedia-pages.
See also Wikipedia:Bots, Rambot, Vandalbot.
Broken link
Also used: edit link, red link.
A link to a nonexistent page, usually colored Template:Red. [[Template:]] may display this way depending on your settings.
Broken redirect
Redirect to a non-existing page. Common opinion is that these should be removed.
A Wikipedia Administrator who has been entrusted with promoting users to sysops.
See also Wikipedia:Bureaucrats.
Also used: Crat.


"Category" or "Categorize".
Also used: cat
A category is a collection of pages automatically formed by the Wikipedia servers by analyzing category tags in articles. Category tags are in the form [[Category:Computers]]. The part after the ":" is the name of the Category. Adding a category tag causes a link to the category and any super-categories to go to the bottom of the page. As stated, it also results in the page being added to the category listing. A list of basic categories to browse through can be found at Category:Fundamental, though a more user-friendly way to find a category is at Wikipedia:Browse.
The Wikipedia:Categories for discussion page (previously known as Wikipedia:Categories for deletion)
The process of repairing articles that contain errors of grammar, are poorly formatted, or contain irrelevant material. Cleanup generally requires only editing skills, as opposed to the specialized knowledge that is more often called for by pages needing attention.
See also: Wikipedia:Cleanup process.
Also used: XNR
Acronym for Cross-namespace redirects.
Comment out
To hide from normal display whilst retaining the material for editors to see. This is done by inserting the characters <!-- at the start of the comment text and --> at the end. These character strings are used to delimit comments in HTML code.
Community Portal
One of Wikipedia's main pages. It can often be found on the sidebar (on the left side in most skins), and is a page that lists the collaboration of the week, outstanding tasks that need to be addressed, and several other useful bits of information and resources. The Community Portal is useful for picking an article or topic to work on or read.
Short for contributions. These are the edits that a user has made.
A change to an article that only affects formatting, grammar, and other presentational aspects.
See also Copyedit and Wikipedia:How to copy-edit.
Also used: copyviol, and occasionally CV.
Copyright violation. Usually used in an edit summary when deleting copyrighted material added without complying with Wikipedia copyright verification procedures.
See also Wikipedia:Copyrights.
Cross-namespace redirects
Also used: CNR, and occasionally XNR.
A redirect which links from one type of namespace to another. Examples include words in the article namespace which redirect to project pages in the Wikipedia namespace. Although they are not considered standard practice, some are created to facilitate searching, especially for new users.
See also Wikipedia:Namespace and Wikipedia:Cross-namespace redirects (inactive).
A term used to describe an article or group of articles which are too focused on a specific topic, covering it in too much detail for a general encyclopedia. The term is often used as a suffix for terms such as Pok
Criteria for speedy deletion, a policy detailing the circumstances when articles etc. can be removed from Wikipedia without discussion. Also lists the templates needed to nominate something for speedy deletion.
Cut and paste move
Moving a page by taking the text of the page, and putting it into the edit window for the second page. Generally considered worse than the 'move page' option, because it splits the page and its edit history. Cut and paste moves can be fixed by administrators.
See also Wikipedia:How to fix cut and paste moves.
See Copyvio.


See Disambiguation.
db is an acronym for "delete because". Almost all templates that are used to request speedy deletion according to the procedure have this prefix (e.g., {{db-advert}}, {{db-nonsense}}, {{db-band}}. It can also refer to Wikipedia's database.
See also Speedy.
Data dump
To import material from outside sources into Wikipedia without editing, formatting and linking (wikifying). This is frowned upon by most Wikipedians.
See also Wikify.
Dead-end page
Page that has no links to existing other pages, except interlanguage links. Special:Deadendpages lists them, but this function is disabled in some Wikimedia projects for performance reasons.
See De-sysop.
Also used: un-bold.
To remove a phrase's bold typeface, because it is not the first reference to the title or a synonym of the topic (which should be bold), or that it is not the topic of the article at all. Common situations when one would de-bold include: bold foreign words (should instead be italicized) and bold Wikilinks (which, according to current Manual of Style, should be plain).
Someone who actively attempts to delete pages that others prefer to keep. Deletionism is the idea that Wikipedia should follow the same rules for inclusion as existing paper encyclopedias (mostly Encyclopedia Britannica). Often used as a derogatory term. The term 'inclusionist' for the opposite party is less used.
See also m:deletionism and m:inclusionism.
To make a page no longer an orphan.
See also Wikipedia:Orphan
Techie-speak for "tolerated or supported but not recommended (i.e. beware: may well be on the way out)". The term is also used to refer to pages, templates or categories that have been orphaned or are no longer used. In non-technical English, the word means "deplored or strongly disapproved of".
Also used: De-admin.
Take away someone's sysop status. Used very rarely, in cases where someone has voluntarily elected to resign such status, or is judged to have misused their sysop powers.
See also Wikipedia:Requests for de-adminship.
A user who can make direct changes to the Wikipedia software and possibly also the database, usually being one of the MediaWiki developers or Wikimedia foundation technicians. Technically it is the highest user access level, but Developer privileges are generally only used at request.
See also m:Developers for a list of developers and further information.
Also used: Un-Wikify.
To remove (de-link) a wikification of an article. This can be done to remove self-references or excessive common-noun Wikification (also known as "sea of blue").
Also used: Dictdef.
Short for a dictionary definition. This term is commonly used on Wikipedia:Articles for deletion when referring to an article that is more similar to a dictionary article than an encyclopedia one. Usually a reason for transwikifying to Wiktionary.
See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary.
The difference between two versions of page, as displayed using the Page history feature, or from Recent Changes. The versions to compare are encoded in the URL, so you can make a link by copying and pasting it - for instance when discussing a change on an article's talk page.
See also m:Help:Diff.
See Disambiguation.
Also used: dab, disambig.
The process of resolving the conflict that occurs when articles about two or more different topics have the same natural title.
See also Wikipedia:Disambiguation.
Disambiguation page
A page that contains various meanings of a word, and refers to the pages where the various meanings are defined. In cases when there is a prevailing meaning of the term, disambiguation pages are named "subject (disambiguation)".
Double redirect
A redirect which leads to another redirect. Counterintuitively, this will not bring one to the final destination, so it needs to be eliminated by linking directly to the target redirect. Double redirects are generated when moving a page which has redirects leading to it.
See also Repoint.
Short for a duplicate article. Often used when identifying a duplicate page that needs to be merged with another.
An abbreviation for Template:Did you know.
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See Edit conflict.
Edit conflict
Also, rarely "edconf". Appears if an edit is made to the page between when one opens it for editing and completes the edit. The later edit doesn't take effect, but the editor is prompted to merge their edit with the earlier one. Edit conflicts shouldn't be confused with edit wars.
See also Wikipedia:Edit conflicts.
Edit creep
The tendency for high quality articles to degrade over time. Articles usually achieve good article or featured article recognition because a small core of people knew the subject well and researched it carefully. Subsequently, new readers continue to alter the page. The average contribution may weaken the piece through bad copyediting, poor syntax, recitation of popular misconceptions, or giving undue weight to a subordinate topic.
A humorous term for having an unhealthy obsession with the number of edits that a person makes to Wikipedia, usually applied to one trying to make as many edits as possible. Often cited on Requests for Adminship regarding people who judge people on sheer edit count rather than personal merit.
See also Wikipedia:Editcountitis.
Edit link
See Broken link.
Edit summary
The contents of the "Summary:" field below the edit box on the "Edit this page" page.
See also Wikipedia:Edit summary.
Anyone who writes or modifies articles in a Wikipedia. That includes you.
Edit war
Also used: revert war.
Two or more parties continually making their preferred changes to a page, each persistently undoing the changes made by the opposite party. Generally, an edit war is the result of an argument on a talk page that could not be resolved. Edit wars are forbidden and lead to blocks.
See also Wikipedia:Edit war, Wikipedia:Three revert rule.
See Suitly Emphazi.
An eponymous category is a category that has the same name as an article and vice versa. For example George W. Bush and the eponymous category:George W. Bush.
Motion to close a process or other Wikipedia: namespace page by preserving the page itself, tagging it historical (and adding explanation on why the page was closed), and redirecting (or deleting) subpages. This is the solution that was implemented to close Esperanza, a goodwill "club" that was shut down.
External link
Also used: ext. ln, ext lk, or extlink.
A link to a website not owned by Wikimedia. The alternatives are an internal link, wikilink or free link within Wikipedia, and an interwiki link to a sister project.
See also Wikipedia:External links.


Featured article, an article that has been selected as representing "the best of Wikipedia". Articles become featured articles when a FAC gets consensus for promotion.
Featured article candidate, an article that has been proposed for consideration to be featured as one of the best in Wikipedia.
See Cruft.
Featured article removal candidate, a featured article whose "featured" status is considered for removal, either because the featured article criteria or the article itself changed.
Free Image Search Tool, which will look for free images for articles, either manually listed or by category
Forest fire
A flame war which spreads, seemingly uncontrollably, beyond the pages where it began into unrelated articles' talk pages. A forest fire becomes progressively more difficult for any user to keep track of. On Wikipedia, this is less of a problem than on other wikis, due to well-established boundaries for user conduct, clear guidelines for article content, and a formal dispute resolution process.
See also wildfire and MeatBall:ForestFire.
A splitting of an entity to satisfy different groups of people - in Wikipedia, this can either mean a project-wide split, in which a group of users decides to take a project database and continue with it on their own site (which is perfectly legal under the GFDL, and one of an editor's least disputed rights), or the split of an article, usually to accommodate different POVs. The latter is often called a POV fork and generally regarded as highly undesirable.
Featured pictures, a picture that has been selected as representing "the best of Wikipedia". Pictures become featured pictures when a FPC gets consensus for promotion.
Featured picture candidate, a picture that has been proposed for consideration to be featured as one of the best in Wikipedia.
Free link
A link pointing to another page within Wikipedia or its sister projects by using the wiki markup double square-brackets "[[" and "]]". Sometimes they are referred to as wikilinks or internal links. Unless otherwise specified in a user's monobook.css, these links usually show up as blue if they are working and you haven't visited them before, red if they are broken, and purple if they are working and you have visited them before; note that they do not have the arrow symbol characteristic of an external link.


Good article.
An edit war over which of several possible names should be used for a place. The word is a portmanteau of Gdańsk and Danzig, the two names about which a venerable edit war ensued. See Talk:Gdansk/Vote.
Geogre's Law
A law attributed to User:Geogre (although he may not have been the first person, and has certainly not been the only person, to observe this correlation), and most frequently referred to in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion. Paraphrased, the law states that there exists a strong correlation between the lack of proper capitalization of a person's name in the title of a biographical article, and the failure of the subject of that article to satisfy the criteria for inclusion of biographies.
"Google hits" - the number of successful searches for a particular word or phrase using the Google search engine. Sometimes used as a very rough assessment of notability on AFD. See also Google test.
GNU Free Documentation License. Wikipedia articles are released under this license.
See also Wikipedia:Copyrights.
Godwin's Law
Godwin's Law is particularly concerned with logical fallacies such as reductio ad Hitlerum, wherein an idea is unduly dismissed or rejected on ground of it being associated with persons generally considered "evil". Godwin's Law is: as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one. It is often cited as soon as it occurs as a flag that discussions have gone on too long or gotten out of hand on a particular topic.
Google test
Running sections or titles of articles through the Google search engine for various purposes. The four most common are to check for copyright violations, to determine which term among several is the most widely used, to decide whether a person is sufficiently famous to warrant an article or is simply engaging in vanity and to check whether a questionable and obscure topic is real (as opposed to the idiosyncratic invention of a particular individual).
See also Ghits, Wikipedia:Google test.
GNU General Public License. Wikipedia's software is released under this license.


Wording that is excessively fulsome, adulatory or glowing in a biographical article, to the point of violating NPOV. See Hagiography.
See: Armwaving
All previous versions of an article, from its creation to its current state. Also called page history.
See also: Help:Page history
Hopelessly POV
Describing an article which, in the opinion of some Wikipedians, is so closely tied to a particular point of view as to be inherently in violation of Wikipedia policy and unable to be made neutral. Other Wikipedians consider the accusation "hopelessly POV" as being merely an excuse to suppress certain points of view.


An abbreviation for I Am Not A Lawyer, indicating that an editor is about to give their opinion on a legal matter as they understand it, although they are not professionally qualified to do so, and may not fully understand the law in question. May be generalized to other occupations, e.g. IANAA (administrator), IANAD (doctor).
An abbreviation for Images and media for Deletion.
A user who is of the opinion that Wikipedia should contain as much information as possible, often regardless of presentation or notability. There are varying degrees of Inclusionism — radical Inclusionists vote "Keep" on every AfD they come across, while more moderate ones merely express their desire for a wide variety of topics to be covered, even if they do not fit the standard criteria for inclusion in an encyclopedia, or if the articles in question have quality problems.
A consistently formatted table which is present in articles with a common subject. See Wikipedia:Infobox and Wikipedia:Infobox templates for a how-to guide.
See also: taxobox.
Internal link
See free link.
A link to a sister project; this can be an interlanguage link to a corresponding article in a different language in Wikipedia, or a link to a project such as Wikibooks, Meta, etc.
International Phonetic Alphabet, widely used on Wikipedia to indicate pronunciation. See also Help:IPA, Help:pronunciation (for English), the more detailed International Phonetic Alphabet for English, and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (pronunciation).
I thought he already was one. Used about people listed in 'admin' requests.
An abbreviation for Template:In the news


See Admin.
Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia and Chair and President of the Wikimedia Foundation.


Kill / Kill with fire / Kill with a stick
Dysphemisms for "deleting" a page, expressing some disgust for the existence of the page.


Language link
See Interwiki.
Laundry list
See Wikipedia:Embedded_list and Wikipedia:WikiProject Laundromat.
Link rot
Because websites change over time, many external links from Wikipedia to other sites cannot be guaranteed to remain active. When an article's links becomes outdated and no longer work, the article is said to have undergone link rot.
To delete a category and turn the contents into a list. This is shorthand for saying that "this group of articles would be better if presented as a list, rather than as a category."
Landmarks: Major landmarks
See Help:Contents/Links.


On the Recent changes page, m (lower case, bold) indicates a minor edit.
Main Page
The page to which every user not specifying an article is redirected. The Main Page contains links to current events, presents certain articles (like a featured article of the day and links to Wikipedia's newest articles), and also serves as an entry point to browsing all articles by topic or other classification. Links to sister projects and other-language Wikipedias are also a prominent feature on the Main Page. Due to its high exposure, all content on the Main Page is protected.
See the essay no angry mastodons. Refers to the fight or flight reflex that sometimes happens while editing Wikipedia. Generally mentioned to request for calm. "Nobody ever got trampled to death because they were editing an encyclopedia."
The Mediation Committee. See Wikipedia:Mediation Committee.
Meat puppet
An account created only for the illegitimate strengthening of another user's position in votes or discussions. Unlike a sock puppet, the account is used by another person. Meat puppets are treated exactly like sock puppets in most cases, making the distinction between them largely academic.
The Mediation Cabal. See Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal.
The Mediation Committee. See Wikipedia:Mediation Committee.
An attempt by a third party to resolve an edit war or other conflict between users. There exists a Wikipedia:Mediation Committee which can do so on a more or less official basis as the penultimate step in the Wikipedia:dispute resolution process, and a Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal which acts as an informal alternative.
See also: Wikipedia:What is mediation?; Wikipedia:Mediation.
The software behind Wikipedia and its sister projects, as well as several projects not related to Wikimedia, and a namespace.
Compare with Wikimedia.
See also Wikipedia:MediaWiki, Wikipedia:MediaWiki namespace.
Common edit summary used by many Wikipedians.
what it means:
Taking the text of two pages, and turning it into a single page. See Help:Merging and moving pages
A user who adheres to the principle of Mergism, which is a compromise between the Inclusionist and Deletionist principles. A Mergist is of the opinion that while many topics merit inclusion, not every topic deserves its own article, and tries to combine these "side" topics into longer, less specific articles.
A separate wiki ( used to discuss general Wikipedia matters. In the past, this has been called Metapedia, Meta Wikipedia, Meta Wikimedia, and many other combinations.
See also Meta.
Meta page
Page that provides information about Wikipedia. Meta pages are more correctly referred to as project namespace pages. Meta pages should not be confused with a page on Meta-Wikimedia.
See also Wikipedia:Meta page.
A website other than Wikipedia that uses content original to Wikipedia as a source for at least some of its content.
See also Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks.
A term used to refer to administrator duties (compare Janitor). Often seen in the phrase to give someone a mop (i.e., to make someone into an administrator).
Changing the name and location of an article because of a misspelling, violation of naming convention, misnomer, or inaccuracy. Involves either renaming the page or moving it and constructing a redirect to keep the original link intact.
See also Help:Renaming (moving) a page.
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On the Recent changes page, N (upper case, bold) indicates a new page or article.
An abbreviation for new article, often used in edit summaries. Easily confused with the common non-Wiki use, "not applicable".
A way to classify pages. Wikipedia has namespaces for encyclopedia articles, pages about Wikipedia (project namespace), user pages (User:), special pages (Special:), template pages (Template:), and talk pages (Talk:, Wikipedia talk:, and User talk:), among others.
See also Wikipedia:Namespace.
Newbie test
Also used: newb test, noob test.
An edit made by a newcomer to Wikipedia, just to see if "Edit this page" really does what it sounds like. Newcomers should use Wikipedia:Sandbox for this purpose.
See also Wikipedia:Introduction.
frequently in lower case as nn
Found on comments at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion, indicating that the article's subject is not notable enough for a Wikipedia entry.
Short for "nomination," it is often found on Wikipedia:Articles for deletion as part of the phrase Delete per nom, indicating a voter's assent to the main nomination for deletion.
The Wikipedia policy that No Original Research is allowed in citing sources in articles.
Notice board
Also used: noticeboard.
A page which acts as a forum for a group of users, who use it to coordinate their editing. Most notice boards are by geographic location, like the UK Wikipedians' notice board; a notable exception is the Administrators' noticeboard.
Neutral point of view, or the agreement to present possibly subjective content in an objective, neutral, and substantiated manner, so as not to cause edit wars between opposing sides. As a verb, to remove biased statements or slanted phrasing. As an adjective, it indicates that an article is in compliance with Wikipedia's NPOV policy.
Null edit
a null edit is made when an editor opens the edit window of a document then re-saves the file without having made any text changes. This is sometimes done to change the functioning of templates (which require articles containing them to be edited in order for any changes to take effect).
A Wikipedia predecessor project that shut down in 2003. It is currently inactive and there are no plans to resurrect it.
See also: Wikipedia:Nupedia and Wikipedia.


Open tasks
A template (found at {{opentask}}) that lists several more or less janitorial tasks that are pending or needed. It is found on the community portal as well as on many user pages. The term is also occasionally used within individual WikiProjects to refer to work which has been discussed but which still needs to be completed.
Original research
In Wikipedia, original research (sometimes abbreviated OR) is material added to articles that has not been published already by a reputable source. As an encyclopedia, Wikipedia is not the appropriate place to publish original research, nor can it be used for substantiation of article content.
A page with no links from other pages. You can view lists of orphaned articles and images.
See also Wikipedia:Orphan.
Abbreviation for Open Ticket Request System.
Open Ticket Request System
Refers to the people and software that surround the handling of email sent to the Wikimedia Foundation.
See also Wikipedia:OTRS.


Any individual topic within Wikipedia; the web page without the top, bottom and side bars. Pages include articles, stubs, redirects, disambiguation pages, user pages, talk pages, documentation and special pages.
Patent nonsense
A humorous pejorative applied to articles that are either completely unintelligible or totally irrelevant. See Wikipedia:Patent nonsense.
Wikipedia:Recent changes patrol and/or Wikipedia:New page patrol. May also be used as a synonym for "review closely".
Material not presently under copyright and thus available for use without permission. Public domain
Peer Review
A request to have fellow Wikipedians review and help improve an article. Wikipedia has a page specifically for posting such a request and offering up your work for review. See Wikipedia:Peer Review.
A permanent category - that is, a category into which an article is assigned to aid reader navigation, as opposed to a temporary assignment relating to a process such as cleanup or stub sorting.

Per, Per Nom, Per X
A comment on a page such as RFA or AFD may be accompanied by the note "per nom", which means "for the reasons given by the nominator". Similarly, a comment may be noted "per X" where X is the name of one of the other commenters, or a reference to some page that explains the reasoning.
Personal attack
A comment that is not directed at content, but rather insults, demeans or threatens another editor (or a group of editors) personally, with obvious malice. To maintain a friendly and productive atmosphere, personal attacks are forbidden per Wikipedia policy and may be grounds for blocking in serious and/or repeated cases.
See also: Wikipedia:No personal attacks, Wikipedia:Remove personal attacks
Phase I
The wiki software UseModWiki. Wikipedia used this software prior to January 25, 2002.
Phase II
The wiki software written by User:Magnus Manske and adopted by Wikipedia after January 25, 2002 (Magnus Manske Day).
Phase III
A rewritten and improved version of the Phase II software. It was eventually renamed to MediaWiki. Wikipedia currently uses MediaWiki version 1.31.0 (see also Special:Version).
See also Wikipedia:MediaWiki, m:MediaWiki.
Phase IV
A dream proposal for the next generation of Wikipedia software made back when complete rewrites were in vogue. Development is now focused on incremental progress.
See also m:Wikipedia4.
Piped link
A link where the text displayed in the article is not the name of the link target. Such links are created using the pipe character "|" e.g. [[Target article|Displayed text]]. The pipe trick is a software feature that generates the displayed text for the editor in certain circumstances.
See also Wikipedia:Piped link.
"Thou shalt not deliberately skew any page, nor create or nominate for deletion any page, nor in any other way vandalize Wikipedia, in order to try to prove your point!" Also written as WP:POINT.
See also Wikipedia:Don't disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point.
Pokémon test
A heuristic for assessing the relevance or legitimacy of prospective article topics, which holds that any topic more notable than the most obscure species of Pokémon may deserve a Wikipedia article.
See also Wikipedia:Pokémon test.
Picture of the day
Point of view. Originally referred to each of many perspectives on an issue which may need to be considered and balanced in an encyclopedic article. Today, more often used as a synonym for "bias", as in "That reply was POV, not neutral".
POV warrior
An editor who aggressively distorts coverage of certain topics to suit his/her biases despite community norms of neutrality and the Wikipedia policy of NPOV.
As in, "delete without prejudice" and variations, based on the legal term.
Deletion without prejudice indicates that there's a problem with the present version of the article (e.g. lack of sources) and that recreation of the article is viable if that problem is fixed. Deletion with prejudice indicates that there's a problem with the subject of the article, and that it should not be recreated in any form (although deletion review can overturn this).
Process page
A wikispace page dedicated to discussion and (usually) voting on specific pages or users, or for similar administrative reasons. Examples include CFD, RFA, and AFD.
Proposed deletion. A process by which articles which do not qualify for speedy deletion but are able to be uncontroversially deleted can be removed from Wikipedia without going through a full AfD process. Can be used as both a noun and a verb (To prod an article).
See also Wikipedia:Guide to deletion.
Project namespace
The project namespace is a namespace dedicated to providing information about Wikipedia. Pages in the project namespace always start with "Wikipedia:".
Protected page
This term indicates a page that cannot be edited except by administrators, or in some cases, established users. Usually this is done to cool down an edit war.
See also Wikipedia:This page is protected.
A word that is created and used in the hope that it will become widely used and an accepted part of the language. A successful protologism becomes a neologism.
The term protologism has been adopted as jargon for use within Wiki communities, but is not in common usage outside this context. "Protologism" itself can be considered either a protologism or neologism. Coined by Mikhail Epstein from Greek protos, first + Greek logos, word.
See also protologism and list of protologisms.
The Pump
Also used: VP.
A nickname for Wikipedia:Village pump.


Wikimedia Quarto is a multilingual quarterly newsletter published by the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. It can be read online here.


Random page
The Random page link is on the left of each page for most skins. It will take you to a Wikipedia article that is chosen by a computer algorithm without any deliberate pattern or meaning to the choice.
An abbreviation for Recent changes
RC Patrol
A group of volunteer editors who examine Recent changes logs for vandalism and other undesirable edits.
Reader-facing template
See: Wikipedia:Neutral point of view
Re-creation, also "recreation"
A posting either of the same or similar text of a deleted article by a new user, or of the same text or different text of a deleted article by the original creator.
Recent changes
A dynamically generated page (found at Special:Recentchanges) that lists all edits in descending chronological order. Sometimes abbreviated as RC. Recent changes are checked regularly by editors doing RC patrol, which means checking all suspicious edits to catch vandalism as early as possible. Other ways of watching recent changes are the Recentchanges IRC channel, or CryptoDerk's Vandal Fighter, which announce changes in realtime.
Also used: redir.
A page title which, when requested, merely sends the reader to another page. This is used for synonyms and ease of linking. For example, impressionist might redirect to impressionism.
See also Wikipedia:Redirect.
A wikilink to an article that doesn't exist shows up red. See Wikipedia:WikiProject_Red_Link_Recovery
To restructure a document, usually applied to the ordering and summarizing of talk pages.
See also: Wikipedia:Refactoring talk pages
A new user account created by a banned user to evade the block. See sock puppet.
In the context of the World Wide Web, rendering is the operation performed by the user's browser of converting the web document (in HTML, XML, etc. plus image and other included files) into the visible page on the user's screen.
Repoint, also "retarget"
To change the destination article of a redirect, either to avoid a double redirect or to change the redirect so that it leads to a more appropriate article.
To change the subject matter of an article, a template or - most frequently - a category to one that is more acceptable for editorial or encyclopedic purposes. If by doing so the subject area is broadened, the term upscope is sometimes used.
An edit that reverses edits made by someone else, thus restoring the prior version.
See also Wikipedia:Revert
Revert war
See Edit war.
Can mean request for adminship or request for arbitration, depending on the context. The latter is frequently abbreviated RfAr to avoid the ambiguity.
RfA Cliché #1
Sometimes used in support at "requests for adminship", to indicate that one thought the candidate already was an admin. See also ITHAWO.
Request for arbitration.
Request for comment, part of the dispute resolution process. A request for comment is an informal process for soliciting input from Wikipedians about a question of article content or a user's conduct.
See also: Wikipedia:Requests for comment.
The Wikipedia:Redirects for deletion page.
Request for mediation, part of the dispute resolution process.
See also: Wikipedia:Requests for mediation.
Remove. Used in edit summaries to indicate that a particular piece of text or formatting has been deleted.
Remove vandalism. Used in edit summaries when good edits were made after vandalism, requiring the editor to sort out the vandalism, as opposed to a simple reversion. (See "rvv" below.)
Rogue admin
Accusatory term for a Wikipedia administrator, suggesting that the accused person systematically abuses their administrative access. Such accusations are rarely found to be justified or particularly productive. See also "rouge admin".
To change a page back to the version before the last edit. Sysops have special tools to do this more easily.
Rouge admin
A misspelling of "rogue admin" occasionally used by vandals and trolls. Now used jokingly by many Wikipedia administrators, usually to describe themselves performing actions which the affected users may not like (such as blocking vandals and deleting pages).
Wikipedia:Reliable sources — a guideline that articles should be based on reliable published sources.
Revert. An edit summary indicating that the page has been reverted to a previous version, often because of vandalism.
See also Wikipedia:How to revert a page to an earlier version.
Revert. See above.
See also Wikipedia:How to revert a page to an earlier version.
Revert because of vandalism. See rv above.


Replace word1 with word2. Used in edit summaries. It is a reference to the command for "find and replace" in languages such as sed and Perl. s/word1/word2/g means "replace all occurrences of word1 with word2" (g stands for "global").
(from "salt the earth") To delete an article and protect it against recreation. This is done when unwanted articles are repeatedly recreated.
A sandbox is a page that users may edit however they want. Though it is meant to help users experiment and gain familiarity with Wiki markup, the public sandbox at Wikipedia:Sandbox is often filled with strange things and patent nonsense. In addition to the public sandbox, users may create private sandboxes on subpages of their user page, e.g. User:Hephaestos/Sandbox.
Section editing
Using one of the '[edit]' links to the right of each section's title, one can get an edit window containing only the section of the page that's below the [edit] link. This makes it (hopefully) easier to find the exact spot where one wants to edit, and helps you avoiding an edit conflict. You can turn section editing off in your preferences under the "Enable section editing via [edit] links" option.
A Wikilink contained in an article that points the reader to that same article, e.g. linking Vice President in the article "Vice President". Such links are automatically displayed as strongly emphasized text rather than links, but the more complex case of a link which redirects to the same article is not, and should be de-wikified.
When used in terms like "no self refs", this refers to the guideline Wikipedia:Avoid self-references whereby articles should generally not refer to the Wikipedia project directly or implicitly. Self-ref can also refer to the template {{selfref}}.
An editor self-reverts when he or she reverts or undoes an edit that he or she had previously made. This may be because the editor was merely making a test, or because the editor later realised his or her edit was faulty, or because he or she wishes to show good faith after a three-revert rule violation.
See revert.
The Wikipedia:Stub types for deletion page.
Sharpen cat
To place an article within a more specific category, e.g. placing a biography article from Category:Kenya into Category:Kenyan people. Also, sh cat in edit summaries.
Sheep vote
A vote on Wikipedia which seems to be cast just to go along with the flow. E.g., on RfA, this can typically be a vote such as "Support because x, y, and z are supporting." The opposite is called a "wolf vote".
A redirect used within Wikispace to enable editors to get to a project page more quickly.
See Wikipedia:Shortcut for the policy on these redirects, and Wikipedia:List of shortcuts for a complete list.
The appearance theme in Special:Preferences. Currently, seven are available: Chick, Classic, Cologne Blue, Monobook, MySkin, Nostalgia, and Simple.
A contraction of "slight merge", sometimes used in Articles for deletion discussions. This is for when a topic deserves mention in another article, but not to the extent and detail that is already included (a partial merge and redirect).
Retargeting a double redirect to point to the ultimate target.
Snowball clause
Sometimes entries on process pages are closed early when it becomes obvious that they have "a snowball's chance in Hell" of passing the process. This removal is "per the Snowball clause". The verb "snowballing" is sometimes used for this action.
See also Wikipedia:Snowball clause.
Sock puppet
Another user account created secretly by an existing Wikipedian, generally to manufacture the illusion of support in a vote or argument. Also, particularly on AfD, a friend of an existing Wikipedian who has created an account solely for the purpose of supporting that Wikipedian in a vote (this special case is often called a meat puppet). It is not always possible to tell the difference.
See also Wikipedia:Sock puppet.
Soft redirect
A very short article or page that essentially points the reader in the direction of another page. Used in cases where a normal redirect is inappropriate for various reasons (e.g. it is a cross-wiki redirect)
See also Wikipedia:Soft redirect.
Short for spelling correction. Used in edit summaries.
Short for Single Purpose Account. If that single purpose is disruptive (e.g. vote stacking, or attacking some user) the account tends to get indefinitely blocked.
Abbreviation for Speedy delete (or "speedy rename" as appropriate). Can also be used as a verb — e.g., "I think the article should be speedied". "Speedy" on Wikipedia does not mean "now, immediately", but rather something that can be done without further discussion.
Speedy delete
Deletion of a page without prior discussion. Pages can be speedily deleted only under very specific circumstances; see Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion for those.
Speedy keep
The closing of a vote on a deletion wikispace page (like AFD) prior to the normal end of the voting period. This happens when the nomination has been faulty (e.g. a Bad faith nomination) or when there is overwhelming evidence that the page should be kept (EG. Massive or unanimous support for keeping it, or a history of deletion attempts that have ended in the same way).
Separating a single page into two or more pages.
An Administrator who has been empowered to change any user's status, including granting and revoking Administrator status and granting bureaucrat status.
See also Wikipedia:Administrators#Stewards.
Strike out
Placement of text in strikethrough (HTML <s></s>) tags. This is very rarely used in articles, but is relatively common in votes and discussions when a contributor changes his opinion. As not to cause confusion, the outdated comments are struck out (like this). Generally, one should strike out only one's own comments.
An article usually consisting of one short paragraph or less.
See also Wikipedia:Find or fix a stub and Wikiproject Stub Sorting.
Short for "substituting" a template; see Transclusion.
A page connected to a parent page, such as Somepage/Arguments. You can only create subpages in certain namespaces. Do not use subpages in the main article space.
See also Wikipedia:Subpages.
Suitly emphazi
A phrase with no known exact meaning, but which has a general allusion to positive things, such as improvement, or a request for clarification or elucidation. Originally started as an in-joke on the Wikipedia Reference desk. (See here for the original usage.)
See Admin.
Systemic bias
In Wikipedian terms, this refers to the preponderance of Wikipedia articles relating to subjects specific to English-speaking and/or Western countries, as opposed to those from the rest of the world. It may also refer to a bias for articles that may be of particular interest to those who have an affinity towards computers and the Internet, since they are more likely to edit Wikipedia.
See also WikiProject Countering systemic bias
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In addition to its usual HTML meanings, a tag can simply mean a category or a template that will assign an article to a category (most often a stub template). "To tag an article" means to either add a category or a stub template.
See also Help:HTML in wikitext and Help:Table
Talk page
A page reserved for discussion of the page with which it is associated, such as the article page. Very confusingly, the link to a talk page is labelled "discussion". All pages within Wikipedia (except pages in the Special namespace, and talk pages themselves!) have talk pages attached to them.
See also Wikipedia:Talk page.
Task force
A smaller group of editors in a WikiProject dedicated to a more specific field within the scope of the parent project. Task forces are located on WikiProject subpages. They generally have a less formal bureaucratic structure than full-fledged WikiProjects.
See also Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Guide/Task forces.
A type of infobox, a taxobox is a taxonomy table positioned at the right side of an entry for a species or organism (or for a genus or family), giving a chart of the kingdom, phylum, etc. of the creature. Taxoboxes are also used for similar standardized tables.
See also Wikipedia:Taxobox.
A way of automatically including the contents of one page within another page, used for boilerplate text, navigational aids, etc.
See also: Wikipedia:Template namespace.
The Wikipedia:Templates for deletion page.
Three-revert rule
A rule whereby no one is allowed to revert a single article more than three times in one day (with a few exceptions). See Wikipedia:Three-revert rule.
Short for "template". Also the name of a specific template, {{tl}}, which provides a template link, i.e., links a page to a template without allowing the template's code to operate on that page.
On a user's list of contributions, (top) indicates that the article has not been edited by anyone else since the user last edited it.
See Transclusion, Wikipedia:Transclusion costs and benefits.
The English-language Wikipedia should have only pages in English. Non-English pages, listed on Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English, are subject to deletion unless translated.
See also: Wikipedia:Translation for requests for translations into English of pages from foreign-language Wikipedias.
Move a page to another Wikimedia project, in particular Wiktionary, Wikibooks, Wikisource or sep11.
See also m:Transwiki.
A user who incites or engages in disruptive behavior (trolling). There are some people who enjoy causing conflict, and there are those who make a hobby of it. However, these are few in number and one should always assume good faith in other editors. Calling someone a troll in a dispute is a bad idea; it has an effect similar to calling someone a Nazi – no further meaningful debate is likely to occur.
See also polarization.
A cute misspelling of typo. Used as an edit summary when correcting typos.
See also Wikipedia:typo.


Umbrella nomination
A nomination (e.g. on CfD) that contains several items (e.g. categories) which are normally nominated individually.
Saying that something is unencyclopedic (also, unencyclopaedic) implies that it would not be expected to appear in an encyclopedia, and thus not in Wikipedia. (One must remember however that Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia, and hence does not have the space limitations of a paper encyclopedia)
See also Wikipedia:Unencyclopedic.
Going against the character of a Wiki. Usually, saying that something is "un-wiki" means that it makes editing more difficult or impossible.
A term frequently used on categories for discussion and stub types for deletion, it means "merge into parent category". In the case of stub types, this usually means to keep any associated template but to link it with the parent category rather than the category under discussion. In contexts such as WikiProject Stub sorting/Proposals, creating an upmerged template means a stub template, only, feeding into a more general stub type.
A portmanteau of upmerge and rescope. See rescope.
A small box which is stored in the template space, and which includes a small piece of information about a user (such as "This user likes cheese"). Many users use userboxes on their user page, although some look down upon it.
See also Wikipedia:Userboxes.
Wikipedia:Userfication is the process by which material posted in a Wikipedia article, project, or template space is moved into the user space: into a user page or subpage. A common case is where an inexperienced user who is not a notable person has created an article about himself/herself. The article would be deleted after userfying — moving its content to a user page.
User page
A personal page for Wikipedians. Most people use their pages to introduce themselves and to keep various personal notes and lists. They are also used by Wikipedians to communicate with each other via the user talk pages. User pages are not generated automatically by the process of Registration. A user page is linked to as [[User:Hephaestos|Hephaestos]] and appears as Hephaestos.
See also Wikipedia:User page.


One who engages in significant amounts of vandalism.
See also m:Vandal.
Some kind of bot being used for vandalism or spamming. Recognizable by the fact that one or a few IP-addresses make many similar clearly vandalist edits in a short time. In the worst cases these have created or vandalized hundreds of pages in several Wikipedias in a timespan of only minutes.
See also m:Vandalbot.
Deliberate defacement of Wikipedia pages. This can be by deleting text or writing nonsense, bad language, et cetera. The term is sometimes improperly used to discredit the views of an opponent in edit wars. Vandalism can be reported at Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress.
See also m:Wikipedia vandalism.
A tool for finding and removing vandalism — see User:AmiDaniel/VandalProof.
Village pump
The main community forum of Wikipedia (found at Wikipedia:Village pump), where proposals, policy changes, technical problems and other internals are announced and discussed in front of a wider audience than a topic-specific page would have.
Used to refer to the "Votes for deletion" page. While replaced with "AFD" (WP:AFD), you may still see the term in older talk pages.
Shorthand for Village pump or for VandalProof


A set of pages selected by the user, who can then click on My watchlist to see recent changes to those pages.
See also: Help:Watching pages.
Wheel war
A dispute between Wikipedia administrators who use the privileges of Wikipedia administrators (such as blocking) as weapons in the "war".
See also: Wikipedia:Wheel war, Wheel war.
A Wikipedia sister project that works to develop free textbooks, manuals, and other texts online.
See also Wikibooks.
Also used: Wikivacation.
When a Wikipedian takes a break from Wikipedia.
See also m:Wikibreak and Wikipedia:Wikiholiday
Also used: Wiki faerie.
It is the slang term for a wiki editor who beautifies wiki entries by organizing messy articles, and adding style, color and graphics. The efforts of WikiFairies are normally welcome, though they do not necessarily create new articles or affect the substantive content of the articles they edit. WikiFairies are considered to be basically friendly, like WikiGnomes.
See also Wikipedia:WikiFairy.
To format using Wiki markup (as opposed to plain text or HTML) and add internal links to material, incorporating it into the whole of Wikipedia. Noun: Wikification; adverb: wikifying. Sometimes shortened to wfy.
See also Wikipedia:How to edit a page, Category:Articles that need to be wikified, Wikipedia:Guide to layout and Wikipedia:Make only links relevant to the context.
A Wikipedian who makes minor, helpful edits without clamoring for attention or praise for what they did.
See also Wikipedia:WikiGnome.
Attempting to inappropriately rely on technicalities in a legalistic manner with respect to Wikipedia:Policies or Wikipedia:Arbitration. See Wikipedia:Wikilawyering
A link to another Wikipedia page, as opposed to an external link. See Wikipedia:Only make links that are relevant to the context, Wikipedia:Build the web, and Wikipedia:Canonicalization.
Wiki markup
Also used: wiki text, wikitext.
Code like HTML, but simplified and more convenient, for example '''bold''' instead of <b>bold</b>. It is the source code stored in the database and shown in the edit box. Searching by the Wikipedia software is done in the wikitext, as opposed to searching by external major search engines, which is done in the resulting text. The size of a page is the size of the wikitext.
See also Wikipedia:How to edit a page, Wikipedia:Guide to layout.
Properly Wikimedia Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization that provides a legal, financial and organizational framework for Wikipedia and its sister projects and provides the necessary hardware.
Compare with MediaWiki.
See also Wikimedia.
A Wikipedian who makes large edits from time to time but generally keeps to WikiGnomery.
See also Wikipedia:WikiOgre.
Pages intended to be the main pages for Wikipedians interested in a specific area of knowledge, helping both to find the information on the specific topic and to develop articles connected with it.
See also Wikipedia:Portal.
Also used: Wikiholic.
A wikipediholic is someone with a serious addiction to anything involving the words "Wiki" and "Pedia" in the same word or sentence. One of the main, and most common characteristics of the condition is the victim having a web browser window constantly open to the Recent Changes section of Wikipedia (or in the condition's slightly milder form, one's Watchlist), and pressing the "Reload" or "Refresh" button with a high frequency.
Also used: Wiki-tan.
One of the personifications of Wikipedia. She is the mascot character of various WikiProjects.
See also Wikipedia:Wikipe-tan.
An active group of Wikipedia editors working together to improve a specific group of articles, usually those on one or more related topics. This often involves an attempt to standardize the content and Style of the articles using an agreed standard format.
See also Wikipedia:WikiProject.
The Wikipedia etiquette of working with others on Wikipedia.
See also Wikipedia:Etiquette.
A Wikipedia sister project to create a free online collection of quotations.
See also Wikiquote.
Providing someone with the URL of a Wikipedia article when they express a lack of knowledge about a particular topic.
A Wikipedia sister project to create a free online compendium of primary source texts.
See also Wikisource.
The Wikipedia namespace. See Wikipedia:Namespace#Pseudo-namespaces and Wikipedia:Shortcuts (Wikipedia:WP).
Articles or sections created to promote a product or other meme. Spamming can also include adding extraneous or irrelevant links to promote an outside site, particularly for commercial purposes.
A Wikipedia sister project. It is a wiki-based, species directory that provides a solution to the problem that there is no central registration of species data in Wikipedia. Wikispecies will provide a central, more extensive database for taxonomy. Wikispecies is aimed at the needs of scientific users rather than general users.
Personal stress or tension induced by editing Wikipedia, or more often by being involved in minor conflict with another editor. Some users maintain a Wikistress meter on their user page. See Wikistress template, The Bosch Wikistress Meter, Wikistress
A Wikipedia sister project to create a free online dictionary of every language.
See also Wiktionary.
Wolf vote
A vote on Wikipedia which seems to be cast just to go against the flow. E.g., on RfA, this can typically be a vote such as "Oppose because x, y, and z are supporting." The opposite is called a "sheep vote".
See Wikimedia Foundation.
Common abbreviation for Wikipedia, especially for pages in the Wikipedia namespace. Also sometimes used as an abbreviation for WikiProject. See Wikipedia:Namespace#Pseudo namespaces and Wikipedia:Shortcuts (Wikipedia:WP).


Generic term for the collection of deletion discussion pages such as MfD, AfD, RfD, IfD, et al.
Also used: CNR
Acronym for Cross-namespace redirects. Used mainly at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion to emphasize for deletion.


en: / de: / ja: / etc.
The English / German / Japanese / etc.-language Wikipedia. Often used in edit summaries to indicate changes to interwiki links. For a full list of codes, see ISO 639. For a full list of Wikipedias, see m:Complete list of language Wikipedias available.
The term ø is sometimes used in edit summaries to indicate a null edit.
"Is not equal to". This usage comes from the relational operator in such languages as C.
"Not-vote" (the exclamation mark means 'not' in many programming languages). Something that looks like a vote but should not be considered a vote. The term !vote is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. See also Discuss, Don't Vote.

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