Urban Dictionary for the Book Community

The bookish community is a wonderful place and if you’re new here, welcome! However, we completely understand that while the community is new and exciting, it can also be mighty confusing. In a place where a jumble of letters is used to describe anything from a popular book series to a list of books you’re planning to read, a guide of what things mean can be the difference between eternal confusion and happy enlightenment!

Because of this we’ve decided to fill the gaping hole within the community as a whole, and pen a little dictionary-like guide for newcomers and seasoned vets of the community. We’ve put a lot of thought into these definitions and we really hope they help you all out!

Basics

Book

(noun) /buk/

You think you know this one. You’re wrong. Because I bet you’re thinking of this:

Top 10 Books Every College Student Should Read - eLearning Industry

And while that may be true, it doesn’t have to be. Instead of something with pages it can be this, this, OR this.

Headphones / PX7 | Bowers & Wilkins
Writing a Book is Like Starting a Business | The Purpose Is Profit


E-books, audiobooks, and physical books are all referred to as books. So when you hear that a book narrator sounded awesome, don’t be surprised.

Goodreads

(noun) /gewd-ray-eeds/

We like to think of Goodreads as a sort of Purgatory. This website is a necessary and mostly useful tool for posting/reading reviews and keeping track of what you’re reading. Unfortunately, it does have some shortcomings. Namely, its search algorithm. If you are trying to look up a book quickly, do not use Goodreads. Rather, you can put that book name into Google and even if you misspell it somehow, 9/10 times, the first link to come up will be the book on Goodreads!

Worker smart not harder.

Instagram

(noun) /in-STUH-gu-rahm/

Bookish photos for daaaaaaaaaaays! And after you see enough pictures of that really pretty book that everyone else seems to own, you might just find that you just ordered yourself a copy without even knowing what the book is about! Sure, once you finally read the synopsis you find out it’s a thriller, and you got scared reading The Babysitter’s Club but hey, at least you can now stare at this beautiful book 

Twitter

(noun) /tuh-wee-tur/

When referring to the bookish aspects of Twitter, it is a place for one of two things.

Drama and DRAMA.

Book twitter is a place filled with all sorts of drama, from authors exposing themselves as racist, to booktubers exposing themselves as racist. And then every once in a while people decide to attack book bloggers just to switch things up! Twitter is definitely the place to be! 

Acronyms

YA 

Young Adult

(adjective) /yung ah-dult/

A genre that anyone from any age can read, featuring a character that is a teenager. 

Now outside the book community you may encounter some levels of elitism in regards to YA books. People will say, ew you read YA? Those are all about dumb girls and teenage drama. Now while some of them are about dumb girls and teenage drama (and there is nothing wrong with that), there are also many other wonderful YA books our there that are about dumb boys and teenage drama as well! Oh yeah, and occasionally you get a character that isn’t dumb, or a plot without drama. If by occasionally you mean, most of the time. 

Our best advice when wanting to recommend a YA book to an elitist is to not tell them it’s YA until they finish reading it! Let them see what the genre’s really about before they claim it’s “childish”.

NA 

New Adult

(adjective)  /nehw AH-dult/

A genre that anyone from any age can read, featuring a character that is typically in their twenties. 

New Adult generally includes many aspects of YA except sex scenes do not cut to black. 

MG 

Middle Grade

(adjective) /mid-ul gray-ed/

A genre that anyone from any age can read, featuring a character that is in elementary or middle school.

Middle grade books tend to feature fantastic worldbuilding and beautiful plots, but unfortunately they tend to be slept upon in terms of hype and promotion.

ARC 

Advance Reader’s Copy

(noun) /AHD-vanz ray-durs CAW-pee/

ARCs are highly coveted pieces of literature that you may see pictures of on Instagram and Twitter and sometimes even Facebook. You can get your hands on one of these by either contacting the publishers and offering up your first born child or by attending some sort of bookish convention and waiting on line for 2-4 weeks!

TBR 

To Be Read

(noun or adjective) /tuh-oo bee ray-d/

This is a list of all the books a reader wants to read in their lifetime. It many times includes both books they physically own, but have not read, or books that they were recommended, or even books that haven’t been released yet. Basically, any kind of book, past, present, or future, can be found on a TBR. The catch however is that once a book is added to your TBR, it will never actually get read. It’s a well-known curse that occurs within the book community, and has yet to be broken by any. 

DNF 

Did Not Finish

(verb or adjective) /deed now-ut fehn-esh/

This is another acronym that holds a certain amount of stigma within the book community. A book gets marked as DNF when it was either so bad that you couldn’t finish it, or if you simply did not ~vibe~ with the plot and have decided there are better pursuits with which you can occupy your time. 

RTC 

Review to Come

(noun) /reeve-yoo tuh-oo kuhm/

Bloggers many times will put this on Goodreads immediately after they finish a book, but before their review is written.  Now, you may think this means you’ll get a review within the next week. When that doesn’t happen you check again a few days later. Suddenly it’s 3 years later, and you’re still refreshing that same Goodreads review, waiting to hear a blogger’s thoughts on that book. You die refreshing that page. The review never appears. 

YA Starter Pack of Acronyms

These are the list of books that you must have read in order to get your Certificate in All Things YA. To get the Bonus Pack, one must choose a series, or author to defend with their life. Many of these YA books are of the more basic variety (read: very white) as they are of what some consider the “origins” of YA. You will see readers all over Twitter yelling about these books at all times of day, and knowing these acronyms will help you on your journey of deciphering the confusing screams. No, it isn’t all keyboard smashing. 

THG 

The Hunger Games

(noun) /th-uh hung-err gay-mus/

**despite the pronunciation guide there are unfortunately no gays in the hunger games**

You may recognize The Hunger Games from the fact that it had several high grossing blockbuster films. This series features a baker, an archer, and a corrupt government. This book is from the hey-day of YA love triangles so if you ever enter a discussion about The Hunger Games be prepared to field questions about “team Peeta” and “team Gale”. 

PJO 

Percy Jackson & the Olympians

(noun) /per-see joh-on-sun ahn-d th-ee oh-layhm-pee-uns/

Most commonly referred to as Percy Jackson, this series is a staple of the book community. This series features the half-mortal children of the Greek gods who are all trying to survive in a summer camp, while monsters try to kill them. Sounds great, doesn’t it? It’s even better when you read the books! However, if you do come across the movies, we urge you not to watch them. For your own good.

See also: Heroes of Olympus, Trials of Apollo, Red Pyramid, Magnus Chase, Rick Riordan…

TOG 

Throne of Glass

(noun) /thro-own ov glah-ss/

Assassins duel it out to see who is the baddest of them all, but the fairest of them all is destined to win! Not much murdering occurs, but you will get detailed descriptions of how hot each and every character is!

See also: Sarah J Maas, SJ Maas, SJM

ACOTAR

A Court of Thorns and Roses

(noun) /ah core-t ah-v thoh-rns ah-nd ROW-ses/

An Adult series that everyone pretends is YA for some reason that features hot faeries and sometimes a plot (but mostly it spends its time stressing how attractive all the characters are). 

See also: Sarah J Maas, SJ Maas, SJM

SOC

Six of Crows

(noun) /see-ix uh-v kuh-row-z/

A fun heist book with magic and violence, Six of Crows is a must read! Unfortunately, many publishers, authors, and readers like comparing every single magical book with more than three main characters to Six of Crows. So this is your warning that when you see “Like Six of Crows” when reading a review or promo, those books are not like Six of Crows. They are their own unique stories and oftentimes comparing every single book to one very successful one does more harm than good. 

See also: Shadow and Bone, Grishaverse, Leigh Bardugo

TCP 

The Cruel Prince

(noun) /th-uh kah-roole puh-rin-tz/

Another fairy book, but this time make it conniving and with a tail. It’s a classic tail of a faerie Prince despising a human girl but wait are his increasingly negative actions towards her just a mask for the genuine affection he holds for her??

And there you have it! Those are the basics of the bookish community! Armed with these terms and knowledge of the most popular YA books out there, you’re fully prepared to take part in all sorts of bookish conversations!

Now as we said these are the basics so don’t come back asking for a refund when you come into a conversation not understanding what a Daevabad is or why people are suddenly talking about boats.

Which definition was your favorite? Did we miss any terms? Which bookish acronyms confuse you?

70 thoughts on “Urban Dictionary for the Book Community

    1. Ahh, thank you!! I’m so happy you found it helpful!! I’m so bad with slang and acronyms I alwaysss have to google things when they come up on twitter or in blog posts 😅

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! We had such a fun time coming up with this post, and I’m so glad that you enjoyed it so much! And the dictionary format was a stroke of genius from Chana! It really made this whole post 10x better!

      And you’re the sweetest, Stephen! Thank you so much! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I LOVE that you also include the pronunciation of these words!! But that TBR and RTC definition though 😂 now that you mentioned it, I remember the reviews I need to already write at this point but I have yet to write.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The pronunciation was one of my favorite parts to come up with for this post! And I was quite proud of my RTC definition, so I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I actually came up with the idea after seeing a whole bunch of RTCs on Goodreads, but then never seeing a review! Maybe seeing this definition of RTC will provide the motivation you need to write some reviews!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Abby!! When I first joined the community I was sooo confused by all the little acronyms and phrases that everyone used, so this was really fun to write 😄

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! 💕💕

      Aah, so many times I see RTC and then I see that the book came out months ago and that update is from over a year ago 😅 But I guess it’s useful to have that placeholder, as a way to be accountable.

      Like

    1. Chana added in the part about boats, and it actually took me a few seconds to get what she was talking about! But yes, trying to explain some of these bookish terms can be super difficult! I hope this post at least helped you explain some terms to your mother!

      Like

    1. Thank you!! Ahh, honestly it took me AGES to get the YA ones because I haven’t really read most of the popular ones from the early 2000s. And even now I see acronyms and I have to think two or three times before I get them 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was so much fun to read and also helpful for newbies! 🙂 Especially with the acronyms for book titles? I know the basics but people will come around the corner with new ones everyday and I need 5 hours and 400 google searches to find out what they’re talking about :’D so yay for putting down some of the most important ones!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad! And yes! I know that’s something that Chana struggles with as well! That’s part of where I got the idea to include some popular YA acronyms in there! I figured having a starting point for at least some series might be helpful!

      Like

    1. Thank you!! Hahaha, so so many times I’m on twitter and I’m like wait what are they talking about 😂 Just yesterday I found out what ICYMI stood for after seeing it on tweets for monthsss

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVED THIS POST. Especially the pronunciations haha.
    Loved your definition of book twitter lmao. I downloaded it and set up my book twitter account last month and now I’m steering clear. SO toxic honestly. I didn’t see too much drama but I hated how every other (but mostly every) tweet was a subtweet or book shaming. Definitely not for me – I’ll just stick to the positive side of WordPress and Bookstagram.
    And totally agree on every fantasy book being described as like Six of Crows haha, just like most contemporary books are listed as ‘perfect for fans of Becky Abertalli/Simon VS. Love both those books so much (especially SOC, that duology has my heart) but it’s funny how they seem to be the benchmark.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m so happy you enjoyed it!!

      Oof, literally every day there’s another drama on Twitter 😭 Blogs are definitely waaay more drama free than twitter is. Especially because on Twitter there’s the added drama of authors interacting with readers and vice versa 😬

      I know! Like I LOVE Six of Crows, but I feel like it’s a disservice to both SoC and other YA fantasies to just constantly be compared. And so many times they’re not alike at all?? Like it’s for sure some kind of marketing strategy because SoC is popular but sometimes I wish they wouldn’t write that 😅

      Like

    1. Thank you! We had a lot of fun writing it! And thank you! I always admire bloggers that have a unique writing style, so I’m honored that you think we have unique styles as well! 💕 And I take full credit for that RTC definition! I actually was rather proud of it! And I’m guessing that if you’re taking the description personally it’s pretty accurate, so I’m going to consider it a job well done in that case!

      Like

    1. Thank you!! Ahh, I completely relate!! There are so many confusing acronyms all over the internet 😪 When I’m confused I usually just google that acronym + urban dictionary, and the meaning (usually) comes up!

      Like

  4. I loveed this post so so much! It is such a useful dictionary and your descriptions for each word made me laugh so much. Oh YES, the “reviews to come” somehow hardly come for some reason. AND I am actually reading The Wicked King right now but I somehow always forget what TCP means so yeah… But wait a second, why are people talking about boats? 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so happy that you enjoyed and that our descriptions made you laugh! But I’m even happier that you actually found this post useful! And yes, I thought that people might find what I wrote for RTC to be particularly relatable!

      And it took me a moment to understand to make the connection with boats as well, but technically the word boat and ship are interchangeable! Hope that helps clear up some confusion!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahhaa, thank you!! I’m so happy you enjoyed the post 💕💕 Aah, there’s so much drama on book twitter 😂 I feel like every now and then there’s something fun that goes on, but majority is definitely drama.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. omg i love how sarcastic this post is 😭 and your description for book twitter is just so spot on. it’s just people exposing themselves as racist and underappreciating book bloggers LMAO. and i haven’t read a sjm in so long, but you’re so right that literally everyone in her books is extremely attractive and she never lets you forget it 😭😭 overall, i think this guide is very helpful, and i think everyone who’s joining the book community should read it <33

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It was lots of fun letting our sarcastic side roam free!

      And our definition of Twitter was a joint effort, since I don’t have a Twtter account, so all I know is that there is DRAMA, whereas Chana was able to supply what the drama actually consists of! I’m glad that we reached a description that you think fits well! (But I’m also sad that Twitter is such a hateful place. Can people just stop?) Also, yes, SJM excels at using every option in the thesaurus to replace the word beautiful!

      I’m so happy you found this post to actually be helpful! We mostly wrote it as a way for us to be slightly snarky, but I’m so glad that it’s useful as well! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

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