Reddit Jargon Explained: 25 Terms You Need to Know – MUO – MakeUseOf

Reddit has tons of jargon and abbreviations that can be confusing for new or infrequent users. Here are some common terms explained.
Reddit is the home to many things: funny cat videos, DIY projects, and life hacks. But it's also the home to a lot of jargon. If you're new to Reddit, all the abbreviations and slang can be confusing.
That's why we've created this handy guide to help you understand some of the most common Reddit terms. Let's dive in…
A subreddit is a specific forum on Reddit where users can submit posts about a particular topic. There are Subreddits for finance, sports, TV shows, and just about anything else you can think of. For example, r/funny is a subreddit devoted to funny content, while r/news is a subreddit devoted to news articles.
ELI5 stands for "explain like I'm five." When someone posts an ELI5 question on Reddit, they're asking for a simple explanation of a complex topic.
For example, someone might ask "ELI5, what is quantum mechanics?". In response, another user might provide a simple explanation of quantum mechanics that a theoretical five-year-old could understand.
AMA stands for "ask me anything". This is a type of post on Reddit where somebody with expertise in a particular field invites the community to ask questions they have.
For example, an AMA might be titled "I am a professional basketball player, AMA". Here, users would be free to ask the basketball player anything they want, from questions about their favorite team to personal questions about their life.
OP stands for "original poster". This refers to the user who authored a particular post on Reddit.
You'll find users using the term OP when referring back to the author. For example: "OP specified that they don't like cats".
A throwaway account is an account that is created for a specific purpose and then abandoned after that purpose has been served.
Redditors use throwaway accounts for posting sensitive or personal information or asking a question the user doesn't want to be associated with their main account.
TIL stands for "today I learned". This is a type of post on Reddit where users share something interesting or surprising that they have learned. For example, a user might post "TIL that the average human brain weighs about three pounds."
IAmA stands for "I am a…". This is a popular type of post on Reddit where somebody with an interesting or unusual job or lifestyle invites the community to ask questions they have. It is like the AMA (ask me anything) but with a focus on the poster's occupation or lifestyle.
NSFW stands for "not safe for work". This is a warning placed on posts or comments containing content that might not be appropriate for viewing in a work or public setting. NSFW posts can include anything from profanity to nudity to violence.
CMV is short for "change my view". This is a type of post on Reddit where the user presents a particular opinion or viewpoint and invites others to change their mind.
YMMV stands for "your mileage may vary". This is a disclaimer used on Reddit to warn users that their experience with a particular product or service may differ from the norm.
TL;DR stands for "too long; didn't read". This is a summary of a longer piece of text, typically placed at the end of the post or comment. It is used when the original text is too long or complex to read or when the reader only wants a general overview of the main points.
HIFW is short for "how I felt when". This is a type of post on Reddit where the user shares a story or experience and describes how it made them feel.
DAE is short for "does anyone else". This is a type of post on Reddit where the user asks if anybody else has experienced something similar. For example, a user might make a post titled "DAE feel like they're being watched all the time?".
PII stands for "personally identifiable information". This is any information that can be used to identify an individual, such as their name, address, date of birth, or Social Security number.
Generally, you shouldn't add PII to your Reddit account, including posts and comments. Rather, keep this information unlinked to your account to protect your online privacy.
Short for "for your information". This abbreviation is used to preface a statement that is offered as information, but not necessarily as advice.
IMO and IMHO stand for "in my opinion" and "in my humble/honest opinion", respectively. These are commonly used on Reddit (and other online platforms) to show that the user is expressing their own opinion.
Brigading is when a group of users work together to downvote or otherwise attack another user or group of users or specific threads. This is considered a coordinated action, rather than unassociated users just expressing an opinion.
Mods is short for "moderators". Reddit moderators are volunteer users who help to keep a particular subreddit clean and organized. They can remove posts and comments that violate the subreddit's rules and ban users who repeatedly violate them.
This is Reddit's version of a "like".Users can upvote or downvote posts and comments to signal whether or not they like them. The more upvotes a post has, the more visible it becomes.
This is the opposite of an upvote. Downvotes signal that a post or comment is not "liked" by the user.
Karma is a points system on Reddit that reflects how much the community likes or approves of a particular user. Reddit users can earn karma by posting content that other users upvote and they can lose karma by posting content that gets downvoted.
Karma whoring is when a user only posts content to earn karma points without considering the quality or relevance of the content.
A flair is a customizable label that is added to a post to provide context or extra information. For example, a post about a finance article might have the flair "cryptocurrency". Flairs are also used to show the OP's level of expertise on a topic, like "beginner" or "expert."
They can also flag a post as NSFW.
A "stickied" post is a post that has been "stuck" to the top of a subreddit by the moderators. Stickied posts are usually announcements or informative posts.
If you want to regularly take part in a subreddit and not fall foul of its etiquette rules, you should take a look at these posts.
A bump is the act of posting in a thread to make it visible again. This is often done to keep a discussion going or to get more attention for a particular post.
Now that you've read this guide, you should have a good grasp of some of the most common terms and jargon used on Reddit. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it should give you a good starting point for navigating the site.
John is a Consumer Technology Writer at MUO. In 2017, he began his writing career as a Reporter for a local media house. After two years of working in the traditional media, John decided to pursue a career that combines his two passions: writing and technology. He is currently studying for a degree in Criminology and Security Studies.

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