Jessica Ryan
Jessica Ryan

I often have people ask me what certain nerdy terms in my column mean. Not everyone who reads this column is entrenched in the "nerd world," and there's nothing wrong with a vocabulary lesson every now and then:

Tweet/Tweeps - messages on Twitter/Twitter users. A message is not a "twitter," and a user is not a "twitterer." You don't "twitter" a message to a "tweeter." If you're ever talking about Twitter to a tweep, make sure you use the right terminology.

Upvote/Downvote - an action on Reddit where you can vote a post up or down. Posts with more upvotes move to the top of the page, and downvotes move posts — you got it — down the page.

GPOY — gratuitous picture of yourself. Originally confined to Tumblr, the term has found itself on other social networks in recent years. GPOY has also expanded from selfies to an abbreviated way of saying "I totally relate to this."

Reblog — an action on Tumblr, reblogging takes a post from someone else's blog and posts it on your own. Generally, reblogging is encouraged — as long as you leave the source of the original content.

MMOs and RPGs — MMOs are massively multiplayer online games, and RPGs are role-playing games. MMOs are often RPGs, but not all RPGs are MMOs (World of Warcraft is an MMORPG, and Dungeons and Dragons is an RPG that's played in real life. And speaking of that...

Meatspace — real life space — out of game or offline. Similar to "IRL." I've seen "meatspace" used less frequently, but it's still around.

Fandom — a group of fans. People in fandoms often create fan art, alternate universes and commiserate with each other over various things that happen in the show. Fandoms also often name themselves, such as Trekkies (fans of "Star Trek"), Whovians ("Doctor Who" fans) and the Cumbercollective (fans of Benedict Cumberbatch.)

Cons — conventions. From Comic-Con to Vidcon, cons are gatherings of nerds who want to celebrate their love of nerdiness. Bigger cons have shifted from specific nerdy niches to general pop culture.

Cosplaying — dressing up as a character from a comic/TV show/video game/movie/etc. A common activity at cons, many cosplayers put hours and hours of effort (plus beaucoup bucks) into their costumes, but some simple ones are crazy impressive as well.

The Doctor — the main character on Doctor Who. His name isn't "Doctor Who" or even "Dr. Who." He also regenerates (with a new actor playing The Doctor), which is why you'll hear people refer to "the tenth Doctor" or "Eleven."

Now that you've been enlightened, you can impress your nerdy friends with your expanded lexicon. Fantastic.

Jessica Ryan is a community manager and CU grad. She writes about nerdy things once a week for the Colorado Daily. On Twitter: @JessicaLRyan