Commonly Used Terms
and Abbreviations in Fanfiction

Categories of sexual content seen in conjunction with other ratings:

Gen: For general audiences. Little or no sexual content.
Het or Adult: Heterosexual sexual content in varying degrees.
Slash: Homoerotic sexual content in varying degrees.


G: General Audiences. No strong language, violence, or sexual content.
PG: Some mild language or violence, and/or implied sexual relationship.
PG-13: Stronger language or violence, and/or implied sexual activity.
R: Strong language and explicit violence, and/or non-explicit sexual activity.
NC-17: Very explicit language, violence, and/or explicit sexual activity.

Other Terms and Abbreviations:

Alpha Reader: A person who works with the author at the beginning of the writing process, serving as a springboard for plot and character ideas.

Angst: Emotional suffering. Very popular within the Highlander universe.

Any Two Guys: Subset of slash fandom that enjoys homoerotic fanfiction for its own sake, regardless of the characters paired. Also, a type of slash story that is nonspecific enough to be able to drop in virtually any characters' names, from any fandom, and still have the story 'work.'

AU: Alternate Universe. A severe departure from the established rules and timeline of a fandom.

Beta Reader: A person who works with the author at the end of the writing process, proofing and critiquing the nearly-finished text, correcting spelling, grammar and word usage. Also looks for correct characterization and plot continuity.

BD: Bondage and Discipline. Use of restraints and punishment in a sexual context. Can be mild to extreme.

BFAP: Big Fucking Action Plot. Lots and lots of action, usually with minimal character development.

Buddy Story: Emphasizes the friendship of the characters, usually within the context of a larger plot driven story. The episode "Indiscretions" is a classic Methos and Joe buddy story.

Canon: Holy law. The official, established rules of a universe as seen on the show and movies. That Immortals cannot have children is Highlander canon.

CE/BCE: Common Era/Before Common Era. An alternative to AD/BC for non-Christians and those moved to political correctness.

Character Driven: Internally fueled conflict. "Can't we work it out?"

Death: Story involves the death of a major character.

DD: Domestic Discipline. I've never seen this in Highlander, but it's caused a ruckus in other fandoms. A story, ostensibly non-slash, where non-sexual punishment for minor offenses (such as one partner spanking the other for not washing the dishes) becomes a substitute for affection in the relationship.

DQ: Dark Quickening.

D/S: Dominance/Submission. Master and slave games or other use of authority/subordinate roles in sex. May be mild to extreme. Extreme forms may involve an aspect of humiliation for the submissive parner.

Erotica: Fiction with a high sexual content.

FB: Flashback.

Fan Canon: Unofficial rules that have become accepted in a fandom. The notion that Duncan's burr becomes more pronounced under emotional stress is Highlander fan canon. Also fanon.

Fic: Derived from "fanfic," short terminology for a work of fan fiction. A fan-written short story.

H/C: Hurt/Comfort. A story where one character comforts another after emotional or physical suffering. Comfort may be emotional or sexual in nature.

HL: Highlander, when referring to the show or fandom. Also HL:TS (Highlander: the Series).

HSPBO: Have Spare Panties Before Opening. An alternate label for PWP (Plot? What Plot?). Indicates a story where sex is the main feature.

HUM: Humor. A comedy story.

MarySue: Derogatory term for a story where a character is an obvious stand-in for the author and interacts with the fandom characters. The stand-in, or MarySue, is larger than life and too perfect to be real. Now primarily used as a humor device. Sometimes confused with OFC (Original Female Character).

NC, NC Sex or RAPE: Nonconsentual sex. Not to be confused with the rating of NC-17.

OFC/OMC: Original Female Character/Original Male Character. A character of the writer's own creation that plays more than an incidental role in the story.

OTT: Over The Top. Exaggerated humorous or dramatic situations.

Orgy: Sex with a "cast of thousands." Not common in Highlander fic.

Peak Moments: A story that has sections of high quality surrounded by larger blocks of unremarkable writing.

Plot Driven: Externally fueled conflict. "Get the Bad Guy."

POV: Point of View. .

PWP: Plot? What Plot? Commonly refers to a sexual encounter written outside the framework of a larger story. Less often refers to plotless vignettes.

Q: Quickening.

SFC: Shopping For Curtains. A story with lots of detail about everyday domestic life.

Slash: A story that posits a romantic or sexual relationship between two fandom characters of the same sex, generally when at least one of the characters is agreed to be heterosexual.

SM: Sadomasochism. The infliction/acceptance of pain in a sexual context. Can be mild to extreme.

Snuff: Sex involving the death of one partner. Rare in Highlander fic.

SWP: Sex Without Plot. A more specific term for some PWPs.

UST: Unresolved Sexual Tension. All the torture, none of the payoff.

Vignette: An individual scene written outside the framework of a larger story. Usually a mood piece.

WIP: Work in Progress. An unfinished story, usually posted in installments or chapters.

XOVER: Crossover. A story combining two or more fandoms. Example: A story featuring both Methos and Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. Some crosses with Highlander:

BTVS: Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
Forever Knight
H:LotS: Homicide: Life on the Street
HTLJ: Hercules: the Legendary Journeys
LFN: La Femme Nikita
QL: Quantum Leap
Star Trek: the Next Generation
STV: Star Trek: Voyager
TS: The Sentinel
VC: Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles

So who's in it, and what are they doing?:

D, DM, or DMotCM: Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod
EDM: Evil Duncan MacLeod. MacLeod still in the throes of the Dark Quickening.
M or ROG: Methos (ROG: Really Old Guy)
BAM: Bronze Age Methos (not, as one fan thought, Bad-Ass or Bare-Assed Methos)
R or RR: Richie Ryan
J or JD: Joe Dawson
K: Kronos
A: Amanda
Cass: Cassandra (the Witch of Donan Woods)
B: Byron
4H: The Four Horsemen
(coming from an agriculture community, I just really love that one!)
CR: Corey Raines
CM: Connor MacLeod
DrA: Doctor Anne Lindsay.

M/F: male/female sexual content
M/M: male/male sexual content
F/F: female/female sexual content (less common in Highlander fanfic)
M/M/F: male/male/female sexual content
(and so on, just keep rearranging the letters. Three or more of either gender is commonly noted as M+ or F+. Example: M/M/F+, two men, three or more women. M+/F+, three or more of each gender, is usually just noted as Orgy.)

Do you have a term to add to the glossary? Please send it along with a clear definition to