NFT nerds use many terms, abbreviations and intentional misspellings that, to novices, will seem like utter nonsense. NFT vocabulary is vital for your understanding should you wish to participate in the NFT space.
Not being NFT-conversant myself, I've tried to explain all the most important ones that came to mind when I joined the Supplain/WOF team to write this article.
Thus, I hope you will find the below list of NFT terms practical, and you will begin to feel like a true NFT guru.
*Thanks to all those within my team and those across the internet who I scoured to find and compile this list about NFT terms.
NFT terms & vocabulary
ArtBlocks, the most well-known platform for generative art, has three collections: "Curated" (ABC), "Playground" and "Factory."
A string of characters representing a wallet that can send and receive cryptocurrency.
When you get an 'airdrop', you automatically receive a specific amount of a cryptocurrency or a new free NFT dropped into your wallet. It's a popular way for NFT projects to reward their early adopters with new artworks, for instance.
Alpha is a term from the investing or hedge fund community representing an asset managers' skill vs market performance. As opposed to beta (market performance), it means the outstanding performance produced through the skills of asset managers.
Derived from the Crypto Twitter-sphere meaning to 'take on a large position relative to one's own portfolio size.' Apes have a strong NFT history, beginning with the famous 24 rare ape-looking Crypto Punks and then subsequently the Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Buying into an NFT project, perhaps without due diligence.
An avatar project is essentially a collection of a few thousand NFT avatars' including Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, Cool Cats, etc.
A decentralised database that maintains a data list that cannot be manipulated.
‘Buy the f'ing dip.’ When people are running around and selling because a crypto price is dropping hard, this is the time to buy.
‘Build useful stuff.’ When crypto is dipping, building useful stuff proves that it is valuable.
To burn an NFT means to destroy it. If only 2,500 NFTs are sold in a collection intended to consist of 5,000. For instance, the team behind the NFT may decide to 'burn' the remaining 2,500. Doing so makes the NFT more scarce and thus rare, keeping prices higher. Other projects even let their owners' burn' two NFTs to receive a new and rarer one.
Buying on secondary
Suppose a transaction of yours fails to mint. In that case, you have to buy on OpenSea or any platform where you can mint NFTs and trade them daily - thus not primary from the source but secondary trading.
The opposite of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), also known as overcoming the fact that you missed out on something.
DAM is a shorter version of ‘damn.’
DAO stands for Decentralised Autonomous Organisation. DAO is an organisation represented by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent, controlled by the organisation members, and not influenced by a central government.
When you own an NFT from a project, you and all the other owners have voting rights and control over the project's future actions and overall direction. Many NFT projects set up similar structures to become more community-driven and secure ongoing support.
Decentralised app. Any practical application of blockchain and/or cryptocurrency.
Simply a misspelling of 'dead' used to refer to a rug pulled project.
decentralised finance. DeFi is the movement within crypto that removes banks and institutions' control on money, financial products, and financial services.
Degen is short for 'degenerate,' usually refers to people who often make risky and bad bets or invest in digital assets like NFTs without doing due diligence.
Projects derived from the original project were first popularised with a wide variety of "alternative" punks. The philosophical view on derivatives is that they are fine, enhance the original brand, and everyone should stay cool about them.
A messaging platform heavily adopted by NFT Twitter for NFT project communities. Discord is and can be:
- full of scammers
- will eat all your CPU cycles
- default set to annoy everyone within miles with notification beeps
DYOR means 'Do Your Own Research.'
Few is short for 'few understand.' Like ‘probably nothing,’ it is a polite form of FOMO.
A misspelling of 'friend' that is used in Discord and Twitter.
The lowest available asking price on Larvalabs or OpenSea is either for a whole collection or for a collection subset.
The Fear of Missing Out. Buying an NFT (or anything for that matter) because you are afraid of missing out on the next big thing.
'FUD' stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Used to describe negative news stories, tweets, Discord messages that are either inaccurate or untrue. The reason behind large price drops in NFTs and cryptocurrencies is often a result of 'FUD.'
The price for making any blockchain transaction is called 'gas.' When buying NFTs on a blockchain, gas prices vary depending on the network. It all depends on the network activity - low activity, low fees, high activity, high fees.
Gas wars are common on Ethereum and somewhat of a rite of passage for novices. When a sought-after NFT collection launches, with hundreds of thousands scrambling for limited NFTs, you need to increase your gas fee to outbid others' for your transaction to complete. This is what's known as a gas war.
Generative art is one of the key innovations in the digital art world. In recent years, collectables created significant collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club and Cool Cats.
In short, all the NFTs in each of these collections have specific common characteristics, from skin colour, clothes, fur colour, eye type, backgrounds, headwear and so on.
It is possible to mix and match these characteristics to create a collection of 10,000 NFTs that are all unique. Whilst the initial features are hand-made, each NFT is automatically created by a computer with a random combination of all the available traits. This is the part of the process described as 'generative.'
GM is short for 'good morning.'
GMI means 'Going to Make It.' "If you buy and hold on to this superb NFT, you're going to become rich!"
GN means 'good night.'
Abbreviation for ‘Greatest Of All Time,’ meaning ‘the greatest ever.’ Used colloquially everywhere and not only in the NFT space to express respect.
Hate to See it
When commenting on someone's apparent misfortune, you 'hate to see it.'
An absolutely infuriating marketplace for art issued on the Tezos blockchain combines:
- vast amounts of attractive and inexpensive NFTs and,
- the worst UI made by any marketplace website in decades.
‘Holding On for Dear Life’ or holding on despite a loss. When crypto tumbles, loyal investors urge each other to think long term and HODL—not sell their tokens.
IYKYK means 'If You Know, You Know.' IYKYK is a polite form of FOMO. "If you know, then you should buy this NFT."
IRL means 'In Real Life,' otherwise known as the world beyond NFTs, OpenSea, Discord and Twitter.
I see what you did there
“I see what you did there” means when you see what a friend, competitor, or partner has done in the Metaverse. Generally used as an expression of quiet, subdued admiration for one's wit. Especially appropriate after a particularly deft pun.
- Person 1: You hear about that guy who stole all the plumbing fixtures from that house? He even took all the toilets. The police have nothing to go on.
- Person 2: Heh. I see what you did there.
JPGs refer to our NFTs, such as JPGs, GIFs, PNGs, audio files, video files or computer games.
LFG means 'Let's F*cking Go!' Pretty self-explanatory. It's used in excitement about a new NFT project launching or some big NFT news.
Available ETH (Ethereum) to buy JPGs. Any available ETH converts into JPGs immediately; thus, everyone, in reality, is in a state of perpetual illiquidity.
Larvalabs, the creators of autoglyphs, punks and meebits.
Rarity is what drives value in the NFT space.
Love to See it
The meaning of 'happy to see this.' Sometimes it is purely literal, but sometimes it is used oppositely.
Abbreviation for Ma’am, meaning 'Ms.' The same concept as Ser (see below).
Originated from Bitcoin minimalists, they firmly believe that the public chain is the best public chain. Can be applied to NFT projects.
A backup career plan in case the NGMI (see below) scenario comes true. "Applying now to McDonald's."
Another term that is used for 'IRL.'
The metadata of an NFT is all the necessary and unique data making that NFT precisely what it is.
When you buy a completely new NFT from the creator, you're 'minting' it. It's the process of creating an NFT on the blockchain.
MM is short for MetaMask, the popular NFT wallet mainly within the Ethereum ecosystem.
Its Money Laundering
This suggests that it is easy to make profits with NFTs. Used as a joke.
NFA means 'Not Financial Advice.' It is related to DYOR, where somebody shares advice or an idea, but it is your role to determine whether it is for you.
NGMI means 'Not going to make it'. Typically used when someone sells an NFT too early.
Newbie. The opposite of OG.
OG means original gangster. It means the people who were here early and earned respect in the NFT space. Similar to early adopters.
It can be understood as the meaning of “okay, old man/woman.”
'Play to Earn,' as in video games.
PFP is shorthand for 'profile picture.' The apes, punks, dogs, cats, skeletons, and all others that are used as avatars in the proto-metaverse of Twitter and Discord.
Plebian. The opposite of OG.
'Probably nothing' means probably something. Once again, it is another polite form of FOMO, with some plausible deniability.
Short for 'wrecked.' It means that when your investment portfolio performance looks like it was hit by a car (thus is wrecked, as per a car crash), no one wants it, but sometimes it cannot be avoided.
Right Click Save As
Used jokingly to describe every non-NFT person's first move when learning about NFTs. They know how to download an image from a web browser. After all, NFTs are not about the picture but the ownership right, so right click, save as, all day long.
Roadmaps are helpful in PFP projects yet insulting to demand in art projects.
Rug is short for 'rug pulled.' Derives from the Crypto Twittersphere, particularly DeFi, where multiple projects are pumped and dumped on retail.
'Salt' is salty, like the tears you shed in Cope state.
- a reference to Satoshi Nakomoto, the anonymous founder of Bitcoin who vanished shortly after his creation, leaving the project to be decentralised and collectively managed
- a unit of exchange, the smallest part of a bitcoin. 1 Satoshi = 0.00000001 ฿
A theory term people believe applies to NFTs (and Bitcoin). Specifically, certain NFTs will become stores of value. As such, storing more of them makes them become even more valuable.
'Seems legitimate' means the project looks legitimate and not fraudulent and has potentially good prospects. It can be used directly or sarcastically about a project's chances.
'Ser' means 'sir' but is usually used ironically. In other words, if someone uses 'ser' in a sentence, don't take the message too seriously.
'Shilling' means constantly promoting others to buy a certain NFT, making people feel irritable, or generating FOMO in the community. But no one likes this, don't do it.
About airdrops, a team will often take a snapshot at a certain point in time to determine who's eligible. For instance, everyone who held NFT X in their wallet at the time of the snapshot on 5th October 11, 16:00 UTC, will get a free airdrop of NFT Y the following week.
Sweep the Floor
'Sweep the floor' means searching (and possibly buying) all the lowest-priced NFTs of a particular NFT project.
Szn means season, which means market cycle. Crypto szns are accelerated IRL seasons. NFT szns are accelerated crypto seasons. It might last as little as 1-4 weeks.
This is the way
A way to commend socially positive behaviour.
Much like the stock market, people want NFT prices to be 'Up Only,' undoubtedly preferable to the less popular alternative of 'Down Only.'
An enormous hall where dead Vikings party alongside others with valuable NFTs.
WAGMI means 'We're All Going to Make It'. If an entire community buys into an NFT project with excellent prospects, then buying means the community as a whole will become rich.
Used when someone sells NFT too early or is just salty, referring to the only sentence you need to learn when going to work at McDonald's (see McDonald’s above).
Wen means 'when'. That's it.
Another from CryptoTwitter refers to your NFT project's price ascending to the moon.
A 'whale' is essentially someone with lots of money, either available to invest or already invested in high-value NFT projects. Whales have the power to move markets, either upward by buying a lot from a given collection or downward by selling.
‘Your bags’ refers to your ‘backpack’ specifically, your NFT wallet address.
Art where each piece is unique (one of one produced).
1/1 of X
The way to think about PFP and generative art collections. Fidenzas are 1/1 of 999. Punks are 1/1 of 10,000. Each one is entirely unique, but they belong to a whole collection compared to 1:1 art.
Closing thoughts on NFT terms
There you have it, the crucial terms to make you feel like an OG and not a noob. This list is not comprehensive by any means, as more are created all the time. So, please tell us what we have forgotten and let me know to add some more.
TO BE CONTINUED...