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TORNspeak - The TORN Dictionary

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Apr 24 2009, 10:23am

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     TORNspeak - The TORN Dictionary

Welcome to the TORN Dictionary!

Any group that spends a lot of time together develops its own unique culture and traditions and the TORN message boards are no exception. Over 14 years (and counting!), in thousands of threads and millions of messages posted on our boards both old and new, we've developed a vocabulary that's all our own. We use words and acronyms here that you won't see anywhere else. This guide to "TORNspeak" was created to help you understand just what we're all talking about. We hope it helps you feel at home with us!


Ages of TORN - Terms used to distinguish the various eras of the TORN message boards. TORNadoes are often referred to by the era in which they arrived and began posting.
First Age: April 1999-Dec. 2001 From the founding of TORN to the theatrical release of FOTR.
Second Age: Dec. 2001 - Dec. 2002 From FOTR to the theatrical release of The Two Towers.

Third Age: Dec. 2002 - Dec. 2003 From TTT to the theatrical release of Return of the King.
Fourth Age: Dec. 2003 - April 2007 From the theatrical release of ROTK to the move to the new boards.
Middle Ages: April 2007 - October 2010 From the debut of the new boards to the Hobbit green light.
Shire Reckoning - October 2010 to December 2013 From the Hobbit green light to the theatrical release of TH: BOFA

AUJ - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first film in the Hobbit trilogy

BOFA - The Battle of Five Armies. This may refer either to the climactic battle of that name in The Hobbit book, or the third film in the Hobbit trilogy. Alternately spelled Bof5A or BOTFA

BS - Book Spoiler. Short segments of Tolkien text for a nearly daily visit of his works when TIME is quiet.

Canon - A term used to denote the established and indisputable set of information which makes up the foundation of a work. Often people will refer to "Book Canon": facts established in JRR Tolkien's writings, or "Movie Canon": facts established in the movies. Book Canon and Movie Canon differ on some essential points.

*cookies* - An indication of approval or interest in a post in the Reading Room. "Good job. Have a cookie!" See also: *mods up*

CHOW - Chapter of the Week. A volunteer-led weekly discussion thread on the Movie: Hobbit board to discuss DVD "chapters" of the movies in detail.

CR - Complete Recordings of the LOTR movie soundtracks.

Deplorable Cultus - Tolkien's despairing term for his large and overwhelmingly enthusiastic fanbase.

DOS - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in the Hobbit trilogy

Drabble - An original piece of LOTR-themed writing of exactly 100 words.

EE - Extended Edition of the LOTR movies.

EI -
See: Estrogen Island

Elder Days - A term sometimes used by First Agers to refer to their early days on TORN.

Eowyn Challenge - See: Walk to Rivendell

Estrogen Island - A thread dedicated to the posting of pictures of attractive men for the purposes of admiration (and drooling); including but not limited to LOTR actors. Began as Estrogen Hour in the Elder Days, when the gentlemen of TORN outnumbered the ladies. Pictures must be family friendly - nothing rated higher than PG is allowed. See also: Testosterone Tower.

F1 & F2 - Film1 and Film 2. Used to refer to the then-unnamed first and second Hobbit films while in production.

Femine - A misspelling of "feminine" which first appeared in a rant disparaging the LOTR movies for having so many female fans and the TORN boards for having so many female members. Like "NARF", an ironic term adopted with enthusiasm by the accused. "OMG, LOTR is a femine movie!"

Fiesta Friday - A TORN tradition since the First Age, Fiesta is a virtual Happy Hour hosted by an appointed barkeep. Posted on the Off Topic forum every Friday at approximately noon Eastern Time (US), Fiesta is the place for sharing personal news and general socializing. Order anything you want; our virtual bar has virtually everything!

Figwit - "Frodo Is Great...Who Is That?" The acronym given to a then-nameless Elf extra glimpsed briefly in the Council of Elrond scene. From our message boards to TORN's news page to his own website to the international media to an ever-expanding role in the movies, Figwit became something of a breakout fan icon. The scoop on Figwit can be found

Forum Admin - Forum Administrator. A person whose job is to "beat the bounds" of the message boards and enforce the board rules and Terms of Service. Admins can edit, move, stick or delete messages and ban users. Also called a Moderator. A list of current Admins can be found

FOTR - The Fellowship of the Ring

Founder's Day - TORN's official holiday; it celebrates the anniversary of the launching of on April 26, 1999 and honors the four Founders (Xoanon, Tehanu, Corvar and Calisuri) and the all-volunteer staff who keep it running.

GDT - Guillermo del Toro, co-scriptwriter and former director of the Hobbit movies. GDT was a contributing member of the message boards during his time as director.

Geeky Observation Lists
- Comprehensive lists of details and minutiae in the films noted by TORNadoes and compiled into an archive found here.

*glug* - A response to a question which has been repeated so often that it has been added by popular consensus to the
TORN Drinking Game. "It is better to *glug* than to flame the newbie".

GOLD Nuggets
- A discussion series dedicated to details of the films found in the Geeky Observation Lists.

Have you ever noticed... - a regular thread which examines the costumes of the films in detail.

HOME - History of Middle-Earth. A series of books compiled and edited by Christopher Tolkien which chronicle the writings of JRR Tolkien concerning Middle-earth.

IEC - Invisible Extra Credit. Non-existent "points" awarded to a quiz taker for answers which make the quizmistress/quizmaster laugh. IEC is not counted toward the quiz score, but is highly sought after nonetheless.
See also: SAST

Knitting - references to fans who knit began when a New York Times review of the TV series A Game of Thrones called the show 'boy fiction' that was out of reach of women. A board member at the time agreed, saying that women were more interested in knitting than in invented universes - and just as with NARF, a new title of fandom was created as women on TORN took up their virtual knitting needles in response.

LE - Limited Edition of the LOTR movies.

Legolas' sense of direction - In The Two Towers movie, as the Three Hunters are chasing the Uruk-Hai across the plains of Rohan, Legolas announces, "The Uruks have turned North-east. They're taking the hobbits to Isengard!" Anyone familiar with the map of Middle-earth knows that Isengard was in fact to the North-west of them at that time so it has become a running joke to say that Legolas is directionally challenged.

LOTR - The Lord of the Rings

Massage Board - A popular misspelling of "message board". Primarily used by First Agers.

Mathom - 1. A hobbit term for anything lying about that one has no immediate use for but is unwilling to throw away. Many of the gifts that were passed from hand to hand among Hobbits were of this sort.
2. A "gift" given to the TORN boards at large to celebrate a birthday or TORNiversary. A merging of the Hobbitish tendency to collect mathoms and the Hobbit tradition of giving gifts to others on one's birthday. TORN birthday mathoms vary widely in content and style depending on the whim of the giver, such as parodies, photos, drabbles, or anything else that takes the giver's fancy.

Moot - A gathering of LOTR fans. From the Middle-English word for meeting or assembly.

Mediocrity Bench - A place of self-banishment for those who think they have missed too many questions on a quiz. A crowded Mediocrity Bench often turns into a party. A theme song was once composed, but was forgotten.

Middle-earth Conspiracy Theories - A game thread in which players propose alternate explanations to a scenario found in the books. The goal is to post the funniest answer you can invent for the amusement of everyone reading.

Moderator - See: Forum Admin

*mods up* - The TORN equivalent of "Bravo!"; a mark of approval for the content or expression of a post. The term originated from a moderating feature on the old boards in which members with 100+ posts in a forum could adjust the "score" of others' posts and was carried over to the new boards by those who missed the ability to register silent applause. See also: *cookies*

MoS - Mouth of Sauron

NARF - Not A Real Fan. A term sometimes used as an expression of scorn by newbies when confronted with those who do not agree with their particular enthusiasms or opinions. "A real fan would agree with me!" Now used as an ironic badge of honor by the accused, whose "fan credentials" are generally beyond question.

"NARF since 1960!".

Neekerbreeker - A person, especially a journalist, who makes numerous easily-researched factual errors. Named for the annoying bloodsucking insects of the Midgewater Marshes.

Pants - A game in which one takes quotes from the book or movie and replaces key words with "pants" or appropriate equivalent.

Parody - A song or poem with the words changed to a LOTR theme for comedic effect.

PJ - Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings movies

PM - Private Message

PotD - Paths of the Dead

*psst* - Used mainly on our old boards, an "aside" to another member of the boards. Used to denote a message that is not of general interest. Most such comments are now made via PM.

QTNA - Questions That Need Answers. A semi-regular thread in which a series of miscellaneous questions are posed for people to ponder and discuss.

ROTK - The Return of the King

SAST - Short Attention Span Theatre. Originally a popular series of movie-based quizzes, recently revived as a series of book quizzes, and notable for the awarding of Invisible Extra Credit and the creation of the Mediocrity Bench.

Scenes from the Hat - A game thread in which a theme is posted and players respond with the most ridiculous answers they can invent. The goal is to amuse all readers.

SCOD - Screencap of the Day. A discussion series which focuses on a selected screencap from the movies.

Sil - The Silmarillion

*Snert* - A cross between "snort" and "snerk". An indication of sarcastic amusement. Alternately spelled *snirt*

*squee* - A sudden outbust of geeky joy

Superuser - A Forum Admin/Moderator with greater board access. Superusers can change usernames, delete accounts, change board settings and perform many other feats of technical wizardry.

TABA - The Hobbit: There and Back Again, the original name of the third movie in the Hobbit trilogy before it was renamed The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

TAH - The Annotated Hobbit

TE - Theatrical Edition of the LOTR movies

Testosterone Tower - A thread dedicated to the posting of pictures of attractive women for the purposes of admiration (and drooling); including but not limited to LOTR actors. Pictures must be family friendly - nothing rated higher than PG is allowed. See also: Estrogen Island.

TIME - Today in Middle-earth. Posts on chronological events in Middle-earth according to Appendix B.

Time of Stars - A rarely-used term which refers to the early part of the First Age during LOTR pre-production, before news stories and studio promotion moved LOTR into the mainstream spotlight.

TORN or TORn -

TORNado - The original term coined by message board members to describe ourselves in the First Age of TORN. See also: TORNsib.

TORNiversary - A TORN anniversary. A celebration marking the date of a member's first post on the TORN message boards.

TORNsib - A "TORN sibling". Originally a term used by TORNadoes to describe other members they felt particularly close to, or to mark a gesture of fellowship. Now frequently used as a general term for any regular member. See also: TORNado.

TPTB - The Powers That Be. Used for any authority figure. On TORN, it usually refers to the founders of the site.

TT - See: Testosterone Tower

TTT - The Two Towers

UT - Unfinished Tales

UUT - Utterly Unsupported Theory. A term coined in the Reading Room. Used to describe a theory regarding an aspect of the story which could well be true but for which there is no proof for or against in Tolkien's writings. Alternately called an Utterly Unproveable Theory.

Walk to Rivendell...and beyond - A fitness group founded by TORN members in which members "walk in the footsteps of the Fellowship", logging miles toward various landmarks of Middle-earth. Also known as the Eowyn Challenge. Learn more

WNEBCFTPFY - "Why, N.E.Brigand Can Find That Post For You".

// - No Text. Ending a subject line with forward slashes indicates no text in body of post. This is especially useful for those reading in Threaded mode.


Help keep the Dictionary up to date!
Is something missing? Have changes to suggest? PM an Admin and let us know!


"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories

(This post was edited by Ataahua on Mar 29 2016, 3:36am)