A guide to Con Jargon

Con Jargon

When it is your first convention you might notice a lot of jargon being thrown around. This is my handy guide to Con Jargon. Thank you Fia Svenson for helping putting this list together.

  • BarCon: Hanging out in the bar for most of the con, rather than taking part in official activities – especially popular among the seasoned con-goers who are mostly at the con to meet their friends and make new ones.
  • Con bid: An organisation bidding for the privilege of of hosting a convention.
  • Dead dog-party: The convention after party. People hang out and chat. Often new conventions come together at the dead dog party, so if you are interested in organizing, this is a great place to hang out, if you have the time. You should defiantly go, if you are not leaving until the next day.
  • Fandom: Either the society of international fans attending conventions and/or enjoying fantasy/science fiction. Or the fans of a particular media property, ex the starwars fandom.
  • Fan fund: A fund that fundraise to raise the money to pay for a fan’s trip to another convention. They are normally local to a region. Ex the EFF is the European Fan Fund, that raises funds, so a fan can go to Eurocon. Fan funds are run by fans for fans.
  • FanZine: A mini-magazine made by fans, some are physical fanzins while others are digital ones. They often have pieces about fandom, reviews, poems, fanfic, fanart and short stories in them. These might be free or sold at production price.
  • FIAWOL: Fandom Is A Way Of Life
  • Filking: Singing and writing songs with a SFF theme, originally it was folk songs. It was originally folk music with new lyrics, but was renamed filk songs due to a spelling error… and then people just ran with it. Today t spans a wider range of genres, than just folk. Anyone can join a filking circle, you do not need to be able to sing or play music. There are a lot of geeky bands who started as filk bands and then started wiring original music.
  • GoH: Guest of Honour. The invited guest of a convention, who normally gets payed their hotel and travel expenses. They idea is to honour someone important to the genres and celebrate them. They normally gives interviews and are part of programing.
  • Gopher: A volunteer that do what-ever that needs doing at the time. The world is short for ‘goes for’ because gofers often go to grab things that others in the organization need. Gofers also help guide ques; tell panelsist that they need to stop now, really; runs the roaming mic out to the audience during programing and much more. It is a great way to get some volunteering experience under your belt.
  • Groats: Some cons pay their volunteers some tokens that they can then use to buy things at some vendors and in the bar.
  • Kaffeeklatsch: A programme item where you drink coffee and talk to a specific authors/artist etc. They normally requires a signup at the information desk. They are a great way of meeting authors and artist that you admire. They are normally about 10-15 people groups.
  • Masquerade: A lot of cons has a cosplay masquerade. It is basically a show, where the cosplayers gets to show off their awesome costumes while the rest of us gasps in awe. There are often prices to the best costumes in a number of categories.
  • Membership: Just like a ticket, but you become a member of the society making the convention, which may give you voting rights. There might also be a board meeting taking place at the con, that you can attend. Conventions are volunteer run societies, so the membership fees pays for most things the society does. We also call it a membership to emphasize that you are part of making the convention happen, rather than a passive consumer of the convention.
  • Ops: Operations – the heart of a con. This is where to go to get a problem fixed and it is where all the organization that goes into getting a con to run smoothly gets done.
  • Ribbons: At many cons people are giving out little ribbons that can be stuck to your con-badge. Some of them are really cool! People who give them out are likely to mention it them self. Do not feel entitled to people’s ribbons – it is something that people get printed them self, and pay for.
  • SMOF: Secret Masters Of Fandom (or, conrunners/organizers of conventions). It is a joking term used to refer to the people who spend more time organizing conventions than taking part in them. They often have their own message boards where they talk about organizing behind the scenes.
  • Tuckerization: Using a person’s name in an original story. The term is derived from Wilson Tucker, an American SF writer and fan, who made a practice of using his friends’ names for minor characters in his stories.





One response to “Con Jargon”

  1. […] When it is your first convention you might notice a lot of jargon being thrown around. You can find my con jargon guide here. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *