The World of Warcraft (WoW) can be a very confusing place. As with any large game, and especially any Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) there are a veritable ton of acronyms and terminology that is used by its players. This can be very daunting to the new player, and can even be confusing to many veterans that simply can not remember all the terms.

That's where this guide steps in. It is a collection of all common terms an acronyms found in WoW.

To find any term, simply go to the page that has its starting letter and either scroll down to it or press CTRL+F to bring up your find window and type in what you are looking for.

#'s

Term

Description

10man Refers to any 10 man raid instance. This includes the level 60 Upper Blackrock Spire, Karazhan and Zul'Aman.
1H Short for one handed weapon. This describes any weapon that is carried in and fought with using one hand.
1v1 This describes a one on one duel or PvP fight.To activate a duel you simply need to select the opponent, then right click on their avatar at the top of the screen and select duel, then wait for them to accept.
20man Refers to any 20 man raid instance. While not as common now due to the move to 25 person raids with the release of the Burning Crusade, the originals are still there such as The Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj and Zul'Gurub.
25man Refers to any 25 man raid instance. These instances were added as the raid instances for the Burning Crusade. They include Gruul's Lair, Serpentshrine Caverns and more. They are considered the progression raids for Burning Crusade players.
2H Short for two handed weapon. This describes any weapon that is carried and fought with using both hands.
40man Refers to the original World of Warcraft raids that required 40 people to complete. These included Molten Core, Blackwing Lair and more.
5man Refers to a five player instance or group as opposed to a larger raid group. Not as common now that most instances do not allow raids to enter them at all.

A

Term

Description

AB Arathi Basin, a 15 person battleground found in the Arathi Highlands.
Ability

Abilities are things that characters or items can do that are not spells. They are also sometimes called powers or skills. The main difference from a spell to an ability is that a spell will belong to a school of magic such as fire, shadow or frost.

Some examples of abilities are professions, lockpicking, backstab, tracking, etc.

Add This is really just a way to say that you have gotten an additional MOB. The reason for getting the add is not really important, only that an extra MOB is now involved in combat.
AFK Away from Keyboard. By typing this or using the /afk command, you are letting players know that you are going to be away from your computer. It is common to see messages such as "AFK 2 min" when in a group, this means the player is leaving the computer for the next few minutes.
Aggro Aggro is short for aggression, but means a lot more that that. What it means in actual fact is that the player being referred to in a statement like "The tank has aggro" is that the tank has enough threat on the MOB that he is its target.
Aggro Lock This is a term to describe when the tank has enough threat on a MOB that there is no realistic way another player will pull the MOB off of him.
Aggro Radius This is the distance at which a MOB will aggro you just by seeing you. While this can vary by design on various MOBs or Bosses it is generally 20 yards if the MOB is the same level as you are. This distance gets shortend by roughly 1 yard per level higher than the MOB you are, or lengthened if you are a lower level. The upper maximum radius seems to be about 40 yards, and the minimum is the combat radius of 5 yards.
Agi This refers to your agility statistic. Agility affects your attack power, critical strike chance and dodge ability.
AH Refers to the Auction Houses, located in all major cities in Azeroth, although not in the Outlands.
AI Arcane Intelligence, a mage's spell that raises the target's intelligence statistic for a set amount of time.
Alt

Generally refers to any character that you have that is not the one you play the most often. Usually also refers to any character that is not your highest level character, although many players stop playing a high level character and start a new main character and then do not refer to it as an alt.

AoE Area of Effect, commonly referring to a spell or event that affects everyone in a specific area. Such as a mage's blizzard spell that hits every enemy within 15 yards.
AofM This refers to the hunter ability called Aspect of the Monkey. This ability increases your dodge ability by granting you an additional 8% dodge. A hunter can only have one aspect active at a time.
AotC This refers to the hunter ability called Aspect of the Cheetah. This ability speeds up the hunter's movement by 30% but hunters that are hit will be stunned. A hunter can only have one aspect active at a time.
AotH This refers to the hunter ability called Aspect of the Hawk. This ability raises the hunter's ranged attack power by a set amount per level of the ability. A hunter can only have one aspect active at a time.
AotP This refers to the hunter ability called Aspect of the Pack. This is essentially a group version of AotC and works in a similar way. This ability speeds up the hunter and all his parties movement by 30% but if they are hit they will be stunned. A hunter can only have one aspect active at a time.
AP Short for Attack Power, or the bonus damage you are going to gain from strength, agility and / or other bonuses. Comes in either ranged or melee varieties, although usually AP refers to melee and RAP to ranged.
AQ Short for Ahn'Qiraj which houses 2 level 60 raid instances. It houses the 20 man Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj and the 40 man Temple of Ahn'Qiraj raids.
AQ20 Short form for the 20 man raid, the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj.
AQ40 Short form for the 40 man raid, the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj.
AR Short for Arcane Resistance, which is the number value use to calculate how much arcane damage you will not take when hit with an arcane based magic attack.
Attack Power Attack power is generated from strength, agility and other bonuses and / or abilities. Attack Power increases your base damage by 1 point for every 14 attack power.
Attack Speed Attack speed is the time in between your attacks with a weapon. It is found on the weapon you are attacking with and then can be modified by other abilities or bonuses, such as a quiver effecting the attack speed of a bow.
AV Alterac Valley, a 40 person battleground located in northern Hillsbrad. It can be entered into from that zone or from the battlemasters in the major cities.

B

Term

Description

Barrens Chat This is a WoW specific slang term that is used to describe any chat channel that is way of topic, bust, insulting and inane. It refers to the Barrens zone chat channel which is the zone in which Horde players spend most of their time from 10-20. The zone is so busy at times that the chat channel is almost unusable due to jokes and off topic chatter.
Battlegroup A battlegroup is a cluster of servers that shared one set of battleground and arena servers. They were first put into place in patch 1.12 and allow players to PvP against players other than those on their own server.
BB Short for Booty Bay, a neutral city on the southern tip of the Eastern Kingdoms in Azeroth.
BC Short form for the Burning Crusade, World of Warcrafts first expansion. The Burning Crusade added many new features and areas to the game including all of the Outlands and the Blood Elf and Draenei races.
BE Short form for Blood Elf. This was the new Horde race added in the Burning Crusade expansion.
BEM Short form for the Blade's Edge Mountains, a mountainous zone in the Outlands mainly populated by ogres.
BF Short form for the Blood Furnace, which is the second instance in the Hellfire Citadel. It is a 5 man instance meant for level 60 characters.
BFD Short for Blackfathom Deeps, a 5 man low level instance, meant for players 20-30. It is located in the northwestern corner of Ashenvale.
BG Battlegrounds.  This can be any of the battlegrounds established such as the Eye of the Storm.
Bind

This has two possible meanings:

  • Most commonly referring to the bind status of an item, such as bind on pickup or bind on equip.
  • Also refers to where you are bound for your hearthstone. You can bind yourself to an city or in of your faction. In this way you travel back to that in when you activate your hearthstone. Sometimes called your Bind Point.
Bio Biology break or going to the bathroom. When in a group it is polite to let them know you are going to be away from the computer and unable to play. To do this you normally let them know that you are going AFK (Away from Keyboard) or taking a Bio break.
Block A Block is what a Warrior, Paladin or Shaman do with their shield. A block absorbs some of the melee damage inflicted, but can still pass damage on to the character if any is remaining after subtracting the block value.
Blue

Has two meanings, one in game and one out of game.

  • In game blue refers to any item that is color coded to be blue or rare. Items are available in color ranks ranging from gray, white, green, blue, purple and orange. Blue items are normally received from difficult quests or from instance bosses.
  • Out of game, blue refers to an official response from a Blizzard employee in their forums. This is because the forums are color coded to show their messages in blue font.
BM

This has two possible meanings:

  • BM in reference to a hunter means a Beast Mastery spec'ed hunter.
  • BM in reference to an instance, refers to the Black Morass, a 5 man instance located in the Caverns of Time in Tanaris. The instance is meant for level 68-70 level players. In it you travel back in time to the opening of the Dark Portal and try to prevent interference in the time line.
Body Pull This is a pull that comes about due to the player moving close enough to a MOB to enter their aggro radius and get them to attack.
BoE This refers to all loot or equipment that is Bind on Equip, meaning that it can freely be traded and handed back and forth between players until someone equips it. At that point it becomes soulbound to that player.
BoK This refers to the Paladin blessing ability called Blessing of Kings. This ability grants a 10% increase to all character statistics. Can also refer to the greater version of the blessing. A player may only be affected by one blessing at a time per paladin.
BoM This refers to the Paladin blessing ability called Blessing of Might. This ability grants an increase to the characters strength statistics. Can also refer to the greater version of the blessing. A player may only be affected by one blessing at a time per paladin.
Boomkin This refers to a druid that has specialized in the balance talent tree for abilities that boost their spell casting ability, and have the moonkin form.
BoP

This refers to all loot or equipment that is Bind on Pickup, meaning that as soon as someone picks it up it becomes soulbound to that player.

BoS This acronym can be confusing as it can refer to several different abilities but most commonly refers to the Paladin blessing ability called Blessing of Salvation. This ability reduces the threat generated by the affected player by 30%. Can also refer to the greater version of the blessing or the Paladin abilities Blessing of Sacrifice or Blessing of Sanctuary. Because Salvation is far more common though, the others are normally spelled out. A player may only be affected by one blessing at a time per paladin.
Boss

Boss refers to the main characters in an instance or in the world (in the case of outdoor raid bosses). A Boss always has a unique name and will not be found anywhere else. Bosses are normally immune to crowd control and come in three basic types: mini bosses, bosses, and raid bosses.

Mini bosses are found in instances and are used as gate keepers or event fights.

Regular bosses are the main characters in normal 5 man instances. They usually have special abilities that require you to use specific tactics that you need to use to defeat them.

Raid Bosses are the most difficult MOBs in WoW. They do not show as having a level at all, instead they show as having a skull level. This means that they act as a boss 3 levels higher than you are for combat purposes. They have even more special abilities that normal bosses, but generally drop even better loot.

BoU

This refers to all loot or equipment that is Bind on Use, meaning that it can freely be traded and handed back and forth between players and even equipped. However, as soon as it is used for the first time, it will be bound to that player.

There are very few BoU items in the game, the only really numerous type of BoU item is small pets.

BoW This refers to the Paladin blessing ability called Blessing of Wisdom. This ability grants an increase to the character mana regeneration ability. The amount of mana regenerated by the blessing varies by the blessings level. Can also refer to the greater version of the blessing. A player may only be affected by one blessing at a time per paladin.
BRB Short for Be Right Back. This is is used when you are running off to do something in game, but don't need or want the rest of the group following you. It can also be used as al alternative to AFK.
BRD Short for Blackrock Depths, which is a 5 man instance meant for level 50-56 players. It is located in Blackrock Mountain and is one of the longer instances in Azeroth. At the end of the instance you can find the entrance to Molten Core, and you need to fight your way there to become attuned to it.
BRS Short for Blackrock Spire, which is further subdivided into Lower and Upper Blackrock Spire. Each is usually done as a separate instance run as lower requires only 5 level 55-60 people, while Upper requires 10 level 60's.
BS Refers to the profession of Blacksmithing. Usually blacksmiths are also miners to feed the ore requirement of the profession.
BT Short for Black Temple, which is a 25 man raid located in Shadowmoon Valley. It was added in patch 2.1 and houses the Tier 6 raid sets, and Illidan Stormrage.
Bubble

This term refers to two separate things and its meaning bust be taken from the context it was used in.

  • Bubble could refer to how many "bubbles" or little blocks left in your experience bar before you gain your next level
  • Bubble also refers to the paladin classes spells Blessing of Protection, Divine Shield and Diving Protection
Buff

Buff is slang term for a temporary beneficial effect that affects your character or any other. Buff's come in many different varieties that either boost abilities, stats, resistance's or provide some other beneficial effect such as healing over time or a shield from damage.

Buffs can be dismissed by right clicking on them in your buff list in the top right hand corner of the screen.

Burn To Burn or Burn Down a MOB is to have the player or party put out as much damage as possible to kill the MOB as quickly as possible.
BWL Short for Blackwing Lair, which is a 40 man raid located at the top of Blackrock Mountain. It was the second 40 man raid implemented in WoW and houses Nefarian the Dragon as the final boss and the tier 2 raid set.

C

Term

Description

C Used as a short form for Copper in relation to buying something. For example: I will pay you 25c for that item. Copper is the lowest denomination of currency in WoW.
Camp

Camp can refer to several things in WoW but most commonly refers to the either camping a spawn point or camping a body.

  • Camping a spawn point, is waiting in an area for a specific MOB or type of MOBs to respawn over and over again, thereby monopolizing the area and not allowing anyone else to get the kills.
  • Camping a body is usually in PvP combat, where the opponent waits where you have died to kill you again as soon as you resurrect. This is also considered griefing by most players.
Cap Short for Capture. This refers to the act of capturing a flag or objective in a battleground or PvP area.
Carebear This is a derogatory term used by players that enjoy PvP combat to insult those that play nice and do not engage in PvP aspects of the game.
Cast Time This describes the amount of time it takes to cast a spell. Mana is not consumed until the cast is successfully completed.
Caster This refers to any character class that casts spells. Normally refers to a druid, paladin, shaman, priest, mage, or warlock. All of these characters consume mana to cast their spells.
Casual

Refers to a casual player of the game. There is no definite amount of time that defines a casual player though, as some feel casual at 1-2 hours a week while others play 20-30 hours and still feel casual.

Most casual players do not raid though and that is a standard interpretation, any player that does not raid in a preset group is casual.

Casual Raider Refers to a player that does not play a whole lot in a week, but when they do they are generally raiding. As opposed to hard core raiders, a casual raider is more likely looking for a chance to play using teamwork than progression through the harder raids.
CC

Short for Crowd Control and refers to any number of abilities that limit the number of MOBs that you are fighting at any given time. These abilities include a mage's polymorph, hunter's trap, rogues sap and more.

These abilities are used to make a pull of MOBs easier to handle by limiting the number of things each player needs to worry about and limiting the incoming damage against the tank and others.

CD Short for Cooldown, which describes the time between using a spell or ability and the next time you are allowed to use it again. Some abilities have no cooldown and only activate the Global Cooldown (GCD) but others have set timers such as your hearthstone having a 60 minute cooldown.
Channeling

This refers to casting spells that require to be channeled. While channeling your character remains stationary and a casting bar appears that works backwards. A channeled spell has its mana drawn at the beginning of the spell, and is used regardless of what happens afterwards. Channeled spells can be interrupted in all the normal ways.

Charges

Charges are the number of time a spell or effect will happen before it fades or the number of times an item can be used. Common spells with charges are a paladin's holy shield or fear ward.

Items that have charges are several jewel crafted pieces, and mana / wizard oils.

Class Leader This is a term used in guilds to describe the player assigned to help or guide a specific class.
Clothie This is a slang term to describe any character class that wears only cloth armor. This means mages, priests and warlocks.
CoA Short for Curse of Agony, the Warlock debuff spell that does damage over time.
CoD

Short form for either of two things depending on context.

  • Curse of Doom, which is a warlocks spell that does large damage after being on the target for 1 minute.
  • Cash on Delivery meaning the same thing it does in real life. An item will be sent via mail and you will not be able to get it from the mail service until you pay the COD price attached to it.
Combat Log

This is a log of all combat actions taken around you and shows up in your combat log tab of your chat window.

You can also force your combat log to be written to a text file using the /combatlog command. The text file can then be filtered through various 3rd party utilities to create damage reports for raid groups.

Combo Point Combo points are earned by rogues and cat form druids while attacking with special attacks. Once combo points are earned against a target they can be used to do special finishing moves that do extra damage based on the number of combo points on the target to a maximum of 5. After a finishing move is used, the combo points are cleared.
Consumable

A consumable is any item that once you use it it is gone. This includes food items, potions, bandages, poisons, and more.

Some consumables such as flasks are very expensive and generally reserved for raid use, unless your character is very wealthy.

Players attending a raid are expected to bring the proper consumables or risk getting kicked from the raid (depending on how hard core the raid is).

Cords Short for coordinates. This refers to the grid reference that is overlaid in WoW that players can gain access to via several third party add-ons. A common response to where can you find MOB X, would be 45,56.
CoS

Short for two things depending on the situation.

  • Short for Curse of Shadows, the warlock spell that increases shadow and arcane damage done to that target.
  • Short for Cloak of Shadows, the rogue ability that clears most debuffs on them.
CoT

Short form for either of two things depending on context.

  • Curse of Tongues which is a warlocks spell that slows down the targets casting time on spells.
  • Caverns of Time, which is a group of instances located in Tanaris. In these instances you travel back in time to key points in the history of Warcraft.
CoW Short for Curse of Weakness, the Warlock debuff spell that reduces the damage done by the target.
Creep The official Blizzard term for MOB. Not commonly used by players though.
Crit (Critical Strike)

Critical strikes are attacks that cause extra damage. The percentage change to land a critical strike is based off of agility for melee and ranged attacks and intelligence for magic attacks. Both are also effected by talents, items and abilities.

A critical strike generally inflicts an additional 100% damage.

Crushing Blow A crushing blow is a hit from a raid boss that inflicts 150% of normal damage. To inflict a crushing blow the boss must be at least 3 levels higher than you and
CS Short for Counter Spell, which is a mages ability that stops the target for casting any spells for the next seconds.
CTF Short for Capture the Flag. This can be used to either describe a type of battleground game, such as Warsong Gulch or Eye of the Storm, or to actually capture (or cap) the flag while in one of those battlegrounds.
Curse This refers to a type of debuff spell that warlocks, MOBs or bosses place on characters. The most common curses are those applies by warlocks and some may or may not also be DOTs.

D

Term

Description

Damage Mitigation Anything that reduces the incoming damage against a player or target. This includes things like armor, defense, dodge, parry, block, absorption, resilience and resistance.
Daze Daze is a combat debuff place on characters or MOBs by various abilities and spells. It can force players to dismount if suffering it when mounted.
DE Disenchant.  Refers to having someone with the enchant profession disenchant a green or better quality item to turn it into enchanting materials.
Debuff

Debuff is a slang term for any temperary negative effect that affects your character or any other. Debuff's come in many different varieties that either reduce abilities, stats, resistance's or causes some other negative effect such as damage over time.

Unlike buffs, debuffs can not be voluntarily dismissed, instead they must be removed by magic.

Defense Defense is a player statistic that helps reduce the chance to be hit or critically hit. Each point of defense grants 0.04% chance to be missed, dodge, block and parry incoming attacks.
DI Short for Divine Intervention, a paladin talent used to prevent complete wipes in instances or raids by removing a party member from combat for up to 3 minutes in a protective bubble.
DM This is used to refer to two possible instances, either the Deadmines for low level characters or Dire Maul for higher level characters. DM generally now refers to Dire Maul and the Deadmines are referred to as VC in reference to the final boss there Van Cleef.
DMF Short for Darkmoon Faire. This is an event that takes place monthly in the World of Warcraft and is a carnival type event. Players can earn tickets to cash in for rewards and there are several quests as well.
DoT Damage over Time.  Used to refer to a spell or effect that does a set amount of damage over time, such as a priests Shadow Word: Pain.
DPM Short for Damage per Mana. This is usually referenced when trying to compare damage spells to determine which one is most mana efficient. To calculate it you divide the damage done by the mana that the spell cost.
DPS Damage Per Second.  This is used in several ways.  Either to refer to a character that’s job is to do damage (most commonly rogues, mage's, warlocks, hunters) or to ask what amount of damage you cause when averaged over a long fight or raid.
DPSadin Refers to a Retribution based paladin that is doing damage through melee.
DW

Short for Dual Wield. This ability allows a character to use a weapon in each hand rather than just their main hand. Rogues, Warriors, Shaman and Hunters can all get the ability to dual wield weapons.

Weapons used in your off hand do 1/2 damage unless increased by talents or abilities. The also suffer a much greater miss chance.

E

Term

Description

Elite This refers to an elite MOB as shown by a gold dragon image around their image. Elites are much harder than other MOBs their level and you typically need to be several levels higher than they are to be able to defeat one by yourself.
EotS Eye of the Storm, a 15 person battleground accessed only through battleground masters in the major cities.
EPL Short for Eastern Plaguelands, a zone overrun by the Scourge. The instance Stratholme is located in the zone.
EULA Short for End User Licence Agreement. This is the licence that you agree to every time you install or patch the game.

Comments or questions? Email us ([email protected]) or post on our forums!


To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.

Comments