The TL;DR Guide to Reddit Lingo

To a new user, Reddit may seem like a confusing jumble of text, numbers, pictures and acronyms.

The site has a bit of learning curve, and one of the most confusing aspects of the site is the lingo spoken by its users.

Consisting of made-up words, acronyms and shorthands, Reddit's jargon can seem overwhelming. Being home to such a large community that is constantly growing, changing, and evolving can feel pretty intimidating to an amateur redditor (Reddit users) to catch up and utilize the site to its fullest.

When you're done schooling yourself with this beginners' guide to Reddit, brush up on your Reddit terminology, explained in none other than GIFs.

  1. Karma reddit explained

Reddit is comprised of many small communities called subreddits. Subreddits can be public or private, and form small niches such as golden retrievers to broad pupular subjects like videos .

Subreddits are usually referred to as such: "r/ name of subrredit," so www.reddit.com/r/videos would be called r/videos.

  • Karma reddit explained

    Ain't nobody got time for that.

    TL;DR is used when large text posted, it's basically a recap of events in a short sentence.

    Example: TL;DR: This is a guide to Reddit speak.

  • Karma reddit explained

    Reddit works on a voting system in which users can either vote up or down on posts and comments. Content with a larger sum of upvotes minus downvotes will show up higher on the page.

    Votes are submitted with the grey arrows to the left of the post. Between the arrows is a number, which is the sum of upvotes minus downvotes. A successful upvote is displayed in orange after your vote has been cast.

  • Karma reddit explained

    The opposite of upvotes. Downvote things you dislike, or don't agree with. This is a democracy.

    A successful downvote is displayed in blue after your vote has been cast.

  • Karma reddit explained

    Sweet, sweet Internet karma.

    Karma is the sum of upvotes minus downvotes.

    There are two kinds of Karma: comment karma and link karma. Comment karma is gained from users upvoting and downvoting comments, and link karma is gained when users vote on link posts.

    Posts that are text-only (Self-posts) receive no karma, to encourage good conversation and discourage posts like "upvote if you like bacon."

    More or less, karma means nothing in real life, but that won't stop you from feeling awful when you realize someone has more than you.

  • Karma reddit explained

    If there is anything good in the world, someone will exploit it.

    Karma whores are redditors who repost links or post lies for the sole purpose of raising their karma score.

    Their crimes can be investiagted in r/KarmaConspiracy.

  • Karma reddit explained

    X-post or "cross post" is a link submitted to a subreddit, that has already been posted to a different subreddit.

  • Karma reddit explained

    A cakeday is like your Reddit birthday, or the day your account was born.

    When you post a comment or post on your cakeday, a small cake icon will appear next to your username on comments or posts to let everyone know.

    Redditors from far and wide will shower you with gifts in the form of upvotes and "Happy Cakeday!" comments.

    Some users post links such as, "For my cakeday, I present to you my cat."

  • Karma reddit explained

    Reposts are links that have already been shared on the site. This is highly frowned upon, as most people come to the site looking for OC.

    To make sure the link you're submitting isn't a repost, you can check Karma Decay.

  • Karma reddit explained

    A lurker is someone who visits Reddit but doesn't post or participate in conversations.

  • Karma reddit explained

    A troll is an awful person that takes advantage of Internet anonymity to say mean or hateful things for the purpose of . well, who knows? Their motive is likely making their inadequate life slightly better at the cost of everyone else's around them.

  • Karma reddit explained

    Because Reddit accounts are so easy to make, a throwaway is one made for the purpose of revealing embarrassing or personal information, while preserving anonymity.

    Example: In an /r/AskReddit thread titled "Throwaway time! What's your secret that could literally ruin your life if it came out?."

    throwaway215091: Two and a half years ago I was in dire financial straights, so I sold my home to keep my struggling business afloat. I neglected to tell the owners that they have an 800 sq. ft. bunker on the property that I built about seven years ago. The bunker that I've called home since I sold it. The entrance to it is well-hidden, but I still come and go very early/very late in the day.

    I'm a single man who keeps to himself. I'm now in a situation where I could move somewhere else, but I love this hidden paradise so much.

  • Karma reddit explained

    OP is the person who started a thread or comment. Typically OP will post fun or interesting material, such as an unopened safe, and make empty promises to eventually deliver the goods. Redditors hang on to the original user's word, often stating "OP will deliver." But don't hold your breath, because OP usually doesn't.

  • Karma reddit explained

    On Reddit, original content is king, and reposted or old content is highly frowned upon. It's good reddiquette to do a quick search on the site before sharing something, to avoid being embarrassed by unforgiving subreddit moderators.

  • Karma reddit explained

    A wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, and in most cases, a cat.

  • Karma reddit explained

    ITT refers to conversation or trends happening in the thread, or post.

    Example: "Everyone's being a jerk ITT."

  • Karma reddit explained

    Like the real world, where people go outside and speak to each other with the voices that come out of their face. Or so we've heard.

    Example: "On Reddit I'm really popular, but IRL no one likes me. "

  • Karma reddit explained

    18. NSFL: Not Safe/Suitable For Life

    If you've been on the Internet for more than an hour, you probably know that NSFW stands for "Not Safe/Suitable For Work," but NSFL takes it once step further.

    NSFL links are usually gruesome, gory, or disturbing images that will probably change you as a person. They usually have a red warning tag before you even click on the thread.

    You've been warned.

  • Karma reddit explained

    FIFY or "Fixed It For You" is also an acceptable alternative.

    Usually this shows up when someone makes a claim like, "Worst way to wake up." Another redditor will disagree, and post a different example, "Worst way to wake up [FTFY]."

  • Karma reddit explained

    r/HIFW is your source for GIFs and pictures that convey emotions, much like MRW.

  • Karma reddit explained

    This stems from the subreddit r/todayilearned, where redditors share fun facts they've learned today.

  • Karma reddit explained

    22. IIRC: If I Remember Correctly

    Used to correct false or inaccurate claims.

  • Karma reddit explained

    "Hi, I'm ____, Ask Me Anything," is a typical title of many posts in the subreddit r/iama. It's a place where anyone from a garbage man, to a scientist, to a famous actor can host an open forum interview.

  • Karma reddit explained

    aka MFW which stands for "My Face When." These are usually portrayed in GIFs, such as "MRW I'm late for work," or "MRW I forget to brush my teeth."

  • Karma reddit explained

    In r/DAE, you can share your wildest thoughts in hopes that someone somewhere in the world shares the same thoughts and feelings, ensuring you're not a total weirdo.

  • Karma reddit explained

    Based off the subreddit r/explainlikeimfive. It can't get more simple. Here, you can ask questions you're afraid to ask your peers, because they'll probably judge you.

  • Karma reddit explained

    The subreddit r/firstworldproblems/ is your go-to source for complaints and problems of people that should be grateful for what they have.


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    It is a great example of a site that has become far more than simply a social-networking or link-sharing utility and has grown into a real online community. In fact, reddit is not a single community; it's an engine for creating communities - subreddits.

    When you submit links that other people like and vote for on Reddit, you will get points from the upvotes known as Karma. You get more karma ("link karma" and "comment karma" ) when your posts/comments get upvoted, and lose some when they get downvoted. Your karma accumulate as point values on your user profile. The points do not lead to a prize as they are meant to stand in as a badge of honor for you among your peers.


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