Glossary of Fun Cosplay and Fandom Terms….Ongoing! Updated Regularly!

  • Amtgard:  a recreational group that stages LARPS using swords, shields and other weapons generally made from foam.  Amtgard is international, but most places have local groups who get together to learn and practice medieval battle techniques.
  • Canon:   (In the fandom sense) which isn’t really very different than the literary sense. In a situation where so much fan  fiction is produced within the fandoms, “canon” refers to the officially recognized storyline of the fandom,the storyline that the fandom agrees on as written by the original authors. (Not be confused with a “head canon”)
  • Cosplay:  A comibination of “costume” and “play.” An activity in which a fan dresses up and acts like a favorite character from a book, movie, television program, etc.  Some cosplayers invent original characters who would live in theuniverse of that fandom. (For example, cosplay Mom sometimes cosplays as a random elf from the Lord of the Rings universe.)
  • Crossplay:  When a fan cosplays a character that is of a different gender. (For example, cosplay daughter often cosplays as Hiro, from Big Hero Six.
  • E6000:  Best. friend. of. cosplayers.  A glue that is clear, strong and somewhat flexible. Every cosplay is held together somewhere with E6000.  They make tiny tubes you can carry around with you for emergency repair.
  • EVA Foam: Also, “craft foam”.  Cheap, easily manipulated, used for a variety of purposes in costuming.  Can be manipulated into new shapes with a heat gun, and then will hold the shape. Particularly useful for armor. Thin sheets available at hobby stores, think sheets available as mats at hardware stores.
  • Fandom:  A group of people who all share a intense love of a particular television series, movie, book, etc.  Usually the group feels great camaraderie between members. Members of a fandom can make immediate new friends based on a shared enthusiasm for the same show. At conventions, members of fandoms self-identify by cosplaying characters from the show or wearing tshirts, etc. with the name of the program.
  • Fan Fiction: Fan-generated narratives or poetry that use the style of and characters from a particular movie, book, comic, graphic novel or other piece of fiction.  Often used to explore story lines suggested in the original work but not developed, or to postulate relationships between characters in the original work (e.g. “she wrote a piece of fanfiction about what would have happened if Obi Wan Kenobi had not died).
  • Glomping:  Spontaneous hug/tackling of friends or others to show overwhelming love and approval. Should be understood as high praise. Glomping is common if one sees a particularly good cosplay of a beloved character. The idea is that mere words cannot express the depth of appreciation, so one rushes the cosplayer for a hug. Not sexual, but can besomewhat forceful. Cosplay Mom prefers no-injury glomping.
  • “Head” canon the invented storyline or history of a fan, following the rules of the universe as set out by the original creators. Much fan fiction is head canon.
  • Heat gun:  tool like a pumped up hair dryer that allows you to heat materials to manipulate them.
  • Homestuck: An EXTREMELY popular webcomic with an extensive fandom.  Any convention has 500,000+ Homestuckers characterized by gray faces and flame colored horns. . (That’s all I’ve got. Cosplay daughter isn’t in that fandom, but they are everywhere).
  • LARP- “Live action role play” an interactive event where participants act out the character they are cosplaying or all participate together in a performance of a show, game or other context. For example:  people getting together to all solve a mystery in the costumes, styles and mannerisms of Sherlock Holmes. Common LARPs at conventions also include “sword” fighting in the style of Amtgard or Dungeons and Dragons.
  • Short for “relationshipping” : A term used to describe fan fictions that take previously created characters and put them as a pair. It usually refers to romantic relationships, but it can refer platonic ones as well.
  • Steampunk:  A genre of film, books, fashion and music that combines Victorian-era aesthetics with futuristic flourishes. The best explanation I’ve heard is “If the vision of the future that the Victorians (like HG Wells) had eventually came to pass.” Characterized by industrial elements (gears, etc) and Victorian fashion. Cosplay Mom and Daughter’s first cosplays were steampunk:
  • Superwholocks:  Members of a fandom that shares equally enthusiastic love for: 1. Supernatural  2. Doctor Who 3. The newest BBC iteration of Sherlock.
  • Whovian:  A member of the Doctor Who fandom.

2 comments on “Glossary of Fun Cosplay and Fandom Terms….Ongoing! Updated Regularly!

  1. Pingback: It takes a village to build a cosplay……(or how I broke the sewing machine and friends bailed me out) | cosplaymom

  2. Pingback: Safe Spaces and Complex Identity(s) | cosplaymom

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