What are they talking about? With so many acronyms flying about, having a LEGO term glossary like this one will help you decipher the SNOT from the SNIR. The number of acronyms being thrown about, isn’t quite as much as in the tech world, but it’s close!
Enjoy and if you think we’ve missed any key words, please shout out.
ABSAcrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene - ABS is the material that most LEGO bricks are made from. After stepping on a brick in the middle of the night, some believe it's stronger than titanium. The strength of this plastic is a major reason why Lego bricks of the 70's still can be used 50 years later with the same excellent snap fit.
AFOLAdult Fan of LEGO - If you're an adult and a fan of LEGO, then this is you. I'm sure most adults are secretly AFOL's.
BaseplateThe baseplate is generally the floor of many builds. It is a flat plate that all other bricks can mount onto. Most sets will include a baseplate, but you can also purchase your own seperate (and often larger) baseplates.
BillundThe birthplace of LEGO. Billund is a small town in Denmark where LEGO was founded and LEGO headquarters is located.
BrickAlthough a specific type of LEGO part, a brick is also commonly used to refer to any LEGO piece. Technically a brick is one of the most common Parts with studs on the top and bottom. An example of perhaps the greatest brick is shown below - the mighty 2 x 4 brick.
BricklinkA marketplace to buy and sell LEGO. With over 10,000 sellers it's a great place to find those Parts, Sets and even custom MOC's needed to expand your LEGO collection. We've used it to purchase some hard to find sets from all over the globe. Our favourite so far has been the #10197 Modular Fire Brigade from the Netherlands.
BURPBig Ugly Rock Piece - The large pre-build pieces that help build rock faces in your build. Often used in mountains and castles.
CloneBrands that are not genuine LEGO and often will promote compatability with LEGO. We bought a clone set once. It's in the bin now. Do yourself a favour and only buy the best. We have LEGO from 1990 that still fits as perfectly now as it did then.
Clutch PowerClutch power refers to the ability of lego bricks to attach (and stay attached) to each other. The fine tolerances that LEGO bricks are built to ensure the clutch power stays strong for a long time. Oh, and it's also the name of the hero in the original LEGO movies - Clutch Powers
CuusooNow known as LEGO Ideas. Cuusoo was the original name for LEGO Ideas.
Dark AgesThose dark periods of time where an AFOL lost interest in LEGO and pursued other interests. But it's like the MAFIA: Once you're in, you can never get out. Sooner or later you'll return to the life of an AFOL.
DioramaA large scene built out of LEGO. E.g. Oscar's LEGO Star Wars Diorama
DSSThe Dreaded Sticker Sheet - The sheet of stickers that comes with some sets. We agree some sets look better with the stickers, we'd gladly pay a little more to have all elements printed.
DuploA LEGO product line built for younger children. The Elements are larger and easier to hold and build with. Even when grown up, a Duplo tower is still fantastic fun to build then bash down. Try it out!
ElementEach unique part and colour LEGO piece is an Element. There are wide range of Elements, and these can be categorised into major groups such as Bricks, Tiles, Plates and much more. For example, a blue 4 x 2 Brick is a different element to a grey 4 x 2 brick, even though they are the same part. A fantastic guide to the categories has been put together by Tom Alphin @ The Brick Architect.
G.O.A.T.The Greatest Of All Time. Just like basketball fans debate if it's Michael Jordan or Lebron James, we debate our favourite sets of all time too. For this site, our G.O.A.T.S are limited to the sets we own. There are definitely a huge amount of sets we don't own that could definitely fall into this category!
GBCGreat Ball Contraption - The GBC is a machine made out of LEGO parts that moves a small ball. Multiple GBC's may be linked together to create a circuit. A great example was on display at the Melbourne Brickvention 2020.
GreebleA prominent addition to the surface of an object, mainly used to increase visual appeal. Often Greebling will be used in and on spaceships to help increase realism.
Half-Stud OffsetThis technique allows the builder to shift the building plane by half a stud. An example Part that would create this offset is shown below. Part 3794 - Plate 1 x 2 with 1 Stud
IllegalConnecting Parts in a manner not intended by LEGO. Doing so puts stress on the parts and is not recommended. A great presentation by Jamie Berard - Stressing the Elements shows examples of illegal parts usage. It's 15 years old, but still holds true.
LCPLego Certified Professionals. LCP's are are people who don't work for LEGO but build fantastic creations. Their builds are of such high quality that they are officially recognised by LEGO. Fellow Australian LEGO fans will have heard of our very own LCP - Ryan McNaught. Ryan is also better know as Brickman as seen on the hit TV Show - Lego Masters.
LEGOThe name of our favourite brand. It comes from the Danish words "leg godt" which means to "play well".
LEGOsSometimes used incorrectly as the plural for LEGO. It's definitely a no-no. Anytime you need to refer to more than one LEGO part you should say LEGO Things. For example LEGO bricks. Here's a great video from the Velcro brand about why great global brands don't want you to use their brand names as a noun or verb.
Licensed ThemeThese sets are sub-themes of LEGO based on other well known brands. They are designed in close collaboration with the teams at each licensee company. Some common examples include Star Wars, Disney, Minecraft, Harry Potter and the Simpsons. We can't pick a favourite? It's like asking who's your favourite child? We love all of them equally... ... OK, it's Star Wars. No... Disney. No... Minecraft.
LUGLEGO User Group - These are local groups that share the love of LEGO. There are currently 347 globally, and you can find your local one on the Recognized Community Locations LEGO page.
LUGLEGO User Group - A LUG is a group of like minded LEGO fans who usually are in the same region and can meet frequently to share their love of LEGO.
MicrofigThese are single stud characters often used LEGO games. They are much smaller than a minifig at 1 x 1 x 2 with a single stud on their head.
MOCMy Own Creation - MOC's are designs built by LEGO enthusiasts rather than specific sets released by the LEGO Group. You can submit your MOC to LEGO for inclusion into the IDEAS range. If you get enough public support it might even be put into production for fans to buy.
MSRPManufacturer's Recommended Selling Price - The price that LEGO recommends retailers sell each set for.
NPUNice Parts Usage - Where you are using a part in a novel way, not normally intended. The Speed Champions Koenigsegg use of a butchers cleaver as part of the front spoiler is a great example.
PartEach LEGO shape is classified as a part. Two seperate pieces with the same shape but different colours are considered the same Part. If you look really closely the Part number is generally stamped on each LEGO piece somewhere. It's pretty small, but in good light, it's usually visible with the naked eye. When two Parts are the same but different colours, they are each considered a unique Element.
PuristA builder who only uses official LEGO parts to build their creations. For example, no 3D printed elements, no altered parts etc.
SigfigA minifig used as an avatar to represent the user. You can see our Sigfigs near our name on any of the posts.
SNOTStuds Not On Top - This is a technique where LEGO elements are connected differently to the standard brick on top of another brick configuration. The studs could be on the side, or on angles. An example of a basic SNOT element is the 99207 Bracket.
STAMPSStickers across many parts. We aren't great fans of this technique as it makes it more difficult to reuse the parts later.
StudSomething I like to think I am.. <great dad joke!> A stud is the circle on the top/side of LEGO bricks. It is a key mechanism for bricks connecting to each other. It is also used as a way to quickly reference the part type. For example, a 2 x 4 Brick would be a brick that has a grid of 2 x 4 studs. This brick is shown below. Similarly a 2 x 2 brick would be 1/2 the size of this brick.
SwooshabilityCan you have great fun playing with it? If it were a truck would you go "Broom Broom" as you zoom it along? If so, it's swooshable. Swooshability is one of the key elements that makes LEGO sets so fun.
WIPWork in Progress. Almost universally applied to every MOC as there's just one more thing you could tweak!