LEGO Glossary

Although we usually try to keep our writing on The Brothers Brick accessible to everyone, LEGO jargon inevitably sneaks in. This page works like a dictionary and lists the LEGO terms you’re most likely to encounter here on The Brothers Brick, and is not intended to be exhaustive.

3.18
3.18mm. The diameter of a cylinder piece which a minifig hand can grasp, and used throughout LEGO geometry in a variety of applications. Commonly used to describe any aspect of a piece which confirms to the standard, such as the 3.18 hole in the front of a headlight brick.

AFOL
Adult Fan of LEGO. The most common term used to refer to LEGO fans who are adults. Generally pronounced to rhyme with “hay-foal.” See also: ALE and ALH
AHOL
Adult Hobbyist of LEGO. Rhymes with a word barred by our own Terms of Service.
ALE
Adult LEGO Enthusiast. Some LEGO fans prefer to be called enthusiasts rather than fans, attempting to avoid the perceived stigma of the word “fanatic.” See also: AFOL
ALH
Adult LEGO Hobbyist. Another alternative self-descriptive name preferred by some LEGO fans over AFOL or ALE
Ambassador
The title given to fan liaisons who represent fan organizations within the LAN.

Anti-stud
The indentation in the bottom of bricks and plates which serves as a stud receptacle and is one half of the mechanism by which LEGO pieces interlock. See also: Stud
Baby Bow
A LEGO element that is 1 stud wide and 2 studs long and 2 plates high (or 2/3 of a brick) with a studless, curving slope. Part 11477. Named because it is the smallest member of the curved (or bowed) slope family of bricks.
Bandwagon
A passing LEGO fad, such as cave racers or IATTAR. Don’t remember what those are? Exactly…
Bignette
A LEGO scene on a defined base that is larger than a vignette. (Uncommon) See also: Diorama
Billund
Billund, Denmark. Headquarters and primary design center for The LEGO Group.
Brick
A universal name for a LEGO piece, regardless of shape or color. Also: In LEGO element taxonomy, any roughly cubic LEGO piece which is 3 or more Plates tall. Also: In technical terms, used to refer a specific piece shape, regardless of color. Contrast with Element.
Brick-Built
A LEGO creation or portion of a larger creation that is composed of multiple LEGO elements even when a larger, pre-fabricated LEGO element or custom accessory may be available. Solving a LEGO problem through brick-built means often yields better results than using a prefabricated or custom element.
Bricklink
Bricklink.com, an online marketplace for sellers who specialize in LEGO sets and elements. A good place to purchase large quantities of specific pieces.
Brickset
Brickset.com, a LEGO set database which catalogs LEGO sets and their inventories.
Brickshelf
A now-outdated LEGO-specific photo hosting website used by LEGO builders to share creations. See also: Flickr
Builder
A LEGO fan whose primary interest is building MOCs. Contrast with Collector, though many fans are both collectors and builders.
BURP
Big Ugly Rock Piece. The larger of two classic pre-fabricated LEGO elements traditionally available in gray and frequently included in LEGO castle sets. Part number 6082. More experienced LEGO fans often encourage other builders to use brick-built landscaping rather than BURPs. See also: LURP
C-C or CC
Classic-Castle.com. A LEGO castle fan site with an associated online community, the Classic-Castle.com Forums.
Cheese Grater
A LEGO element with an 18° slope, 2 studs long and 1 stud wide and 2 plates high (or 2/3 of a brick). Part number 61409. Named because it looks a bit like a real cheese grater, as well as being an elongated version of the cheese slope.
Cheese Slope
A LEGO element with a 33° slope, 1 stud by 1 stud wide and 2 plates high (or 2/3 of a brick). Part number 50746. Useful for adding fine detail to LEGO creations. Named because the yellow and orange pieces look like a wedge of Cheddar cheese. See also: Cheese Grater
Clone
Construction toys “compatible” with LEGO created and sold at lower cost, designed to compete with LEGO brand building bricks. Often used to specifically denote brands which infringe upon copyright/trademark (to distinguish from legal competitors). Considered off-limits by most LEGO fans.
Collector
A LEGO fan whose primary interest is collecting official sets. Contrast with Builder, though many fans are both collectors and builders.
COW
Curved Out Wedge. A LEGO curved slope with a wedge-shaped footprint. Examples include the Wedge 10 x 3 (part number 50955) and the Wedge 6 x 2 (part number 41748).
Cracklink
A descriptive name for BrickLink, referring to the addictive nature of being able to buy individual LEGO elements and minifigs in whatever quantity the buyer wants.
CSF
Classic-Space Forums. An online LEGO space fan community on Classic-Space.com. Now largely defunct.
Custom
A LEGO creation or individual element that uses non-LEGO parts or modified parts, including decals, paint, or accessories from third-party vendors like BrickArms, BrickForge, and Big Ben Bricks. Contrast with Purist.
Cuusoo
The name for LEGO Ideas during its beta phase.
Dark Ages
A period in a LEGO fan’s life when he or she sets aside LEGO in favor of school, dating, motor vehicles, or other non-LEGO pursuits. Many fans put their LEGO collections in storage or sell them during their Dark Ages. See also: Gray Ages and TFOL
Diorama or Dio
A large LEGO scene or a LEGO scene built on an irregular base. Contrast with Vignette. See also: Bignette
Draft
An activity common at LEGO club meetings, in which LEGO fans each bring a copy of a LEGO set, sort out all of the LEGO elements, and take turns picking the parts they want. An easy way to get the parts you want in larger quantities without buying multiple copies of the set yourself. Read more on SEALUG.org.
Element
A universal name for a LEGO piece. Also: In technical terms, often considered to refer to a piece of a specific shape and color (e.g. a black 1×1 plate is a different element than a blue 1×1 plate). Contrast with Brick.
Eurobricks or EB
Eurobricks.com. An online LEGO fan site and forums originally focused on European fans.

FBTB
From Bricks to Bothans. A LEGO Star Wars fan site and online community.
Flickr
A large photo hosting website frequently used by LEGO builders to share creations. Adding MOC photos to Flickr’s LEGO-related photo pools is a good way to show off creations to fellow fans. See also: How to get blogged on The Brothers Brick
Gray Ages
A period in a LEGO fan’s life when he or she steps away from actively building or participating in the LEGO community, but retains interest in LEGO and does not sell their LEGO collection. See also: Dark Ages
Greebles
Pseudo-technical detail added to a LEGO creation to enhance its appearance. Frequently seen in LEGO space and mecha creations. Sometimes Greeblies or Greebling.
Half-Stud Offset
A building technique that allows a LEGO fan to build without regard to the standard alignment of studs on a plate. See also Jumper Plate
Headlight Brick
A 1×1 stud brick with an inset stud on one side. Part number 4070. Also known as a Washing Machine Brick.

Ideas
LEGO Ideas. A crowdsourcing platform run by The LEGO Company which allows fan to submit designs and vote on submissions. If a design gets 10,000 votes within a certain time frame, LEGO will review it and potentially produce it as an official LEGO set. The platform was called Cuusoo during its beta phase.

Illegal
LEGO building techniques that break the “rules” for connections between LEGO elements followed by official LEGO set designers — particularly connections that stress the LEGO elements. (e.g. inserting a plate upright between the studs on a brick.)
Inventory
The list of LEGO elements that are included in an official LEGO set. Several LEGO fan sites host set inventories, including Brickset and BrickLink.
Jumper Plate
A 1×2-stud LEGO plate with only 1 stud in the center. Part number 15573 (current version number). Useful for half-stud offset building.
KFOL
Kid Fan of LEGO. The LEGO Group’s primary target demographic — children ages 5-12. Most online LEGO fan sites do not allow participation by KFOLs due to COPPA regulations.
LAN
LEGO Ambassador Network. The LEGO Company’s official outreach program for adult fans. LEGO designates fan organizations as an RLUG or RLFM and grants an ambassadorship with access to the LAN. LEGO distributes support to fan organizations via the LAN. See also: Ambassador
LBR
LEGO Brand Retail. The LEGO Company’s official brick-and-mortar retail store division.
LDD
LEGO Digital Designer. The LEGO Company’s official program for designing digital LEGO models. Supports Windows and OSX. See also: Render
LDraw
Ldraw.org. A fan-created program for designing digital LEGO models. Supports Windows, OSX, and Linux. See also: Render
Legal
LEGO building techniques that follow building guidelines for official LEGO set designers. See also Illegal and Purist
LEGO
A highly sophisticated interlocking brick system. Also a children’s toy played with by many adults.
LEGO Community
The worldwide network of LEGO fans and builders, composed of websites, forums, LUGs, clubs and more.
Legos
Oh no you didn’t! Technically, the official plural form for more than one element of LEGO is “LEGO® brand building bricks”. That’s ridiculous, though, so most LEGO fans refer to one or more bricks as “LEGO”, following the grammatical convention of “fish” and “sheep.”
Lowell Sphere
A 4x4x4 stud sphere constructed with SNOT techniques. Can be adapted to create tubes and other shapes. Developed by Bruce Lowell in 2002.
LUG
LEGO Users Group, such as SEALUG and WAMALUG. Initially used to describe a local or regional LEGO club that met and interacted primarily in an offline or “real world” context, the term LUG has been extended by fans to include virtual and even ephemeral groups of LEGO fans, such as Eurobricks and VirtuaLUG. Many LUGs now also have an online presence, further blurring the line between traditional LUGs and online LEGO fan communities. See also: RLUG and RLFM
LUGBULK
A LEGO program available to RLUGs and RLFM through which bulk quantities of elements may be purchased at discounted prices. See also: LAN
LURP
Little Ugly Rock Piece. The smaller of two classic pre-fabricated LEGO elements traditionally available in gray and frequently included in LEGO castle sets. Part number 6083. More experienced LEGO fans often encourage other builders to use brick-built landscaping rather than LURPs. See also: BURP
Microscale
A scale for building models in which a minifig would be too large to represent a person. Varies between anything smaller than minifig scale to a scale where a figure would not be visible to the naked eye.
Minifig
Short for Minifigure. The blocky miniature figures featured in most LEGO sets. First introduced in 1978, the design is a trademark of The LEGO Company. See also: Minidoll
Minidoll
The thin, curved figures featured in LEGO Disney Princess, Elves, and Friends themes. First introduced in 2012, the design is a trademark of The LEGO Company. See also: Minifig
MOC
My Own Creation. Any LEGO creation designed and built by a LEGO fan without instructions. Generally pronounced “mock” (not “Em-Oh-Cee”)
MOCFodder
A set that you buy strictly for the pieces, rather than because of the set design. The pieces are meant to feed your MOC building, hence the name “MOCFodder”. See also: Parts Pack
MOCpages
A LEGO-specific photo hosting website used by LEGO builders to share creations. At times unreliable and slow. See also: Flickr
MSRP
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. The official price for a LEGO set as established by the LEGO Group for a particular market. Individual retailers may set their own prices higher or lower than MSRP, and MSRP may vary from country to country. See also TRU and [email protected]
NPU
Nice Part Use. An unexpected way to use a LEGO element in a model. Often overused in praising a LEGO creation.
Parts Monkey
A builder who takes a special interest in individual LEGO elements. A parts monkey views most sets as parts packs.
Parts Pack
An official LEGO set that has many desirable LEGO elements but which may not have an overall design that appeals to adult LEGO fans. See also: MOCFodder
Plate
Any LEGO piece which is 1/3 the height of a Brick.
Purist
A LEGO creation that does not include any customizations, such as decals, modified parts, or custom accessories from third-party vendors like BrickArms, BrickForge, and Big Ben Bricks. A form of religious fundamentalism. Contrast with Custom.
[email protected]
LEGO Shop at Home. The old name for The LEGO Group’s direct-to-consumer sales channel, particularly the printed catalog and telephone service. Now also used by long-time fans to refer to the LEGO Shop online. These direct channels are often the only place to ensure that you pay MSRP.
Rainbow Warrior
The type of multi-colored LEGO creations that we all built when we were eight years old.
Render
A computer-generated image of a MOC designed using a digital building program, such as LDD or LDraw. Considered by some fans to be inferior to physical creations since the builder is not limited by physics, collection size, or using only pieces which actually exist. This method nonetheless takes much the same skill and familiarity with bricks as traditional building.
RLUG
Registered LEGO Users Group; a term used by The LEGO Company to denote a local, geographically oriented LUG that is officially recognized by LEGO via the LAN. See also: Ambassador
RLFM
Registered LUG Fan Media; a term used by The LEGO Company to denote an officially recognized online LUG, news site, forum, magazine, or other fan organization that is not an RLUG. See also: Ambassador
SHIP
Super Huge Investment in Parts. Sometimes Significantly Huge Investment in Parts. A very large LEGO creation — particularly a LEGO space creation. As used in the LEGO space fan community, a SHIP is generally at least 100 studs long.

LEGO sigfig

Sigfig
Short for Signature Minifig. The minifigure version of a LEGO fan that he or she uses in online communities as an avatar. Sigfigs may or may not resemble the person physically, as LEGO fans used to interacting with each other online often discover at LEGO conventions.
SNOT
Studs Not On Top. A building technique that places LEGO elements on their sides or even upside down to achieve the shape or structure the builder wants in their creation.
STAMP
Sticker Across Multiple Pieces. A dreaded situation where a set’s instructions require a sticker to be placed across several pieces, ensuring the pieces can never be separated without ruining the sticker.
Stud
The distinct cylindrical bump or knob on the surface of LEGO bricks which fits inside an anti-stud and serves as one half of the mechanism by which pieces interlock. Studs are frequently used as a unit of measurement: e.g. a model is 40 studs long. See also: Anti-stud
Studless
A building style in which visible studs are minimized or, ideally, eliminated. Usually accomplished by a combination of tiles and SNOT techniques.
Swooshable
A quality that allows a LEGO creation to be picked up and flown around a room as the builder makes flying and/or shooting noises.
TBB
The Brothers Brick. You are here.
TFOL
Teen Fan of LEGO. LEGO fans who may be past the primary target demographic for LEGO sets, and who are likely avoiding their Dark Ages
Tile
Any LEGO plate which is devoid of all or most studs, giving it a smooth upper surface.
TLC
The LEGO Company. See TLG.
TLG
The LEGO Group. The family-owned parent company for all LEGO-related brands and companies worldwide.
Travis Brick
A modified 1×1 brick with studs on 4 sides. Named for Travis Kunce, a deceased fan who was known for his enthusiasm for the piece. Part number 4733. A common piece used in SNOT building.
TRU
Toys ‘R’ Us. Though roundly criticized by LEGO fans for inflated prices, Toys ‘R’ Us frequently has LEGO sets earlier than any other retailer (including LEGO) as well as a broader selection than most. See also: MSRP
UCS
Ultimate Collector Series. An irregular series of large LEGO Star Wars sets designed for older builders, often in large scale. Frequently used as a scale reference for LEGO fan creations that are larger than minifig scale, though some sets bearing the UCS moniker are minifig scale.
Vignette or Vig
A small LEGO scene, traditionally built on a base 8 studs long by 8 studs wide. Usually depicts a single, frozen moment in time with a narrow focus. Contrast with Bignette and Diorama.