Glossary of SL Term  

Second Life Glossary of Terms

16m2 – The smallest size of land parcel that can be created in Second Life. Often used for single prim servers or advertisements.

Abuse – A violation of Second Life's Terms of Service or Community Standards.

Access List – See Admit List.

Ad Farm – Clusters of rotating towers of advertisements.

Admit List – The list of those allowed in an area that otherwise excludes everyone by use of a script, or enforced by land management tools.

AFK – “Away From Keyboard.” Describes a player who has left his computer to take care of some task in Real Life (RL). Typing “afk” in chat sets your Avatar as “Away” and displays the word (Away) next to their name. After 30 minutes of inactivity, you will be automatically logged off Second Life.

Agent – Term for your logged-in presence on a simulator.

AKA - also known as.

Alpha – Transparent, from Alpha Channel.

Alpha Channel – A special channel of a texture file used to indicate transparency, marking which parts of the image should be clear and which should be opaque.

Alpha Ordering – Or, Alpha Sort Ordering, this refers to a quirk of OpenGL (which the client uses) that causes two surfaces with alpha channels (q.v.) to be incorrectly rendered as if the farther one were nearer the viewer. This is often seen when parts of hair, skirts, and shoes flash in and out of existence as the transparent areas in the scene move in relation to each other. (Also called Alpha Flicker)

Alt – “Alternate Account.” Many Second Life residents have more than one account for a variety of reasons, including: keeping one’s business life separate from social life, role-playing, avoiding harassment, keeping track of L$ (bank alts), and being able to work uninterrupted by Instant Messages.

Animation – A file or in-world inventory item that moves or animates your avatar. You can use animations to make your avatar walk, sit, clap their hands, dance, blow someone a kiss, and much more.

Anti-Idle – Refers to staying online for a long period without being automatically logged off. This is accomplished by wearing a scripted gadget or disabling the option at Client->Character->Character Test->Go away/AFK when idle.

AO – Animation Overrider; a scripted device that contains replacements for the default walking, sitting, flying, and standing animations of your avatar. Some also have other functions. Some AOs can be customized by loading your own animations. Some AOs must be turned off before engaging in poseball or other animations, since the animations can conflict with one another.

AR – 1. Abuse Report; a formal report to Linden Lab of a violation of community standards or SL terms of service. 2. v, The act of filing an Abuse Report (“I AR'd the guy.”)

Asset Server – The database that tracks all Second Life objects in-world and in inventory. Overloaded asset servers can cause search, inventory, rez, teleport, and friend's list failures.

Attach – To connect an object from inventory or in-world to a certain place on your avatar's body, or in the case of a HUD, to some location on the user's screen.

Attachment – An object (clothing, weapons, jewelry, shoes, HUD, etc) that can be connected to an avatar at a specific location, or in the case of HUD, to a location on the user's screen. Typically the location is set by the creator of the object, but may be changed by the owner.

Auto-Return – A feature on land parcels in which objects that don't belong to the land owner or group are returned to their respective owners' inventory after a certain period of time. This helps reduce intentional and accidental litter on land parcels. The parcel's auto-return time period can be set in the Object's tab of Preferences.

Av – Abbreviation for Avatar

Avatar – The animated being that represents a Second Life resident in the virtual world; the digital representation of your virtual self in Second Life. A “costume” or outfit; a full set of avatar body parts, clothing, and/or attachments that provides a specific look.

Avatar Key – The unique identifier assigned by the SL database to each Avatar, the Avatar's UUID.

Baked – Refers to the mechanism within the client where the various layers of skin and clothing are collapsed into a single texture, uploaded to the servers, then downloaded to anyone within viewing distance. This causes newly donned skin and clothing to look clear and sharply defined, then fuzzy, then sharp again. The end result is that everyone, including you, sees the identical clothing texture.

Ban – The act of explicitly forbidding entry to a land parcel. To add someone to your ban list and thus eject them from your land. Permanent removal of someone from Second Life (which can only be done by Linden Lab).

Ban Lines – Lines of floating red letters spelling out “no entry” that appear on the boundaries of a land parcel that your Avatar is not allowed into by the owner.

Banlink – Distributed ban sharing system that allows subscribing locations to share ban lists.

Ban List - The list of those banned from an area, by use of a script, the parcel or estate land management tools, or by Landban, that otherwise allows visitors.

Beta Grid – An alternate set of servers that run an independent copy of some of the sims using server software that is under development and has not yet been released. Residents may log onto the Beta Grid to experiment with new software features using an alternative client that may be downloaded from the Second Life website. Any activities, including monetary transactions, that occur on the Beta Grid are only temporary and are confined to the Beta Grid and have no effect on your inventory or L$ balance on the main grid.

BIAB – “Business In A Box.” Often sold to newcomers as an easy way to make money, BIAB packages may contain merchandise that is poor quality, out of date, stolen from the original creators, or available elsewhere for free.

Bling – Jewelry and other attachments scripted to emit particle based shimmering “bling” effects.

Blingtard – Pejorative term for a user, often a newbie, who wears too many blinging attachments.

Body Part – A component of an Avatar; shape, skin, hair, eyes, and/or prim attachments are Body Parts that combine to create an Avatar's form. Different body parts can be created and saved to a user's inventory and switched between as the mood strikes.

Borked – Messed up, broken. “The teleport function is borked again”

Bot – An alt account run by a computer. (see Landbot)

Boxhead – The act of wearing an object, usually a package prim, on your head or other location. Package prims are meant to be rezzed on the ground, but newcomers often mistake them for the object(s) they contain, and try to wear them instead. Originally the default attachment point for objects was the head. Later updates of the Second Life client changed that to the right hand.

BRB – “Be Right Back,” shorthand meant to imply that the speaker is away from the keyboard for a moment, but will return very shortly.

BTW – “By the Way”

Build – To create/make something out of primitives in Second Life. An object comprised of one or more primitives. An engineering term for a specific version of the Second Life (or other) software.

Bumpmap – An extra texture layer on objects that adds “bumpiness” to them. This can provide the illusion of detail by resembling wood bark, cut stone or a number of three-dimensional surfaces. Second Life offers only limited bumpmapping.

Busy Mode – A mode where your Avatar does not hear nearby chat, where IMs receive the “busy mode” response, and all inventory and teleport offers are automatically declined.

Cache – A disk file on your local computer that retains copies of textures and other data when they are first encountered and downloaded so that subsequent visits to the same location will render more quickly.

Cage – To trap an avatar in place by rezzing an object that surrounds them. Caging an avatar who has not consented to is an AR'able offense.

Cage Gun – A gun that fires a Cage that rezzes around an avatar, trapping them. The quickest ways to get out of a Cage is to either a) teleport to your home location, or b) right-click on a nearby sit target, and you will be popped out of the Cage and seated there.

Calling Card – An item with a player's name that goes into the Calling Card section of your inventory. Calling cards serve as a contact list of sorts. Double clicking on a Card opens an IM window to that person. Offering a Calling Card is similar, but less personal than offering Friendship, and can be done from second level of the avatar pie menu.

Camera – The particular viewpoint from which you see the Second Life world. Normally, your camera is behind your avatar. Second Life allows you to move your camera around in many different ways to see things from many different viewpoints.

Camping – The practice of earning small amounts of $L by sitting on a chair or engaging in menial activities. Merchants use campers to make their store look more popular on the grid map.

Chat Channel – One of the “pseudo-frequencies” that objects and avatars can chat on. Avatars normally speak on channel 0, and can only hear chat on channel 0. Objects can chat and listen on any channel. SL supports are 4,294,967,294 possible channels, ranging from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647.

City Sims – A set of four Linden designed sims (Sistiana, Barcola, Miramare and Grignano) meant to represent a city. These are the only mainland sims with a Simulator Object Bonus. Approximately half of each city sim is composed of Linden-owned low-prim streets and walkways, allowing owners of the available space to use twice the prims they normally could.

Clear Cache – The act of setting the SL client to clear its local storage of SL-related data and textures the next time it is started. Often problems with slow-loading textures can be fixed by clearing your cache. Clearing your cache can also make missing inventory items reappear.

Client – Second Life consists of two software parts. The client, or viewer, resides on the user's computer. The server resides in a remote location.

Client Menu – A normally hidden menu in the Second Life client that allows access to extra commands. The Client menu can be toggled on/off by typing Ctrl-Alt-D.

Clothing Layers – Jacket, shirt, pants, undershirt, underpants, gloves, socks, shoes, skirt, skin, and tattoo--the parts of your avatar that are worn on top of its body and created and edited in appearance edit mode. You can create different Outfits of clothing and save them in your inventory, then switch between them as the mood strikes. You can even design your own clothing and upload the textures to Second Life.

Combat Region – A region where the parcel “Safe” setting has been disabled, so that avatars can sustain damage, and where weapons and combat are allowed.

Community Standards – The agreement all players subscribe to which determines the limits of appropriate behavior while playing the game. The Community Standards are incorporated into the Terms of Service by reference.

Concierge Service – A higher level of customer service and assistance available only to island owners and mainland land owners paying more than 125US$ per month in tier. This service level includes Lindens dedicated to Concierge support duties and toll-free Concierge level-only phone help.

Console – Any of several windows that can be made to appear on the user's screen to display details about the internal operation of the client. These are useful to investigate client performance problems. Consoles may be enabled/disabled in the Client Menu or with keyboard shortcuts, and include Frame, Texture, Debug, Fast Timers, and Memory consoles.

Copybot – A gadget and a technique developed from the efforts of the libsecondlife project, consisting of scripts and client-side software capable of making unauthorized copies of objects that were meant to be non-copyable or non-transferable. Its use is a serious violation of the TOS.

Covenant – Stipulations made by the private estate land owner of what the next parcel owner may or may not do with the land. A parcel's covenant may be seen in About Land, Covenant tab. Also see Zoning.

Cyber – Short for cyber-sex. The practice of engaging in sexual roleplay using chat and Second Life avatars and animations.

Damage – In certain regions, it is possible for an avatar to experience “injury” resulting in a loss of points that may result in death. At that point, the avatar is teleported to its Home and the points are restored. Damage-enabled areas can be set for one parcel or for an entire region. If you are in a damage-enabled zone, you will see a red heart at the bottom of your screen with a number showing points from 1 to 100. The overwhelming majority of Second Life is not damage-enabled. Also see Combat Region.

Dance Balls – Pairs (or larger sets) of pose balls which synchronise with each other to create animations showing avatars dancing or interacting in various ways. Also called Couples Balls.

Day – The default SL day is four hours long, consisting of three hours of daytime and one hour of nighttime. The default cycle may be overridden on private estates.

Death – When your avatar is in an area that allows damage to occur, a red heart will appear at the bottom of the screen. Next to it is a number that is initially set to 100 percent. If the amount of damage your avatar suffers drops to zero, the avatar dies. It is then teleported to Home and the points are set back to 100%.

Deed – To give a parcel of land to a group. The group must already have enough tier contributed it to own the land. To give a tier contribution to a group so it can own land. Usually done via the Owner Makes Contribution With Deed checkbox. To give an object to a group. The object becomes the property of the group.

De-rez – To remove (derez) an object from a sim within Second Life. Generally is done through deleting the object or taking the object into inventory.

Detach – Usually, to remove an item that has been attached to a specific part of the avatar's body, or in the case of HUD, to a location on the screen, and return it to inventory.

Draw Distance – The radius centered on your avatar that your client renders the Second Life world. If you are on a slower computer, you may be able to speed up your Second Life experience by reducing your Draw Distance.

Drop – To remove an attached item from your avatar and drop it on the ground, instead of returning it to your inventory. To place an inventory item on an avatar or a calling card.

Eject – To expel an avatar from a property. Ejecting a user will cause them to be quickly hurled off your property. The user can come directly back on your property after being ejected unless you also Ban them. Also called Boot or Kick.

Estate – A collection of one or more private sims owned by the same individual. An estate contains one or more regions (sims); a region (sim) contains one or more parcels.

Estate Controls – Local preferences menu (such as sun position, ground texture, and other things that only effect the regions in that estate). Estate controls (World > Estate... menu) are only available to private island owners. Residents who own mainland sims can not access them.

Event – A group activity, led by a host, that starts and ends at specific times, and can be legitimately listed on the Search/Events calendar.

FIC – Forum In-Crowd or Feted Inner Core; originally a term for SL residents who received unusual access or special treatment from Linden Lab, it has now become more general to refer to any influential SL resident (“She so FIC”). FIC originated at a time when the Forums were more widely used and were frequented by Lindens.

First Life – The so-called “real world” away from Second Life. Synonym for Real Life.

First Look – A version of the Second Life client that contains major enhancements. Residents can often use the Second Life First Look software and try out new features.

FL – Abbreviation for First Life.

Flexi, Flexible, Flexified – Refers to an attribute of prims that allows them to be subject to gravity, wind, avatar movement, and other forces. Commonly used in skirts and hair to simulate realistic movement.

Flight Assist – A scripted attachment that can be worn to enable an avatar to fly higher and/or faster than the normal limits.

FPS – “Frames Per Second.” Two important FPS measures of performance are the client FPS (seen in the top of the Statistics Bar, about 10-20 fps for most of us) and the simulator frame rate (“Sim FPS” farther down in the Statistics Bar, normally 45 for a smoothly running sim).

Frame Time – A simulator has about 22.2 milliseconds per frame to update all its periodic calculations for physics, scripts, texture handling, avatar control, etc. The actual time the simulator spends doing the processing is shown in the Statistics Bar, in the section named Time. A sim starts to get laggy when the frame time reported starts to reach the alloted 22.2 milliseconds.

Freebie – An item made available at no cost, often with full or extremely generous permissions.

Freebie Resale – The practice of selling items at a cost, which are available elsewhere for free. Reselling freebies is generally considered a scam in Second Life.

Freebie Wall – A scripted device offering a “catalog” of Freebies from which a user can choose from by clicking on a prim representing the desired Freebie. The first Freebie Walls were provided by the Lindens at Telehubs, labeled “Free Linden Content”.

Freeze – A function used by landowners to bring a havoc-wreaking resident under control. Once frozen, an avatar stops flying, falls to the ground, and is unable to move.

Full Perms – Full Permissions; an object set so it can be freely copied, modified, and transferred.

Furry – Second Life resident using anthropomorphic animal avatars.

Gadget – A particular form of scripted item; usually one that is a) worn by its user; and b) focuses on providing that user with extra functions, as opposed to doing anything externally visible. HUDs and AOs are common Gadgets.

Gesture – Gestures are unique combination of sound, animation, and chat that can be preconfigured to go off with a command or a specific phrase (for example, you can have your avatar clap his or her hands and play the sound of applause whenever you type: /clap). A Gesture is a wrapper that contains references to one or more animations and sounds in your inventory, and a simple rule set that defines the sequence that they should be applied.

Ghost – An object or avatar that is no longer in the Second Life virtual world, but is still visible on at least one resident's client.

GIRL – Guy In Real Life; a sarcastic term for a female avatar controlled by a male player.

God Mode – A special mode of Second Life which only Linden staff members can access. A Linden in God Mode is invisible to sensors, cannot be pushed or damaged, has unlimited L$ and has full permissions access to every object on the grid. All actions that Lindens engage in while using God Mode are logged and inspected; any use of these powers for other than testing and legitimate administration purposes will usually lead to them getting fired,

GOM – Gaming Open Market, a now obsolete currency exchange service, which closed down in response to the creation of LindeX. To GOM, meaning for the Lindens to create a service which competes with something a resident was already providing (“I hear the Lindens are planning to GOM banlink in the next release.”)

Gor – Series of BDSM-oriented Science Fantasy novels by John Norman that have given rise to dozens of role-playing sims throughout Second Life.

Gorean – Second Life resident who identifies with the culture of one or more of the various Gor sims.

Grey Goo – An object which continuously makes copies of itself. Can be produced by accident, but is generally considered a form of Grid Attack.

Grid – The network of servers that make up the Second Life world (Example: “The Grid is down so the Lindens can fix it.”). A series of intersecting lines that give a regular reference for building.

Grid Address – Also called Grid Coordinates, the name of a region combined with three numbers between 0 and 255 for the X & Y (east-west and north-south) coordinates, and from 0 and larger for the Z (up-down) coordinate. Example: Ahern (200, 155, 50).

Grid Attack – A coordinated attempt by griefers to crash Second Life as a whole, or multiple servers within it. Attempting a grid attack is grounds for instant and permanent banning from Second Life.

Grid Coordinates – See Grid Address.

Grid Monkey – A Linden (which varies at any given time) assigned to care for the grid and resolve hardware and software issues. There usually is a grid-monkey on-call at all hours of the day/night, making sure someone is ready to take care of any issues at all times.

Griefer – A person whose primary purpose is to harass others and destroy their enjoyment of Second Life. Griefers should be Abuse Reported.

Group – An in-world player-created association. Belonging to a group also includes the ability for several avatars to work on one project or administer a common parcel of land.

Group Title – The labels designated for officers and members of a group. Group Titles appear over an avatar's name when that group is active. You can change that title by changing your Active Group. To change that, right click on your Avatar and select “Groups” from the pie-shaped menu. In the Groups window that appears, scroll down to the group you want, and then click the “Activate” button. Group Titles can be up to 21 characters long.

Havok – The physics engine for the Second Life that handles real-time interaction between objects or other characters.

Help Island – An optional post-Orientation Island new resident learning area. To handle the large number of people joining Second Life, there are a large number of Help Islands which are mirror images of each other. These are referred to as HI1, HI2, HI3, etc… Once you leave Help Island, you can not return, though you can go to Help Island Public

Het-Grid – Short for Heterogeneous Grid, this is the technology that allows Linden Lab to update server simulator code on a few regions at a time instead of over the entire grid at once. In theory, this should make server upgrades smoother and avoid some grid-wide shutdowns for server software upgrades.

HI – Abbreviation for Help Island.

Home – The location that you teleport to when you choose the menu item “Teleport Home” or when you “die.” You can set this location with a menu command. Home may be set to land that you own, land that a group you are a member of owns, or Linden Land that is set to allow home to be set (such as Welcome Areas or InfoHubs).

Hover Text – The text that a script can cause to appear floating above an object. Hovertext is generated with the llSetText function of LSL.

HUD – Head Up Display; a control panel for an AO or other device that appears on screen.

IM – Instant Message; the chat window that allows two or more players to speak privately. To instant message another resident or group of residents.

IM Coma/IM Trance/IM Hell – A state in which one person is not moving, chatting, or responding to chat because he or she is being bombarded with IMs.

Infohub – A Linden Lab-owned information and social area. Infohubs are located at some of the former Telehub locations and are built and managed by residents or resident groups. Some new players first spawn at Infohubs after leaving Orientation Island or Help Island.

Inventory – The window that contains everything you possess that isn't manifest in the world. Your inventory is the collection of clothing, objects, textures, etc. that your avatar possesses. Your inventory travels with you, and you can use any of it at any time.

Invisiprim – An object that is worn as an attachment to make part or all of an avatar (and other objects behind it having Alpha Channels) appear invisible.

In-World – The state of being connected to the Second Life servers and present in the Second Life world (also: online). Anything that takes place within the virtual environment of Second Life.

IRL – “In Real Life”

Island – A Sim or group of Sims that are detached from the Linden Lab owned Mainland and only accessible by teleportation (see Private Island).

JIRA – Refers to the online issue and bug tracker at . Here you can find bugs that have been reported, enhancements requested, and discussions about them between residents, Lindens, and other developers. Residents may vote for the issues they feel should receive attention.

Kick – The forced log-off of a resident from Second Life by an administrator. An administrative kick is usually followed by a time-out period, during which the kicked resident will be unable to log into Second Life. The expulsion of a resident from another resident's land by the landowner (see Eject).

KK or K – In chat, equivalent to “OK”.

Lag – The condition of running slowly. This can be caused by the server, the client, your internet connection, or the objects, scripts and activities of the players around you. Also see Time Dilation.

Land Baron – A resident who makes profit in-world by buying and selling land, or by developing and selling land on Private Estates.

Land Griefing – The practice of buying land adjacent to a victim, placing deliberately ugly or offensive items (such as Ad Cubes) to blocking the view from (or access to) their land, then attempting to sell the adjacent parcel to the victim at an extortionate price. Land Griefing is not AR'able (as Linden Lab is unwilling to restrict what a resident may place on land they own) unless the items placed on the land violate the Community Standards or Terms of Service in some way.

Landban – To ban from a parcel using the SL client ban tools available to land owners and authorised members of groups owning land.

Landbot – An alt account run by a program designed to quickly purchase land sold below a set price. Land that is incorrectly priced too low, or is set to sell for a nominal sum to “anyone”, will almost certainly be snapped up by a landbot.

Landmark – Inventory items acting as shortcuts to places in Second Life. If you double click on a Landmark, a window pops up that allows you to see that location on a map or to teleport directly there. You can create a landmark anywhere it is permitted by using a menu command, and can then be given to other players. Landmarks you create or save default to being stored in the Landmarks folder of your Inventory.

LCS – Local Coordinate System.

Liaison – A Linden staff member who works as front-line technical support or serves as an in-world representative.

libsecondlife – An open source project not affiliated with Linden Lab, with the goal to learn the inner workings of the client-server communications protocols, and thus discover new ways to connect external software to augment the Second Life experience. Also called libSL.

Linden – An employee of Linden Lab. Linden employees are referred to as “Lindens” because all of them have that last name when in the game. Linden dollar, the currency of Second Life.

Linden Dollar – Denoted L$, the unit of currency for all monetary transactions in Second Life. Lindens are a microcurrency and can be traded for real world currencies on the LindeX and on other third party exchanges.

Linden Lab – The creators of Second Life.

LindeX – A currency exchange operated by Linden Lab. Residents are able to buy and sell Linden Dollars using US dollars, at market price, or place limit orders.

Link – When building, multiple prims may be linked together with a menu command. When linked, they can be moved as one unit.

Link Set – Also “linkset”, an object consisting of two or more prims linked together.

Live Help – A now discontinued feature of Second Life. The “Live Help” command on the Help menu allowed you to access in-world help chat with Lindens and Live Help resident volunteers. Live Help has been superseded by the support portal on the SL website.

LL – Abbreviation for Linden Lab.

LM – Abbreviation for Landmark.

Local Coordinate System – A way of describing locations in the world relative to an object. The LCS of a particular object has its origin point <0,0,0> at its center, and the three coordinates correspond to the forward, left, and upward directions from the object's point of view. This is as opposed to the Global or World Coordinate System (GCS or WCS) in which everything is defined by absolute position in the world. For example, if a human lies down on the floor on their left hand side with their head facing North, then in GCS terms their head would be described as “West of their shoulders”, since this is their literal position; in the person's LCS, their head would still be described as “above their shoulders”, since this is its position relative to the rest of their body.

Local Lights – A feature built into newer graphics cards that helps render the glow of light sources very fast. Older graphics cards must simulate the glow of local lights using software algorithms, which can degrade performance on the client. This feature can be enabled/disabled in Preferences.

Lock – To set the lock flag for an item, making it un-modifiable.

LOD – “Level of Detail” Refers in general to the algorithms that determine what level of detail (resolution) that must be rendered for each object, avatar, and other component of a scene. Related to Draw Distance.

Log – A transcript of chat, or of computer activities. To log out, to go offline, to stop playing Second Life.

LOL – “Laughing Out Loud.” Shorthand meant to convey that the writer is actually sitting at the computer laughing at something someone has said or done. “That's some silly cheese hat you have there! LOL!”

Lot – Also called Parcel, a contiguous section of land owned by one person or group. Size is measure in meters squared (m2). Cf. estate, region, sim, and parcel.

LSL – “Linden Scripting Language.” Programming language create interactive content inside SL.

Lucky Chair – Scripted chairs that give out prizes when you sit on one that is displaying the first letter of your first name.

m2 – Abbreviation for square meters used in talking about Second Life land. Abbreviation for the Metaverse Messenger newspaper.

Mainland – The continents managed by Linden Lab. Land on the mainland is initially auctioned off by Linden Lab in one sim blocks.

Map – The window in the Second Life application that displays the map. It can be used to find locations, individuals, and specific coordinates. To select an avatar's name in the map window so that the avatar can be located, or followed, on the map. Mapping will only work on Avatars on your Friend's list that have set their client to allow you to map them.

Map Window – The window in the Second Life application that displays the map. It can be used to mark locations, individuals, and specific coordinates.

Material – Second Life objects can be made of different materials; this setting affects the collision sound, weight, friction, etc. of the object. Example materials are Stone, Wood, and Rubber. Material setting only affect the physics of the object and do not affect its appearance.

Mature – Rating for a sim that allows behavior forbidden in the PG areas. This may include profanity, nudity and sexual content and activities, to the extent that such behavior is legal.

Mega-Prim – Prims that are larger than what is normally allowed, meaning that they have a dimension over 10m along one or more axes. At one time, megaprims could be created using tools invented by the libsecondlife effort, but Linden Lab changed the server software to prevent new ones from being created. The existing megaprims were copied, transferred, and are still available today. Currently there is limited simulator support for megaprims. Their existence may cause simulator problems in some sims and so are not welcome everywhere. There is some movement within Linden Lab to support megaprims officially to some degree in the future.

Mentor – A resident volunteer working with Linden Lab of Second Life who teaches and guides other citizens.

Metaverse – A term for a virtual universe coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash. Stephenson's novel was an inspiration for Second Life.

Metaverse Development Company – A real-world business which charges other businesses real money to develop areas or promotions for them in Second Life. Prominent MDCs include: Electric Sheep Company (ESC), Millions of Us, Beta Technologies, Aimee Weber Studios, and Rivers Run Red.

MDC – See Metaverse Development Company.

Micro-Prim – Prims that have been tortured into shapes that appear to have dimensions smaller than the 0.01m dimensions normally allowed for prims. These are often used to make attachments such as jewelry. Also called Tiny Prim.

Missing Image – A black and while error texture that appears on an avatar or object when the Asset Server can't locate the correct texture. Missing Image problems on Avatars can often be fixed by Rebaking.

Mono – An open source technology that allows .NET-compatible software to run on a broad range of operating systems. Linden Lab is currently integrating Mono into the Second Life software so that programming languages other than LSL may be used for scripting.

Mouselook – Typing the letter “m” will change the main window to a first-person camera view that will change according to mouse motions. This is the usual view for weapons fire and operating some vehicles. Hit the Escape key to exit Mouselook. Also called Mouseview.

Mute – Choosing the option that prevents you from seeing the chat, instant messages, inventory drops, and teleport offers from another player.

Neko – Mostly human avatars with some cat-like characteristics, such as ears, whiskers and/or tails. Has its origins in Anime.

Newbie – A newcomer to Second Life; a resident who has joined for a relatively short period of time and/or is not familiar or comfortable with Second Life's culture, interface, and nuances. The newbie cut-off point is generally considered to be at around 90 days.

Nicholaz Client – An alternate version of the open source Second Life client developed by SL resident Nicholaz Beresford to attempt to fix bugs in the standard client and to provide those fixes to the community prior to an official release.

Night – The default SL day is four hours long, consisting of three hours of daytime and one hour of nighttime. The default cycle may be overridden on private estates.

No-Copy – Any object whose permissions do not permit the current owner to make additional copies of the object. These objects have (no-copy) in their name in the inventory.

No-Fly – Any land parcel that does not permit flying. You can fly through no-fly parcels, but as soon as you touch down and stop flying, you'll be unable to fly again until you exit the no-fly parcel. If you get really stuck, teleport somewhere else.

No-Modify – Any object whose permissions do not permit the current owner to make changes of the object. These objects have (no-modify) in their name in the Inventory. Abbreviated no-mod.

Non Physical – A method of avatar movement obtained by sitting on a non-physical prim and then moving the prim with the edit tools, or using a script in the prim for controlled movement. A non physical avatar can pass through walls and cannot be pushed; they are considered an immovable object from the point of view of any physical object that strikes them. Abbreviated non-phys.

Notecard – An inventory item containing text and/or embedded textures, snapshots, objects, or other notecards. Items embedded in notecards must have copy/modify/transfer permissions.

No-Transfer – Any object whose permissions do not permit the current owner to resell or give away the object. These objects have (no-transfer) in their name in the Inventory.

NP - Slang term for "No Problem".

Occlusion – 3D graphics rendering technique that ensures that the computer does not spend time attempting to draw things that are not visible (typically because they remain hidden behind something else).

Office Hours – Scheduled times where specific Lindens are available to take questions and comments from residents on their specific areas of expertise.

Offline – The state of being disconnected from the Second Life servers and absent from the Second Life world.

Oldbie – A resident from the early days of Second Life (pre-2005). Anyone who is no longer a newbie. The newbie cut-off point is generally considered to be at around 90 days.

OMG – “Oh My God!”

Online – The state of being connected to the Second Life servers and present in the Second Life world. Also: in-world.

OOC – “Out of character.” A role-playing shorthand used in role-playing sims to let the listener know that the avatar is speaking as him or herself – not as the character he or she is playing.

Open Source – Software that has been licensed and published in such a way that the general public can see it, understand it, develop it, improve it, and expand it. Modified versions of the software may be redistributed within certain limitations. Currently the Second Life client (viewer) is open source, but not the server software.

Openspace Sim – A sim (region) with a dramatically reduced prim limit (1875 prims) that operate four sims to a single processor. Designed by Linden Lab for creating open fields or seas, they are sold in groups of four for the price of one ordinary Sim. Also called Void Sim.

Orbiter – A physics-based weapon that attacks a resident by rapidly pushing them upwards into the sky with a force that exceeds the amount of counterforce that normal Second Life flight can exert. Orbiters send their victims so far into the sky that it would take hours for them to fall back down in the normal way and/or their coordinates no longer fit within SL's world model. Normally, teleporting away or – in extreme cases – relogging will fix being orbited.

Orientation Island – Abbreviated OI, the first area all users of Second Life visit. To handle the large number of people joining Second Life, there are a large number of Orientation Islands which are mirror images of each other. These are referred to as OI1, OI2, OI3, etc… Both Linden Lab and partner companies operate Orientation Islands. Private OIs usually differ considerablely from the Linden OI.

Outfit – A group of clothing items in a single folder in Inventory that can be dropped on the avatar to effect a fast change of appearance.

Packet Loss – Fragments of network data that get lost or mangled during transmission, for a wide variety of reasons. Reducing the Network Bandwidth in Preferences may reduce packet loss, with the trade-off that all data will be transferred more slowly.

Premium Account – Paid subscription to Second Life. Premium Accounts cost between US$9.95 and $6.00 a month (depending whether they are paid monthly, quarterly, or annually), and provide a Stipend of 300L$ a week and 512m2 of Tier. A Premium Account is required to own land on the Mainland.

Parcel – Section of land within one region that is treated as one lot. All land within a parcel shares the same owner, prim limit, About Land settings, ban lists, etc. A person can own more than one parcel in a region, and it is possible (though unlikely) for a parcel to be not contiguous. An estate consists of one or more regions (sims); a region (sim) consists of one or more parcels.

Particles – Two-dimensional sprites (graphic images that always face the viewer). Second Life's particle system allows a wide variety of particles, enabling residents to create burning fires, glistening waterfalls, vapor trails on jet fighters, tracers on bullets, the occasional macabre spurt of blood, floating hearts of affection, billowing smoke, rainbows, and much more.

Partner – A resident of Second Life who “partners” up with another resident; partners can be spouses, couples, or just friends. It costs 10L$ to Partner with someone, and 25L$ to dump them.

Peak Usage – The maximum total amount of land a Second Life resident owned, at any one time, in a monthly billing period. To reduce possible exploitation of land ownership, Second Life bills land use fees based on peak usage; holding 4096 square meters for one minute costs the same as holding it for thirty days. Note that this amount always includes the resident's group contributions as well.

Permissions – Second Life's built-in “intellectual property” system. Creators can choose whether subsequent owners of their creations can Copy, Modify, and/or Transfer that item. Creators who want to preserve their intellectual property rights usually limit one or more of these attributes. Abbreviated perms.

PG – Describes an area that does not allow profanity, obvious sexuality, or intentional nudity.

Phantom – Setting on a Second Life object which determines whether the object collides. Phantom objects appears insubstantial, and can be freely passed through.

Physical – Objects that have their “physics” flag set are subject to simulated Newtonian effects. These objects will bounce, collide, and be affected by gravity,

Physics – Second Life's software model for how forces and objects interact (see: Havok). A setting on objects that can be enabled, causing the object to fall and react to gravity, as well as collisions with other objects. Without physics, objects remain exactly where they were placed, no matter what force is applied to them.

Ping – A measurement and the act of measuring the time it takes for one fragment of data to travel between two points on a network. Ping times between the client and simulator can be seen in the Statistics Bar.

Plywood – The default texture applied to all newly rezzed Prim. A Second Life comic strip by Moriash Moreau.

Pose – A static animation that puts your avatar into a specific position.

Pose Ball – Balls that contain scripts and animations that can make your avatar sit, dance, as well as do many other things. Used by clicking on the ball and selecting “Sit Here” or “Animate” from the menu. Usually colored blue (for men) and pink (for women).

Posing Stand – Standing on this item locks your avatar in position. Used primarily for editing the position of attached items like hair and jewelry while being worn.

Prim – Short for “primitive” the basic shapes that almost all objects in Second Life are made from. An object consists of a single primitive or multiple linked primitives. Prims are created, shaped, and textured via the Edit window or by scripts. The basic Prim types are: Box, Cylinder, Sphere, Ring, Tube, and Torus.

Prim Flicker – The condition where two textures seem to overlap and shift one over the other as you move around them. Prim flicker is caused by badly positioned overlapping sections of prims.

Prim Hair (or eyelashes, or fingernails.) – Hair made from twisted and textured prims. You can generate a basic non-prim hairstyle with the avatar appearance sliders, but a wig made of prims looks much more realistic.

Prim Limit – The number of prims that can be rezzed on a given parcel of land at any one time.

Prim Sculpture – Use of overlapping, modified prims to create artistic, realistic, and/or organic shapes. The term “Prim Sculpture” originated well before Sculpties were introduced, to describe skill at working around the fact that custom prim shapes were not available at that time; thus, Sculptie Prims are (paradoxically) not generally referred to as Prim Sculptures.

Prim Torture – A method for adjusting settings of a Prim which are not normally accessible, by switching the prim between different types. For example, you can set a prim to type Tube, adjust the Profile Cut setting, and then set the prim to type Box. The result is a Box with a Profile Cut applied, which is usually not possible. Extreme deformations of prims.

Private Island – A sim not connected to a mainland continent, owned by someone other than Linden Lab.

Private Continent – A large group of privately owned sims.

Private Estate – One or more privately owned sims.

Profile – The window that contains personal information about a avatar. The Profile window can contain a picture of the avatar, a list of the groups they belong to, a description. Additional Profile tabs include space for a website, Picks, Classifieds, a First Life section, and a Notes section.

Push Weapon – scripted object capable of applying a force to objects, but especially to other residents. Come in numerable styles and implementations. Using Push Weapons on other residents can be considered harassment and is not permitted in Safe Zones or non-damage-enabled regions. Landowners have the option to cause Push Weapons not to work on their land.

Radar – A scripted gadget, often worn as a HUD, that periodically reports a list of avatars who are near you.

Rebake – To force one's clothing and body textures to re-rez in order to correct blurred or “Missing Image” problems with one's avatar. The rebake command is accessible via the Character sub-menu of the Client menu. Also see bake.

Region – A land area, syn. sim. An estate contains one or more regions (sims); a region (sim) contains one or more parcels.

Region Say – A form of chat that objects are able to generate on non-zero chat channels and is heard by all other objects residing in the same sim.

Rehi - Idiomatic shorthand for “Hello, again.” Usually spoken to someone who is seen again within a short time of a previous conversation. “Rehi, Kathy. How was supper?”

Release Candidate – A version of the Second Life client currently being tested on the Main Grid for a near-future release.

Relog – To log out of Second Life and then immediately log in again. Occasionally necessary to clear up technical problems.

Reset – To restart one or more scripts inside an object. If an object is in edit mode or selected by a right click, you may select “Reset All Scripts in Selection” in the Tools menu to restart the scripts in the object.

Rez – To create an object, or bring an object out of your inventory into the world. Rez also refers to textures, objects and avatars loading when you enter a new area, i.e.,“I teleported to the island, but it took forever for the buildings to rez.” (Derives from “de-rez” a fictional hacker term in the movie Tron.)

Resident – Term for a person who uses Second Life. This can refer to the user of the account as well as their in-world avatar.

Risk API – Refers to a set of behind-the-scenes algorithms that run on the grid servers to try to identify patterns of financial transactions that might indicate money laundering, fraud, identity theft, or other illegal activity.

RL – Also called Real Life, an imaginary, dream-like world frequently described by avatars shortly after waking up in-world. The constant interruptions that interfere with your ability to stay in-world 24 hours a day.

ROFLM - Slang term for Roll on Floor with Laughter

Root Prim – In an object consisting of multiple, linked prims, this is the prim last selected before linking, and has special characteristics of importance to the operation of scripts.

Run – A mode of avatar movement; Ctrl-R toggles between normal avatar walking speed, and “running.” To execute a program. A longitudinal failure pattern that happens to legwear in First Life.

Ruth – The default avatar: usually female, short, with red swept back hair. Being “ruthed” is Second Life slang for appearing in the shape of the female default SL Avatar (normally due to server lag). To de-ruth yourself, try going into Appearance mode, making a very minor change, and then saving that change. If that fails you can try logging out and then logging back in again.

Safe – Describes areas which are set initially to not allow avatars to take damage. Individual landholders can enable damage on their own land, however.

Sandbox – An area reserved for building activities. A sandbox must have the necessary land area, prim allotment, and parcel permissions to allow users to rez objects and/or run scripts.

Script – A program that is written Second Life's Linden Scripting Language (LSL). A script can be placed into an object to cause it to have an effect on the object and those people or things around it.

Scripted Item – An object that contains a program that allows it to behave in various ways. Scripts and animations are the “life” of Second Life.

Scripter – A person who writes scripts in LSL, the Linden Scripting Language.

Sculptie – Also called Sculpted Prim, a prim with a customized shape, created outside of Second Life using 3D modeling software. Scultpies are a client-side effect and are rendered by the SL client based on a special type of texture map.

Second Life – An interactive 3D virtual world almost completely built by the residents operated by Linden Lab of San Francisco. Abbreviated SL.

Security Orb – A scripted object programmed to eject or teleport unwanted avatars from a land Parcel.

Server – The processor that runs the programming necessary for one region of the world. Multiple regions (sims) are run on different processors in the same computer. Also called a Simulator.

Sex Balls – Linked sets of pose balls that animate avatars to show sexual behaviors.

Shield – Worn as an attachment, this surrounds the avatar with a transparent object designed to intercept bullets, missles, push objects, or other items of threat to the avatar.

Shout – The act of saying text that can be heard by other avatars and scripts within a 100m radius. Scripted items are able to shout, and avatars may shout by pressing the Shout button after entering text in chat mode. Compare with regular chat (20m radius) and whispering (10m radius).

Silks – A type of extremely revealing lingerie worn by Gorean slave girls, loosely based on descriptions given in the original Gor novels. Silks have moved out from the Gorean subculture and into the more general SL fashion industry, and are worn at times many non-Gorean female avatars.

Sim – Also called simulator or region, a 65,556 square meter (256m x 256m) region of land hosted on one processor, a single “grid square” on the SL map. Sims may be privately owned, or managed by Linden Lab. An estate contains one or more regions (sims); a region (sim) contains one or more parcels. The server that supports a particular region. (Note: In Second Life, a sim refers to a region of land, not an avatar or character.)

Sim Boundary – The border between two sims. Crossing sim boundaries can cause problems, as your avatar and its settings are transferred from one server to another.

Simulator Object Bonus – A special setting on Private Islands which allows the Prim Limit on some parcels to be increased. However, the sim owner must “pay back” the extra prims by leaving other areas of the sim empty.

Skin – A texture image that replaces the default skin of your avatar. Cannot (usually) be adjusted by the appearance sliders, but looks much better than the default skin.

Skybox – Any building located up in the sky, instead of on the ground.

Sliders – Controls for customizing Avatar appearance and clothing. These sliding settings levers in appearance mode (right-click on Avatar & select “appearance” to access) change values for avatar and clothing mesh. As an example, foot size can be altered from tiny to large on one slider, rounded to pointy toes on another, thin to thick platforms on another.

SL – see Second Life.

SLT – “Second Life Time.” The time zone corresponding to the local time at the Linden Lab offices at San Francisco. Linden Lab now refersto Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) and Pacific Standard Time (PST), but the term SLT is commonly used in-world by residents

SLURL – A type of weblink that launches the Second Life client and teleports you to the location indicated via the website.

Spam – An unsolicited instant message, notecard, texture, group invite, animate request, or object sent to multiple people. This can be sent by another player, or by an object containing a script.

Statistics Bar – A window of detailed performance data that appears on the upper right corner of the user's screen, enabled with Ctrl-Shift-1 or View->Statistics Bar. The data can help identify the source of performance problems in the client or simulator.

Stipend – The money given to a player by Linden Lab on a weekly basis. Premium accounts receive Stipends (300L$/week), though some older accounts have been grandfathered in under previous stipend programs.

Streaming Music/Video – Music and video that may be heard and viewed on a parcel. Each parcel may have one video and one audio stream set at any one time. Streams are specified as URLs to files or streaming servers on the Internet. With the proper permissions, an avatar can manually specify the URL of the streaming audio and video in the Media tab of Preferences, or by using a script to set those fields.

Tekkie-Wiki – Derogatory term for users with advanced technical knowledge or experience of Second Life, who are alleged to be unable to empathize with those who lack similar knowledge.

Teleport – To transport oneself instantly to another location. In Second Life, you can teleport by clicking on a landmark, using the map window, responding to a teleport request, or by selecting “teleport home” from the World menu. Abbreviated TP. Also used as a verb meaning offer me a teleport (“Oh--that sounds cool; TP me over please.”). An offer to teleport an individual to your location, e.g., “please send me a TP.”

Temporary – Objects marked in Second Life as not being permanent. When an object is marked as temporary, it will be deleted a few minutes after use. This is great for things like gun projectiles, dominos, or beach balls that might get away from you, disappear somewhere, or end up on no-script land (where their script would prevent them from deleting themselves).

Terms of Service – The set of rules that all residents agree to follow while using Linden Lab services or products, and the consequences of violating those rules. Abbreviated TOS. Also see Community Standards.

Terraform – To change the shape and elevation of land. Most Mainland sims are limited to ± 4 meters terraformability. Land on Private Estates can be terraformed up to ± 100 meters.

Texture – An image or graphic uploaded to Second Life for application to the surface of an object or to clothing. Textures can be purchased or found for free in-world, or created in third-party graphics programs and uploaded to Second Life for L$10 per image.

Tier – The monthly land “tax” you pay to either Linden Lab (on the mainland) or to a private island owner to own land. The more land you own, the higher your monthly Tier fees, but the less you pay per square meter (m2). Premium members get 512 m2 of free mainland tier. One of the levels of land ownership (and associated land use fees).

Tier Up – To raise the level of tier you pay monthly to Linden Lab. Tiering up allows you to own more land and/or make a higher tier contribution to a Group.

Time Dilation – A simulator tries to update all the physics effects in a sim 45 times a second. When the sim cannot make these calculations fast enough, time seems to slow down. Avatars, vehicles, and other things move more slowly than normal. The time dilation is shown in the Statistics Bar, and can be read by scripts.

Tiny– An extremely small Avatar, usually a furry, designed to resemble an animated stuffed animal.

Tiny Prim – See Micro Prim.

Tooltip – The information that appears when a mouse pointer is moved over an item or avatar. Slide the mouse arrow (without pressing any mouse buttons) over the item and the tooltip will appear, telling you the name or cost of an item, or the name of an avatar.

Tortured Prim – A prim that that has been modified into a shape that is normally not possible. (see Prim Torture)

TOS – See Terms of Service.

Town Hall – A meeting where a senior Linden addresses and takes questions from residents. Town Halls are usually conducted via voice.

TP – see Teleport

Traffic – A Linden Lab generated measure of how many avatars frequent a parcel of land and how long they stay. Higher traffic results in a higher placement in the “Places” search. (see Camping)

TTYL – “Talk To You Later”

TY – “Thank You!”

UUID – Globally unique identifier assigned to each item in the SL asset server database. Every avatar, object, texture, clothing item, body part, notecard, sound, animation, snapshot, gesture, etc. has its own UUID. Also known as a Key.

VBO – “Vertex Buffer Objects.” This is a feature in most newer graphics cards that can substantially improve client rendering performance, but may cause problems with some hardware. It can be enabled/disabled in Preferences.

Vehicle – A scripted object whose movement you can control. Typically, a resident will sit on/in the vehicle and use it as a form of transportation. Vehicles include cars, airplanes, hoverboards, boats, UFOs, and much more.

Vendor – A scripted object that designed to sell objects, clothing, or other items to residents. Many brands of vendors are networked and operate of a central server.

Void Sim – See Openspace Sim.

Voting Machine – A machine that is usually marked “Vote” that allows a visitor to register approval for the owner's building.

WarpPos – A scripting technique used in teleporters. This allows avatars to be teleported farther and faster than other techniques.

WB – “Welcome Back!”

Welcome Area – Abbreviated WA, a Linden Lab-owned and designed information and social area. The two largest Welcome Areas (Ahern and South) are located at the intersection of four sims to support a large number of people, and are surrounded by Linden-owned greenspace. Some new players first spawn at one of the Welcome Areas after leaving Orientation Island or Help Island.

Whisper – Speech (usually by objects containing scripts) that is audible only within a 10 meter radius from the object. Compare with regular chat (20m radius), shouting (100m radius) and Region Say (sim-wide).

Windlight – Sky and atmospheric and lighting effects for Second Life, developed by Windward Mark Interactive, which was purchased by Linden Lab for their technology.

Wire Frame – A mode of viewing the world by seeing only the edges that connect the vertices of objects, avatars, and terrain. The client wire frame mode can be toggled on and off with Ctrl-Shift-R.

WTF - Slang term for "What the f...."

X-Axis – The East-West axis of the in-world coordinate system. Increasing X values point east.

Y-Axis – The North-South axis of the in-world coordinate system. Increasing Y values point north.

Yiff – Slang term for furry sex.

YW - Slang term for your welcome.

YVW - Slang term for your very welcome.

Z-Axis – The up-down axis of the in-world coordinate system.

Zoning – Limits to what may or may not be placed on given areas of land. Almost all Mainland sims have no zoning (other than PG or Mature), but many private islands / estates / continents do. Also see Covenant.

:) or -:) - smiley face, smiles

:P - poke tounge out


LSL Wiki Glossary
Defintions of SL-related technical and LSL terms.

SL Metrics Glossary
Definitions used in Linden Lab's metrics, including the Monthly Metrics Reports, the Economy page, and the Service Metrics.


Edited by Carl Metropolitan, with Becky Pippen and final editing and editions by Jass Easterman (aka Sue Gregory)

Definitions contributed by Becky Pippen, Candie Apple, SuezanneC Baskerville, Lindal Kidd, Marianne McCann, Carl Metropolitan, Yumi Murakami and Oryx Tempel. Thanks to the NCI Land Officers and the Resident Answers Forum for fact-checking and assistance.


© Sue Gregory


Copyright © 2011