Every now and again I receive email asking what one of the abbreviations on the site means, so I thought a Bitchery Glossary would be a good idea.
Some of these terms are used all over the place and certainly aren’t exclusive to this site. Some are abbreviations we use for categories or features here. But if you’ve ever wondered what the hell something means, hopefully this list will help.
GS vs STA: Good Shit vs Shit To Avoid – used for developing lists of books by type or characteristic, both of books folks loved and books folks didn’t like too much. Or, in some cases, hated with the passion of a thousand burning suns filled with hateration (or, as my computer tried to correct, “hate rations.”)
HaBO: Help a Bitch Out – you remember the plot, the character’s strange hair color, the fuchsia eyeshadow on the cover, the fact that the villain was gay, abused his horse and ate endangered species. Do you remember the title? Nope. But nearly every time, someone here knows exactly what book you’re talking about.
TSTL: Too Stupid to Live (often used to describe heroines who are really freaking dim, and run down alleys in a nightgown, and NOT because they’re about to shift into hungry, flesh-tearing wolves) **
HEA – Happily Ever After **
HNF HFN – Happy for Now **
DABWAHA – This is the reason I’m not allowed to name things. This is the annual March Madness™ Style tournament of romance novels co-hosted by Jane from Dear Author and me. DABWAHA stands for “Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors.”
DNF – “Did Not Finish” – a review of a book I could not or did not want to finish, and the reasons I didn’t want to complete it. A few people have argued with me that a “DNF” is not a review, but I think any reader’s reasons for not wanting to continue reading a book are valuable commentary about the book and what didn’t work for that reader (and what may work really well for another reader). So I include DNF reviews here.
SBTN: Sometimes you’ll see people refer to the site as “SBTN” which stands for “Smart Bitches Trashy Novels.” This is because when Candy and I started the site, I bought the URL and installed Expression Engine. She did the design. Her original design had a header that read “Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels” while the URL was…SmartBitchesTrashyBooks. Yeah. Oops.
Plot Moppet: a small child who has no purpose or development except to drive the plot forward. (Coined and defined by Red Headed Girl).
Potato Rage: The rage that overtakes the reader when a blatant and easily researchable anachronism pops up out of nowhere. Like potatoes (a New World food) being served to a Viking. (Possibly coined and defined by Red Headed Girl in her review for Season in the Sun).
Mary Sue Character: see Wikipedia definition. A Mary Sue is the bestest most specialest sparkliest wonderfulest character in the world, who does no wrong, is adored by all, has no flaws, and gives you a somewhat twisted, uncomfortable feeling that the character exists as wish fulfillment for the author or reader because no person is that perfect. Ever. **
Purple Prose: see Wikipedia definition. Purple prose in romance is most commonly found in the sex scenes, where the writing may become incredibly florid, overwrought and laden with ridiculous euphemisms, such as “heaving stallion,” “thrusting soldier,” and Sarah’s favorite, “he burst like a ripe melon within her.” **
Mighty Wang: shorthand for the many illustrious powers of the male member in romances. From obfuscation (once deployed, unless mentioned in the cover copy as a story of social ruin, the humpy couple will likely not get caught) to healing (many a Mighty Wang has restored the heroine to orgasm or fertility, or possibly both), the Mighty Wang is a thing of wonder. It’s most recognizable power is that of a divining rod of destiny: to quote the Bosoms, “the Mighty Wang often offers the Key to True Love. Though he may not expect it, the Mighty Wang reveals that the heroine is his One and Only. He must have the orgasm to end all orgasms, a moment of jizztastic glory that will communicate to his brain from the depths of his man part that This Is the Woman For Him….” (pg 84.)
Magic Hoo-Hoo: AKA “Glittery Hoo-Hah,” “Magic Hoo-Hah” shorthand for the equally illustrious and many powers of the female sex organ, specifically the vagina. The Magic Hoo-Hoo tames the Mighty Wang, and becomes the magnetized true north for the hero’s trouser compass from the point of their first sexual coupling. The Magic Hoo-Hoo brings the hero to monogamous attachment, because after experiencing it, the hero will not be satisfied with anything or anyone else. **
SEP: Susan Elizabeth Phillips. **
NR: AKA “La Nora.” Nora Roberts. **
JAK: Jayne Ann Krentz. **
JC: Jennifer Crusie, or perhaps Jesus Christ. Your call, depending on context. **
** – these terms are certainly not exclusive to this site, and are common in discussions of romance in many online communities.
Any other abbreviations or terms you’ve always wanted to ask about? Terms you think are unique and might need explanation? Bring it on!