Because Dreamwidth welcomes a wide variety of people, not everybody uses the same terminology. This can lead to some confusion, particularly when someone says something as if everybody should know what they're talking about, and yet you have no idea what they mean. There are terms in common use with some people that other people have just never run into before. Use of jargon is rarely intended to be exclusive. Jargon tends to come into use within a particular group, and is used to precisely and concisely describe things that the group encounters on a regular basis. Once a term has come into popular use within a group, people who use that term can forget that not everyone knows it, since they are so used to using it, and a majority of the people around them on a regular basis also know and use it.
Some Dreamwidth-specific terminology is still being developed. Other Dreamwidth terminology has been inherited from the LiveJournal codebase. Terms that are used in the site and directly related to the site will eventually wind up in a FAQ
, or some other form of user guide. Some things are defined in the FAQs already.
But not all of the words being cheerfully tossed around by owners, developers, and power users are Dreamwidth-specific. Take "spoons". It is a shorthand for "finite physical/mental/emotional resources to handle daily tasks", and comes from the disability-advocacy community.
To make everybody less confused, there's a wiki page with common jargon
and some resources. (Note: the Urban Dictionary, which is linked from the Common Jargon page, is particularly known for having puerile and not-safe-for-work content, so use at your own risk.)
If there's some term you've been wondering about, even if you don't think it's likely to actually relate to Dreamwidth, let us know! You're probably not the only one who's not familiar with it. If there's some term that you've been needing to define to people a whole lot, consider adding it to the wiki!