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This is a continuation of the dKos Glossary Project.  The terms, in jokes, and acronyms flash by fast and furious here at dKos, and this set of diary entries has, frankly, grown out of my own inability to keep up.

I've collected up all the definitions that folks came up with in the previous thread and tried to put them together with minimum editing.  Suggestions, corrections, new terms are welcome, just slap them in a comment.

So, if you're confused and want to know an abscure kossian term, or maybe you know all the tricks and just want to show off to us lesser mortals, give us a try.  And, as always we do take requests.

And lastly, thank you so much to everyone who's contributed something, this thing moves because you move it (much like our political system).  Thanks, I owe you one.

Some quick administrivia: I've noticed we're doing alot of general internet terms, I'm not sure if we want to keep doing this, or just point folks toward an outside resource, but for the moment I'm keeping them in.  Also a poll about how to handle credits.  I've omitted most of the obvious nicknames or epithets, but I might add them back in if there's demand.

ABB - Anybody But Bush (daria g)

ABD - Anybody But Dean (now somewhat defunct) (daria g)

ABK - Anybody But Kerry (now somewhat defunct) (daria g)

asdf - A nonsense filler word used as a subject for posts.  Apparently the first letters you learn to type on a Qwerty keyboard.  For the very keen, try (DemFromCT, skiddie)

Beltway Heathers - The DC press corps clique, typified by an obnoxious in-crowd behavior.  A reference to the film Heathers. (daria g, kaley, hamletta, pyrrho)

Clenis (TM) - Clinton's Penis.  The source of all evil.

CW - Conventional Wisdom (pyrrho, skiddie)

DINO - Democrat In Name Only, e.g. Zell Miller. (Thomas Kalinowski)

DNC - Democratic National Committee. Governing body of the Democratic party, somewhat synonymous with the party itself.  Run by the DNC chairman, currentyly Terry McAuliffe.  Generally responsible for the running and organization of the party, though in recently years known mostly as a fundraising organization.

DLC - Democratic Leadership Council. A faction of the Democratic party.  They are pro-business and centrist on fiscal policy.  Brought to power through Clinton's adoption of many of their positions, and now most of their positions are probably equally well describes as Clintonian.  They are perhaps slightly to the right of the Democratic mainstream, but by no way an extreme group, despite some of their angry rhetoric against candidates they perceive to be too liberal.

Freeper - A nickname for a regular poster to the forum of, a right-wing website.  Freepers are noted for their eagerness to invade liberal sites in order to harrass their regular posters, hence, has spread to mean any right-wing troll. (Thomas Kalinowski)

Google Bomb - An exploit of the algorithm which drives the Google search engine.  Large number of people post links to a certain page with the same link text (such as Bush's White House bio and the phrase "Miserable Failure") which causes Google to artificially boost the sites rank as a result to searching for the Google bombed phrase. (daria g)

GOTV - Get Out The Vote.  Operations to register voters and ensure they turn up at the polls/caucuses.  (pyrrho)

IMO, IMHO - In My (Humble) Opinion (veracious)

Joementum - One of Joe Lieberman's many awful puns used during his presidential run.  It has been appropriated for snarky comments after Lieberman's rather poor results in Iowa and New Hampshire.  
(Apparantly the technical term for this isn't a pun, but a portmanteau.) (NegSpin, DemFromCT, Draco)

Kool-Aid - Drinking the Kool-Aid.  Originally from the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Tests (try the Tom Wolfe book of the same name), refering to Kool-Aid at parties being spiked with LSD, so had to drink the Kool-Aid to be "tuned in".  Also connected in people's minds to Jim Jones' followers use of Flavor-Aid containing cyanide to kill themselves.  Now used in political circles to refer to people who have bought into a candidacy or a cause wholeheartedly. (pyrrho, ogre)

Kool Kidz - Similar to the term defined above, media "heathers". Describes the disturbing tendency of many in the media to act like the proverbial "cool kids" in high school - you know, the ones who tortured the nerds and felt they were smugly superior and just "too cool" for everything that went on around them. This is exacerbated by the fact that many campaign reporters, who resent the grueling travel schedule, also resent the candidates for having become more successful than they are. So it manifests in the kind of coverage Gore got in 2000, as well-documented by Bob Somerby at the Howler.(DavidNYC)

Kossacks, Kossians - Us (daria g)

Kossary - This (DavidNYC)

Loyalty Oath - It's recently come into vogue to demand of the supporters of fallen or shaky looking candidates that they swear to support the party nominee despite what may happen to their man. (pyrrho)

Mighty Wurlitzer, The - The deafening chorus of right-wing media in perfect harmony. Refers to the right wing spin machine as comprised by elected officials, their staff, the RNC, right wing interest groups, and right leaning media.  See Robert Borosage.  (hamletta)

Mo, Big Mo - Momentum.  (skiddie)

n/t, (nm) - No text, or no message.  Used to indicate that the entire message is in the subject line, and there's no reason to open the main post. (pyrrho, DemFromCT)

OT - Off Topic (pyrrho)

OTOH - On the Other Hand

Push Poll: a technique for spreading lies or unpleasant truths about a rival candidate by pretending to conduct a telephone poll. Example: "Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for George W. Bush if you knew he went AWOL from his unit during the Vietnam War?"  (Thomas Kalinowski)

RINO - Republican In Name Only, e.g. Olympia Snowe. (Thomas Kalinowski)

SCLM - So Called Liberal Media, a derisive term coined by Eric Alterman in his book What Liberal Media?.

Tin-Foil Hat - A disturbed person who wears tin-foil on their head to ward off the voices and signals from outer space.  A label for outlandish conspiracy theorists from both left and right.  A reference to stereotypical crazy conspiracy theory.  Now beginning to come into use as a self-deprecating term to acknowledge that what the person is about to say sounds somewhat outlandish.  Used similarly to asbestos long-johns. (DemFromCT)

Tracking Poll: Typically a one-question poll taken daily shortly before an election. Usually three (or sometimes two) days of results are then averaged together to lower the error incured by the small daily sample size. Purports to "track" the electorate on a day-by-day basis, showing momentum, movement, etc.  Usually used in the last few days in the run up to an election. (DavidNYC)

Troll - People who post to message boards for the sole purpose of picking fights, creating schisms and generally making things unpleasant for everyone else.  They do not necessarily believe what they post.  A usenet term originally, originating from "trolling" as it originated from fishing, as in "Trolling for an argument".  (kaley, pyrrho)

Tweety - Chris Matthews. (DemFromCT)

Wingnut - From right-wing nut.(Thomas Kalinowski)

What's your F**king Problem? - Go ask Theoria.  Really ought to be experienced. (daria g, DemFromCT)

YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary.  From car ads that advertize gas mileage but included this qualifier.  Usually following a personal anecdote that might not hold for all cases.  (pyrrho)

Originally posted to Nick on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 03:33 AM PST.


How should I do credits in the future?

61%42 votes
7%5 votes
30%21 votes

| 68 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Faaaaaaaantastic (none)
    I was just thinking about the Kossary today. Great work compiling it. Just one thing: I always thought "drinking the kool-aid" was a reference to Jim Jones and the Jonestown massacre. Though his followers didn't literally drink Kool-Aid (probably hard to come by, as they were in Guyana), they drank a sweetened (poison) berry drink.

    Of course, I may be totally off base, as Jones' followers died when they drank his "Kool-Aid". But I thought it was the point of reference, in that drinking the Kool-Aid means you've sort of gone all the way (off the deep end?) and joined a cultish way of thinking. Obviously, the way it's used here on Kos is usually in jest or at least quite benignly - by people aware that they've drunk the Kool-Aid.

    •  Yes (none)
      that's my understanding too.

      'I came to a fork in the road, and took it.' Yogi Berra

      by PhillyFilly on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 03:45:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  re:I Think (none)
        "Drinking the Kool-Aid" can refer to both, but Wolfe's electric Kool-Aid is definitely the pre-eminent reference.  People actually used to ask "Have you drunk the Kool-Aid?", first literally, then metaphorically, to learn whether another was tuned in and turned on.  I suppose a few people in Jonestown may have asked the same question, but if they did, it certainly didn't catch on at the time.

        That said, I always thought the reference depended upon one's point of view.  One Deaniac announces she's drunk the Kool-Aid, meaning she's turned on to the whole Dean thang, even though (or because) it feels like taking a drug--it's so different from those square political campaigns.  Someone else sees it more cynically, as mass suicide.

        I am Howard son of Howard and am called Doc-Tor, the Gover-Nor. Here is the candidacy that was broken and is forged anew. Will you aid me or thwart me?

        by deminva on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 09:40:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's in there (4.00)
      I mentioned both definitions, thank goodness.  I'm hoping no one finds an obvious mistake before tomorrow morning, but I'm not that hopeful.

      Also connected in people's minds to Jim Jones' followers use of Flavor-Aid containing cyanide to kill themselves.

      The Kossary. Help build the dKos glossary, come show us how smart you are. Requests welcome.

      by Nick on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 03:48:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bush terms and more (4.00)
    Shrub - smaller than a bush = Bush junior

    Chimp - Bush is considered less intelligent than a human (did I get this right?)

    Dubya - nickname for George W. Bush because of his middle initial

    Resident Bush - he's living in the White House, but wasn't elected, just appointed by the Supreme Court

    The Supremes - the U.S. Supreme Court

    Ho Ho - Howard Dean, that jolly (not angry) energetic guy; was initially a derogatory term used by his opponents in Vermont, but supporters of his presidential campaign took on the nickname in a positive way

    Gray Davis on stilts - John Kerry - just as dull, but much taller than Davis

    Gropinator - Arnold Schwarzeneger (sp?) was accused by multiple women of groping them, according to an LA Times investigative report released just days prior to the California recall election

    Breck girl or Breck boy - John Edwards (pretty looks with nice hair)

    LOL - laugh out loud

    ROFLMAO - roll on the floor laughing my ass off

    just my .02 - just my 2 cents

    •  Chimp (none)
      It's because he looks like one.  Notable for that email that went around comparing Bush and several monkeys, plus Homer Simpson's "I could go up to the President and just blow smoke in his stupid monkey face"

      BTW, is tin foil hat from Signs, or was there something earlier?

      "Voting is just like driving. If you want to go forward, put in in D. If you want to go back, put it in R"

      by Mikey on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 04:16:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tin-Foil hats (none)
        Tin-Foil hats aren't from anything specific that I know of, it's just a stereotype of a crazy paranoid theory.  Similar to Aliens landing in Roswell and being kept at Area 51, Men in Black Suits and mirrored glasses coming to get me/cover somthing up,  cow mutilations and crop signs caused by aliens, Flouride in the water is a communist plot, and the CIA are putting radio transceivers in the fillings of my teeth.

        Most of them I believe have Cold War era origins, and revolve around Aliens, or the evil Government/CIA/Russians, or some combination.  I haven't seen Signs myself, but I wouldn't be surprised if it borrowed the idea.

        The Kossary. Help build the dKos glossary, come show us how smart you are. Requests welcome.

        by Nick on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 12:29:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  mad hatter (none)
        I knew somebody who actually wore one (actually, he lined a regular hat with tinfoil) back in 1981.

        At the Army's Defense Language Institute of all places.  He was a Chinese teacher.  Nice guy but a bit looney.

        Hear it? The Oracle cries the demise of He-Who-Lies. And the rise... of civil America.

        by Civil Sibyl on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 05:13:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I believe (none)
        there is a long tradition of tin foil hats in the schizophrenic population. At least the ones who believe the voices in their heads are being transmitted electronically.
    •  More Bush (3.50)
      I've also seen Bushco or BushCo, i.e. Bush and Company, used here to refer to the administration, and as I understand it implying that it's controlled and run by corporate interests.
    •  the derivation of "Shrub" (none)
      IIRC, it comes from Bush naming his first company "Arbusto", mistakenly believing it meant "bush" in Spanish.

      "Arbusto" translates to "shrub". And the nickname stuck.

      "What is the purpose of life? To be the eyes, ears, and conscience of the Creator of the Universe, you fool". - Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

      by edverb on Mon Feb 23, 2004 at 06:10:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  a few others (4.00)
    Governor Goodhair - TX gov Rick Perry, also now known as governor goodhead regarding recent accusations of homosexuality

    Sully - Andrew Sullivan

    IIRC - If I Recall Correctly (this one had me stumped forever)

    Bush is the anti-Kerry

    by samiam on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 04:48:07 AM PST

  •  Internet Glossary (none)
    The Kossary is good stuff.  But, I would distinguish between terms in general use on the internet such as OTOH, YMMV, IMO and so on from the more dKos/Democratic terms.  As to credits, of course, "Big Al" (TM) should get the credits for the former.

    Some handy lists of such terms can be found on many sites, including:

    Dump Delay and Bush - UnDelay and UnBush America.

    by i dunno on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 07:25:18 AM PST

  •  Nothing else to say (none)
    but that this is wonderful, and certainly a thankless job. Except for the thanks you get here, of course, which means it's not exactly thankless, but hell, I'm digressing like Jeff from "Coupling," which is a wonderful on BBC America.

    Sorry--I've had a bit of Maker's Mark this late at night.

    ~"WARNING: If we keep moving toward the candidate getting the softest mainstream media treatment, we'll end up supporting Bush." Jeff Cohen,

    by incertus on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 07:45:20 AM PST

  •  some more suggestions (3.50)

    "Closing" - describes how a come from behind candidate comes from behand in days before a vote.

    "Closer" - candidate or operative who does that.

    "organization" - What your candidate has.

    "robo-calls" - What their candidate has.

    "1s" - What a campaign's "organization" calls its gazillions of identified, solid, voters (tend to disappear on election day).

    "My truth plus your truth makes a bigger truth" - Mario Menéndez Rodríguez

    by Al Giordano on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 11:18:20 AM PST

  •  I (none)
    thought N/T meant NOT! and I've used it that way.

    Live and learn. (LAL)

    Working for the Deanocratic Party Since 2003

    by joojooluv on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 11:44:42 AM PST

  •  Definititons of polling terms (4.00)
    I want to take issue with your definitions of two things:

    1) Push Polls -- one of my biggest pet peeves in teh world is people who misunderstand the difference between push polling and legitimate public opinion research surveys.  The example given doesn't necessarily make a call a push poll.  Rather, it's the context that determines whether something is a push poll.

    The way I would describe it is that a push poll is a poll that seeks to present itself as a legitmiate public opinion survey, but is really just designed to spread a negative message.

    The easiest way to tell the differnece is if demographic information is asked. If there's no demographic info, the survey isn't really interested in anything other than spreading the  message.

    However, the other real way to tell is whether a poll is legitimate is if the poll asks an "initial ballot test" and a "final ballot test".  

    In the "initial ballot test" the respondent is asked who they are voting for.  Then there is often a series of messages like, "would you be more or less likely to vote Shrub if you knew that he was AWOL...".  Then there is another ballot test to find out after hearing more info who they would vote for. The point isn't just to spread negative info, but to discover which messages move votes. That is a perfectly legimate public opinion research tool.

    The other way that people misunderstand push polls is that they sometimes think any negative persuasion message on the phone is a "push poll".  There is nothing wrong with a phone call to someone that say, "Chimpy lied about X, Y and Z, cost us millions of job and has nearly bankrupted the Country."  That's just a persuasion message. The only thing that would make it push polling is if the caller tried to disguise the message as part of a legimiate polling.

    I find actual incidences of push polling to be fairly rare, but incidences of people crying wolf about push polling to be very high.

    2) Tracking Polls:  Trackers are not generally one question polls.  They may be mainly looking at the horserace question, but no campaign would ask only a one question poll.  They'd at least track right direction/wrong track, favorables and often throw a message question on there, along with the usual screening questions (to screen for likely voters).  It may be that a media tracking poll (different in purpose from a campaign's tracking poll) only reports the result of one question, but they would never poll with just one question.

    I would define a tracking poll as a poll that asks an identical question or questions over time so that the results can be compared to earlier surveys to discern movment in public opinion.

  •  Errata - ABK (none)
    I just noticed that I managed to label both ABK and ABD as "now somewhat defunct".  It should only be ABD.  ABKism is alive and well.  It'll get fixed in the next iteration.

    The Kossary. Help build the dKos glossary, come show us how smart you are. Requests welcome.

    by Nick on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 01:18:23 PM PST

  •  pumpkinhead (none)
    = tim russert (I believe).

    "The more I wish him the most gruesome deaths, the more he haunts me" - Kinski on Herzog, but somehow newly relevant.

    by oxman on Mon Feb 23, 2004 at 06:07:20 PM PST

  •  asdf (none)
    KW - kos wisdom, refering to the general perceptions of Kos users in contrast to the CW

    trolls like using this to say how wrong it has been

  •  request: Jumping the Shark (none)
    I keep seeing the phrase "Jumping the Shark", and from context I have a reasonable idea what it means, but I'm going to show my ignorance by revealing that I don't really know what it means or where it comes from.  Anyone want to enlighten me?

    The Kossary. Help build the dKos glossary, come show us how smart you are. Requests welcome.

    by Nick on Sun Feb 29, 2004 at 05:28:55 PM PST

    •  Jumping The Shark (none)
      refers to the way Television Sitcoms falter at their peak.  They get a new baby, they move to LA, or perform some other plot device gimik.  The actual phrase comes from when, on Happy Days, Fonzi jumped over a shark on waterskis.  

      It's all downhill from there.

      But these events often happen when a show (or generalizing, a phenomenon) is still quite popular from momentum and is struggling to maintain interest, Fonzi simply had nothing exciting left to do on a motorcycle.  Often it's only later that one looks back and says.  It's a way of saying that something, actually, is all over, not what it used to be, and is possibly nothing but a shell or parody of itself.

      Check out

      People vote on when various shows (and now other things) jumped the shark... in the case of your favorite shows, the consensus is eerilly accurate if not complete.

  •  How about 'tip jar' (none)
    AS I understand it it is when someone who posts a diary adds a comment (or is asked to add a comment) to their own diary so that those who really like the diary can add to the diarist's mojo by rating the comment (since we can't rate diarys directly).  

    You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".--The Sicilian

    by yellowdog on Mon Mar 01, 2004 at 05:46:13 PM PST

  •  Request: Mayberry Machiavellis (none)
    Just realized that I see this occaisionally I don't actually know the precise meaning, or the origin, at least not beyond the reference to Machiavelli or the general negative connotations.

    Also, an administrivia note: I'll be recompiling this again as soon as I get some free time in one place, I have a number of deadlines coming up, but next weekend is looking like it might be doable.

    The Kossary. Help build the dKos glossary, come show us how smart you are. Requests welcome.

    by Nick on Sun Mar 21, 2004 at 02:42:17 PM PST

    •  Mayberry Machiavellis (none)
      From a letter by John DiIulio (yes, that John DiIulio) to Ron Suskind descibing the Bush administration's politicization of everything:

      This gave rise to what you might call Mayberry Machiavellis--staff, senior and junior, who consistently talked and acted as if the height of political sophistication consisted in reducing every issue to its simplest, black-and-white terms for public consumption, then steering legislative initiatives or policy proposals as far right as possible.

      Mayberry: from the setting of the Andy Griffith Show. Kind of the Platonic Form of the idealized 1950s lifestyle. (Yes, I know the show aired in the 1960s; it was backwards-looking.)

      Machiavelli: from the author of The Prince, the 16th century manual on the acquisition and maintenance of political power.

      Confusion to the enemy!

      by YT on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 10:19:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  VRWC (none)
    VRWC - Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.  Coined by Hillary Clinton to describe allegations against her husband, the term is now used to refer to the Right in general, especially media and internet.  Also used (usually in unabbreviated form) by the Right as a joking reference to itself.
  •  Meme (none)
    Meme - Basically, an idea that catches on and spreads.  It can refer to a tune or a catch-phrase or a lot of other things, but on Kos it usually refers to a political idea or argument that is repeated in various media, internet and other sources.  Coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene.  
  •  IOKIYAR (none)
    IOKIYAR - This stands for "It's OK if you're a Republican."  Used when conservative commentators or the media are excusing or minimizing Republican behavior, when they have attacked Democrats for doing the same thing.    
  •  turkee (none)
    turkee - Refers to praise or a reward of some kind, often one given by the White House.  Originally used by Atrios in a joke about the relationship between the press and the White House.  Atrios posted a form filled out by a member of the press in a childish scrawl with many misspellings, apologizing for asking a "hard kweschin" and noting that good behavior would mean that "preznit giv me turkee."  (Sadly, this was based on an actual form in which a child was forced to apologize for talking about homosexuality.)  The "turkee" reference is based on Bush's Thanksgiving publicity stunt in Iraq.  Although "turkee" is usually used to make fun of obedience to the Bush White House ("preznit no giv them turkee"), it can also refer to any kind of reward ("Giv Jon Keree turkee!")
  •  re: Clenis (none)
    Maybe you could include the code for the little ™ that shows up. (Hint: it's "& trade ;" without the quotes or spaces)

    The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, they tell us how the media is doing.

    by Thumb on Thu Apr 01, 2004 at 06:54:19 PM PST

  •  Zzzzzzzzzz . . . (none)
    My personal favorite. I started using this originally at Atrios to denote the point in a post a troll loses any hope of an audience. Bonus points too as trolls seem to hate getting Zzz'ed. Lack of house trolls has limited it's use here to only a few occassions.

    Typical uses:

    and once the Liberal Media

    Zzzzzzzzz . . .

    but when all you liberals with your love beads started

    Zzzzzzzzz . . .

    The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, they tell us how the media is doing.

    by Thumb on Thu Apr 01, 2004 at 07:02:18 PM PST

  •  How about (none)
    aeou, same as asdf, dvorak version
    IIRC - if a remember correctly
    IOKYAC - it's o.k. if you're a Christian

    Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning? -- G. W. Bush

    by Unstable Isotope on Sun Apr 11, 2004 at 10:37:08 AM PDT

  •  Nick... dkosopedia (none)
    ok, stage two of the wiki is now the correct software... MediaWiki

    Kossary here?  

    •  by the way (none)
      If you don't want to put it in there, do you mind if I do?
    •  dkosopedia and the kossary (none)
      I'm not ignoring the dkosopedia, really.  I'll try to scrounge some time this weekend and knock a new revision together and post it both here and on the wiki.  But it's somewhat dependent on how much time life allows me.

      I just hope that the wiki learning curve isn't too steep.

      The Kossary.

      The lever is easy, it's finding a place to stand that's the hard bit.

      by Nick on Thu May 06, 2004 at 09:23:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no problem (none)
        if you would like some help, I can transfer it over.

        Note, this is a new location... with the advantage that this is MediaWiki software which we intend for the final wiki so it'll be easier to transfer to kos servers when it's ready.

        feel free to edit anything in there of course (that's what wiki's are for)... that's the point... it won't really be rolled out until kos puts it up, but there is a lot of work to do just to give an initial framework with things like the Kossary.


      •  ETA on the update (none)
        I have several large things that finish up between now and tuesday, which will free up some time to update the kossary.  I'm looking to post the updated version here and at the wiki on wednesday, or maybe even tuesday if I can squeeze it around the democratic meetup (I get to see McAuliffe, is that good or bad?)

        The Kossary.

        The lever is easy, it's finding a place to stand that's the hard bit.

        by Nick on Sun May 09, 2004 at 03:22:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  fisk (none)
    fisked: having a blog entry systematically taken apart and refuted point-by-point, after Robert Fisk (a Brit reporter whose anti-war articles had the same done).

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 16, 2004 at 06:25:35 PM PDT

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