signup_logoA guide for new players to weave through most of the complicated language in League of Legends. I will update this as necessary. Favourite it if you’re just learning!

Grantland, a site that I greatly admire, does a specific type of post that always entertains: the Dictionary post. They take a specific set of terms and define them, either to arrive at some hilarious conclusion or to actually help people out. My motivation is of the latter’s nature. As one of the fastest growing games in the world, League of Legends has some complicated language. I’ve done my best to gather any words from the forums, the client, chat, and others to help new players out. Share if you appreciate the effort.

To find a term, press CTRL + F.

Game Terms:

20 minute surrender - When a team decides to surrender at the 20-minute mark of a game. This is the earliest when a team can surrender in the Summoners Rift. In the Twisted Treeline and Dominion, 15-minute surrenders are possible.

Ability power (AP) – The main stat for several champions. Opposes Attack damage. Affects the damage output and healing potency of certain abilities. Also known as AP.

Ace - When one team is dead all at once.

AD carry (ADC) – Usually a ranged champion that goes bottom lane. Their primary function is to focus on killing minions to gain a gold advantage early. The essential target in team fights.

AFK – Away from keyboard. A player will usually hide at base for a prolonged period of time. This is a bannable offense.

AoE (Area of Effect) – Abilities that hit within a certain radius or diameter.

AP carry (APC) - A champion that uses ability power that usually goes middle lane. Works with the AD carry to win games.

ARAM – All Random, All Middle. A game type with one lane where two teams receive random champions they own, or from the free ones of that week. Objectives remain the same as Summoners Rift.

Armor – Defends against attack damage abilities, including auto attacks. Reserved for champions that go tank or for champions prone to dying early in team fights.

Armor penetration (ARP) – A stat that does damage by breaking through armour.

Assassin – Champions that specialize in picking off enemies in team fights. They are usually weaker, but do high bouts of damage and are quicker.

Assist – When a champion aids in a kill.

Attack damage (AD) – One of the main stats in the game. Opposes ability power. Affects the damage output of certain abilities and auto attacks. Also known as AD.

Auto attack (AA) – A normal attack which is affected by attack damage.

B – The command used when teleporting back to base. Also used in chat to tell a team of this.

Babysit – When a jungler needs to watch over a lane because it’s losing horribly.

Backdoor – When a champion sneakily attacks a turret or a nexus.

Bait – When a champion lures a select member of the opposing team into a trap.

Baron – A neutral creature in the Summoners Rift that’s difficult to kill. Gives a purple-coloured buff that enhances several stats. Can turn the tide of a game. Baron spawns every seven minutes.

Base race – When two teams are pushing the opposite base at the same time. This leads to some tense moments.

Blind pick – A game type where players choose their own champions at one time. Teams cannot see the other team’s choices.

Blue – A buff that gives increased mana and energy regeneration and enhanced cooldown reaction. Good for AP carries. It spawns every five minutes.

Blue side – One side of the Summoners Rift. Begins Southwest of the map. Opposes purple side.

Bounty – The reward given to a champion who kills another champion that’s doing well in a game.

Bot – Short form of Bottom lane. Used in calling out spots.

Bottom laner – A champion meant to go bottom lane. Usually reserved for AD carries and supports.

Bronze play – When a player makes an unbelievably terrible call, the community mocking calls it a “Bronze V play”.

Bruiser – A champion that can take damage as well as deal damage.

Buff – An effect that enhances a specific stat. Or what the community calls it when Riot strengthens a champion during a patch.

Buff Transfer: When a champion with blue or red buff dies, the buff transfers to the champion credited with the kill.

Build – A set of items used to tailor a champion.

Bush – Plants around the map that offer hiding spots and the opportunity for secretive ganks. Can be warded.

Clutch – When a champion does something unthinkable in a critical spot, often as a last resort, to either secure a kill or escape.

Cooldown – The countdown between ability uses. Can be reduced.

Cooldown reduction (CDR)- A stat offered that reduces cooldown. Useful for most champions.

Crowd control – An ability that restrains an enemy champion, or reduces their ability to attack. Stuns, slows, etc.

CS – Short for “creep score”. Represents total number of minions killed during a game.

DC – Disconnect.

Debuff – A negative effect put on a champion that decreases a specific stat.

Dominion – A game type that uses bases as well as kills to determine a winner. Plays like King of the Hill.

DoT – Abilities that do damage over time. Many champions have this, including Darius’s bleeds and Teemo’s poison.

Draft pick – A game type that lets each team pick during turns. Teams can see each other picks.

Dragon – A neutral creature that grants a gold total that scales as a game progresses. Can be used for comebacks. Dragon spawns every six minutes.

Dunk – A term used to describe an ability where a champion jumps towards the enemy.

ELO – Used to calculate the relative skill of a player. Used in other games like Chess.

ELO hell – A mocked, semi-fictional state of being that can stop a player from ranking up.

Energy – A consumable source like mana. Used for certain champions.

Face-checkingBlindly walking into bushes with no vision. This is ill-advised.

Farm – To focus on killing minions.

Fed – When a champion is way ahead of the opposite team. This could be because of kills or minion score.

Feeding – When a champion gets killed easily early in a game. Can cause the opposing champion to snowball.

FF – Stands for free foam. When a player gives up and lets the opposing champion free farm. Interestingly, the command “/ff” also means to surrender. In this context, it could be forfeit.

Flavour of the month – When one champion is favoured over others at a particular time. Often follows a patch.

Focus – When a team targets a certain champion. Necessary to win team fights.

Fog of War – Areas on the map without vision or allies present.

FPS – Frames per second. Used to calculate a computer’s performance a match. Appears in the upper right-hand corner.

Freezing the lane – When someone is out of lane, another player can ask for someone to “freeze the lane”. This means focusing on last-hitting but not so much that pushes the lane.

Gank – When a jungler or other champion enters a lane and aims to kill the opposing champion. Useful for helping pushed lanes. Also can be used to push back the enemy champion if he/she is threatening the tower.

GG – Good game. Said out of respect to the opponent’s good play. Opposes BG, which means bad game.

Ghosting – When someone watches an opponent’s livestream and reads their plays.

GL HF – Good luck, have fun.

Glass cannon build – When a champion builds all damage output and no tank items.

Global ability – An ability that has the potential to cover an entire map. Ashe’s arrow, Pantheon’s ultimate, among others fall into this category.

Gold – The currency used to buy items. Also a division in League‘s ranking system.

Golems – A neutral creature on the map that gives gold. Often killed by junglers to level early.

Hook – Another name for Thresh’s “Death Sentence”, Blitzcrank’s “Rocket Grab” and any other ability that grabs a champion. Also known as Grab.

Hybrid – A champion that uses both attack damage and ability power. Can be emphasized through a build.

Hyper Carry – A champion that doesn’t need a strong early game to carry a team.

Instalock – When a player instantly locks in a champion in blind pick.

Invade – When one team enters the enemy’s jungle, most likely aiming to delay a jungler’s early game.

Instagib – A champion kills another player instantly.

IP – Influence points. The free currency in League of Legends awarded after games. Separate from Riot Points.

Juke – To fake out an enemy, or cause an enemy to needlessly chase and waste abilities or items.

Jungler – A champion that specializes in killing neutral creatures in the jungle. Also ganks opposing champions in each lane.

Kill lane – When two champions go in a lane to overwhelm the enemy. Often used in bottom lane to stop the AD carry.

Kill steal – When a player steals someone’s kill. Sometimes accidentally, sometimes on purpose.

Laning phase – The period when the first towers are still active. When a tower falls or when champions begin to roam, the laning phase is considered over.

Last-hitting – The act of getting the last hit on a minion. This is necessary to glean gold from that kill.

LCS – League Championship Series. The formal name of League‘s global championship tournament.

Leash – When champions help the jungler kill neutral creatures. Often occurs early.

Life steal – A stat that transforms a percentage of attack damage into health.

LOLking.com – A site often referenced for its in-depth champion guides as well as stat pages for individual summoners.

Mage – A champion that uses ability power.

Magic resist (MR) – A stat that defends against ability power. Useful against AP carries.

Map awareness – Paying attention to the mini-map is vitally important.

MIA – Missing in action. Used when a champion has left lane, followed by a ping or some other alert.

Marksman – Riot’s formal name for AD carries.

Meta – The community-driven allocation of where certain champions go. The current meta says: Bruisers top lane; AP carries middle lane; and AD carries and supports bottom lane.

Mid – Short form of middle lane. Used to call it during selection phase.

Mid laner – A champion meant to go middle lane.

Minions – Little workers that help a champion push lane. Used in farming CS, or creep score, and take tower blasts when no enemy champion is around.

Minion aggro – Minions scan the arena to find enemy champions. If they see one, they will give chase. Useful when wondering if someone has just left lane.

MMR – Match Making Rating. Along the same lines as ELO. Another invisible stat that determines a player’s skill.

Nerf – What the community calls it when a champion’s stat is lowered during a patch.

Neutral mob – Creatures on the map for anyone to kill. Give buffs and debuffs useful in winning battles.

Nexus – The target of any battle. When a nexus falls, the game ends.

On-Hit – A trait that applies a certain status effect when an auto attack hits.

On an island – Another way of describing top lane play. Progressing in top lane isn’t as important as in mid lane or bottom lane.

OOM – Out of mana. When a champion has barely any mana to cast an ability.

OP – Short for overpowered. When a champion is too powerful to contend with.

Orb Walking/Stutter Step/Attack Move – When a champion auto attacks and then moves during a cooldown while continually doing damage. Known as Kiting when used to escape.

Overextending – When a player extends too far in a lane alone and nowhere near teammates, leaving themselves open to ganks.

Passives – Abilities that every champion possesses. These cannot be activated.

Peel – When a champion steers enemies away from an ally.

Pentakill – When a player from one team kills all five enemy champions in a short time span.

Pings – Alerts used by players to highlight things of importance. Used to alert teammates to urgent situations, for buffs, or in other situations.

Poke – Used to describe champions or abilities that have a longer range. Useful in dwindling down an opposing champion’s health without fully engaging.

Proxy play – Named after a pro player, this involves farming minions in between two standing towers. Useful when playing champions like Singed.

Purple side – Opposes blue side. Starts on the northeast side of Summoners Rift.

Quadra – When a player from one team kills four enemy champions in a short time frame.

Rage – A consumable source of energy used by certain champions.

Red – Known as Lizard buff. Gives enhanced true damage and applies a movement speed debuff. It spawns every five minutes.

Report – To alert the Tribunal of a player’s bad or negative behaviour.

Riot – The developer of League of Legends.

River – A stream in the Summoners Rift that divides the sides. Called out to position things geographically.

RP – Short for Riot Points. This is the paid currency Riot offers which opposes Influence Points.

Runes – Stones bought after reaching level 20 that help a player further specialize a stats page.

Scaling – How a champion stacks against other champions as the game progresses. Some are early game and some are better late game champions.

Skill Shot – An ability that requires the player to aim at enemy champions.

Skins – Costumes a player can buy using Riot Points. Alters a champion’s look and abilities. More expensive ones are “Legendary” and “Ultimate”.

Smurf – When veteran players make new accounts and go against lower levelled accounts. Sadly, this happens frequently but it’s against Riot’s Terms & Conditions.

“SoloQ” – When someone enters a ranked game alone, without teammates.

Snowball – When a champion pushes an advantage. If this becomes too great, jungler intervention may be needed.

Spell vamp – A stat that transforms a percentage of ability power damage into health.

Split pushing – When one champion pushes a lane while the other team is distracted.

Summoner – What players are known as in League of Legends.

Summoners Rift – The official name of the main map in League of Legends.

Support – A role that goes bottom lane focused on helping the AD carry farm minions.

Sustain – A champion’s ability to stay in lane for prolonged periods of time, through natural health regeneration or potions.

Tank – Primary or secondary role of a champion that emphasizes armour or magic resist. Focuses on taking damage and keeping other champions away from the AD carry.

Top – Used in the selection phase to call out top lane.

Top laner – A champion meant to go top lane.

Tower/Turret – Structures that deal powerful damage. These need to be taken down to push a lane.

Tower diving – To rush under a tower or turret to kill an enemy champion. A useful but daring strategy.

Tower hugging – Sometimes a champion needs to stay near a tower to avoid confrontation.

Trading – When two champions exchange damage briefly.

Tribunal – A voting system where reports are weighed for the League community to decide a player’s fate.

Tri-bush – A specific bush in Blue side’s jungle that’s a favourite for junglers. Supports ward this as well as river bush.

True damage – Damage that ignores armour and magic resist.

Twitch – A livestreaming service often used by players or by Riot. Not to be confused with the champion.

Ultimate/Ult – A specific ability tagged to “R”. Some champions do get this at level one, including Udyr, Karma and Jayce.

Ward – Little statues placed around the map that give one team vision. Pink wards give vision and reveal both invisible wards and champions in stealth.

Ward Hop – The act of using wards as an escape tool. Some abilities can jump to fellow champions, minions, and even wards.

Wight - A neutral creature that gives gold. Killed by junglers early to gain an advantage.

Wolves – A neutral creature that gives gold. Killed by junglers early to gain an advantage.

WP – Well played.

Wraiths – A neutral creature that gives gold. Killed by junglers early to gain an advantage.

Zoning – Forcing an opponent into a position where he/she cannot kill any minions or push lane.

Champions:

AA – Aatrox

Ali – Alistar

Mumu – Amumu

Blitz – Blitzcrank

Cait – Caitlyn

Cass – Cassiopeia

Cho – Cho’Gath

Mundo – Dr. Mundo

Eve – Evelynn

Ez – Ezreal

Fid – Fiddlesticks

GP – Gangplank

Hec – Hecarim

Heim - Heimerdinger

J4 - Jarvan IV

Karth - Karthus

Kass - Kassadin

Kat - Katarina

Kog - Kog’Maw

Lee - Lee Sin

Liss – Lissandra

Malph – Malphite

Malz - Malzahar

Yi - Master Yi

MF - Miss Fortune

Mord - Mordekaiser

Morg - Morgana

Naut - Nautilus

Nid - Nidalee

Noc - Nocturne

Ori – Orianna

Panth – Pantheon

Ren/Renny/Renek – Renekton

Sej – Sejuani

Shy/Shyv – Shyvana

Tris/Trist – Tristana

Tryn/Trynd - Tryndamere

TF - Twisted Fate

Vlad - Vladimir

Voli - Volibear

WW - Warwick

Wu/Monkey - Wukong

Xin - Xin Zhao

Items:

QSS – Quicksilver Sash

BOTRK, Blade – Blade of the Ruined King

BT – Bloodthirster

LW – Last Whisper

Pots – Potions

Trinket – Special items that have special characteristics. Takes up its own item slot.

HG – Haunting Guise

Shiv – Statikk Shiv

Triforce – Trinity Force

DFG – Deathfire Grasp

The language that League uses is forever changing. This list will evolve as the community does. If you’re a new player, favourite this to help you out. If you’ve mastered the game and I’ve missed the term, relay your anger in the comments and I’ll make the adjustment. Thanks!

If you like this post, please share it. As well, follow Holygrenade on Facebook and twitter from the sidebar. Happy holidays!

Just to add to this post: An interesting thing happened. Kotaku linked here. Awesome.

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  • First

    Missing abbreviations for AD and AP. No one says Attack Damage or Ability Power.
    Poke is wrong. To poke is an attempt to weaken the opposition without committing to a full engagement.

    A gank’s purpose is more than just killing. Its to help a lane by having another champion interfere. Whether it be snowballing, giving some breathing space, or taking a tower.

    Wraiths
    Wight

    Snowball is wrong. To snowball is to push an advantage. Snowballing out of control is when this advantage becomes so great, the player becomes OP, or Fed.

    Rage is also a negative term.

    FPS has little to do with latency.
    The performance of your computer is not the same as the performance of your internet connection.

    Buffs and Debuffs aren’t auras. They’re lasting effects. An aura would imply it have an area of effect.

    AoE: Area of Effect

    Sustain: A champion’s ability to recover outside of the platform through potions, skills, etc.

    Lifesteal/Spell vampirism. LS SV

    Pings: A notification used by players to indicate danger or distinguish targets/objectives.

    On-Hit: An effect that applies when a champion’s auto attack hits something.

    Dunk: A term where a champion uses a skill in which the champion leaps towards its enemy similar to a dunk in basketball.

    Runes are not bought after level 30. They’re readily available early on, with the best tier being available at 20+. They give bonus stats ingame.

    Assassin: A champion that specializes in high damage and mobility in exchange for survival. Often, they are melee.

    aa is also a term for auto attack.

    Orb Walking/Stutter Step/Attack Move: Various terms to describe the tactic where a champion auto attacks then moves during the cooldown in order to reposition themselves while still dealing damage. When used to retreat, it is called Kiting.

    Bruiser is wrong. A bruiser is a champion which can deal strong damage, while still being able to take damage. They do not do as much damage as assassins, but they can take more hits. They cannot dish out as much hard crowd controls or take as much damage as tanks. Also known as Off-Tanks.

    CC/Crowd Control: A skill which hinders the target’s ability to deal damage or move.
    Classified as Soft and Hard CC. Soft CC being slows and stat debuffs. Mostly weakens target’s ability to move or attack.
    Hard CC being stuns, knockups, knockbacks etc. Anything that will displace or interrupt channeling.

    Hook:A grab.
    GG: Good Game
    WP: Well Played
    BG: Bad Game
    GL HF: Good Luck Have Fun
    Tribunal: A system used to decide whether or not a person should receive punishment.
    Report: To flag a player for various negative behaviors.
    DC:Disconnect
    Peel: An act in which a champion aids an ally by “peeling” the enemy off of them.
    Invade: To enter the enemy’s jungle.
    Juke: To trick an enemy into chasing back and forth and wasting their time/resources.
    Skill Shot: A skill which must be aimed by the player rather than targetting.
    Ward Hop: A tactic in which the player brings wards in order to jump to them using their champion’s skills.
    Buff Transfer Complete: A phrase used to describe the exchange of the Red/Blue buff upon death.

    • JeffHeilig

      Haha, I guess you can buy runes before 30. I didn’t know that. Never looked before I hit max level. Thanks stranger, I’ll make the adjustments now.

      • Mike

        No use in buying runes before level 20. At level 20 you can buy T3 Runes. Save up for thoose, cost more than you know.

    • Mike

      Poke: “Poke skill” A skill which differ itself from others, in length and power at level 1, Example: Caitlyn, AP tristana E, etc. In short terms when generally speaking of “Poke, Poking” (The right way) = Frequently dealing damage to the opposite team in order for them to drop enough HP/Mana to waste their Pots/SSK and/or go back and ofcourse loose their CS. If they stay, and they are on low life, no pots, and you’re still maintaining a good CS, then you’ve succesfully Poked, and now you wait for a chance to secure a kill.

      Snowball: You’re all wrong. The term “Snowball” Comes from Mejai’s Soulstealer, Sword of the Occult. Meaning “Im going snowball” = Im getting items wich per kill makes me alot stronger.

      Also wrong about Bruiser.. One name.. Darius.

      Nice post tho.

      • Ezence

        Snowball: You’re all wrong. The term “Snowball” Comes from Mejai’s
        Soulstealer, Sword of the Occult. Meaning “Im going snowball” = Im
        getting items wich per kill makes me alot stronger.

        No. Snowball is exactly what the analogy describes. To snowball is to increase in size off of the momentum gained by the size of the snowball. For League this means when you are ahead it becomes easier to stay ahead and get further ahead through itemization and levels, if you use it to describe stack items then you’re missing the point.

        • Mike

          Meaning I’m right, described in different words explained to some one who didn’t understand the original explanation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Kaiiboraka kaiiboraka

    I think this is kind of silly and pointless; no noob will ever need to read this entire guide, as friends, teammates, and the game itself will explain most of these things.
    Besides, League is bad and you should feel bad.
    LoL < DotA 2 < Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm

    • JeffHeilig

      For one, I thought it would be an neat experiment to try to help me learn the game better. I researched most of these terms. Now I’m not saying anyone should read the entire guide, I suggest you find some terms to enhance your knowledge of the game.

      Second, Heroes of the Storm isn’t even out yet. So, please, before you comment here, don’t say silly things. Otherwise, thanks for reading!

  • Lu the Hero

    Ali = cow
    Hecarim = pony

    • http://twitter.com/alexhanly kencosgrove

      I know plenty of people who call Volibear, “bear” and not Voli.

      • Lu the Hero

        but like, what’s a Lissandra? kinda sounds extinct

  • Ezence

    Got to here – see it was wrong – don’t need to read the rest.

    “AD carry – Usually a ranged champion that goes bottom lane.
    Their primary function is to focus on killing minions to gain a gold
    advantage early. The essential target in team fights.”

    All lanes primary function in the laning phase is to focus on killing minions. The role of the AD carry is to maximize their damage output mainly from Auto Attacks by purchasing high damage items and minimal survivability items.

    • http://twitter.com/alexhanly kencosgrove

      And with the way the meta is now, ranged ADCs aren’t in, bruisers are.

  • Draxy

    As a dota veteran I love how “backdooring” has changed over time. Originally it meant hitting towers when the minion wave wasn’t up to that tower. Lol made towers invulnerable and the term evolved. Interesting stuff and not the only term that has changed over time.

  • Monk

    Zoning isn’t just to prevent the enemy from killing minions or “pushing” a lane. Ideally it would also prevent them from gaining experience as they are zoned so far out that they cannot gain the experience from the enemy minions falling, as you have to be in a certain range for that.

  • Buttsmecks

    Kha’zix=K6

  • SwagMasterXX

    Awful article most of the definitions are either incorrect or from someone who is inexperienced at the game.

  • cadence4disaster

    This needs to be revised.. as far as language goes, a dictionary using terms that oppose the word being defined is not only confusing, but incorrect and unfavourable.

    As far as some of the definitions themselves go, they need to be cleaned up as well as you got lazy about halfway through. Example — Magic Resist has no MR attached to it? You also forgot to mention that Assassins are meant for single focus for one full burst.

    Or you said that progressing in top lane isn’t as important as other lanes? If anything it’s THE most important as whichever lane snowballs first is going to have the largest impact on the game.

  • Xenoman

    Just a couple of revisions:

    ELO, ELO Hell: Technically, it’s Elo, not ELO—it’s named after the guy who invented the system (originally for chess).

    Ult: Karma, Jayce, Elise, and Udyr aren’t able to “ult” at level 1—they in fact have no ultimate ability.

    Your use of the term “opposes” is incorrect, as well. AP doesn’t “oppose” AD—they’re just two different types of damage. IP doesn’t oppose RP, etc.

    Tanks don’t just peel for AD carries.

    Bot, Mid, Top: these are also used to refer to the lanes during play, not just champ select.

  • Pup

    On EU servers we use ‘ss’ (from ‘missing’ apparently), not ‘mia’. Although that’s mostly obsolete with the ? ping.

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