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.
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-checking – Blindly 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.
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
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!
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Just to add to this post: An interesting thing happened. Kotaku linked here. Awesome.
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