NFT meanings, slang and terms: all you need to know

NFT meanings, NFT slang and NFT terms; a robot walks across a street in a sci-fi city
(Image credit: Getty Images / onurdongel)

NFT meanings and NFT slang is something you'll need to grasp in order to navigate this new and exciting digital phenomenon. In this guide I'll explain what the most used NFT slang means as well as looking at the important NFT terms and the NFT meanings you'll need to get used to. It's not hard and, honestly, it's fun to deep dive into what is a lively and interesting movement.

 Once you've familiarised yourself with the main NFT ling then read up on some of our other guides to how to make the most of your new knowledge. We have detailed features on the best NFT marketplaces as well as guides to NFT gaming and a general 'What are NFTs?' article. If you want to jump and create your own, read my feature on how to make and sell an NFT. NFTs can also be a lifestyle, take a look at this wild real life Crypto House.

  • DAO: This stands for Decentralised Autonomous Organisation. These are projects, studios and companies that are not run by one person or institution, instead the rules that govern a DAO are coded in smart contracts on the blockchain. Many NFTs that aim to raise money and host a fund for either good causes or future developments, such as games, will usually set up a DAO to run the fund as its rules cannot be changed without a vote.
  • dApp: This means 'decentralised application' and is a piece of software that will run, if not only partially, on a blockchain instead of a traditional centralised server.
  • Ded: Just short for 'Dead', as in, 'this NFT is dead and over, avoid'.
  • DeFi: This is short for 'decentralised finance' and means no centralised bank or account has control over your money. This creates autonomy and a sense of financial freedom from normal rules.
  • Delayed Reveal: Some NFT collections won't show what you have bought until a set date, kind of like opening a pack of Magic: The Gathering cards for the first time. These will often be divided into tiers, so those who followed a project from conception get invited to the first tier and so a better chance of getting a rare NFT.
  • DEX: This is short-form for decentralised exchange (seeing a pattern?) in and means transactions on a marketplace are peer-to-peer, with no financial middlemen taking a cut, and these include Uniswap and PancakeSwap where you can exchange one cryptocurrency for another.
  • DISCORD: This is the preferred social media platform for most NFT projects. 
  • Dutch Auction: This is a bidding system that sets a price for an NFT and then the value drops at intervals until buyers decide on a price to settle on.
  • DYOR: Means 'Do your own research', which is to say don't invest in an NFT unless you're sure it's good. Some collectors can use it in frustration, but take it also as advice to make sure you've checked out an NFT creator's history, profile and general reliability.
  • Flipping: This is when someone buys an NFT with the only purpose of waiting for its value to increase and then sell it on. I go into the pros and cons of this in my feature, NFT tips: advice for beginners.
  • Floor: This is the lowest set price of an NFT – the Floor Price – and is often used when a project first mints it will launch at a set price so everyone gets in on the same 'floor'. It's a handy way to judge if an NFT is gaining or losing value.
  • Floor Sweeping: This is a tactic some use to encourage people to buy NFTs at floor price, in doing so the value of all the NFTs can increase.
  • Free Minting: This process of creating an NFT puts the gas fees (see below) onto the buyer and not the seller. It's a good way to get into making NFTs, but they tend to have less visibility as the NFT isn't registered on the blockchain until it's sold. See my how to create an NFT for free guide for a step-by-step tutorial.
  • Fren: This one means 'Friend'.
  • FUD: Slang that refers to 'Fear, uncertainty, and doubt', when a bad actor can spread false or overstated information to drive down the value of an NFT. Remember DYOR, now it matters.
  • FOMO: This stands for 'Fear of missing out' and is a common term when investing in general; it's a reference to the psychology of investing where you fear missing a good project and invest even if the details don't stack up. Take a breath, and consider if the NFT is actually as good as you may have been told.
  • Gas: The gas fee paid to register an NFT on a blockchain, which is paid to crypto 'miners' for their energy costs. Ethereum gas fees have been high for some time as it's the most popular blockchain. Newer tokens such as Solana and Avalanche have lower fees. (See Free Minting above for a different way to create an NFT without gas fees.)
  • GWEI: This is the measurement of gas fees, and stands for nanoether (0.000000001 ETH).
  • GM: You'll see NFT collectors and creators greet others on social media with these terms, simply meaning 'Good morning' – how nice.
  • HODL: This one means 'Hold' and, honestly it could have begun with a typo. It's used by fans of an NFT to say they'll hold the token through ups and downs in its value.
  • IDK: Just means 'I don't know'.
  • IRL: An acronym for 'In real life' and is being used more and more as NFTs now cross over into real life uses as well as digital, online functions.
  • Looks rare: Now you'd think if someone says your new NFT 'Looks rare' they mean it's awesome - not so. When used in chat 'Looks rare' is an ironic term to basically mean, 'nope, that's trash'. (Not to be confused with the NFT marketplace, Looks Rare.)
  • P2E: This means Play To Earn and is a style of video game unique to NFT games, in which players can earn crypto and so money from games. For example, a player could raise a character and then sell that hero to other gamers. Read my feature on the best NFT games to see what people are playing now.
  • Paper Hands: The opposite of diamond hands, these NFT collectors sell early.
  • PFP: This stands for Profile Picture and is seen as the first type of NFTs that became big – such as Bored Apes Yacht Club and Crypto Punks. They're used as online personalities and have become popular on social media. NFTs are now expanding away from this simple form of art.
  • Pumping: This describes how an NFT's value is rising dramatically; but be warned as 'pumps' can often lead to 'dumps' – when everyone sells after a rise. 'Pumps' can often artificially increase an NFTs value, so again, DYOR.
  • Raids: These are flash campaigns, drops and promotions, usually on social media, to hype up an NFT.
  • Rekt: Another one adopted from video games, and references to getting 'wrecked' when you lose all of your money.
  • Right Click Save As: This one's used by people who don't like or don't understand NFTs, and refers to the act of right-clicking and downloading a JPEG. (Obviously, this isn't how NFTs work.)
  • Rug Pull: This is when an NFT's founders abandon the project and leave with all of the money, meaning its roadmap of content that people bought into will never appear. The upshot is that an NFT will lose all its value. Take a look at my feature on NFT scams for more.
  • To The Moon: When a project is skyrocketing and 'going to the moon'.
  • Wen: Used a lot, this one jokingly means 'When?'. As in 'Wen will this be released?' or 'Wen will the value rise?'.
  • YOLO: You may know this one as Carpe diem, meaning 'Seize the day'. 

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.