Romancelandia Glossary: A Guide to Romance Abbreviations and Terms

Romancelandia Glossary: Romance Abbreviations, Slang Terms and More

Alpha – a love interest (hero or heroine) who is in charge of their world situation, a character characterized by extreme competence. See also Alphahole, Beta.

Alphahole – An alpha hero who has crossed the line into toxic masculinity.

Autobuy – An author whose work you trust will always be awesome, and therefore buy without reading reviews or summaries.

ARC – Advanced Reader Copy. Free books sent to reviewers before books are published.

Backlist – Books which have already been published by an author or publisher.

BDSM – Bondage and Discipline (BD), Dominance and Submission (DS), Sadism and Masochism (SM).

BBW - Big beautiful women

BROTP/Bromance: A friendship (between guys) that you adore!

Beta – A love interest secure in their on personality without the need to dominate their partner. See also Cinnamon Roll.

Beta Reader – Early readers who give feedback to an author on their unpublished work.

Big Mis – The big misunderstanding, a dramatic conflict between characters which could have been easily solved if they would just talk to each other.

Binge – To read everything you can find in a short amount of time, often to the exclusion of other obligations. Can be applied to a particular author’s work or books in a particular genre or trope.

Book Boyfriend – The fictional hero you want for yourself, Mr. Darcy being a prime example for many readers.

Black Moment – The point near the end of a book when everything has gone terribly, horribly wrong and it seems all hope is lost.

Bodice Ripper – Historical romances from the 1970-80s known for misogyny, non-consensual sex, and covers that non-romance readers often see as a current stereotype of the genre. See also Old Skool, Rapemance,

Clinch Cover.

Book Birthday – The day your book is released.

Book Hangover: When a book leaves you emotionally drained. Often this leads to the reader not being able to jump right into another book and sometimes leads to a … Usually what happens when you've been BookSmacked

Book Tok - Tik Tok accounts/posts that talk about books, reading,

BookSmacked - What happens when you read a book so good you need to tell everyone about it. You've been BookSmacked !!! Also an amazing book blog which you can find here

Bookstagram: Instagram feeds that are dedicated to pictures of books.

Bookstagrammer: Instagram accounts that post pictures of books.

CH-Cliff hanger when the book ends suddenly or a large plot twist occurs and is left unresolved. See also Cliffy

Category Romance – A short romance novel (55k words) categorized by tropes and heat level by publisher’s line, i.e. Harlequin Blaze or Silhouette Romantic Suspense. Single-title Romance.

Catnip – A trope you always want to read more of. See also Autobuy.

Cinnamon Roll – A hero who is straight up sweet and possibly too good for this world.

Clean Romance – A romance which doesn’t include sex or swearing. May include closed-door sex, or no more than kissing depending on interpretation. See this Book Riot post, “I’m Not Dirty: Why Calling Books “Clean” is a problem” for why this is a controversial term. See also Sweet Romance.

Cliffy - Cliff hanger when the book ends suddenly or a large plot twist occurs and is left unresolved.

Clinch Cover – A book cover featuring a couple clinging to one another, possibly with their clothes about to fall off, probably with Fabio. See also Bodice Ripper, Old Skool.

Contemp: Contemporary fiction, meaning that it takes place in modern day and generally doesn’t have any magical, sci-fi or fantasy elements.

Daphne: A female character who has to be rescued all the time (in reference to Daphne from Scooby Doo)

DIK – Acronym for Desert Island Keeper. A book you could happily reread forever.

DNF – Did not finish.

Dubcon – Dubious consent.See also Noncon, Rapemance.

Duke of Slut – The aristocratic hero who never met a woman he wouldn’t sleep with, and certainly never a woman he wanted to marry, until the heroine.

D/s - Dominant-submissive

DD/lg- Dom Daddy- little girl

F2L – Friends to lovers.

F/F – A female-female romantic pairing.

FMC- Female Main ChAracter

FTB - fade to black. When a sex is implied btw the characters. You know it is going to happen but the book doesn't go into the sex scene in detail it just infers it.

Fated Mates – Plot device by which two characters are destined to be together, common in Paranormal Romance. See Insta-love

Grovel – A Grand Gesture called for when a character (often the hero) has done something Very Bad to their love interest and needs to make up for it. May come after the Black Moment.

GR: Goodreads (a site where you can post reviews and more!).

HEA – Happily ever after. Required component of a genre romance.

HC: Hardcover.

Heat Level – How much sex or passion is present on the page. See also Clean, Sweet, Spicy.



HFN – Happy for now. A recently acceptable alternative to the HEA in which the couple may be together, but not married and pregnant at the end of the story.

H/h – Hero and heroine.

Hybrid author – An author who has