If you are a newcomer to the world of vaping, you’ll already know from one visit to the vape store that you need to learn a whole new language just to communicate properly with advanced vapers.
In the sub-cult world of vaping there are literally hundreds of words, abbreviations and general slang terms which are used by vapers, and it can be very confusing trying to understand what they are saying.
There’s even a bunch of numbers which represent anything from battery threads to size to output. But don’t worry, you won’t need a PHD in math to get your head around them.
What’s the difference between a BVC and an ADV?
We’ll reveal what those abbreviations mean a little later, but from now on there’s no need to ever get confused when you hear vaping lingo being thrown around. Just refer to this glossary and you’ll know what’s up at the vape shop.
Be aware that vaping lingo is very slangy and even cultish in many ways. It could even be said that vape talk is a complete language in itself. Not quite, but very nearly.
While there are literally hundreds of words associated with vaping, in this useful glossary we are intending to offer you, the reader, a concise list of the most used and the most popular vape words for quick reference, so, if nothing else, you can bravely enter that vape cafe down the road and have a chance of communicating properly with the people there….
So without further ado, let’s get to it and learn our first set of vaping lingo, starting from A through M.
Advanced Personal Vaporizer (APV) – APVs usually have a larger battery, often with features such as variable voltage and wattage. An APV is more commonly called a MOD (modified e-cig)
Airflow (or Adjustable Airflow) – This often comes as an adjustable feature on tanks and atomizers which allow the user to control the draw resistance when on their vaping device.
All Day Vape (ADV) – This is an abbreviation which is used by seasoned vapers to describe their preferred “go to” ejuice which they are happy to vape on throughout the day.
Analog – It is a slang term used by vapers to describe traditional (tobacco) cigarettes.
Ass Juice – The last thing you want to vape is ass juice. This is what vapers call e liquid which tastes bad or even rancid.
BCC – Is an abbreviation standing for “bottom coil clearomizer” where the coil of the atomizer sits at the bottom of the clearomizer tank.
BDC – This is another abbreviation for “Bottom dual coil clearomizer.“
Box Mod – A box mod is any PV or APV that comes in a box shape, and comes in several different wattage selections. Some popular wattage classes for box mods are: 10-30 watts; 50-80 watts; 100+ watts.
Breathing – the process of leaving an e-liquid open to the air so that any alcohol can evaporate off. Can mellow some flavors.
BVC – Abbreviation for bottom vertical coils. A very popular design for atomizer coils.
Cartomizer (Carto) – This is a combination of disposable cartridges and atomizers. They hold more e liquid than a regular cartridge/atomizer combination.
Cig-A-Like – Is vaping hardware which has a similar appearance to an analog cigarette.
Clapton Coil – This coil is made with a large gauge of wire wrapped tightly by a smaller gauge of wire, like a guitar string, hence its name.
Clearomizer – A clearomizer is a transparent version of a cartomizer, usually made of thin, and easily breakable plastic, clearomizers hold roughly 2-3ml of e liquid.
Coil – This is the wire that is used to vaporize the e liquid by creating an electrical circuit. The coil is usually made up of Nichrome or Kanthal wire.
Deck – This is the flat base area where the positive and negative posts sit on an RBA/RDA, which is designed to keep e liquid off of the battery connection.
Diacetyl – Diacetyl is a flavoring used in some e-liquid production for it’s buttery flavor (also used in some popcorn products). Diacetly can cause Bronchiolitis obliterans (otherwise known as Popcorn Lung) if inhaled in large concentrations. Many e-liquid vendors have stopped using it due to this
Draw – This is the name given to the inhale from the vaper’s mouth on the electronic cigarette mouthpiece (knows as a drip tip, see below.)
Dripping – This is the method of vaping by adding a few drops of e liquid directly into the atomizer chamber instead of using a cartridge. This is the method that gives the best vapor quantity and flavor quality.
Drip Tip – A mouthpiece accessory with an opening that allows drops of e liquid to be dripped directly to the atomizer/cartomizer without the removal of the tip.
eGo/eGo Style – A style of electronic cigarette that utilizes the 510 threads and allows one to use 510 components but with a much larger battery.
E-Juice – The solution that is vaporized within the atomizer tank, comprised of Vegetable Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, and/or Nicotine and Flavoring. Also referred to as E-liquid, Juice, or Smoke Juice.
E-Liquid – Another popular name for e-juice.
E-NIC (Electronic Nicotine Inhaler) – another name for the electronic cigarette.
E-Smoke – Another short/slong for Electronic Cigarette.
Flooding – This occurs when too much e liquid is put into the atomizer. The indicator of flooding is a gurgling sound and the performance of the atomizer is sometimes negatively affected.
Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde can be produced much like acrolein; when e-liquid is heated to incredibly high temperatures. Also a known human carcinogen.
Forums – There are a growing number of forums dedicated to vaping, from small to large. The most popular one to date is the ECF, or Electronic Cigarette Forum.
Fuse – A specially designed fuse for use in mechanical mods to prevent some types of battery failure.
Fused Clapton – A Clapton coil that has two or more wires in the core of it as opposed to one in a regular clapton coil.
Genesis Atomizer – An RBA that uses stainless steel mesh as a wick instead of the typical silica and sits on the top of a tank (usually glass) with one or more holes in the deck leading into the tank.
GG (Golden Greek) – A quality brand mechanical mods that comes from Greece.
Glassomizer – A clearomizer that uses glass rather than plastic for the tank. Examples would be the Kanger Protank.
Goose Neck – A flexible extension for your PV. Goose necks come in assorted colors and sizes.
Grub Screw – A type of screw used in atomizer posts. The tip is pointed to better secure wires.
Heat steeping – Heat steeping is the process of speeding up steeping by placing one’s e-liquid container in a hot water bath or in a hot environment for any length of time.
High Resistance (HR) – An atomizer or cartomizer with a higher Ohm rating than the standard equipment. This allows you to apply higher voltage to the coil.
Hit – The inhalation of vapor.
Hot Spot – Areas of excess heat on the atomizer coil. Hot Spots are a known cause of Dry Hits.
HV Mod – A dual battery or boosted supply mod (modification) to allow higher power vaping.
Inception Coil – A nano coil inside a macro coil made from one continuous piece of wire.
Inhale – The act of breathing the vapor into your lungs.
Juice – Another name for e liquid.
Kick/Kicked – 1. another way to describe throat hit 2. The PV add-on that allows you to put it between your battery and PV’s spring and allows you to convert a standard Tube Mod PV into a Variable Wattage device
Kanthal Wire – Trademark for a family of iron-chromium-aluminium (FeCrAl) alloys used in high temperature applications.
Kanthal, Kanthal A1 – Kanthal is a specific brand of resistance wire that is used in building coils for electronic cigarettes, usually sold for Rebuildables. Kanthal A1 is a specific grade of Kanthal wire which is widely known to be the best wire for coil use.
Leaking – E liquid can leak out of the bottom of the clearomizer/atomizer/
Lithium Ion Batteries (Li-Ion) – Considered the strongest and most powerful batteries in the electronic cigarette market, coming in many different sizes and shapes.
Low Resistance (LR) – An atomizer or cartomizer with a lower Ohm rating than the standard equipment. This generally causes the heating element to get hotter faster and produces vapor more quickly.
Lung Hit – Alternative to mouth to lung hits, lung hits are inhales of vapor straight to the lungs. Usually requires massive airflow.
Mechanical Mod (Mech Mod, Mech PV, Mech) – An electronic cigarette that doesn’t have any electronics or wiring, it’s just a metal tube with a mechanical switch that holds a battery and a connector for a topper of some sort.
Micro coil – A type of wire coil where the coil is wrapped so that the loops of the coil are all touching, requiring more wraps than a traditional coil.
Miligrams (Abbreviated as mg) – The unit of measure for how much nicotine is in a cartridge.Typical levels include 0mg, 6mg, 8mg, 12mg, 16mg, 18mg, 24mg, 30mg, 36mg and 48mg.
Milliliters (mL) – The amount of liquid in a given container.
Mod – Short for modification. This originally referred to modifying a flashlight or a battery to be used in vaping, but is now commonly used to refer to any vaping device that is not a cigalike.
Mouth to lung hit – Vapor is pulled into the mouth first and then inhaled into the lungs. Can provide more flavor in the mouth.
Nic Juice – Nicotine liquid; and it’s also short for nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco
Nicotine (Nic) – The substance found within traditional and electronic cigarettes that creates a pleasant sensation. An alkaloid found in tobacco and other plans of the nightshade family. It is available in various strengths, but also optional as some e liquids have the option of no nicotine.
Nicotine Level – The designated amount of nicotine per cartridge. The nicotine level is the amount of nicotine present in a cartridge or bottle of e-liquid. It is usually measured in mg/ml.
Noob – A new vaper, due to a quick learning curve required to even start vaping, people are usually a real noob for only 1 week.
Ohm (Ω) – The standard unit of electrical resistance. A lower number indicates lower resistance and therefore faster heating.
Organic Cotton Coils – A new coil setup made by Kangertech. It features a larger heating section, with the addition of the Japanese organic cotton that lasts longer than the majority of other, cheaper cotton coils.
Passthrough – A device that plugs directly into the USB port of a computer or charger and allows the user to vape without having to worry about battery life.
Pen Style – One of many styles of electronic cigarettes available, resembles a ball point pen.
Personal Vaporizer (Abbreviated as PV) – Another name for an Electronic Cigarette, usually in reference to the more untraditional style e-cigs.
Propylene Glycol (PG) – One of two main substances used in the making of e-cigarette liquids.
Priming/Prime – The act of preparing a wick to vape, usually done by adding a few drops and soaking the wick in e-juice or taking a few pulls without heating the coil. This is not relevant for drippers/drip-style atomizers.
Some very useful and popular abbreviations in the vaping world:
RBA – Rebuildable atomizer
RDA – Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer
RDTA – Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer
RTA – Rebuildable tank atomizer
Steeping – Allowing your e liquid to sit either open to the air, or in a sealed container. This is generally not necessary in e liquid that has a high ratio of PG to VG. It is more often necessary in high VG ratio juices.
Stovetop coil – Stovetop coils are coils built to resemble the heating elements on electric stoves. Massive surface area is possible, some claim they can produce insane amounts of vapor.
Sub-Ohming – The practice by experienced vapers to increasing the current from your specific battery and by (using the principles of Ohms Law), reduce the ohms of the coils below one to achieve massive vaping clouds.
Sweet Spot – The balance of several variables needed to achieve a satisfying vape. These variables are most commonly; voltage, wattage, resistance, and the flashpoint of the juice.
Tank – A special type of cartridge that holds considerably more liquid than cartridges with filler. Usually used with a cartomizer and sometimes an atomizer.
Throat Hit – The feeling an e-cigarette smoker experiences when the vapor hits their throat. Most desire it to feel like a cigarette with a full, yet smooth hit. This is commonly felt with PG juices. Check out our PG vs VG page for more information.
Tiger Coil – A coil wrapped with a strand of regular kanthal twisted with ribbon wire.
Toot – Also known as Pull or to draw from your electronic cigarette.
Topping Off – Adding a few drops of e-liquid into a cartridge, cartomizer or tank.
Unprotected Battery – Any lithium based battery that has no protection for the overcharging or other situations that can cause thermal runaway.
USB Charger – An e-cigarette battery charger that lets you charge by connecting the battery to your computer’s USB port.
Vapegasm – The experience you get when you put on a new atomizer or cartomizer. That first taste you get from your favorite e liquid.
Vaper – The name given to the user of the electronic cigarette.
Vaper’s Tongue – This is a common problem among many vapers when they vape too much of one flavor, and their taste buds become desensitized to the flavor. For more info on vaper’s tongue, click here.
Vape Whore – (1) Someone who is constantly vaping every breath of their day; (2) Someone that only ever sign up for a site or community to try to win stuff. They never contribute, only hang out to soak up free things.
Vapor – The atomization of e liquid which results in a fog juice vapor which is commonly accepted to be exhaled as water vapor (steam). This is the main visible factor in vaping that simulates smoke, but is a much safer alternative.
Vaporizer – A vaporizer turns a liquid into a gas or a vapor. This is also another term used for electronic cigarette, ecig or PV.
Vapor Production – Typically associated with juices. Indicates how much vapor is produced using an average inhale of an e-cigarette.
Vaping (vape) – The use of an electronic cigarette – similar to the term smoking when referring to an analog cigarette.
Vertical coil – Instead of leaving coils horizontal, they are rotated 90 degrees. Often allow for better airflow in rebuildable dripping atomizers.
VG (Vegetable Glycerine) – A common ingredient found in e liquid. Sweet tasting and of low toxicity, it is thicker than Propylene Glycol and is usually used where thicker liquid or vapour is desired or where a PG sensitivity is present.
Voltage – The amount of kinetic energy which, for our purposes, when paired with resistance creates wattage.
VW (Variable Wattage) – Any PV, APV, or Mod that allows the user control over the wattage output of their device across the atomizer coil. This differentiates itself from a VV device because the voltage is calculated to arrive at the set wattage.
Watt (wattage) – The amount of raw heat that the atomizer coil uses to vaporize your e liquid.
Wick – Wicks are used to deliver e liquid to the coil in electronic cigarettes. Most atomizers use a wicks that are most commonly made from silica cord. However, wicks can also be made from rolled up steel mesh, fiberglass, cotton, and sometimes ceramic materials.
Wicking – The process of osmosis where more concentrated fluid moves to an area of lesser concentration in an effort to find equilibrium.
Wrap – One revolution of a wire during the process of building coils. Wrap refers to the process of “wrapping” a wire around a tool, usually a drill bit or screwdriver.
There are also a bunch of numbers which are commonly used in the vaping world. Here are some of the most popular:
26650 – These are batteries that have typically been known for good sub-ohming. This is typically seen as true because the 26650 batteries more likely have a larger cathode/anode surface area, so they will be a bit less susceptible to thermal runaway. However, this is not always a indicator for a great sub-ohm battery.
401, 402, and 403 – Refers to the different length of this specific electronic cigarette. They are known as m401, m402, and m403.
510 – The most popular and common style of threading for electronic cigarettes available. Originally developed by the company JoyE, it quickly became the standard within the industry. It also has whats known as a male thread.
808 or KR808 – One of many styles of electronic cigarettes available.
901 – An Atomizer with a female thread. it isnot compatible with 510 threading.
18350 – A battery that is 18mm x 35mm, used in smaller mods and generally have a low amp rating.
18650 – A classification given to a specific size of Li-Ion battery popularly used in APVs, mechanical mods, and tube mods.