I have plenty of problems with Tumblr fandom. It often feels like you have to wade through a bunch of immature, hyperbolic posts before you get to anything worthwhile. And as someone who was part of the original Firefly fandom and knows what it is to love a show or celebrity that other people judge you for, it’s difficult to see kids who follow mainstream stuff like Glee calling themselves “nerds” and “fans” in the same way. However! Tumblr brings an incredibly important factor to fandom that never existed when I was online in the early 2000s: Their own language, supplemented with incredible .gifs that instantly get to the heart of what they’re trying to say.
There are so many times I scroll through certain Tumblr tag pages for Crushable, or see .gif communities pop up on my personal dashboard, and I’m continually impressed and astounded by how universal these little moving images are. Especially when they’re utilized to communicate Tumblr lingo. In just a few years, these users have created an endless list of slang—catchphrases and abbreviations that sum up their reactions to heartbreaking TV twists and swoon-worthy celebrities in addictive shorthand. I keep running into little phrases and have been cataloging them for a feature just such as this. So without further ado, here are my ten favorite pieces of Tumblr lingo.