A guide to the insider's language of YouTube gamers

The world of gaming YouTube has its own language. Here’s a dictionary to help you understand what they’re really saying.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
3 min read
Aaron Robinson/CNET

YouTube is filled with game commentators who use their own slang to describe their perceived enemies. Some of the language comes straight out of the alt-right, a loose grouping of white supremacists and neo-nazis. Here's a guide to what you might encounter.

Paid DLC

Downloadable content for video games became popular as a way of delivering new storylines and features to popular games. Some gamers believe DLC is actually part of the original game they paid $60 for, but was split off to be sold later.


A business strategy of charging players for additional features and items in a game. Some games, like the battle royale games Epic's Fortnite and Apex Legends from Electronic Arts, are free to download and make money by charging for new cosmetic looks for players, guns and other items.

Games As A Service

A game designed to be played over the internet, which are regularly updated with new features and stories. Players often log on together and partner up or fight one another as they experience the game. Some current games are Bungie's space epic Destiny 2, EA's exploration game Anthem and Bethesda's post-apocalyptic shooting game Fallout 76.

Season Pass

A bundle for a video game in which the company offers multiple DLCs, game modes, different items in the game, and more. It's similar to a "battle pass," in which gamers receive rewards such as new cosmetic looks and customized items in return for regularly playing the game.


Short for a "social justice warrior," someone who advocates on behalf of women and minorities. The term came to prominence during #GamerGate, a 2014 internet phenomenon during which gamers attacked female developers and feminists with threats of rape, bombing and death over their criticism of the video game industry. Ostensibly, the event was about gamers holding reviewers accountable for perceived ethical lapses.


A blending of the words "journalist" and "urinal."


A slur insinuating men are effeminate based on the urban legend that drinking soy milk increases estrogen production. It's often used against SJWs.

Huhwhite man

A way of emphasizing the "h" in white. Jared Taylor, the white nationalst who runs the American Renaissance, a news and commentary site, is known to pronounce the word this way.


Being aware of injustice in society, especially racism. People who "are woke" are often slurred as Woke Warriors, part of a Woke Brigade or a Keyboard Warrior. When a person or company demonstrates their woked-ness, they're often accused of "virtue signaling."

Fake Woke Points / Digital Back Pats

Positive support for virtue signaling.

"Get Woke, Go Broke"

Often said in celebration when a company, game or publication that had heavy political undertones posts disappointing sales or shuts down.

Sail the High Seas

A euphemism for pirating content. It's used in part because of the belief that YouTube's automatic captioning will punish videos with references to pirating.

Blue Checkmarks

A slur against "verified" Twitter users, who have a blue checkmark by their names. It's usually used to refer to journalists and prominent political figures.


A measure of social media response to a Tweet or YouTube video. On Twitter, if the number of comments is higher than the number of "likes" or retweets, it's believed to have been voted down by the community. On YouTube, it can also refer to receiving more "thumbs down" votes than "thumbs up."

White Knighting

Man coming to a woman's defense. It's often used disparagingly.


A term that was once popular to describe a woman who claims to support gender equality, but actually supports sexism toward men. The term was popular in the 1990s but has since fallen out of vogue.