A&P – The new abbreviation for the pirate-themed Lolita brand Alice & the Pirates.

Aka Loli – Aka means red. As an Aka Loli, all clothing and accessories are red with white lace. This term is nonexistant in the west.

Alice Bow – A band worn on the head; holds hair from the face. Is usually adorned with a big ribbon. It's named after Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Other forms: headbow, kachuusha.

Alice Deco – An inspirational magazine that contains Lolita and other fashion styles.

Alice Loli – a style resembling the character Alice from Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland. Color scheme is usually saxon blue, with a white apron and black & white/saxon blue striped socks. This term is nonexistant in the west.

A line – The shape of a dress or skirt, which flares out to create the silhouette of an A. Very popular in the 60's.

Ama Loli – Ama is short for amai (sweet). The style is known for it's childlike innocence, bright colors and imaginative prints. Other forms: ama lolita, sweet lolita.

anime  – Japanese animation or cartoons

anthropomorphic – A humanized animal – a cat given breasts, a dog walking on two legs with thumbs and eating chocolate. A talking animal if you will.

AP – Abbreviation for the Lolita brand Angelic Pretty.

Artists' alley - a place where up and coming artists


Bishie/Bishōnen – Literally, a pretty boy. Typically a term for a boy who is too pretty to be real or looks feminine because of his beauty.

Bishōjo – A pretty girl, often also connected with a magical girl.

Blommers – Shorts-like undergarment worn under dresses and skirts.

Bonnet – A form of headwear with a large brim framing the face, used in various Lolita styles. Introduced in the latter part of the 17'th Century.

BPN – Abbreviation for Black Peace Now. A goth, punk and Gothic Lolita clothing brand.

Brolita – Term for a male dressing in Lolita.

Bunkasai – Event made for Japanese festival an always shown cosplay contest as the maincourse.

Bustle skirt – A skirt that is pulled up in the back to reveal an underskirt.


Casu-Loli – A toned down style of Lolita for everyday use. Casu is for Casual. Other forms: casual, casual loli, casual lolita.

Cameko – short for “Camera Kozo” or “Camera Boy”, photographer for the layers, Originally the cameko give prints of their photos to players as gifts.

Chibi – Short, small character that shown how the 'kawaii' working

-chan – suffix for names that shows familiarity, usually for girls and small children (so rather diminutive if used on a guy)

convention – an official gathering put together by a committee to bring together a plethora people with similar interests; 'con' for short

cosplay – the practice of dressing up as a character or person from anime, manga, movies, games, or musical artists

cosplayer – one who practices the art of cosplaying; there are many abbreviations for this word based on region or country

cosplay contest – a contest in which participants are judged not only by the craftsmanship of their costumes, but also by the creativity and production of an in-character skit

costume contest – a contest in which participants are judged solely on the craftsmanship of their costumes

crossplay – when guys dress up as girls and girls dress up as guys, though usually when the term is being used, they are more referring to when guys dress up as really girly girls.

crossdressing-when a female dresses in male clothes, but not necessarily as a male character.


Dandy – A term used by western Lolitas to incorrectly label a mature aristocratic boystyle. Actual dandy fashion is not part of Lolita fashion.

Dealers' room – the room at a convention where goods can be bought pertaining to the focus/foci of said convention

Deco Loli – is short for Decora Lolita. An older style that was created with the rise of Decora, another Japanese fashion. This style can be said to have merged with Ama Loli to create the Kote Loli style.

Drawers –  Shorts-like undergarment worn under dresses and skirts. Longer than bloomers, and can be seen peeking out from underneath skirts.

Dolly kei – a japanese fashion statement which the people wear stuffs like an antique doll.

Dosu loli – Derogatory term used mainly by Japanese Lolitas to refer to other overweight Lolitas.


EGA – Abbreviation for Elegant Gothic Aristocrat, a term mainly used by the brand Moi-Même-Moitié for their Aristocrat clothing.

EGL – Abbreviation for Elegant Gothic Lolita, a term mainly used by the brand Moi-Même-Moitié for their Lolita clothing. May also refer to the EGL Livejournal community in the west.

Ero loli – Ero is short for "erotic". An Ero Loli may dress more challenging than the average Lolita, displaying cleavage or use fetish elements and materials in their outfits. This style is very rarely seen. Other forms: erotic lolita.


fanfic/Fan Fiction – Stories written about characters and worlds created by others.

fan service - the act of two or more cosplayers (in character) performing varying acts, saying various lines, making various poses, to please fans.

furry - a person in a full-body 'fur' costume (animal, pokemon, etc) complete with 'mascot head'.


Ganguro - bleach blonde hair and orange skin (not to be confused with sorority girls)

Gijinka - cosplay style based on anthropomorphizing, or human representations of nonhuman characters

Glomp - a vehemently loving tackle hug, usually containing mutual affection, but sometimes unwanted and possibly dangerous

Gothic Lolita – The most common subcategory of Lolita and the style that much of the western world associates with Lolita fashion. Clothing is generally black and white, with the possibility of red, and make-up tends to be white foundation with severe eyes and lips.other forms: Gosu Loli.

Guro Loli – A horror-themed style that has the look of a broken, often blood-stained or bandaged doll. Guro is an abbreviation of "grotesque". Other forms: grotesque lolita, guro lolita.


Hentai – pornographic animation or illustration

Hime Loli – Hime means princess. A style that incorporates extravagant Lolita, and sometimes Gyaru items into their outfits. Other forms: hime lolita, princess lolita.


J-rock – Rock music from Japan. Besides video game cosplayers, the other deviation from purely anime and manga fandoms is the cosplaying of J-rock singers. Especially from the group Malic Mizer.

Kachuusha – A headband often adorned with a big bow, lace or flowers. A common term used by Japanese brands. Other forms: headband, alice band, alice bow.

Kawaii – 'Cute'

larp - short for "Live Action Role Play"; most commonly done in-costume

Layer-Other term for call people behind character costume.

Lolita (aka Loli) – Not exactly a form of cosplay, but there are a growing number of characters that wear this style. Based on Victorian fashions, Lolita has a number of subcategories and was essentially founded in Japan and has spread out from there. Characterized by knee-length skirts (with petticoats), cute shoes, over the knee socks or stockings, the point of Lolita is childlike innocence and old-fashioned elegance. Often incorporates a lot of lace and frills, as well as bonnets. To dress in true Lolita style, you need to do some online research, as there are specific rules and standards for the outfits. Most common subcategories are Gothic Lolita, Sweet Lolita, Classic Lolita, and Punk Lolita.

Magical Girl - A girl who fights crime and usually goes through a transformation sequence. She is often a “chosen” one and given the power to fight crime through a magical artifact.

manga - Japanese comic books on which many anime are based

mascot - see furry

Mori girl - a japanese fashion statement which the people dress like a lady from forest, use something from nature or properties naturelike.

necronomicon - a fictional grimoire appearing in the stories by horror writer H. P. Lovecraft and his followers

original costume - slightly self-explanatory, a cosplayer's costume based on an original character/design

otaku - die hard fan/anime nerd/anime geek/etc, often used proudly by 'self-proclaimed otaku' but carries a negative connotation; comes from the Japanese word for house ----> these nerds often stay in the house focused on anime all day instead of going out

panel - an event (usually about an hour long) which focuses on one topic, subject, or person for the duration of that time

pocky - biscuit sticks covered in sweet icings, most commonly chocolate; this is NOT a substantial substitute for food at cons XP

post_apocalyptic science fiction -  set in a world or civilization after such a disaster.


Reiya –in english is Layer, is the way Japanese people call the people behind cosplay.

Sailor Suits – A nickname for the schoolgirl uniforms that we see on many anime characters. This is a realistic portrayal of what real Japanese girls wear to school. Characterized by a blouse with sailor style collar, pleated skirts, and tall socks, they are militaristic in style and part of the strategy to keep everyone standard. It’s hard to tell at cons if someone is dressed as a specific character from anime or if they are just dressed in a generic school uniform. Many anime characters’ school uniforms only vary slightly, and if you are cosplaying a character in a school uniform, make sure to copy distinctly any hairstyles or other accessories that make that character more visually unique.

Seme – The top of a yaoi relationship.

Seifuku – japanese uniform

Shōjo – Female oriented animes, which tend to focus more on relationships and character emotions. Characterized by female main characters, dramatic plot lines, and female empowerment.

Shōjo-ai – deep relation(love) between two female character in manga/anime(red. Yuri)

Shōnen – Male oriented animes, focusing more on plot than characters. Characterized by fan service, male main characters, action, and humor.

Shōnen-ai – deep relation(love) between two male character in manga/anime(red.Yaoi)

-san – a general suffix that means something like Mr./Mrs. – also used with peers

-sama – Honorific for lord, master, someone you hold in high regard

"sd" - super deformed -SuperChibi version of a character

Sensei – Honorific for teacher, also a suffix for names

signing - an event where fans can get the autographs of whichever special guests are present at a convention

Sugoi – “Great!”

trap-a male who dresses convincingly as a woman. It is a slur used to “warn other unsuspecting men” of the cosplayer’s gender.

Uke – The bottom of a yaoi relationship(the girly one).

voice actor - the person who provides the voice for a specific character from anime



Yaoi/Slash – Pretty boys doing gay things that are gay. Traditionally has nothing to with actual/realistic homosexual relationships, but instead the fangirl’s fantasy.

Yuri/Femmeslash – Like yaoi, but with girls. Again, typically unrealistic and fantasy driven.


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