Second Life Guides for newbies

Lexicon – Vocabulary for Second Life terms

Everyday, people use strange terms in Second Life. Here is a listing of a few words you may encounter, I hope this will help you understand. If you need more information, please see the link at the bottom of this little glossary to find more technical information and even more words !

Avatar: “An icon or figure representing a particular person in a video game, Internet forum, etc…” and in Second Life too, we call our character an avatar.

AO – Animation Overrider: an AO is a scripted attachment which replaces standard animations (walk, jump, stand, run, fly, etc) with animations created by someone. (My post about AO here)

Attachment:  When you right click on item (clothes, objects) in your inventory, you have the option to “wear” it. Wearing a clothes layer will add it to your system body layers, but an object (which can be clothes by the way) can be attached to an attachment point on your body. Hand, leg, head, stomach… your avatar’s body counts many attachment points. If you right click and select “attach to” you will see all the attachment points available on your body.

Alt: short for Alternative account, is an account used by a Resident for something other than their usual activity or to do things in privacy (such as building or scripting).

Body part: It is an inventory item and a required component of an avatar (they may be replaced but not removed). There are four types of body parts: Shape, Skin, Hair, Eyes.

Freebies – Dollarbies: A freebie is a free gift from content creators in Second Life, cost is 0L$. Dollarbies are almost free gifts from content creators in Second Life, cost is usually 1L$.

Group gift: Free gifts in Second Life groups. Usually, a store owner has a group customers are invited to join in order to receive news, updates and exclusive gifts. You can receive the gifts in the group news notices, or going in the store, you click on the item’s vendor wearing the group’s tag (open the Groups window in your interface and activate the group, a text will appear above your head). Sometimes, store owners require you pay a fee to enter their group (50L$ or 400L$ for example, depends of the store…). It usually means that they often offer gifts and quality content to their followers.

Griefier: A griefer is a name for a Second Life Resident who harasses other residents. More info here.

HUD – Heads Up Display : it is a control panel for an AO that appears only on screen.

Inworld: This expression means “being connected to the Second Life servers and present in the Second Life world (also: online), anything that takes place within the virtual environment of Second Life. Used in this way it is spelled as one word with no hyphen, usage in line with email and website.” Like you would say “online”, “IRL” in real life, you chat with people on the web/internet, you do it inworld too. Actions you do inworld, in Second Life world. “See you inworld !” or “I’m visiting a store inworld”, etc.

Lucky Chair – Money chair – Lucky board: Lucky chairs and boards are scripted chairs that give out prizes when you sit/click on one that is displaying the first letter of your first name. Money chairs require you sit on the chair for a certain amount of time in order to receive the promised money. These devices are used to increase traffic in the store (traffic ranks are interesting for marketing, just like in real life).

Lag: Apparent slow response time when using the Second Life Viewer, with three basic sources: client lag due to processing power limitations of your computer running the Second Life Viewer, network lag due to communications latency and limitations, and server lag due to processing limitations of the Second Life simulator software. See Reducing lag.

Landing point: This is the exact spot where you land after teleporting to a new place. Land owner can set the landing point to a single point on the map, so that people always land in a single spot of the region/sim.

LM, Landmark: A landmark is a shortcut to a place that you save in your inventory or favorites, in order to come back easier without searching again for the place you are looking for. Creators usually put a landmark in the folder of the items they sell you, so you know where to go back, with the name of their store and coordinates. You can also create new landmarks. If landing point is set, you can see where your landmark points exactly on the sim, when you look at the map. Let’s say I want to show you where is a freebie in a gigantic store. Look at the exact spot I am pointing you with the slURL I pasted in the links of my posts. It will look like a red circle on the map, and you are a yellow point.

LL or Linden Lab: Linden Lab (Linden Research, Inc.) is the American company who launched Second Life in 2003.

L$ or Linden Dollar: The unit of currency for all monetary transactions in Second Life. Linden Dollars are a micro currency and can be traded for real world currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, JPY) on the official Lindex.

Marketplace: The SL Marketplace created in 2010 is a website listing all second life online stores. There you can find many stores you see in-world.

Mesh: Mesh is the capability to bring 3D models, known as meshes, created in third-party tools into Second Life.

Mesh body – head – bento: Mesh bodies and heads are objects you attach to your body, but they replace your system body, the one you shape in appearance mode. It is a modern body in opposition to the old system body, because it uses bento attachment points. Second Life added new bones to the avatar body, but the old system do not use them. Mesh bodies now use those bones to create more detailed animations, and more realistic look or even animated wings and tails to creatures avatars. This step in Second Life history added more options to the avatar creation processes and improved creativity !

Midnight mania: It is a board send a gift to every avatar who clicked on the board during the 24 passed hours if the number of clicks achieve the goal. You see the counter on the board (ex: 55/100) and a picture of the prize. If the goal is not achieved, nothing will happen. The counter will go back to zero and start again for the next 24 hours.

NC, Notecard: A notecard is an inventory item containing text and/or other embedded inventory items

Prim (flexi prim, sculpted prim) : A primitive, or prim for short, is a single-part object (the cube you create when you build). More info about prims here. Nowadays we see more and more mesh objects instead of prims, flexi prims & sculpted prims. Flexible is a property that can be set on a prim. Setting a prim to flexible will cause it to “flex” either with movement or by being blown by the wind. A side affect of enabling flexible is that phantom is also enabled. It used to be the way we created skirts and dresses for example. A flexible prim is also known as a “flexiprim“, “flexi“, or “flex prim“.

Redelivery/Updates systems: Some stores have a device linked to their vendors, storing you purchase history in a database. Let’s say you lost your super cool shoes (deleted the package, what a shameful error). You need a redelivery. But you do not want to bother the store owner, it was your mistake after all ! If the store owner has a redelivery system in their store, you can click that device and it will open a dialog window in the right hand corner of your screen to offer you redeliveries of the items you purchased. Easy.

Rez: To create or to make an object appear inworld. To rez an object, drag it from your inventory or create a new one using the Build window. Build is creating/making something out of primitives (prims) in Second Life. More info about building here.

Rezday: The day a Resident’s account is started. The Second Life equivalent of a “birthday.” You can see your rezday date on your profile.

Sandbox: A sandbox is a parcel of land which has been put aside for building practice. Much like real sandboxes and conceptual sandbox games, these are spaces of creativity and chaos. Several sandboxes exist for specific purposes — such as the Weapons Testing Sandbox — but the majority are simply for regular building. Signs within each sandbox area make it clear what kind of activities are allowed there. Sandboxes usually have auto return enabled to clean themselves several times a day; look for auto-clean info before building, so you aren’t caught by surprise. Since sandboxes are experimental, they may also be unstable — be sure to regularly take inventory backups of anything that’s important. More info about opening boxes here.

Sandbox locations examples : SkyBeam sandbox or Full sim sandbox.

slURL: An URL is a link, address of a web site. A slURL is an URL you can use in Second Life and on the web. See examples :

  • URL :
  • SLURL :

Sim: When people are talking about a “sim”, this usually means they are talking about a region, so the big squares you see on the map is a “sim” for most people. According to here are the technical explanations, people do not make the difference between all those definitions most of the time:

  • Sim node (or sim host), the physical server machine simulating one or more regions.
  • Sim processes, the processes running on the server machines that simulate regions.

The latter usage is more precise, because multiple processes may run on a single server CPU. In common usage, “sim” may also be used to mean region, though this meaning is deprecated because it is ambiguous. Most accurately, a region is simulated by a sim process running on a sim node.

  • Sim means sim host, or the hardware
  • Simulator is the binary that runs on the sim hosts
  • Regions run in the simulator

More info here about land terms.

Shopping event : weekly/monthly/yearly like FLF, Collabor88… (list some famous events names & locations)

Subscriber board/group: This is a group device you click to join a listing of followers for a store for example. Your name is stored in a database. You often receive news, updates in notecards, and even objects (gifts). You usually can receive a joining gift when you join the subscriber group.

System layer: clothes with color icon in your inventory, representing jacket, shirt, pants, underwear are clothes system layers, that you can modify in appearance mode. (ex: system lashes, opposed to prim lashes, or system skin vs mesh body skin applier)

Scripts: Scripts are items placed in an objects inventory to create an effect. Scripts are created through an in-world editor similar to a text file editor. The language used to write scripts is Linden Scripting Language (LSL).

Tipjar: It is a scripted object that you find in freebies stores or in events venues. Tip the volunteer organizers if you want to thank them and have a little L$ !

Viewer : Second Life official viewer, Firestorm viewer:

Windlight: It is the codename for Second Life’s atmospheric rendering system that enhances skies, lighting, and other graphical aspects of the environment. I strongly recommend you to read Strawberry Singh’s windlight settings tutorials (and much more, her blog is a great source of information).

Some other technical terms used in common SL language

See more technical info about any word you need, on the official Second Life wiki.

7 thoughts on “Lexicon – Vocabulary for Second Life terms

Let's talk about it! Leave a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.