LEGO terms and acronyms

Being a few weeks into the blog I realised it is probably time to translate some of the terminology and acronyms used in the LEGO community.

AFOL: Adult Fan of LEGO

Personally I think this is a silly term as it puts a distinction around ages and kind of suggests being a LEGO lover and an adult isn’t compatible.

BNIB: Brand new in Box

Fairly self-explanatory, this relates to LEGO sets that are in brand new condition. Most often for when you are buying a set that is a few years old from someone.


A website for buying LEGO, kind of like eBay. Hard to navigate at first but once you get the hang of it a very good tool for working out the value of a piece or set.

BURP: Big Ugly Rock Piece

A large LEGO element that is often used for walls and castles. It’s name says it all really.


The term used for any product that resembles LEGO but isn’t. Often sold as “LEGO Compatible”. I won’t name names. Generally very poor quality.

There are some brands that stand on their own and don’t try and imitate LEGO other thank having bricks, which are (to me) the lesser evil.

There are some companies that attempt to copy LEGO minifigs, sets, styles even boxes and their logos. These are the ones that I dislike the most.

CMF: Collectible Minifigures

Each year since 2012 LEGO have released several series of Minifigures. These are sold in small bags with one figure to a bag. Some are insanely popular and valuable. Getting a complete collection starting with series 1 can set you back $60-$100 a minifigs!

LDD: LEGO digital designer.

The now no longer supported program for designing LEGO sets. I recommend Ldraw as a community supported alternative.

LUG: LEGO User Group

The name for a group of LEGO fans who may get together regularly (in person or online). Some are geographically coordinated by city or region, others relate to topics or themes. It is quite common to be in more than one LUG.


The more technical term for your average LEGO man.

MOC: My Own Creation

This is what you call something that you create yourself that doesn’t come from instructions or a book. This is sometimes more broadly applied to any LEGO you take to display somewhere.

S@H: LEGO Shop at Home

The LEGO website shop, where you can buy sets including ones that are only available online. You can also buy individual bricks although the price is not always cheaper than Bricklink.


SNIR: Studs Not In a Row

An advanced building technique where you connect blocks in unusual ways. Often by connecting bricks sideways using the studs as hooks or anchors.

SNOT: Studs not on Top

This relates to building models in such a way that the LEGO studs are hidden. Quite a complicated way of building, especially for complicated models


TLG: The LEGO Group

As in the company that makes LEGO.

UCS: Ultimate Collector’s Series

A number of bigger sets are tagged as UCS. They are usually much more detailed than regular sets or existing sets of that model. These include the Super Star Destroyer, X-Wing and Tumbler sets.