Graffitti terms

TermMeaning
187Californian Penal Code for Homicide - so graffiti using 187 is literally making a death threat.
PIECE BOOK or BLACK BOOKA writer's sketch book. Used for personal art and tag development and or the collection of other artists work.
3rd EYEA look out.
5-OSlang for Police. Derived form the Television series Hawaii 5-O.
ALL-CITYWhen a writer or crew bombs all major tube or train lines.
BACK IN THE DAYRefers to the "old days", old school, or when a writer first started writing. Also a Hip-Hop and rap term.
BACK JUMPThis is essentially a five to fifteen minute lay-up. At the end of some underground routes trains park in tunnels or on single lines for several minutes before going back into service. During this time the trains are written on. Due to time constraints back jumps are generally utilized for dubs and throw ups. It is one of the most dangerous approaches to writing.
BADA high compliment as in Bad means Good.
BATTLEA pre-planned and well-organized competition between rival writers or crews to determine who is the best. Usually held at a HOF.
BEEFDisagreement or conflict.
BENCH Underground or Rail Station where writers congregate and watch trains.
BENCHING The act of watching trains from certain location son a rail network.
BITEPlagiarism – stealing another writer’ style.
BLEEDING Where excessive paint is used and then allowed to run off parts of the design creating the impression that the tag is bleeding
BLOCK BUSTER Wide lettered piece stretching from end to end done below window level on subway car.
BOMBINGProlific writing.
BRAP An abbreviation for the words Beer and Rap.
BTPBritish Transport Police.
BUBBLE LETTERS A type of graffiti letters, usually considered to be an older style. Often used for throw up letters because of their rounded shape this allows for a quick formation of the tag name.
BUFF Removal of writing/art work.
BUFFED A place that has had its writing/art work removed.
BURN1. To out do or beat the competition. 2. To ware out.
BURNER A technically and stylistically well-executed wild style piece. Generally done in bright colours, preferably seen as the sun is rising or setting. A piece held in high regard.
CAPS(Fat, skinny, German thin) Interchangeable spray-can nozzles fitted to paint cans to vary width of spray deployed. These are sometimes referred to as Tips or Nibs.
CLEAN TRAINCurrent term for all London Underground Trains. They are becoming more difficult to hit and rarely go into service with writing on them.
COMPUTER STYLEA certain style of wild style that looks digital or bitmapped, as if it came out of a computer.
CREWOrganized group of writers
CROSSING OUTTo scribble or write on someone else's name. It is considered highly disrespectful. Also known as Lining Out or Dogging.
D.G.A.Don't Get Around
DEFExcellent (derived from definite and death).
DESIGNSPolka dots, checkers stars swirls are placed over the fill-in to enhance and compliment the fill-in. Designs are limited only by an artist’s imagination and technical ability.
DOGA good or bad thing or person depending on the nature of the subject being discussed.
DOPE Excellent, of the highest order.
DOWNPart of a group or action
DOWN FORLoyal to.
DUBThe term used to describe a silver or chrome piece with a black outline.
DUTCHA form of graffiti whereby the writer scratches his tag into the surface using sandpaper or drill bits.
END TO END or E2EA window down piece which extends from one end of the of a Train or Subway coach to the other.
FADEGraduation of colours.
FAMILYSRows of throw ups of the same name.
FATTIESThe mild though frequent abrasion from passengers heads eventually buffs (removes) tags on these locations. This is an undesirable location to tag.
FINAL OUTLINEAfter fill-in and designs have been applied the outline is re-executed to define the letters.
FLOATERSThrow ups done on subway coach panels at window level.
FREIGHTSRail freight wagons.
GETTING UPWhen proliferation of a tag name has led to its high visibility.
GRAPHOTISMA UK based Graffiti magazine.
HENRY SHOTSPhotographic technique developed by Henry Chalfant. The camera remains in one spot with automatic film advance while the subject (train) moves. The end result is a straight forward single image built from several frames providing more detail.
HITA single tag, throw-up or dub type piece.
HIT UPThe act of writing a tag etc.
HOFHall of Fame. A common wall usually tolerated, where writers can go to put up graffiti.
HOT 110Synonymous with the term TOY.
INSIDESTrain or Subway coach interiors.
INVENTShoplifting or stealing. This term was used prior to 1974. The contemporary term is – RACK.
JUMP DOWNWhere writers jump down from a platform onto the railway tracks to attack an in service train stopped at the platform on the opposite side of the station.
KILLTo bomb excessively.
KINGThe most accomplished writer in a given category or crew.
LAY-UPA single or double track where trains are parked during off-peak hours. Both tunnel and elevated lay-ups exist.
LINE OUTWriting over another writer’s name. It is the ultimate act of disrespect depending upon who you ask.
MOTION TAGGINGWriting on trains whilst they are in service. Also referred to as MOTIONING.
NEW SKOOLContemporary writing culture post 1984. This date can vary greatly
OLD SCHOOLThe writing culture prior to 1984. This date can vary greatly depending upon who you ask.
OUTLINEThe skeleton or frame work of a piece.
OVERSucceeding.
PANEL PIECEA painting below the windows and between the doors of a Train or Subway coach.
PIECEA writer's painting, short for masterpiece, usually a lot more intricate than a Throw Up.
PIECINGThe execution of a piece.
PIGSDerogatory term for the Police.
PRODUCTIONLarge scale murals with detailed pieces and illustrations. (Contemporary term used mainly for street murals.)
RACKA store where shoplifting can be done.
RACKING or RACKING UPShoplifting or stealing. Generally refers to the theft of aerosol spray paints.
RIDGIEA wagon or coach which has corrugated, stainless-steel sides. An undesirable surface for burners.
RINSINGNormally used by writers when referring to another that repeatedly paints in the same yard night after night.
ROLLER LETTERSNames rendered with bucket paint and rollers.
RUNNERAn In-service train that is covered in graffiti.
SKINNYType of spray can nozzle.
STEELAny type of train. New school term used to distinguish train and wall work.
STENCILS Small cardboard cut-outs through which paint is sprayed, leaving behind pictures or words, generally with a political or humorous theme.
STYLE WARS1. Competition between artists to determine superior creative ability. 2. Documentary film on Hip Hop by Henry Chalfant and Tony Silver. Proved to be an extremely inspirational element for the New School.
SUBWAY ARTA magazine - the graffiti writer’s bible.
TAGA writer's name and signature.
TAG BANGINGThe use of violence to defend one’s tag.
TAGGINGThe execution of a signature.
TAGGING THE HEAVENSBreaking new ground by hitting up in a place that’s never been tagged before.
THE SYSTEMThe London Underground system
THROW UPA quickly executed piece consisting of an outline with or without thin layer of spray paint for fill-in.
THROWIEContemporary term for throw-up.
TOP TO BOTTOM or T2BA piece which extends from the top to the bottom of a Train or Subway coach.
TOY1. New, inexperienced or incompetent writer. 2. A small felt tip marker.
UPDescribes a writer whose work appears regularly on the trains or through out the city.
WAKSubstandard or incorrect.
WALL PAPERRepetition of a name written making enough coverage so that a pattern develops, much like wall paper.
WHOLE CARA piece that covers the entire side of a train or tube carriage.
WHOLE TRAINA piece that covers the entire side of every carriage of a train.
WILD STYLE1. Bronx Crew from the 1970’s led by Tracy 168w from the 1970s 2. A complicated construction of interlocking letters. 3. Classic film on Hip Hop culture directed by Charlie Ahearn.
WINDOW DOWNA piece done below the windows of a Train or Subway coach.