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League of Legends Slang Terms and Meanings

Published: March 11, 2020
League of Legends Terms and Glossary Is Useful to Understand this Image of Champions Fighting a Monster in LoL

There are a lot of acronyms and slang terms used by LoL (League of Legends) players during a match. If you aren’t up to speed with what all of the different terms mean, you will be confused and won’t be as effective. We put together a list of the most common terms and their meanings.

League of Legends Champion Types

In League of Legends, you can roughly categorize each champion into one of the tyes shown below. These are not hard coded, and some champion can fit many different roles depending on what runes and items you choose. In general, it’s a good idea to mix up your team with different champion types though, so you can’t easily be countered.

  • Assassin: Champions that usually have good mobility and excellent single target damage. They often have little health. Assassin champion also usually rely on boosting their lethality stat in LoL in order to take down squishy targets easily.
  • Fighter: Melee champions with a good mix of damage output and defensive capabilities.
  • Mage: Champions that primarily deal damage through their abilities instead of the auto-attacks.
  • Marksmen: Champions that primarily deal damage through their ranged auto-attacks. They are also often referred to as ADCs or AD Carry champions. The acronym stands for "Attack Damage Carry".
  • Tank: Champions that rely on large hit points, armor, and magic resist to survive. They often have excellent crowd control abilities to offset their low damage output. They are also called on to protect their carries by "peeling" away the enemy's damage dealers.

League of Legends Roles and Champion Positions

Throughout the game, minions spawn at each player’s base and walk along one of three lanes towards the other enemy base. Player’s will typically focus their attentions on one of the lanes throughout the early game, as enemy minions are excellent sources of gold as well as protection to hide behind to stay safe.

Usually, one player occupies the top lane, one player takes the middle lane, and two players operate in the bottom lane, while the fifth player roams to support lanes in need. This setup is very traditional and common to observe, though it is by no means required. More information on what champion types best fit each champion position in LoL are below.

  • Top Lane: The top lane is a very versatile position, allowing many different kinds of champions to complement the rest of their team.
  • Jungle: The jungle position is also a very versatile position. The best junglers have great mobility and engage potential. In order to excel at jungling, you really need to prepare and optimize your jungle path.
  • Mid Lane: Most mid lane champions excel at dealing damage and are carries for their team. Very often this means they are either mages or assassins.
  • Bottom Lane: In most situations, two players from each team face off in the bottom lane (a.k.a. bot lane). Usually one is a marksmen carry while the other is a support champion that tries to feed kills to the carry champion.
League of Legends Positions Defined on a Map of Summoners Rift

Damage Types

Champions and items can deal one of three different damage types: AD, AP, and true damage. Knowing each one’s differences and mitigation strategies is necessary to moving up the ranks in League of Legends.

  • AD (Attack Damage): Physical damage usually done by melee or ranged weapon hits. This can be mitigated by armor. Most champions have at least some armor, so don’t expect to deal all of your AD damage each strike. Assume it’s closer to 2/3 or 1/2 of what your stats show.
  • AP (Ability Power): Magical damage usually done by mage spells or passive abilities. Magic damage can be mitigated with magic resist. Champions usually have at least some magic resist, so as with AD, don’t expect to deal all of your spells damage with a hit. However, champions usually have less magic resist than armor, so you should expect to deal a bit larger of a fraction of your damage, in general. Check your enemy’s items to know precisely how much magic resist they have.
  • True Damage: True damage is damage that cannot be mitigated or stopped. 100% of true damage gets dealt to the target. True damage in LoL is much rarer than AD and AP damage due to how powerful it is. It is especially useful for taking down tanks who otherwise are very resistant to normal and magical damage.

Common Questions about League of Legends Terms

What does ADC mean in LOL?

In League, the slang terms “ADC” means "Attack Damage Carry." The ADC is a champion who scales very well, dealing massive physical damage at high levels once they have sufficient gold to buy a few items. Here, the most important part of the ADC meaning is the “carry.” These champions are meant to carry the rest of their team to victory. Players should take care to help feed the designated “ADC” to help them quickly earn enough gold to begin carrying the game for the rest of their team.

What does AFK stand for?

AFK stands for “away from keyboard.” In League this doesn’t necessarily mean that the player has physically walked away from their keyboard. In LoL, the definition of AFK extends to players who are also just not paying attention or whose characters are standing around doing nothing. If a player accuses you of being AFK, it’s best to refute it openly, so others don’t report you after the game is over. If you are AFK too often, you may be penalized harshly by Riot, including having your account suspended.

What does CC mean in League of Legends?

In LoL, CC means “crowd control.” It is a general term for a variety of abilities that hinder your opponent’s ability to move or engage your team.

Ahri Charmed Crowd Control Meaning in LoL

Some types of crowd control include:

  • Stun: One of the most severe forms of CC. Champions who are stunned are unable to move, attack, or use abilities.
  • Airborne: Probably the most severe form of CC. It is similar to stun in that players who are airborne are unable to move, attack, or use abilities; however, unlike stun, airborne cannot be removed by cleansing affects and is unaffected by crowd control reduction.
  • Blind: Units who are blind have reduced vision radius and will miss all of their regular auto-attacks. However, their spells and abilities will continue to work correctly.
  • Charmed: A charmed unit will attempt to move to the unit who caused them to be charmed. Ahri’s charm is the most obvious example of this ability.

This wasn’t an exhaustive list of crowd control abilities. We plan to create a CC guide in the future to dive deeply into the meaning of different types of crowd control and how to mitigate each, if possible.

In League of Legends, what is the meaning of CS?

CS is the abbreviation of “creep score.” The definition of CS is the number of minion or neutral monster kills a player has. Use this in conjunction with a player’s kills and assists to roughly judge how far ahead or behind they are relative to you. You can approximate 15 CS to be equal to 1 kill when comparing other player’s preparedness relative to yours since the gold from 15 CS is roughly equal to the gold from 1 kill.

Only the minions which were hit last by a player contribute to their CS and earn them gold. For more advice on how to secure CS, check out our new player guide on how to Get Better at League of Legends. It includes a section on last hitting minions to earn CS.

What is the meaning of OMW?

OMW stands for “on my way.” It indicates that the other player is on their way to you or to the objective they have previously mentioned. This usually means you should wait for them to arrive before doing anything drastic.

What does FF mean in LoL?

FF means ”ForFeit.” FF slang is used to ask everyone on the team to agree to surrender. When a player initiates a surrender vote by typing '/surrender' into the chat box, they are asking their team to vote to forfeit the game. Before 15 minutes, it is not possible to forfeit the game. Between 15 and 20 minutes, all players on the team must agree for a surrender vote to succeed. After 20 minutes, everyone except one player must approve the vote.

Additional LoL Terms and Their Meanings

  • ARAM (All Random, All Mid): This is a PvP gametype where players are randomly assigned a champion and must all fight via a single lane.
  • Baron (Baron Nashor): The baron is a neutral monster that resides in the baron pit at the top side of the map in the river. When killed, he gives a large buff to the team that slayed him; however, he can deal a large amount of damage and has a large amount of hit points. Engage with caution.
  • Counter: A counter is a champion that performs particularly well against that champion.
  • Drag (Dragon; Drake): The dragon is a neutral monster that resides in the dragon pit on the lower side of the map in the river. When an elemental dragon is killed, it grants a permanent bonus to the team that slayed it depending on what type of dragon was killed. When the elder dragon is slain, it temporarily increases the power of other dragon buffs the team has already received. There are four types of elemental dragons:
    • Cloud: Increases movement speed
    • Infernal: Increases damage
    • Mountain: Increases objective damage
    • Ocean: Increases regeneration
Dragon Spawning in League of Legends
Dragon Spawning in League of Legends
  • Farm: Champions that are farming try their best to avoid fights with enemy champions in favor of killing minions and monsters to increase their gold total.
  • First Pick: The first champion chosen during the picks and bans phase.
  • Gank: When a player comes from the jungle or another lane to attack an enemy in coordination with their ally in lane with overwhelming force. This must usually be a surprise to succeed.
  • Inhib (Inhibitor): A base structure that spawns minion waves. Each base has three inhibitors on Summoner’s Rift and two inhibitors on Twisted Treeline. It can be temporarily destroyed, but it will respawn after 5 minutes. Super minions will temporarily spawn in a lane for the team that destroyed the opponent’s inhibitor. At least one inhibitor must be temporarily destroyed for the Nexus to be destroyed.
  • KS (Kill Steal): Taking the credit and kill gold away from an ally that did most of the work to bring down the enemy. Unless you really need the gold to catch up or are your team’s carry, it’s usually considered unsportsmanlike to kill steal from your teammates.
  • Leash: To assist your team’s jungler in killing a neutral camp by both damaging the monster and distracting it from damaging your teammate.
  • LoL (League of Legends): The game you are playing.
  • MR (Magic Resist): Resistance to magical damage (a.k.a. ability power).
  • Newb: A player that is new to the game.
  • Power Spike: When a champion gains an item or ability that significantly increases their ability to kill their oponents, they are said to have gone through a power spike.
  • Wave Clear: The ability of a champion to kill large numbers of minions at once. If a champion has good wave clear it means that they can roam more often to support their team mates because they need to spend less time in lane killing minions to earn the same amount of gold.

Images Courtesy of Riot Games.