Graffiti Terms

The necessary graffiti lingo, jargon or slang words you need to know, excluding everything that will make you sound straight out of a 1980s break dancing video.

 

All City When a writer is known and their work is visible throughout the entire city.

 

Action A European term for a graffiti mission.

 

Back Jump When a train is stationery for a few minutes at some point during its daily service and possible to paint.

 

Bomb/Bombing The act of painting illegal graffiti in the streets.

 

Biting To directly copy another writer’s style and letters.

 

Blackbook A graffiti writer’s sketchbook.

 

Buff To clean or remove graffiti.

 

Burner A really good graffiti piece.

 

Cap The nozzle on spray-paint, different caps give different thickness of line, there’s lots of different caps out there, the two main categories are fats and skinnys. (Cap can also mean the same as going-over)

 

Clean Train An American term for passenger trains.

 

Crew A group of friends or a collective of writers that paint together. Normally named with a two or three letter acronym.

 

End-To-End A train carriage with graffiti going from one side of it to the other.

 

Fill The interior base colors of a piece of graffiti .

 

Flicks Photos of your handiwork.

 

Going-Over (also referred to as taking-out) Painting over another writer’s work.

 

Handstyle The distinctive and unique style of an individual writer’s tag.

 

King Someone who is recognized as being a master of graffiti through consistent years of painting high-quality pieces, panels, straight letters, throw-ups and tags. Kings don’t crown themselves.

 

Lay-up A railway siding where trains are parked.

 

Lean-Over A roller piece or tag painted by leaning off a roof.

 

Mop A homemade pen with a large round nib, usually made from a shoe polish dispenser filled with ink or paint. Will often explode all over your hands at the exact point you don’t want it to.

 

Outline The line that forms the shape of your letter, painted on top of the fill.

 

Panel A piece on the side of a train.

 

Piece Short for masterpiece, a painting with multiple colors and fill patterns, background, shadow or 3D.

 

Roller A large, simple piece of graffiti that uses emulsion paint and a paint roller.

 

Runner A train the goes into service with graffiti on, that isn’t taken straight to be cleaned.

 

Scribe/Scratchy A tool like a drill bit, stone or key that’s used to scratch a word into a surface.

 

Stock Cap The standard cap that comes with the can of paint.

 

Straight Letter A simple, legible piece of graffiti that anyone can read. Usually a single color fill.

 

Tag The simplest way a writer can get up, a single color, one stroke version of their name. Can be painted, marked or scratched on a surface.

 

Throw-up One up from a tag, an outline which is very fast to paint with a single color fill-in.

 

Top-To-Bottom A panel that goes from the bottom of a train carriage to the top.

 

Toy A beginner graffiti writer or someone who is bad at doing graffiti, generally used as an insult, here’s some tips to avoid being labelled a toy

 

Trackside A piece painted on the railway tracks.

 

Up When a writer is up it means there is a lot of their graffiti in their city and they are well-known.

 

Whole Car A piece of graffiti that covers an entire train carriage.

 

Whole Train A train where every carriage is a whole car.

 

Wildstyle A complex style of graffiti with lots of letter connections, extensions and arrows. Learn how to draw graffiti wildstyle  here.

 

Window-Down A panel painted below the windows.

 

Writer Someone who paints, or writes graffiti.

 

Yard A train, subway or metro depot.

 

I hope that helps.

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