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A Burner Lexicon

The effigy vanishes into the dust. Black Rock City, 2004. Photo by Kit O’Connell

A Burner Lexicon is a catalog of words and phrases that are unique to the Burning Man subculture. Like any close-knit group, Burners create slang, in-jokes, and jargon peculiar to their community; these words may be obtuse to newcomers and outsiders. This project is an attempt to mitigate their confusion, with a little sprinkling of a Devil’s Dictionary For the Playa on top.

In the entries below, bold words are words which are defined in that particular entry. Words in italic are the subject of other lexicon entries, current or future. Words which are not defined in the lexicon but can be found elsewhere will appear as a normal link.

A Burner Lexicon was last updated in June 2012.

A Burner Lexicon


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A Burner Lexicon and the other posts listed above are copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012 Kit O’Connell and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. You may use the lexicon freely for non-commercial purposes only as long as you give me credit. This license applies only to the above linked articles, and not to the images used, my other writing or the content of this website unless otherwise noted. The Lexicon can always be accessed at

The Lexicon is powered by the Lexicographer Plugin, written by Kilian Evang. Special thanks to Lauren Rothman for the original idea for this series.