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Second Life residents and staff use a number of terms that may not be familiar to new arrivals. This page is an attempt to provide a comprehensive listing of such terms. Within definitions, terms that are in bold & italic type are also defined within this page.

Corrections and additions are gratefully accepted. Note that many of these terms, and some others, are also defined in more detail in this other Second Life wiki, which is unofficial and hence not referenced in any of the top-level Second Life web pages (including this technical wiki), and therefore is almost impossible to find. A very technical Glossary also exists right here within this wiki.


Technically, violations of the Terms of Service or Community Standards are abuse. It is best to familiarize yourself with the TOS and CS, but in general, you can probably recognize abusive actions or language. Refer to the Second Life Abuse Reporting Guide for more details (you will need to be logged in to view this page). You should familiarize yourself with these procedures, but in summary: collect details and documentation to give your complaint weight.


Short for "alternate," this term refers to the practice of owning more than one Second Life account, which allows a person to have more than one name and presence in Second Life (even at the same time, if they own more than one computer). Residents will sometimes refer to their "alts." There are plenty of legitimate reasons for having an alt, but they are sometimes used by griefers to evade identification and punishment.


A three-dimensional representation of a Resident within Second Life. Any individual Resident may "have" more than one avatar, but this is a matter of appearance - only one avatar is permitted per account. Some residents may, however, have alts.

Community Standards

The basic standard of behavior expected of Residents in Second Life. The goals of the Community Standards are simple: treat each other with respect and without harassment, adhere to local standards as indicated by simulator ratings, and refrain from any hate activity which slurs a real-world individual or real-world community, according to the preamble of the CS document, which is found here.


A Second Life resident who harasses other residents. Related terms include "griefing" (the act of such harassment) and "to grief" (as, "Joe's Bar was griefed the other day"). See the "Griefer" article on Wikipedia for more information on this topic. Note that griefing is a violation of the Second Life Terms of Service and should be reported as abuse.


Occurring in or relating directly to the Second Life world; as, "I'll meet you inworld at five."


  • A member of the Second Life company staff, whose avatars all have the surname "Linden."
  • A unit of Second Life currency, used for inworld transactions.


An entity with at least one active Second Life account. The term does not distinguish between Basic or Premium accounts, nor between landowners and non-landowners. See also Origin of the term "Resident".


Short for "simulation," this term refers to any given simulated environment within Second Life. It is not exactly equivalent to land, because it tends to incorporate the landscape, buildings, theme, and any applicable covenants of a particular section of Second Life.


The physical appearance of an avatar, not counting clothing. It is one of the four basic body parts. Skins can have different human body shapes and skin colors, but radically non-human appearances such as robots, tinies, or furries must be achieved through prim attachments or complex manipulations of the basic avater.

Terms of Service

The agreement you clicked on when you joined Second Life. It is a legal agreement and applies whether you are a paid resident or not. A copy of the actual document lives here - try to familiarize yourself with it.