Home Videos Games Podcastle

Pet names for components


So, after playing Star Cartel today and referring a lot to Space Chocolate:


It got me wondering about whether anyone else has their own names for certain components in games, based on what they look like, etc.

So, what are the best ones you’ve got for me?


The energy cubes in Robo Rally are always “jellies”.


Soylent Greens for King of Tokyos energy cubes


My entire group calls meeples “meat balls” because that’s one someone heard when I was going over the rules to Carcassonne


We literally give a pet name to the dog in Betrayal, he is called Scraps, he is a good boy.


The black stuff in splendor I call “Carob”.

In all the FF arkham horror type stuff, it’s too hard to remember what the different symbols for skills all mean, so we just call them “Bookology”, “handology”, “headology”, “footology” etc.

“You try to learn the spell, test bookology, you need two successes!”


Similarly, we can never remember what the attributes in Descent are actually called and the symbol for “willpower” looks a lot like a particular orifice… Needless to say there’s a lot of “ah, the overlord has played overwhelm. Heroes, time to test your buttholes!”


Nuke War Population Cards

In the classic game Nuclear War, you have these paper cards that represent population. We always called the 25M one’s “dogs” since they include a little dog in the bottom right corner. We also chuckled every time we needed to “make change” with population once an opponent hit you and killed off some people. Was pretty funny in 1992, but I can’t help but feel kind of nauseous thinking about it today.

To show how little we’ve grown up since our teen years, we still routinely call any sort of large pawn some version of a butt plug (looking at you El Grande 1st player marker!)


Didn’t have any special names for the population cards, but I also always got a chuckle out of needing to “make change” in regards to these cards. Especially when the propaganda cards meant a bunch of your people emigrated to another country. I always had this vision of millions of people leaving your country, but then a couple million leaving the other country for yours in return!


My friends and I have always referred to the Supremacy square plastic army markers as “Chiclets” due to their resemblance to candy-coated gum. See below.


These are reminding me of more. Not really a component but a mechanic, we call mental damage (in any applicable game) being punched in the brain.

And Zoey Ingstrom from betrayal has a very airy southern bell voice and refers to herself in third person as “little Zoey Ingstrom”.

My group is weird.


While teaching someone Concordia recently, they looked at the Mercator card and asked “How do you pronounce sesterti?”

I replied, “‘Dollars’.”, which made them laugh. It’s not really a pet name, but any currency in any game tends to devolve into “dollars” for me, because it’s both relatable and silly. (Offhand I can’t think of a single game in my collection where that’s the correct term…I have at least one game where the currency is in million-dollar units, but nothing short of e.g. Monopoly where it’s just plain dollars.)


We tend to use the generic “money”, eg “I go here and take a card and three money”. Sometimes pluralised to moneys.

The exception being Millions of Dollars, where you have to refer to everything in denominations of “millions of dollars”.


Middle dude here:

is always “Henry VIII”. Even if it makes no sense and there’s really no theme anyway.


I had not actually called him Henry VIII, but my subconscious had certainly tagged him as such.


I have a couple that spring to mind:

  • the “Dice of Doom” in Flash Point;
  • any game which has items that change or modify or manipulate other cards or the game state somehow: these items are known as “jiggery-pokery cards/tokens”.


I think he is! Someone made a list of all the historical figures in Splendor.



Oh my goodness does that take me back: “Can I get change for twenty-five million people?”


Yes, everything is “dollars” because I can’t be bothered to remember what everything is supposed to be.


we always called the black gems from Splendor chocolate.