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 vape dictionary glossary what is

Here it is, the big ol' confusing world of vaping terms all in one place! we will update this list as new terms come to light in the vaping world to make your one-stop for vaping knowledge :) If you want to add to this list, or you believe that we have missed some key terms, we would love to hear from you here



16340/18350/18500/18650/20700/21700/26650 – all of these numbers are representative of the different sizes of batteries used in the vaping world. The numbers themselves describe the physical size of the battery in metric measurements. For example, 18650 is for a battery 18mm in diameter and 65mm long. In the same respect, a 20700 battery is 20mm wide and 70mm long.

510 – The most common and popular style of atomizer, its threading has become the industry standard with most atomizers, cartomizers, clearomizers, and tanks using it.

901 – Atomizers with a female thread, these cannot be used with PVs using 510 threading unless an adapter is used.


Advanced Personal Vaporizer (APV) – Also referred to as mods (or modified e-cigs), these units are larger, have replaceable batteries, and can either be mechanical, variable voltage, or variable wattage. This is a term used to describe the majority of modern vape mods

AFC – Air flow control. This refers to a small dial (sometimes a screw) found in atomizers and clearomizers/tanks to adjust the drag of an e-cig.

Airflow – The amount of air sucked into an atomizer or tank. Looser airflow results in more vapor, while tighter airflow results in less vapor but more intense flavor.

American Wire Gauge (AWG) –  Also shortened to ga in some cases. E.g. 22ga. This is the U.S. standard for wire sizes that determine a coil’s resistance when rebuilding—the thicker the wire, the less resistance.

Amps – Short for amperage, this is the flow of energy along a circuit. Batteries with higher amps can better handle atomizers with lower resistances without overheating.

Atomizer – Also called “Atty” for short, this is the part of an e-cig that houses the coil and wick that is heated to produce vapor from e-liquid.

Automatic Shutoff – A safety feature found in most regulated e-cigarettes, this prevents overheating of the battery. If the e-cig detects overheating, the unit will shut off automatically.



1.) The main part of an e-cigarette, the term usually refers to vape pens and cig-a-likes that don’t have replaceable batteries.

2.) For users of PVs and mods, this refers to Li-ion or Li-po batteries used to power their devices.

Battery Wrap – this refers to the thin plastic casing heat shrunk to the outside of a battery. It is imperative to ensure that there is not any damage to the wrap of the battery so that there is no potential for a hard short.

Boost – A special feature in a regulated box mod allowing to instantly increase the power.

Box Mod – A type of APV that’s shaped like a box, these come in either mechanical or variable configurations. Some box mods are capable of housing up to four 18650 batteries. Typically wider, some users prefer these over tube mods for their shorter (thus, more pocketable) length. Box mods are also more powerful than their tube counterparts, with power outputs ranging from 20 watts to 200 watts.

Bottom Vertical Coil Clearomiser (BVC) – The coil is in a vertical configuration, which makes for improved airflow.


Cartridge – A small mouthpiece filled with Poly-Fil to hold e-liquid, it’s attached to an atomizer and usually comes pre-filled.

Cartomizer – An atomizer and cartridge in one, cartomizers are longer than regular atomizers, hold more e-liquid and are disposable. These are also available as punched (for use in tanks), and with dual coils.

Cig-A-Like – A simple vaping device that fully resembles the look of a conventional cigarette.

Charger – A battery charger for e-cigarettes or for separate batteries that are used with box mods and mech mods.

Clouds – A term that describes vapor production, i.e., “My current vape setup is capable of producing massive clouds!”

Coil – The part of the atomizer used to heat or vaporize e-liquid.

Coil Jig – A thin metal tool for coil rebuilding.

Coil Winder – A stainless steel tool for manual coil wrapping.

Connection – A term used to describe the type of threading your e-cigarette uses for atomizers.

Cutoff – A safety feature in e-cigarettes, cutoff refers to the amount of time one can take a drag from an e-cig before it cuts off power to prevent overheating. Cutoff times in regulated e-cigs typically range from 10 to 15 seconds.


Deck – The part of the atomizer in which the positive and negative posts are found. This term is usually used to describe rebuildable atomizers, with larger decks being easier to rebuild on.

Diacetyl – Diacetyl is a flavoring used in some e-liquid production for its buttery flavor. Can cause Bronchiolitis obliterans (otherwise known as Popcorn Lung) if inhaled in large concentrations. Many e-liquid vendors have stopped using it.

DIY – Do-it-yourself. This usually refers to homemade e-juice.

Draw – A term to describe the act of inhaling vapor from the mouthpiece to your mouth.

Drip (Dripping) – To refill an atomizer via drops of e-liquid straight onto the coil of an atomizer. This is the common method used when using an RDA or dripper

Drip Tip – An accessory used to replace the stock mouthpieces of atomizers with a large hole to allow dripping without their removal. These can also be an accessory added to most tanks purely for looks or comfort. This alone can drastically change your vaping experience with most tanks.

Dry Burn – This refers to the firing of a coil, without any e-juice, until the coil glows red to burn off dried e-juice residue. Doing this with some cheaper made coils can cause damage to them. Most more expensive, better quality coils can handle doing this numerous times so that you can make coils last longer before having to replace them.

Dry Hit – A term that describes taking a drag off your e-cigarette that’s run out of e-juice.

Dual Coil – Atomizers, cartomizers or clearomizers with two coils instead of one. This gives off more vapor at the expense of reduced battery life.


E-Juice (E-Liquid) – The solution that’s vaporized to create vapor, e-juice comes in a variety of flavors. It is made from propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), flavoring, and nicotine (All juices sold in Australia cannot legally contain nicotine).

E-Cigarette – The name used to describe a device that gives smokers an alternative means to satisfy their nicotine cravings. At its most basic, it’s comprised of a battery and atomizer, with e-juice added, from which vapor is created.

Electronic Cigarette Starter Kit – A kit that usually consists of a battery unit and an atomizer so the user buys all the necessary devices to start vaping within one box.


Flavors – *see E-Juice

Flooding – This is what happens when an atomizer is overfilled. A flooded Atty is characterized by reduced vapor production accompanied by gurgling noises and possibly juice spitting into your mouth. Be aware that coils can also flood from a lack of use. As a tank sits for extended periods of time, the juice will slowly seep through the coil and begin to flood the tank.

Forums – Internet community boards from which most vapers glean information, news, and announcements.


Glassomizer – A clearomizer with the glass reservoir instead of plastic one.

Grub Screw – A type of clamps of the atomizer posts with a slightly pointed tip.


Heatsink – Fins or layers protruding from an atomizer, drip tip, or e-cigarette, heatsinks are designed to dissipate heat more quickly by increasing the amount of available surface area to cool.

High Resistance – An atomizer with a high ohm reading, this is used for high voltage vaping or MTL vaping.

Hot Spot – Coils with glowing spots that indicate uneven wrapping of the coil. This often results in dry hits. When you see a hotspot, it may also be caused by having two wraps of a coil touching each other.

Hybrid or Hybrid Connection – The type of connector on top of the mechanical mod with 510 threading and a hole in the middle. With the hybrid top cap, the positive pin of the 510 connection directly touches the battery in the mod. Not designed for use with sub-ohm tanks with a negative pin. Also referred to as hybrids or hybrid mods, these are e-cigarettes with a battery holder and atomizer designed as one unit for a sleek and seamless look.


IMR – Lithium Ion Manganese Rechargeable Battery. This is a certain chemistry type of Li-on batteries.

Inhale – The act of breathing vapor into your lungs or mouth. There are two kinds of inhale: Direct to lung and mouth to lung. If you would like to know more about this see our more in-depth blog post HERE


Juice – A shorthand term for e-liquid or e-juice.


Kanthal – most commonly refers to an iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloy wire used in high-wattage devices. This alloy has very slight temperature alterations, that’s why not intended or recommended for use in TC mode.

Kick –
A) A term used to describe throat hit.

  1. B) A term used to describe how fast/powerful a mod fires


Leaking – When e-juice leaks out of an atomizer/tank/cartomizer, etc. This can cause damage to e-cigarettes if the e-juice starts to leak into the battery.

Liquid – Another shorthand term for e-liquid or e-juice.

Li-Po – Lithium Polymer rechargeable battery.

Lithium-Ion Batteries (Li-Ion) – high-quality rechargeable batteries that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and capacities.


mA – 1/1000th of an amp. This notation often describes the output of chargers.

mAh – An abbreviation of milliampere-hour, this is the term used to describe a battery’s capacity to store energy. The higher the mAh, the longer its life before needing to be recharged. For example, if all other things are equal, a 3000mAh battery will last longer than a 2500mAh battery.

Mechanical Mod – Also referred to as mech mods, mech PVs, or mechs, these are e-cigarette models that don’t have any wires or regulating chips. Usually made of a metal tube with a manual switch that is pressed to complete the circuit, mech mods can also come in box shapes, or in converted battery cases, mint cases, etc. Please keep in mind that due to the nature of a mechanical mod having no circuits etc, they offer little to no protection and are for advanced users only.

Mesh/Mesh Coils – This term is used to describe a coil type used in both rebuildable and prebuilt tanks. The coil itself resembles a woven fabric of wire.

mg – Stands for milligram strength per milliliter. This is used to determine the nicotine strength of e-liquid. For example, “6mg” means 6mg of nicotine per ml, or 0.6%.

Mod – most likely the single most common term used in vaping to describe the bottom half/power source of a vaporizer. A mod can contain a built-in or removable battery and can be mechanical/hybrid mechanical/regulated. This is a very general term.

Mouthpiece – (see Drip Tip) The end from which users inhale the vapor. This can either be built-in or customizable using drip tips.


Nichrome Wire – A Nickel-Chrome wire used in some atomizer coils. May contain some iron. A common ratio is 80% nickel to 20% chromium. Nichrome is applicable in high-wattage devices, TC mode, and exotic coil builds.

NiMH – Nickel-Metal Hydride – a type of battery containing no cadmium, and no memory effect, which is why it’s capable of charging at any given time without affecting battery safety.

Noob – A term used to describe beginners, it is short for “newbie.” However, since e-cigarette use in its most basic form is not at all difficult to learn, most users are considered noobs for only a week or so.


Ohm – The unit of measurement used for electrical resistance. A lower ohm reading for coils means hotter and thicker vapor, while a higher ohm reading means cooler vapes.

Organic Cotton – One of the most popular wicking materials found in vaping. Organic cotton burns quicker than silica but offers a cleaner more intense flavor.


Parallel – When mods that can use two batteries are wired as parallel, this gives increased battery life, effectively doubling the mAh. The voltage and voltage drop remain the same.

Pass-through – When an e-cig model is described as having pass-through capabilities, this means the unit can be used while it is charging, connected to a cable. It can also refer to pass-through models in which no batteries are present, but are instead powered by plugging the USB cable into an adaptor, computer or power bank.

Personal Vaporizer – Also called PV for short, this is another name for e-cigs and vapes, particularly for mods and nontraditional cig-a-like units.

Pod – a refillable or pre-filled tank used in Pod systems (see below)

Pod System – A vape (typically a starter kit) that uses pre-manufactured pods allowing for a very small form factor overall. Pod systems are typically used as an mtl device and provide a draw similar to a cigarette. As with anything, there are exceptions to this rule (see joyetech penguin)

Propylene Glycol (PG) – One of two base substances used in e-liquid. PG is an over-the-counter substance used in many foodstuffs.

Protected Batteries – Batteries that have a built-in chip for safety by breaking the circuit once voltage becomes too high or too low. These are most commonly used in low powered electronics such as LED torches etc. These are not at all recommended for use in vaporizers.

Priming – Before using a new atomizer/coil, a few drops of liquid are added then made to sit for a few minutes to let the e-juice saturate the wick fully. The same holds true for newly filled tanks, cartomizers, and clearomizers. Doing this ensures that you will not have a dry spot on your cotton and potentially instantly burn the cotton in your coil.

Puff – A short drawing action on the mouthpiece or drip tip of a vape, pulling vapor into the user’s mouth.


Rebuildables/rebuildable – This can refer to either tanks or atomizers that let users rebuild their own coils and wicks. Used mostly by advanced users, rebuildables allow vapers to adjust resistance, change out different wicks, and experiment with various setups to achieve their preferred vapes. These have many different variations (see below)

RDA – The abbreviation for “Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer” Typically a smaller atomizer that has little to no juice capacity. Refilled by dripping when the cotton starts to dry out.

RDTA – The abbreviation for ”Rebuildable Drip tank Atomizer”

Resistance – Measured in ohms, resistance depends on many different variables; the thickness of the wire used in a coil, the number of coils, how the coils are wired (series/parallel), the circumference of the coils, and how thick the coils are wound.

Resistance Wire – a general term for the wire that is used for coils (heating elements) that evaporate e-juice. The level of resistance affects the amount of vapor and flavor. This has many different available materials that all respond differently.

Ribbon Kanthal, Ribbon Wire, Ribbon – a type of resistance wire used for building coils which has a flat cross-section, rather than round, providing more surface area to conduct heat to the e-liquid. Users of ribbon wire claim that it provides better vapor and flavor production than traditional, round resistance wire.

RBA – Short for “Rebuildable Atomizer”

RTA – Short for “Rebuildable Tank Atomizer”


Series – For mech mods with dual battery configurations that are wired in series, this effectively doubles the voltage output at the expense of battery life.

Silica – The most common material used for wicks, these have high melting points and can be torched or dry burned to remove dried residue from e-juice.

Squonk - A term used to describe the action of using a squonk bottle.

Squonk Mod - This is used to describe a specific kind of vape that houses a juice bottle inside the device along with the batteries. The Advantage of this is that you can use a dripper (see above) and still have a large juice capacity.

Stacking/Stacked – A practice of stacking batteries end-to-end in a mech mod for amplifying the power compared to what single battery can deliver. This “stack” of batteries effectively connects them in a series configuration.

Starter Kit – A common term used to describe a device package that is designed to work as a whole. Quite commonly a device that comes with a tank and spare coils. If the battery is built in then it is included, but for the most part, devices with removable batteries will not include these in the kit.

Steeping – A term used by DIY e-juice makers to describe letting a juice sit unused for a period of time to let certain flavors mature and become stronger.

Sub-ohm – used to describe a coil that has a resistance lower than 1.0ohm.

Sub-ohming – The practice of vaping with a device that is using coils that read below 1.0ohm. with modern vaping this constitutes to the majority of devices on the market as sub-ohm vaping has boomed in popularity.


Tank – Another term for clearomizer/atomizer/atty

Thermal Runaway – An occurrence of overheating of the lithium-based battery. Typically a result of overcharging, short-circuiting, physical damage, faulty wiring among other electronic malfunctions.

Throat Hit – The sensation after vapor hits the throat. Many vapers look to simulate the harsh throat hit of cigarettes, while some prefer a smoother throat hit.

Tube Mod – A term used to describe e-cigs or PVs that comes in a tube shape about the size of a small flashlight. This term is quite commonly used to describe mechanical mods.


Unprotected Battery – A type of battery without protection. Most are made of safe chemistry materials that don’t react violently, while others may leak if not used or charged correctly. The majority of batteries used in vaping are an unprotected battery. This is why it is recommended to always buy your batteries from a trusted vendor.

USB Charger – A charger that is plugged into a USB port from which it draws power. It can either refer to a cable that is plugged directly into an e-cig, or a separate unit that’s used to recharge batteries.

USB Passthrough – A function of a vaping device allowing to vape while it charges through the USB cord.


Vaper – A term used to describe anyone who uses e-cigarettes. (This could be you)

Vaper’s Tongue – A sensation felt when a user uses too much of one flavor, causing the tongue to become desensitized. A basic remedy to vapers tongue is to shock the tastebuds by doing something as simple as changing flavors for a while. A more extreme measure can be to chew a coffee bean, eat a lemon, chew some strong mint etc.

Vaping – The activity of using an electronic cigarette.

Vent holes – Small holes across the battery unit that is designed to prevent battery overheating and thermal runaway.

VAPE GOLD COAST - Arguably the best vape shop on the Gold Coast in Australia. Most likely also the best place to buy a vape in Australia, and also the best place to go for vaping advice ;) (We might have a slightly baised opinion)

Vape -
A) shorthand for Vaporizer

  1. B) Another word used to describe the physical vapor that is seen on exhale

Vapor (Vapour If you speak Australian) – The result of atomizing e-liquid, this is also referred to as “clouds.” This is the main factor in vaping that simulates smoke.

Vaporizer (Vapourizer if you speak Australian) – Another term for an e-cig. Often used to describe a vaping device for ground materials or oil concentrates.

Vapor Production – A term used to describe the amount of vapor a vape or e-liquid produces.

Vegetable Glycerine (VG) – One of two base ingredients used in the production of e-liquid. Vegetable Glycerine typically produces more vapor than Propylene Glycol (PG). Users who are allergic to PG often use 90% or 100% VG solutions.

Voltage – Refers to the electrical potential of a power source.

Voltage Drop – This refers to the drop in power typically experienced by mech users. Fresh batteries have an output of 4.2v, and as the voltage drops, so does the power and vapor production of the e-cig. Some unregulated mods can experience a basic voltage drop due to connections and wiring inside the device.

VV or Variable Voltage – Any type of e-cig or PV that allows users to adjust its voltage output according to taste, it is considered superior to regular PVs that have static voltage outputs.

VW or Variable Wattage – Variable Wattage devices allow users to adjust the wattage output of their PV. The PV adjusts power according to the set wattage and is the main difference between VW and VV.


Watt (wattage) – The amount of power consumed by the atomizer coil. The higher the wattage – the more vapor is produced (as a general rule). Higher wattages often lead to a diminishing of flavor and hot vapor.

Wick/Wicking – (see Cotton)The material wrapped around the heating coil that soaks e-liquid for further evaporating. Usually made of organic cotton.

Wire – This is the term that refers to the material used in an atomizer’s coil.

Wrap – This refers to the number of revolutions used in the wrapping of a coil. The more wraps a coil has, the higher the resistance.


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