Glossary, Including Translations Between Various Brands of English

From The Steampunk Wiki at Brass Goggles

(Observe how the letter sections are designated and add as needed. This will allow the table of contents above to work properly.)


  1. One engaged in navigating the air.
  1. Any lighter than air flying machine, such as a balloon or dirigible.
Aerodrome (British English), or Airdrome (American English)
  1. A landing field for flying machines, often with structures for storage and maintenance.
The fifth classical element, which the heavens were believed to be composed of.
In 19th century scientific theory, the medium in which electromagnetic waves such as light travel. Somewhat discredited in 1887 by the Michelson-Morley experiment, and eventually disproven by Einstein's theories.
In steampunk, variously,
  1. a completely fictional, magical substance that can be harnessed to do almost anything;
  2. an energy field that surrounds and infiltrates all atmospheres of the planets and especially the spaces between them and can be harnessed in many ways; the same as or similar to to the magnetic fields that surround each of the planets, and the solar wind as well.
  3. In some subgenres of steampunk, an energy source analogous to atomic or nuclear energy.
  4. simply space and all energy within it; literally, "the Aether."
A mysterious and clandestinely operated series of information linkages for communication across the infinite æther. Various mechanisms have been built to harness the power of this vast and chaotic network, and it is probable that you find yourself at the business end of one right now. We are barely beyond the frontier days of the exploration of this realm. Pirates and rebels still struggle with barons and those who would regulate this relatively free territory. There does, however, seem to be a certain propensity towards informational freedom built into the very machines by which we view this structure...the politics of that, however, are for another time.
Aetherphone/Aether Radio/Aether Telegraph/Aether Transceiver/Etc.
Various names for electronic wireless communication devices
In most cases, a propeller of the usual two- or multi-bladed variety, but can also take an Archimedean-style form. Both in this context would be for use in propelling an aircraft through the air.

A self-propelled flying machine that in some (but not all) cases uses lighter-than-air gases (in some cases) to generate lift. Also sometimes called a "dirigible balloon" (that term being often shortened to simply "dirigible"). Other types include craft kept aloft by airscrews, various types of jets or rockets, and sometimes mechanical or other types of anti-gravitational systems.

A person who re-enacts several time periods and is inclined to introduce articles from these activities into the steampunk world.

A person who works creatively in the fields of steampunk music and sound effects.



A person who travels in time. This may simply be demonstrated by the wearing of anachronistic dress in a particular time reference.

A person who applies cogs or a cog design to make simple cosmetic changes to an object without fundamentally altering it or adding function. See also primocoggler

  1. A child of Steampunk parents. (cf. Goth "Baby bat")
  2. A term of endearment. "That's my little cogling!"
    syn. Coglet

A participant in online discussions.

Someone who is diplomatic and civil with whom it is possible to have a pleasant conversation.

A person who creates functional or practical steampunk devices. A person who extensively modifies a device to meet the steampunk aesthetic yet maintains its functionality.





An item of protective eyeware that is both fashionable and protective of the eyes of the wearer. Some goggles are plain, round-eyecup-and-glass-insert utilitarian devices, while others are shaped in other forms, from plain and, again, uitilitarian, to elaborate and fashionably ornate, often to to widely-variable degrees.

  1. A person who embraces the trappings of Steampunk while simultaneously failing utterly to grasp the fundamentals of Steampunk culture; readily identifiable by an obsession with æsthetic "correctness" and a habit of disparaging those who do not share that precise interpretation.
  2. A cultural neophile who becomes enamoured of the Steampunk æsthetic but who expects to be able to purchase that æsthetic in a ready-made, "one-size-fits-all" format; often presumes to be the Definitive and Unquestionable Expert on All Things Steampunk on the strength of two Wired articles and a certain Will Smith movie.







Mooring Mast
A mast or tower to which an airship may be moored.




  1. A type of revolver firearm, in which four or more whole barrels, complete with, a) pan and frizzen (flintlock type), b) cap nipples (cap-and-ball type, by far the most common), or c) firing pins and a mechanism for both loading ready cartridges and ejection of spent cartridges (cartridge type, very rare) are arranged around a central pivot. the weapon's appearnce often resembles a diminutive gatling gun. The cluster of barrels is often turned one-by-one by hand, but 'automatic' - rotation types (i.e., turned by mechanical means; actuated by cocking the hammer or in some cases pulling the trigger) are also common. (Often considered a "transition" type of weapon between single-shot flintlocks and 'modern,' Colt-like pistols.)
  2. A device used for grinding peppercorns into powdered pepper for cooking and seasoning purposes. The device takes many forms.
The colourless, odourless, massless substance which exists within all inflammable materials. When the material is burned, this substance is released into the air, appearing briefly as flame before being absorbed by the air; the concentration of phlogistion in other materials determines the intensity with which they will burn. A more-detailed description can be found in this Forum post.




  1. A person who is new to the Steampunk scene and is unfamiliar with the Steampunk culture.
  2. A child of a Steampunk. Syn. cogling.
St. Elmo
A Military-style airship from the Steam London: Realms of Aether RP. See RTAF St. Elmo


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