Common words and phrases associated with Burning
Man, and what they mean.
BLACK ROCK CITY - The name of the town
created for/by Burning Man - The name we call ourselves while we are a
BLACK ROCK DESERT - a large dry lake
bed. One of the largest flat areas in North America
BLM - Bureau of Land Management - the
governmental organization that gives BMORG the permit to operate Burning Man on
BMORG - Short for Burning Man
BRC - Black Rock City
BURN PLATFORM - A large
platform/container provided by BRC to burn things in. This metal platform does
not touch the ground.
BURN SCAR - A scar left on the desert
from burning things directly on the ground. This is not allowed (see Burn
CAMEL BACK - A backpack that holds
water. Nearly everyone has one. If you don't have one, GET ONE
CAMP ARCTIC - The place to buy ice.
Located near Center Camp.
CENTER CAMP - A large tent located at
6:00 (due south of The Man). The Cafe is located here. A large social gathering
and show place.
DECOMPRESSION - The act of
re-adjusting to the default world after leaving Burning Man.
DEFAULT WORLD - The world outside of
DOOCRACY - The Burning Man community
is often called a "Doocracy", meaning that if you see something that needs
doing, DO IT. Don't look around for someone else to take responsibility for it.
That's strictly for the default world.
DPW - Department of Public Works - A
group of volunteers who build, maintain, and remove Black Rock City.
E-Playa - A public bulletin/discussion
board for all thing Burning Man. Can be accessed via the Burning Man website
EL-WIRE - Electroluminescent wire.
Looks like a piece of wire, but glows in colors like a neon tube. Flexible and
cool to the touch, lengths of this can run off a couple of batteries and is
great for decoration.
EVAPORATION POND - a means of getting
rid of shower water
GERLACH (pop. 600) - a tiny village
107 miles north of Reno at the juncture of the Smoke Creek and Black Rock
Deserts, with the Granite Mountain Range as a backdrop. This area is still home
for descendents of the Basque and other ranching pioneers, miners, and later,
railroad men. It's the last bit of civilization until you reach Black Rock
GREEN WATER - Water that is "used" but
not dirty. E.g. Ice melts in a cooler. You may not want to drink it, but it is
not completely used. It could be used for a shower
GREY WATER - Water that is dirty. So
dirty it cannot be left on the PLAYA because it will stain.
HCW - Human Carcass Wash
LAMP LIGHTER - A person who is part of
the group that carries the oil lamps to the street lights that light the city
streets at night.
LEO - Law Enforcement Officer - A
county, state, or federal law enforcement officer.
LNT - Leave No Trace - The rule for
living at Burning Man. You must leave no trace when you leave.
MOOP - Matter Out Of Place: Anything
that was not on or in the Playa before people showed up there. Syn: Trash,
PISS CLEAR - Newspaper printed at
Black Rock City - also and admonition about maintaining proper hydration.
PLAYA - An alternate name for the
Black Rock Desert.
PLAYA DUST - The fine dust that will
get into and onto everything at Burning Man. There is no escaping it.
PLAYA FOOT - A condition brought on by
walking barefoot or in sandals and exposing your feet to the harsh alkaline
dust. The skin drys out and cracks painfully.
PLAYA TIME - The term used to indicate
that time is very flexible once you are at Black Rock City - E.g. "The Man
burns at 9:00 playa time" which translates to "... somewhere around 9:00 or
whenever we get to it."
PLAYAINFO - The "information booth" at
Black Rock City. Located near Center Camp.
POOP - Stuff your body excretes.
PORTO - Porto-Potties
RANGER - A person (volunteer) who acts
as the "civil" authority at Black Rock City. These are volunteers who's primary
jobs are crowd control, interaction with LEO's when necessary, and to defuse
situations that may need defusing.
REBAR - The steel used to re-enforce
concrete structures; serves many uses at Burning Man, primarily as tent stakes.
THE BURN - The commonly used term to
refer to the burning of the man. E.g. "See you after the burn."
WHITE OUT - A dust storm. Some severe
enough to reduce visibility to a few feet.