Carolyn Hax chat glossary

Wading into the weekly Carolyn Hax chat can be a bit overwhelming for newcomers, with its insider lingo, abbreviations and references to years-old stories. But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this guide to some of the most-used and most-beloved terms you’ll come across in the chat. This list will be updated.

Bonus kid — A stepchild

CH — Carolyn Hax

DH — Dear husband

DIL — Daughter-in-law

FIL — Father-in-law

FOO — Family of origin

Fox — Sounds like a specific curse word

FWIW — For what it’s worth

Glassbowl — A person who is being a jerk. Think about what not-so-nice word glassbowl rhymes with.

Hamster Wheel of Despair — Also Dating Hamster Wheel of Despair or DHWD. From a 2007 column, describing a recurring cycle of unhappy behavior.

Head to keyboard — An action of sheer exasperation.

Hoot — Also Hootenanny. Annual chat events where we share our horror stories from the holidays or from wedding season.

LW — Letter writer

MIL — Mother-in-law

MOB — Mother of the bride

MOH — Maid of honor

Nibling — A gender-neutral term for the children of one’s siblings.

Nuts — Also nutterati. The dedicated readers who comment regularly on the column. Replaces the problematic “peanut gallery.”

Online only — A request that some chatters make when submitting questions to prevent them from appearing in print. We try to honor “online only” requests, but because of the volume of questions coming in, we don’t always see them.

OP — Original poster

SO — Significant other

TL;DR — Too long; didn’t read. Often used in front of a short summary of a long story.

YMMV — Your mileage may vary