Dr Tim Squirrell is a writer, broadcaster and researcher. He focusses on internet culture and extremism, specialising in the far right and misogynist extremists.

A definitive guide to Incels part two: the A-Z incel dictionary

A definitive guide to Incels part two: the A-Z incel dictionary

This post contains mention of rape and suicide.

Part One: Incelocalypse is available here.

Last year, I wrote a few articles for Quartz in which I analysed the vocabulary of the alt-right and groups that are broadly associated with it. r/Incels, which still existed at the time before being booted off reddit in November 2017, was by far the most prolific generator of new words. Before I spend the rest of this series analysing the characteristics and behaviours of the incel community, it's worth producing a guide to the words that they use (many of which are genuine neologisms) and how they use them, not only to promote understanding but also to illustrate how the worlds they've created reflect a particular view of the world.

With grateful thanks to r/IncelTears for their suggestions of refinements to definitions here.

An Incel Glossary, from A-Z


All Women Are Like That. Used to generalise about women in negative ways. Also
Enough Women Are Like That (EWALT).


A man who is not "alpha". They lack charisma and shy away from confrontation. The words come from biology, where they're used to describe wolves, among other animals. They've been misapplied to humans for a while, most prominently by Men's Rights Activists and Pick-up Artists. Some incels identify as "omega" males, implying they are below even the betas.


Term used to describe a man who manages to find a partner. Incels believe this only happens due to that partner hitting the "wall", which refers to an imagined time at which women suddenly start to lose SMV (sexual market value) and decide to settle for a man who can support them (usually financially). 

Usually,  betabuxxing involves financially supporting a woman whilst she finds sexual fulfilment with Chad elsewhere, cucking the beta man. As a result, incels tend to dislike men who betabuxx, and dismiss the idea of attracting a woman later in life because of the fear of being treated in this way.

Related: looksmaxxstatusmaxxwristmaxxnoun-maxx. Used to refer to maximising an attribute (usually physical).


The Red Pill's nihilistic cousin. The idea behind "redpilling" is that men recognise that the world is unfair and stacked against them in favour of women. From there, they can game the system by becoming an "alpha" male, going to the gym, treating women poorly, and so on. The blackpill rejects this, saying that there can be no personal solutions to systemic problems, and that the world was, is and always will be stacked against men who are "genetically inferior", and that women are inherently wired to prefer men with particular kinds of facial features, bone structure, and body type. It's a bit like a topsy-turvy version of debates between liberal and radical feminism, where one emphasises personal solutions and incremental progress, whilst the other says the whole damn system is wrong and only a complete overhaul could fix it. The problem with the blackpill is that it means that those who subscribe to it are either doomed to a life of misery or have to take violent steps to prevent that. This, I've argued elsewhere, is the reason that incels are starting to commit acts of terror. It's also partly why a lot of their discourse obsessively focusses on suicide.

A typical r/braincels post joking about suicide as a "culture"

A typical r/braincels post joking about suicide as a "culture"


Also known as St.BlackOps2Cel. A man whose photo the incels have taken as an icon of their community. His name and the origins of his image are unclear, but incels have deified him as emblematic of what an incel looks like. An extensive discussion can be found here (TW: suicidal imagery).

The original image of St. BlackOps2Cel

The original image of St. BlackOps2Cel


r/braincels, the main incel subreddit since r/incels was removed from reddit in November 2017 for violating site-wide rules. It is widely believed that this happened because of a post from an r/incels user in r/legaladvice in which he pretended to be asking a "general question about how rapists get caught". Braincels now tends to tow the reddit line of adhering to site-wide anti-harassment and incitement to violence rules, and its moderators usually delete any content that unquestionably breaks them quite quickly. Many of the users are also members of incels.me and similar sites, where more violent content is posted.

An incel pretends to be looking for advice on how rapists are caught, November 2017.

An incel pretends to be looking for advice on how rapists are caught, November 2017.


The anti-incelA chad is a man who is sexually successful, who is charismatic and handsome and clever. Incels have an odd relationship with chads, simultaneously loathing and worshipping them (see mogs). Their theory is that even women who eventually marry "betas" will still want chads, and will almost invariably cheat on ("cuck") their husband with Chad. The meme below illustrates the way that chads are seen as undeserving victors in the genetic lottery, with everything coming easily to them.

Common chad monikers include Chad and Chadlite, Chadrone (for a mixed-race Chad; see Tyrone), Chang (East Asian Chad), Chadpreet (Indian Chad), Chaddam (Arabic).

A popular Chad meme.

A popular Chad meme.

Cock carousel

Term used to describe what incels think that women do before they eventually settle down. "Riding the cock carousel" is a common phrase on incel forums. The idea is that women want to have sex with as many "high quality" men as possible, moving from one to another quickly and without thought.


The blackpill says that there can be no personal solutions to structural problems, and so no amount of working out, dieting, showering and self-improvement can improve the lot of the incel. Anything that they attempt to do is necessarily a "cope" - a temporary way of making themselves feel better about their situation. This mindset becomes self-perpetuating, as it leads to thinking that any path to self-improvement is ultimately doomed, and therefore there is no need to try.


A man whose wife/girlfriend is having sex with another man. There are racial overtones, with the word often referring specifically to women cheating with black men. There are also BDSM-like connotations, as the man supposedly gets off on the humiliation. I explore the origins and spread of the term in much more detail in this post.


Man who is involuntarily celibate because he is of Indian or similar descent. See ricecel for further discussion.

ER - Elliot Rodger

The man who shot and killed multiple people in Isla Vista, California, in 2014. He left a manifesto which blamed women for rejecting him for causing him to commit murder. A similar motive was given by Alek Minassian, who is accused of ten counts of murder for driving a van along a pavement in Toronto. Incels will often say that women could have prevented these murders if they had given the men what they wanted. Known as "Saint Elliot" and made a martyr on incel forums. 


Someone who is not a "real" incel. They might actually have had sex, invalidating their incel status. They might be a "volcel", meaning that they could have sex but are choosing not to. They might be pretending that they're an incel whilst actually having a wife or a girlfriend. They might be a woman, whom most incels claim cannot really be incel, because all women could have sex if they wanted it. Fakecels are often men who are trying to elicit a response from other incels - e.g. handsome men who claim to be incel.

Femoid ("foid")

Term used to describe women. Usually "female humanoid (organism)", sometimes "female android". Regardless, it's used to indicate that women aren't fully human, and are either sub-human or "other". Often used in conjunction with the pronoun "it" to further dehumanise women.

Some incels further corrupt this to "void", and there are proposals to shorten it to just "v", though this hasn't (as yet) caught on. 


e.g. suicide fuellife fuel. Posts that provoke particular emotions in users.


An incel who copes by going to the gym. Unlike MRAs and redpill users, for whom getting built is a way out of their beta status and a potential path to overcoming their predicament, an incel who goes to the gym is still an incel, and will always be an incel. Gymming is a cope which can make them happier but will never allow them to change the fundamental fact of their incel status.


An incel who is incel because they are short. As with many other attributes, incels talk about height as determinative of sexual success. There are numerous threads on incel forums which present evidence from various studies to demonstrate the positive effect on life outcomes that height has. Height, much like race or bone structure, is seen as immutable and therefore a fundamental obstacle to incels becoming non-incel. See for example this thread, in which a user references a Psychology Today article as proof that "There are millions of ugly tallfags who are able to freely get fresh pussy due to their height being 6'2+". Another user follows up that "if you're tall you're a volcel (voluntarily celibate). Hundred fucking percent", indicating that for heightcels, tall men are simply not incel because they could have sex.


A term borrowed from biology used to describe the phenomenon of females mating with males of higher status. MRAs and incels apply it to humans, arguing that women attempt to find men who are higher status than themselves. This gives birth to what they call the 80:20 rule: that the top 20% of men are being competed for by the top 80% of women, and the bottom 80% of men are competing for the bottom 20% of women. They back this up with evidence of various kinds, for example this "study on the sexual market of Tinder", where the author uses a small number of interviews conducted over Tinder to indicate the rate at which women swipe right on men.


Involuntarily celibate. Originally coined by a Canadian feminist, the term has come to be used almost exclusively by men (to the extent that one of the main rules on incel forums is that "no females" are allowed membership). The term describes someone who wants to have sex, but cannot, due to reasons beyond their control. There are fiery disputes over who is and is not a truecel (true incel), and who is a volcel or fakecel (that is, they could have sex if they wanted to, or are pretending to be incel). Incels are defined by the blackpill mentality, which says that no amount of effort put into self-improvement can alter their fate. See for example the recent post below which demonstrates what might be called "mandibular determinism", or the idea that bone structure is determinative of life outcome for men.

The suffix -cel can be added to any word (as evidenced by words like gymcel and wristcel). A prominent example is wagecel, which likely came from the combination of "incel" and "wageslaving". This plays into the common theme that many incels are NEETs, or "Not in Education, Employment or Training". Employment is not always viewed positively amongst the community.

A r/braincels post describing "mandibular determinism", or the idea that jaw bone shape determines life outcomes.

A r/braincels post describing "mandibular determinism", or the idea that jaw bone shape determines life outcomes.


The most prominent incels forum (currently). Set up in November 2017 after the expulsion of r/incels, it has around 6000 members and 800,000 posts as of the end of May 2018. Notably it hosts much more violent content than r/braincels, which remains active on reddit. If internal surveys are to believed, they have a significantly whiter population than r/braincels, which contains far more men of Asian descent.


r/IncelTears, a subreddit dedicated to calling out incels. They screenshot and post particularly egregious content from r/braincels, incels.me and other incel communities. They are partly responsible for a large number of incel communities being closed down.

It's Over

The blackpill in a single sentence. Often followed by "it never began". Describes the idea that if you are facially ugly/short/have small wrists/are not white, you have absolutely no chance of ever being happy and sexually satisfied.

JBW - Just Be White

A reflection of the belief that women will primarily choose white men. On face this wouldn't sound out of place in a structural critique of white supremacy, but sociology is Cultural Marxism, so you won't find any substantive analysis as to why women prefer white men. This, along with the terms currycel and ricecel which denote men who claim to be incels by dint of their race, is often accompanied with evidence from various studies. These are collectively known as the race pill. See, for example: The Race Pill Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6. There's a strong tendency to claim that women are "more racist" than men in the partners they choose, and to then blame this upon women desiring power and status, which white men are more likely to provide them.

jfl - just fucking lol 

E.g. "JFL at normies thinking incels could have sex if they took a shower". Used to indicate incredulity.


Kissless, touchless, hugless, handholdless, friendless, virgin. Each of these is a status marker in the incel community. As with many other statuses, it is simultaneously a mark of sadness and loneliness whilst also indicating purity and authenticity as an incel.


Lay Down and Rot. Used to indicate there is no hope and no point in life, so you should simply lie down and rot in your bedroom.


Someone who is your match in terms of appearance. Incels (and sometimes MRAs and redpillers) say that they can "objectively" rate someone's appearance, and that the optimal relationship is one in which partners are each other's looksmatch.


Used to describe the idea that women are attracted to men purely by dint of their physical appearance, with no regard for their character or personality. Jeremy Meeks, dubbed "America's most attractive felon", became famous after his mug shot went viral. He received significant attention from women whilst in prison, and is now a fashion model. 

Rarely used by itself, the term is more likely to be used in a sentence like "the Meeks shall inherit the earth", and Meeks is considered a walking example of the blackpill amongst the incel community.

Jeremy Meeks' mugshot

Jeremy Meeks' mugshot


A man who is celibate due to his mental status. This usually refers to a mental health condition or Autistic Spectrum Disorder, but may also refer to low intelligence.


Men Going Their Own Way. A group of men who identify as wanting nothing to do with women. They have a home at r/MGTOW. They spend a significant amount of their time complaining about women and arguing that they lie about sexual assault, which is entirely consistent with being men who care about men's issues and don't want women involved in their lives. 


Also mogmogged. To be dominated by another man's looks. E.g. "this chad mogs me with his muscular body". Often used semi-ironically, such as "his eyebrows mog me", or "Elliot Rodger mogs me".

According to a user on r/IncelTears, mog originates from "AMOG", or "Alpha Male of Group". it originated in Pick-Up Artist (PUA) communities. It can also be prefixed, e.g. "heightmogged", "lifemogged", and applied to aspects not to do with physical appearance.


Originally used in contrast with "aspie" (someone on the autistic spectrum), this term has now come to be used to refer to anyone who is broadly neurotypical, average-looking and of average intelligence. As with terms like chad, it simultaneously connotes mockery and envy - some incels long to be normies, whilst at the same time believing them to have an inferior worldview and belief system.


A woman whose labia have stretched as a result of having sex with multiple men. The idea is that the labia subsequently look like roast beef. Some incels use this term "ironically", whilst others appear to genuinely believe that labia change shape as a result of the partners that women have. They do not

Ricecel - Man who is involuntarily celibate because he is Chinese or of other Asian descent. As with some other incel terms, this manages to come remarkably close to a structural critique of racism and white supremacy, but the underlying reasoning that ricecels use is almost always grounded in the evolutionary psychology of women, rather than socially constructed structures of oppression. There are obviously significant issues facing Asian men - not least the 80 million more men than women who now live in India and China as a result of sex-selective abortion, infanticide and years of cultural and economic conditions that have facilitated them. As with some other incel grievances, there are kernels of fact in the idea of ricecels, but they are distorted to fit into a fundamentally misogynist worldview.


Whilst directly inciting suicide on r/Braincels is not allowed, suicide is a cultural trope amongst the incel community and members will often talk about wanting to "rope" themselves or similar.


Used to denote a woman who has sex with a lot of men (usually chads) and is stereotypically air-headed, unintelligent, beautiful and promiscuous. As with other terms used to describe women, Stacy homogenises and demeans them.




True incel. Reflecting debates around authenticity and the purity of the incel label, this is used to denote someone who is really incel. This might mean that they have never kissed/touched a woman, or that they genuinely could not have sex even if they tried. Contrast with volcel.


Used to denote a black man who is a Chad equivalent, though usually also with racist and classist overtones. Tyrone might cuck you, but Stacy will ultimately leave Tyrone for Chad because Chad is white, and incels believe that women will always prefer white men because of the power and status they hold.


Voluntarily celibate. A man who could have sex. Incels use this as a gatekeeping term to indicate men whom they think are "objectively" not incel. It's also used to describe MGTOW and similar men, who choose not to associate with women. There is an overtone of derision in the word, as incels tend to see sex as a privilege and a need, and not something to be thrown away if it is a possibility for a man.


A man who is incel because of the circumference of his wrists. Again, because this is a relatively immutable quality, much like other aspects of bone structure, it is seen as an unchangeable marker of genetic inferiority, and therefore something that will condemn incels to sexual celibacy forever.

Want more content?

I hope you find this glossary (or dictionary) helpful, both in understanding the words that incels use and gaining some insight into the worldview that underpins their community. As I've argued elsewhere, the words that they come up with and the meanings that they connote reflect an enormous amount about their beliefs, particularly with respect to the immutability of their condition and the fundamentally duplicitious and subhuman nature of women.

If you thought this was interesting, you might want to check out Part One of my deep dive into the incel community, in which I examine the pro-rape and pro-paedophilia site Incelocalypse. As they say on YouTube, don't forget to subscribe to receive new updates as they come out.

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The creator of pro-rape, pro-paedophilia Incelocalypse is an admitted paedophile and is running for Congress in Virginia

The creator of pro-rape, pro-paedophilia Incelocalypse is an admitted paedophile and is running for Congress in Virginia

A definitive guide to Incels part one: Incelocalypse