Dr. Mackenzie's Glossary of Terms
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This is a quick and informal catalog of the terminology and words that have popped up over the years on the SCP Wiki and greater SCP Community. The definitions presented here are generally accepted, but may not necessarily represent the opinion of all site members. Some entries may in fact be entirely subjective; please interpret them as informed opinion rather than solid fact.

General Terminology

  • canon — Information, objects, conventions, or events that are generally accepted by a large majority of site members. Note that SCP articles themselves are generally not considered canon, leading to the phrase "there is no canon" when referring to writing SCP articles; authors are generally allowed to ignore or contradict anything within specific articles. Constructs such as the S/E/K Object Class, Mobile Task Forces, and the O5 Council, however, are universal aspects of the Foundation that should not be contradicted. Alternatively, "canons" are also the term used for the alternative story canons as outlined in the Canon Hub.
  • Foundation — The Foundation is a secret organization that deals with the containment of anomalous or supernatural objects, entities, and phenomena. Note that in-universe, it should always be referred to simply as "the Foundation"; "SCP Foundation" is an out-of-universe term.
  • "scip" — A pronounceable mutation of "SCP". Used both in- and out-of-universe to refer to SCP objects or entities. See SCP.
  • SCP — An acronym (or more accurate, an initialism) for "Special Containment Procedures", and used informally out-of-universe as a short-form of "SCP object or entity", as in, "I wrote three SCPs yesterday". SCP objects or entities should never be referred to as "an SCP" or "the SCP" in-universe. Note that "SCP" is not an initialism for "Secure, Contain, Protect"; the motto of the Foundation is a backronym.
  • "skip" — Another pronounceable mutation of "SCP". Used both in- and out-of-universe to refer to SCP objects or entities. See SCP. May also refer to SCP-1802, also known as "Skip".
  • SPC — The Shark Punching Center. A backronym created to back-handedly mock people who often misspell "SCP". (e.g. "I like the idea, but what does the Shark Punching Center have to do with it?")

Site Terminology

  • Administrators — Administrators are site members who have final authority in site issues and help create and maintain site policy. Administrators are the highest ranked staff members.
  • article — SCP articles are the bread-and-butter of the Foundation narrative, and are entries describing anomalous objects or entities that are contained by the Foundation. See Series I and Series II.
  • Blocks — Often used colloquially to refer to Series, a block refers to the ten sets of 100 articles in each series, such as the "000s Block", "100s Block" or "1300s Block".
  • cold-post — A cold-post is a page that was submitted directly to the site without any kind of review. Usually but not always used in a derogatory manner, cold-posting is generally frowned upon when done by newer members, as it is generally suggested that aspiring authors get feedback and critique on their drafts before posting.
  • creepypasta — Creepypasta is a term for short stories or snippets that take the form of urban myths and scary stories that are often copied from place to place without attribution or provenance. In site terms, creepypasta are a sub-class of tales that are original work by site members and generally do not rely on the Foundation's narrative framework.
  • draft — A catch-all term for any work in progress. Drafts are not allowed on the main site, nor in the forums; please see the SCP Sandbox Wiki for instructions on how to create a sandbox page for yourself.
  • format-screw — A term for SCP articles that intentionally violate some aspect of the standard SCP format or framework, generally because the SCP itself affects the documentation. See the infohazard and meta sections of the Tag FAQ for more information.
  • hook — A term with dual meanings for Foundation writing; ostensibly, a hook is the aspect of your article or tale that catches your reader's attention and makes them want to keep reading until the end. A hook has to inspire some sort of curiosity or emotion in your reader; it doesn't necessarily have to be at the very beginning of your article, but it does have to be early enough to make a difference. A hook in the context of the Foundation is also the aspect of the article or tale that keeps a reader interested after they're done reading; this can take the form of an interesting revelation or twist ending, and tends to be closer to the end of the writing.
  • Item # — The numeric identifier (between 001 and 1999, inclusive, at the time of this writing for main-series articles, no such restrictions for Jokes or Explained) for an SCP object or entity. Note that the formal name of a SCP is always "SCP-####"; it should never be referred to in a formal SCP article by its number alone. (i.e. "We moved SCP-173 to Site-19." is valid, "We moved 173 to Site-19." is not.)
  • Joke — Joke articles are SCPs written in a silly or over-the-top manner, primarily intended for humor. Note that this doesn't mean that non-Joke articles can't have humor in them; they just have to be more subtle or rely on situational humor rather than the over-the-top humor typical of Joke articles.
  • member pages — Also known as "personnel files", these pages are written by site authors once they have written three or more successful SCP articles (or a comparable volume of successful tales) as a place to list their body of work. Some members choose to create an author avatar in this space, but some choose to forego any semblance of roleplaying and have a simple list of their work. Member page contents should never be considered canon.
  • Moderators — Moderators are site members with the ability to edit all pages (including locked pages) and delete offending forum posts or pages that have been voted off. Moderators have more authority than Senior Staff but are ranked below Administrators.
  • Senior Staff — Senior Staff are site members who are respected for their body of work and other contributions to the site. They are generally considered site experts and while they are highly respected and trusted, they do not have any administrative capabilities. "Senior staff" is often times also colloquially used to refer to all staff members, including moderators and administrators.
  • Series I — Also known as Series 1 or the First Series, Series I is the hub containing SCPs 001 through 999.
  • Series II — Also known as Series 2 or the Second Series, Series II is the hub containing SCPs 1000 through 1999.
  • supplementSupplements are satellite pages to a main SCP article that contain interviews, reports, or logs that are important to the narrative as a whole but do not fit into the main page, either due to length or other considerations.
  • taleFoundation Tales are stories, narratives, and even in-universe reports written within the context of the Foundation but do not fit into the standard template of a SCP article.


  • O5 — The capital letter "o", not the number zero. The O5 Council, which is either the "Council of Observers, Level 5" or "Overseer Level 5 Council" (depending on who you ask) is the highest authority in the Foundation, a council of 12 or 13 individuals who have the power to authorize or veto any action taken by the Foundation as a whole. O5 Council members are only known by their numbers (O5-1 through O5-13) and typically are not allowed to contact SCP objects or entities directly for fear of contamination.
  • Addendum — (Plural: addenda.) An additional section of a SCP article that either expands on specific aspects of the primary Description, shows a progression of information over time, or otherwise provides additional insight that does not fit into the Description block. All test logs, interviews, and exploratory information are generally written as addenda.
  • agent — An undercover field agent of the Foundation, typically capitalized when used as a title (e.g. Field Agent Smith). Note that not all field personnel employed by the Foundation are necessarily "agents" in this sense, nor do all such personnel have the title "Agent". See also: containment team, response team, Mobile Task Force, and researcher.
  • amnestic — Also referred to as an "amnesiac" in older articles, these are drugs, procedures, or devices that induce memory loss when administered to an individual. These are often used to wipe the memories of civilian witnesses to maintain deniability of Foundation operations.
    • Clarification: "amnestic" is the scientific, dictionary term for something that induces memory loss. The dictionary definition of "amnesiac" is a person with amnesia. While many site members will passionately argue their right to use that term in their writing, only one is scientifically correct.
  • cognitohazard — A term used to refer to objects that are dangerous to sense or perceive, whether through sight, sound, smell, taste, or feeling (not necessarily simply by touch).
  • containment team — A team of field personnel who specialize in recovering or retrieving anomalous objects or entities. Containment team members may or may not be field agents as well, but usually have a different title, such as "Containment Specialist". See also agent, response team.
  • [DATA EXPUNGED] — One of the two types of censorship used on the site, something that is "expunged" has been permanently deleted from all records because the information poses a hazard in and of itself, such as if it's a memetic hazard. Should always be in all-caps with square brackets. See also [REDACTED].
  • Decommissioned — A sub-class of object that has been intentionally destroyed. Out-of-universe, a type of object that was so egregiously bad that it has been destroyed by staff members and kept around as a sort of "hall of shame". See also Neutralized and the Object Classes guide for more information.
  • Description — The section of a SCP article that explains how to unambiguously identify the object or entity in question and explains in a clear and concise way what it does and why it is contained. The basic description can be enhanced by one or more addenda, but you should be able to understand its basic function through the Description alone.
  • doctor — A term used to refer to a person who is either a holder of a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree or a professional medical doctor, often incorrectly used. While both of the above are entitled to use the title "Dr." in their name (e.g. "Dr. Mackenzie"), only the latter should be referred to as "a doctor"; the former is "a biologist", "a chemist", "a physicist", or more broadly "a researcher".
  • Euclid — A primary Object Class that describes an item or entity that is either unpredictable or otherwise insufficiently well-understood as to be reliably contained. Many consider this the "default" classification for new objects until such time that they are better understood or determined to be more dangerous than previously thought. Many consider any sentient and/or sapient entity to be automatically Euclid rather than Safe due to the fact that any entity with a mind of its own can always choose to stop cooperating with us. Named after a famous mathematician. See Object Classes for more information.
  • Explained — A sub-class of object that has either been debunked as a hoax, sufficiently understood so as to be normal scientific knowledge, or so widely disseminated that containment is no longer possible.
  • infohazard — A term used to refer to objects that are dangerous to know about. Differs from cognitohazards in that cognitohazards require direct contact whereas infohazards may spread simply through people telling each other about them.
  • Keter — A primary Object Class that describes an item or entity that either cannot be reliably contained or otherwise poses an inimical threat to humanity. Keter-class objects and entities are highly dangerous and have extremely complex containment procedures. Named after the topmost of the Sephirot in the Jewish Kabbalah. See Object Classes for more information.
  • memetic — A concept that is sufficiently complex as to require its own essay (Understanding Memetics), memetics are a sub-class of cognitohazards that deal with transfer of information. In particular, anomalous memetic agents are bits of hazardous information that are like a mental virus, triggering anomalous reactions in people who are exposed to them. It should not be used colloquially for "mind-affecting", even though most memetic agents are indeed mind-affecting.
  • Mobile Task Force — A Mobile Task Force (or MTF for short) is a highly-trained and specialized team that is deployed to various locations as needed to deal with specialized threats or conditions. Mobile Task Forces are designated by a Greek letter and a number (e.g. "MTF Alpha-7", "MTF Omega-15") and may have a nickname attached, similar to many real-life military units. MTFs are the elite personnel of the Foundation, and run the gamut from highly experienced field researchers to combat-hardened troops.
  • Neutralized — A sub-class of object that has been destroyed or otherwise rendered non-anomalous. See Object Classes for more information.
  • Object Class — Also known as the Safe/Euclid/Keter (S/E/K) category, a system of categorization based roughly on the difficulty of containment for an item. See box test below or the Object Classes guide for more information.
  • [REDACTED] — One of the two types of censorship used on the site, something that is "redacted" is withheld from the article because the reader is not cleared to see the information, typically because it's of a higher clearance level. Should always be in all-caps with square brackets. See also [DATA EXPUNGED].
  • researcher — A broad term for anyone involved in research and development at the Foundation. Researchers can be involved in anything from figuring out how an anomalous object or entity functions to developing better materials and containment procedures. Field researchers may also accompany containment teams to better assess the nature of an uncontained anomaly in real-time.
  • response team — A heavily armed team trained to deal with security or containment breaches, typically at a secure Foundation site. Response team members are also sent into the field to escort containment teams when dealing with highly hostile or dangerous objects or entities, or when enemy Groups of Interest are involved.
  • Safe — A primary Object Class that describes an item that is sufficiently well-understood that it can be reliably contained with little to no risk. As famously stated, a Safe object can still very much be dangerous; a thermonuclear warhead in real life would be considered Safe as it cannot detonate unless multiple safety interlocks are removed. See Object Classes for more information.
  • Thaumiel — An esoteric Object Class that describes an item that either counteracts or neutralizes the effect of other, particularly Keter-class, objects, or is somehow critical to the mission of the Foundation. See Object Classes for more information.
  • XK-Class End of the World Event - The most well-known *K-Class Event, an XK-Class Event typically denotes a catastrophic event resulting in the destruction of human society if not the entire human species. Originally conceived as a biblical or religious apocalypse, it has expanded to its current rough designation. All specific details regarding *K-Class Events are generally considered headcanon; there is no firm definition of any particular event type.


  • box test — An informal thought exercise often used to determine what S/E/K classification an object or entity ought to be. It is explained as such:
    • If it is locked into a box indefinitely and nothing bad will happen, it is probably Safe-class.
    • If it is locked into a box and we have no idea what might happen, it is probably Euclid-class.
    • If it is locked into a box and eventually all hell will break loose, it is probably Keter-class.
    • As of the inclusion of Thaumiel in the Object Classes guide: If it is the box, then it is probably Thaumiel class.
  • containment porn — A derogatory term for SCP articles that have overblown or unnecessary containment procedures. See Dr. Mackenzie's Containment Protocols for more information. See also lock porn.
  • generic monster — A derogatory term for an SCP entity that fails to hook any readers, usually by being an uninteresting creature that is dangerous for no reason and has no context, story, or interesting background information. Generic monsters are explained in more detail in Dr. Mackenzie's Common SCP Pitfalls essay. See also magic item.
  • headcanon — Used to refer to individual interpretations of inconsistent, indeterminate, or missing pieces of canon. A good example is the exact strengths of the various classes of amnestics or the precise nature of *K-class Events.
  • "Keter duty" — In-universe threats to demote personnel to Class D or otherwise assigning them to dangerous Keter-class objects as a form of punishment. Considered a type of LOLFoundation and usually highly disliked.
  • lock porn — A derogatory term for SCP articles that have extremely and unnecessarily specific information about the specific means by which an object is locked up, such as mentioning key-handing procedures or the precise number of digits on a combination lock. See Dr. Mackenzie's Containment Protocols for more information. See also containment porn.
  • "LOLFoundation" — A derogatory term for additions to a SCP article that imply seriously unprofessional conduct among Foundation personnel, such as playing pranks on each other using dangerous anomalous objects or abjectly stupid behavior that is liable to get people injured or killed, as well as threats of punishment for such behavior. Once considered acceptable humor, these are now reviled by modern standards.
  • magic item — A derogatory term for an SCP object that fails to hook any readers, usually by only having a form and function with no context, story, or interesting background. Magic items are explained in more detail in Dr. Mackenzie's Common SCP Pitfalls essay. See also generic monster.
  • writerbot — A back-handed term of affection for extremely prolific site members, particularly those who write a large number of successful submissions in a very short period of time.
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