Glossary: Weird Words and Abbreviations

A Glossary:
The Ball Jointed Doll craft and hobby has a lot of weird words, so here's a guide to anything odd you might find in this blog, in Alphabetical Order, and updated as I think of more to add. I may even get ambitious and include picture thumbnails.
  I will include names of some of the bigger companies, or companies whose dolls you see on this blog. I cannot include the names and doll types from ALL companies- that's a lot of typing.

Also, here's Den of Angels' Abbreviations List, if that can be more useful to you!

Aoi Tuki- A BJD company of sorts in Japan- I say of sorts because they release dolls very slowly and rarely, and using a selling agent service or finding one on the secondhand market is the only way I know of to obtain their dolls. Their Tukihime body is known for its generous hips and softer body shape.

Bite, bitten- verb, what happens if your fingers or skin gets caught between doll joints. It's rare, but I always feel a bit of an idiot when it happens to me, like I should have been paying attention!

BJD- Abbreviation: Ball Jointed Doll. The things the blog is about. There is a "Page" just about them and what they are. Sometimes written as ABJD, or Asian Ball Jointed Doll, though these days many BJDs are produced in other places as well.

Blushing- pastels and paint applied to the face and body of the doll, especially that which is applied to the body. (As there is no difference between an L sound and R sound in many Asian languages, this may get translated on Asian doll sites as Brushing.) (Doll shown is Aiden, a Volks Yukinojo head on a Granado 64cm Old Yellow Skin body

Bonding- a phenomenon some doll owners, but not all, experience, when their personal or creative interests or their emotions become really truly invested in a doll, similar to how a particular piece of art or music may suddenly "speak" to someone. Some hobbyists for whom this is important will not keep a doll they just cannot bond with, while others may never experience this and enjoy their doll just as much.

cm- Centimeters. These dolls are sold internationally, and things in the BJD hobby are almost always listed in Metric. Centimeters are much easier to use than inches when dealing with those dolls that are smaller than the palm of my hand, anyhow.

DoA- Abbreviation: Den of Angels, one of the largest online English Language forums for ABJD enthusiasts. They have strict criteria about what makes a doll On Topic for the forum, but the site is a fun place, with no one allowed to be very rude, and a TON of useful info and beautiful galleries of other people's work.

Dollshe- A prestigious doll company known for their tall, thin, graceful and stylized SD-sized sculpts. Extremely popular sculpts include the Hound, Bernard, and Saint. (head shown is a Saint.)


 DreamHigh Studio, abbr. DHS- An Indonesian doll company run by sculptor Donny Harijanto. They make some of the tiniest BJDs out there, and most of their finely crafted dolls come in a very limited run of 20-50 each and sell out fast. To get one, watch the secondhand market or save some money and watch their website to be ready when they release new dolls. (shown is a DHS Gaia, right out of its box. I changed its look later and now he's my Milo.)

Dremel- a brand of small precision power tool I use a lot to sand, cut or grind resin. Don't try this at home without proper protection and precautions.

EID- abbr. for Elder Iplehouse Doll, a specific "SD" doll size offered by Iplehouse. The popular company Iplehouse has several doll sizes, and the EIDs are their largest dolls. EIDs are Huge compared to most other dolls. In addition to being 70cm tall, they weigh about 7 lbs. Things that fit other 70cm tall dolls will not often fit EIDs because of their bulk. (Photo shows, left to right, 58cm Iplehouse Old YID, 60cm Mirodoll hybrid, 65cm Iplehouse SID, and 70cm Iplehouse EID.)

Eye Putty- Tacky stuff of some clayish sort that holds a doll's removable eyes in their sockets. Many companies will sell and ship a doll with the eyes held in by a peach colored stuff that smells and feels very much like Super Sculpey, which is a polymer clay and really not good for resin over a long time due to oils in it. I have no idea why they do this. Every time I get a doll, I take out the polymer clay and replace it with a product known as Sticky Tac, White Tac, or poster putty. Get the greyish-white or white non-oily feeling kind. Another alternative that can be used with any eyes EXCEPT silicone or SoftGlass eyes is to use un-colored Silicone Earplugs, sold at any pharmacist/chemists' shop. Don't use those with silicone eyes- the eyes will melt!


Faceup- the paint and blushing that goes specifically on the doll's face. It can be redone over and over, provided the artist "seals" the resin, coating it with a protective layer of a special sealant spray before working on top of that layer. The final result is sealed again to keep it from coming off the face. Faceups can be damaged, and flake, chip, or even rub off, at which point it's usually time for the doll to get a new faceup. (Shown is the head of Rowena my Unidoll Suri)

Faceplate- the insides of some dolls' heads are accessed by sliding the face right off of specially fitted slots or locking tabs, as opposed to using a Headcap type access. (Shown are faceplates of my FL RealPuki Tyni, with a slightly sanded nose)

Fairyland- a Korean BJD company known for their incredibly smooth engineering and posability. Their tiny dolls in particular are wildly popular within the hobby. (Shown is Pip, a Pukipuki Pipi.)

Grail, Grail Doll- The object of a person's utmost dolly desire, the one doll they've always wanted to get. It's a reference to the Quest for the Holy Grail by the legendary English King Arthur and his knights.

Granado- A new Chinese doll company who makes terribly posable doll bodies with great faces. I have a few of their bodies for some of my dolls.

Headcap- To access the inside of a doll's head for eye positioning and restringing, the back/top of the cranium lifts away like a lid. This "lid" is the headcap. It is usually held in place with magnets or locking tabs sculpted into the resin.

Hemostats, shortened as 'stats- A steel, pliers-like tool often useful for restringing. Imagine needle nosed pliers that have a little catch in the handles so they can lock shut on the thing they are holding, and only open when you unlock them. These are originally a surgical implement (Hemo =blood, and -Stat = to clamp or cease) but crafters of various hobbies have been using them as an "extra hand" for years. You can get them at many craft or hobby shops, in various sizes. I find it handy to have a large pair, a mid sized pair, and a teeny weeny pair, for different uses.
'Stats generally get used when stringing: you pull elastic up through the doll's body out through the head, and to hold the doll together you slip in the S-hook through the top loop of elastic. A pair of 'stats to grip that top loop so it doesn't shoot back down into the doll body is very useful!

Hybrid, Hybridized- A Hybrid doll is one with parts from different companies. Sometimes this requires the customizer to modify the parts to fit each other, as they were never meant to go together. Many of my dolls are hybrids. (Doll shown is Aneirin, a hybrid work in progress. Dollshe Saint head, Little Monica body, Soom Monzo legs.)

Iplehouse, IH- A Korean company who makes some of the more masculine male sculpts, and has been doing increasingly beautiful body sculpture and new engineering. They are known for having a wide variety of ethno-types in their more realistic face sculpts, and are one of the companies offering darker resins. (Shown is Donovan, my Iplehouse EID Akando in NS)

Kicky- An Adjective in the BJD hobby. A doll strung too tightly can be difficult to pose, as the elastic jerks the limbs around, as if the doll is kicking against poses, hence, we refer to it as kicky. A doll strung too loose may not hold poses at all, or flop around when handled. See "Stringing".


LE- Abbreviation: Limited Edition, only a few made. Some LEs run as small as two dolls. If there's only one, it's an "OOAK". (see OOAK)

LittleFee, abbr. LTF- A name the company Fairyland uses for their 25 cm dolls. They are incredibly posable and very popular. (Shown is Selby, my Fairyland Littlefee Rachel)



Micro- A size, under the broad size category of Tinies, Micro BJDS are generally those about 9-10cm and smaller! They are eensy weensy, fiddly to pose, but adorable. DreamHigh Studio (sometimes abbreviated DHS) makes many Micro sized dolls. (shown is Fliss, my DHS Chibi Feiline.)


 Migidoll- A bjd company that used to do just heads, but has recently branched out into offering a male body as well. (Pic shows my Migidoll Jina girl, who is hybridized onto an Aoi Tuki Tukihime body.)

Minifee, abbr. MNF- A name the company Fairyland uses for their slim 45cm dolls. They are incredibly posable and very popular- like almost all Fairyland's dolls. They will not fit into clothing meant for most MSD sized dolls, and count as Slim MSD or Slim Mini sized: that means their bodies are proportioned more like young adults than children. One the other hand, "Classic" MSDs maybe around the same height, but their bodies are stockier and their proportions make them look like children or pre-adolescents.

Mirodoll- Miro for short, formerly Lost Angel Doll. A Chinese doll company with lower prices and dolls that can be made quite nice IMHO, with a little bit of work or just left as-is and painted nicely. One of my favorite dolls I own is on a Mirodoll body, much modified.




Mod- Abbreviation: Modification, modified. Any permanent change one makes to a doll.  These dolls are extremely customizable. With the right tools and safety gear, you can change almost anything about a doll- sex, size of shapes of parts, jointing and flexibility, face shape, hand positions, and so on. Mods involving sculpting parts on are often called Additive mods, while mods involving carving or sanding can be known as Subtractive mods. Mods fixing joints or adding movement are called Mobility mods. (Can also be shorthand for Moderator, the people who run online forums.) (Torso  shown is from the  Nobility Doll company's horrible ruination of a Muscular Girl Body group custom order, which I spent a good month of workdays repairing.)



MSD-  A general size category abbreviation. Originally an abbreviation for Mini Super Dollfie, the name that the company Volks uses to describe their middle sized dolls, this term now is used to broadly refer to any dolls roughly 45 cm tall. Some 18 inch doll accessories fit MSDs, but many do not, as scale isn't paid much attention in making those accessories.

Informally, are two major size types of MSDs- Regular MSDs, whose body measurements are closer to Volks' own MSDs and are meant to seem childlike or teenage, and the newer Slim Minis whose bodies are thinner but generally appear to be more matured, like young adults. The four major categories of BJD size are SDs, MSDs, YOSDs, and Tinies. (Shown are Aithne, Hands and Scythe, who are a Unoa hybrid, a dyed FL Minifee Ruth and a FL Minifee Seorin, respectively)


Multihead - A Multihead is a smaller-than-Pukifee head size which the company Fairyland made for their Pukifee "tiny" sized bodies. They only released them very briefly with an Event, and now they remain as one or two Basic edition Pukifee dolls. They're not as popular as most other FL dolls, and honestly a bit rare these days. I actually had to sculpt a headback for one of my two Multihead faceplates, because all I could get was a faceplate and the Pukifee body for her- Multihead headbacks are reallllllly hard to find!

 NS- Abbreviation: Normal Skin, industry term for a peachy skin tone, as opposed to White Skin, Tan skin or other colors. Every company's NS, WS and other skin tones are all slightly different, as they each have their own formula for mixing dye into the liquid resin. I am aware it's hardly Politically Correct of the companies to use the word Normal only to describe a peach or pale gold skintone, but things get lost in translation.

OOAK- Abbreviation: One Of A Kind. A doll produced as a single edition, of which there is only one, is also described as OOAK. A doll that has been uniquely modified in special wasy might be called OOAK as well. For example, many of my dolls are now probably classifiable as OOAK due to permanent customization. A faceup does not necessarily make a doll OOAK, as it is non-permanent.

PukiFee, abbr. PKF- A name the company Fairyland uses for their 16cm dolls. They have heads that are a little big for their bodies in a stylized way but they are quite cute and have Fairyland's trademark posability.


 PukiPuki, oft. just Puki- A name the company Fairyland uses for their 10cm dolls. They are incredibly posable and extremely popular- like almost all Fairyland's dolls. They can fit reasonably well in most dollhouses, wear most Mattel's Shelly/Kelly/Tommy doll clothing, and can use the popular collectible Rement plastic food, which adds to the appeal for many people. (Shown are Timmy, Briar and Pip, who are a Cupid, a Mary and a Pipi sculpt, respectively. Oh, and a manatee, too.)


RealPuki, abbr. RP- A name the company Fairyland uses for their slim 9cm dolls. These pixie faced elf eared dolls are very small but fun to own. (Shown are Apple and Cherry, who are a slightly modded Tyni sculpt and a Soso sculpt.)

Recast, Recasting- Someone buys a doll and sends it to an illegal/unethical company who makes knockoff copies of it and sells them, so none of the money gets back to the Artists who made the doll. Then the Artist who made the dolls cannot afford to make them, and has to stop making them, or make less of them and charge a lot more to break even, since nobody gets rich making BJDs. Some people are getting rich by recasting other people's work though. For some reason lately lots of people have decided that their desire for a cheap doll justifies supporting people who are robbing artists, instead of supporting artists themselves. You will see lots of arguments about this, with all kinds of claims about why it is okay. It is not. It is immoral. It is illegal in most countries. It is theft. "Why shouldn't I buy a recast?" 

Resin- These dolls are handcast in a polyurethane or urethane resin. Every company uses a slightly different chemical formula for their own resin. Resin is dangerous to health in its liquid, uncured form, and the dust is toxic, like the dust of anything the body and lungs cannot dissolve such as coal or fiberglass. With the right precautions, it can still be worked safely. Resin in solid doll form is not dangerous. Your resin should not be exposed to very extreme temperatures- do not leave it in a hot car or in a freezing garage. Resin is very difficult to color consistently, and to cast properly without bubbles or flaws, which is why tan or darker-color skinned dolls will, in spite of all the makers' care, still have marbling or casting marks here and there. This is a result of the nature of the material.

S-Hook- A little piece of metal shaped like this: S. This thingy is the vital lynchpin that holds a BJD together. Some dolls used to have an O-ring (Guess what that was shaped like?) for the same purpose, but most these days use the S-hook. Arms are generally strung separately on their own loop of cord, but what holds most of the doll together is this: A knotted loop of Elastic is held out flat, giving you two ends and a lot of parallel elastic between them. One end is connected to one of the doll's feet by a smaller s-hook or a resin hook in the doll's foot or ankle. Then the elastic is threaded from the doll's ankle, up through its hollow leg and body, and finally through the neck and into the hollow head. Then the elastic goes back down the same neck and body holes, through the other leg, and attaches to the other foot. But what keeps the middle point of this big inverted V from dropping right back out of the head? The S-hook. The bottom curve of the S shape goes through the loop formed by the elastic when it enters and leaves the head. I'll need to make a picture sometime soon to explain this better. See also Stringing.


Sculpt- The model of a doll gets called its Sculpt. When inquiring about a specific doll, people might ask, "Oh, what sculpt is that?" And the answer is often in the form of "Company Name, Sculpt", or "Company name, Company size category, Sculpt". i.e: "Stella? She's a Fairyland Littlefee Pipi." (Shown.) So now the asker will know this doll is from the company Fairyland, in Fairyland's Littlefee size, and is one of the Pipi sculpt. Thanks to how customizable these dolls are, no two dolls of the same sculpt need look anything alike.

SD-  A general size category abbreviation. Originally an abbreviation for Super Dollfie, the name that the company Volks uses to describe their larger sized dolls, meant by Volks to appear to be teens/young adults. This term now is used to broadly refer to any dolls roughly 55cm -80cm tall.The average for SDs used to be about 60cm, but trends in recent years have been making taller dolls ever more popular. Note: SD can mean specifically dolls around the old average of 60cm, as opposed to SD16 or 17, but it can be used to broadly refer to any of the bigger dolls in 1/3 scale. (That is, 1/3 the size of an 'average' real person) The four major categories of BJD size are SDs, MSDs, YOSDs, and Tinies.


SD13/16/17- More general size category abbreviations, now used as subtypes within the SD size category. Originally an abbreviation for Super Dollfie 13, 16 and 17, the name that the company Volks uses to describe their larger sized dolls, meant by Volks to appear to be teens/young adults of those ages.  SD13 size is generally accepted as around, I think,  61-63cm. SD16 or SD17 size now sometimes gets used to refer to any dolls around 63-65cm tall who have similar proportions and measurements to Volks' dolls of that size.

 Shelling, or Re-Shelling, verb- To Shell a character is to get and customize a doll to portray that character, usually in reference to a roleplayer or writer's original character. Re-Shelling is what we call it when you sell off a doll you were using to portray that character and get a different doll to portray the same character.

SID- abbr. for Senior Iplehouse Doll, a specific "SD" type doll size offered by Iplehouse. The popular company Iplehouse has several doll sizes, and the SID size is larger than most SD (*see above) sized dolls out there, but not as large as Iple's EID line known for their great size. The SID are about 65cm.

Soom- A Korean company which produces BJDs; known for the androgynous beauty of some of their sculpts as well as intricate and fantastical limited edition dolls whose fantasy parts are sometimes bought separately on the secondhand market and hybridized with other dolls.


Stringing- the dolls have hollow parts with elastic running through them, which allows them to be moved and posed, since the elastic puts tension on the joints. We refer to the elastic itself as string or stringing (noun), or to the act of replacing or adjusting the elastic as stringing or restringing (verb). A doll strung too tightly can be difficult to pose, as the elastic jerks the limbs around, as if the doll is kicking against poses. A doll strung too loose may not hold poses at all, or flop around when handled. (shown is my Unidoll Suri, back when she was new.)

Sueding- putting a thin layer of pliver, moleskin leather, or low-temp hotglue inside the cup part of a ball joint to prevent resin friction while providing more traction for the joint to hold positions. This lets a BJD pose much better.


Tinies- usu. refers to dolls about 35cm and under that do not have the sturdy childlike proportions of the YOSD type. Mature slim bodied dolls of YOSD height tend to get grouped in as Tinies, but Tinies can range in size all the way down to "micro" BJDs like DreamHigh Studios' Squee, which is 5cm tall! (shown are a DreamHigh Studio Squee and the backside of a Fairyland Realpuki.)

Unoa- a type of "Slim Mini" MSD sized doll produced by the tiny Japanese company Alchemic Labo, via sculptor Gento Araki, available through lotteries, preorders via Noppin Doll website, and the secondhand market. They have faceplates that are often creatively hybridized onto other bodies. Unoa dolls will not fit into clothing meant for most MSD sized dolls, and they count as Slim MSD or Slim Mini sized: that means their bodies are proportioned more like young adults than children. One the other hand, "Classic" MSDs maybe around the same height, but their bodies are stockier and their proportions make them look like children or pre-adolescents. (Shown is Aithne, my Unoa Sist hybrid. Her faceplate is from Unoa but has been tinted with dye to match a modded Fairyland Minifee body.)


Unidoll- A now defunct Korean company who produced many facially realistic sculpts, especially their larger dolls.

Volks- THE Japanese doll company, and the ones responsible for more or less "inventing" modern resin ball jointed dolls. Many of the hobby's vocabulary terms, such as those for size categories, are originally Volks terminology. Their dolls are nice quality, heavily Anime influenced, and almost always extremely expensive. They release limited versions every so often of various sculpts, but basic dolls are also available.

 WS- White skin. An abbreviation used when a doll is cast in white resin. Because every resin formula is a bit different, each company's resin shades are different, and may differ in themselves from year to year or batch to batch. White is no exception, and white resins range from pale eggshell to snowy white to ivory and more. Most white resin "yellows" gently into a more ivory color over time. (shown is a Little Monica WS hand against a Little Monica body piece dyed to match Dollshe WS)

Wig Sizes- Doll wig sizes are, unlike everything else about BJDs, measured in inches instead of cm. To get a rough idea of wig size, measure your doll's head around where a hat would go, usually the widest part of the head. So if your SD sized doll has a head about 8 inches or a little more- that doll would wear an 8-9 size wig.

YID, OldYID, NewYID- abbr. for Young Iplehouse Doll, a specific "SD" type doll size offered by Iplehouse. The popular company Iplehouse has several doll sizes, and the YID size is their standard typical SD sized doll, at around 58-61cm. You see the Old and New notations because for a few years, Iplehouse was making their YID dolls on an older, more stylized and now discontinued body. They stopped producing that line, rebuilt newer, more realistic bodies for that size, and started a new line of head sculpts for the new bodies. You still see OldYIDs around in owner pictures or the secondhand market though, as they were quite popular.

Yellowing- Color in resin deteriorates over time- this is the simple nature of the resin and of dyes used to color it during the mixing of the resin. Red pigmentation will fade, resulting in a pink skinned doll looking more peach or golden toned, a brown skinned doll looking less warm and more golden, and whites will go more yellow, making a papery-white doll look creamier or more ivory colored over time. Yellowing can be very subtle and often does not ruin or detract from the beauty of the doll. Yellowing can be slowed somewhat by keeping the doll out of sunlight. It can be sort of "reversed" for formerly peach or brown resins that have gone golden, by dyeing the resin with blends of pink tones to restore the faded red to get that more original peach or tan color. Yellowing varies from company to company, or resin batch to resin batch. You can research a company's resin by asking other owners how well their dolls' resin has held its color. (Picture shows Timmy, a newer Fairyland Puki being made to wear a dress when he's not a dresswearing sort of boy, and Pip, an older, slightly yellowed Puki, for comparison.)

YOSD, YO-SD- A general size category abbreviation. Originally an abbreviation for Yo Super Dollfie (I think? Help me out here if I'm wrong on Volks-trivia), the name that the company Volks uses to describe their smaller sized dolls, which are probably meant by Volks to appear to be young children/toddlers. Now most of the hobby also uses this abbreviation to refer to any immature-bodied doll around 35-26cm tall. YOSDs are usually childlike, and can use many accessories in what's called 1/6 scale (approximately 1/6 the size of an adult human). The four major categories of BJD size are SDs, MSDs, YOSDs, and Tinies. (Pic shows two of my FL Littlefees, Stella [the troll] is a Pipi sculpt mod and Farron is an Elf El with a modded nose.)