If you have a slang gripology term you'd like to submit for consideration and inclusion in our Griptionary, please email us correct spelling and a sufficient description to:

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Anchor Spike A long spike with a large head welded onto it so that it can be driven into the ground to safely tie off stands.
Angle Iron Used to connect apple boxes together. Also called Angle Bracket.
ANSI American National Standards Institute
Apple Box A wooden box used to make small actors tall, raise furniture to make tall actors short, a place for teamsters to sit, or a good place to pick up a splinter in a very delicate part of the body. There are also Half Apple Boxes, Quarter Apple Boxes, Eighth Apple Boxes, not to mention the series of Mini Apple Boxes available from Matthews.
Baby The Hollywood term for a 750-Watt or 1000 Watt lighting fixture. Baby fixtures are normally manufactured with a 5/8" female receiver in the Yoke or Bale. Baby pins, Baby Receivers and Baby Plates all refer to the 5/8" size.
Baby Plate Also known as Baby Nail-On. A steel plate with a Baby (5/8") Pin welded to it and holes drilled in each corner for screwing or nailing to a set wall or studio floor. On the East Coast these are often referred to as 750 or Baby Pigeons.
Baby Stand A stand designed with a 5/8" Pin at the top. Almost all lighting instruments under 2000 Watts in size are made to be mounted on a Baby Pin. Matthews manufactures a number of stands, both rolling and non-rolling such as the Baby Junior Stand in both double riser and triple riser. Century Stands, Matthews Kit Stands, and Beefy Baby Stands are all manufactured with a Baby Pin at the top. Matthews Combo Stands are now made with a Baby Pop Up Pin for greater flexibility.
Baffle Device used to lessen the harshness of a light source
Bale Also known as Yoke. This "U" bracket is normally part of the lighting fixture or reflector and is used to tilt and pivot the instrument.
Bar Clamp Bar Clamps or Furniture Clamps are used to span larger objects to which a small light fixture may be attached with the help of the Bar Clamp Adapter.
Bazooka A stand without legs used on studio catwalks. The base of the Bazooka fits in the hole in the deck and the bracket attaches to the safety railing.
Beard Using black foil to contain light eminations from the bottom of a fixture.
Becky The Matth Becky is a hanger designed to hang a light fixture off the top of a set wall. It performs the same job as a Baby Trombone without the benefit of being able to telesope. The Matth Becky is adjustable to the thickness of the wall and terminates in two 5/8" baby pins.
Beefy Baby Another Matthews Registered trademark referring to Baby Stand which is stronger than the average aluminum stand and is still incredibly lightweight. Excellent for location work and a favorite of Rental Houses because of its strength and ease of maintenance.
Best Boy Both the Gaffer and Key Grip utilize a Best Boy, who is second in command in each department on the set. The Best Boy is often responsible for much of the coordination of the deparment's personnel and equipment.
BFG Big Freakin' Light
Big Ben Clamp A Cheeseboro Clamp with a Junior (1-1/8") Pin welded to it. Ideal for spanning pipe between two Hi-Hi Overhead Stands.
Big Eye Mole Richardson 10K light fixture with a 29" Fresnel.
Billy Barty A 20" C-Stand with a compact base.
Blond Blondes are Italian made 2000-Watt open-faced light fixtures.
Bobbinet A cotton net dyed black and used in the manufacture of Open Ends. Dots, Fingers and Butterflies and Overheads. White Bobbinet is now also available.
Bottomer Flag or cutter used to control light on the lower portion of a subject or architecture.
Brute A carbon arc lighting fixture. Brutes are among the heaviest lighting fixtures used in the industry. A light weight arc (oxymoron) still weighs more than most.
Bumble Bee Cable cross over or ramps. Also known as a Yellow Jacket.
Butterflies Also known as "Rags" these are the materials that are tied to the Butterfly Frame. For many years, only the basic materials were used such as scrims to reduce light, silk to diffuse light and Solid to eliminate light. More recently many new materials have been added to allow many degrees of diffusion (Grid Cloths, Black Silks, etc.) plus many new reflective materials are now available to make large reflectors for both sunlight and aritificial light such as Matthflectors, Grifflectors and Lame's. Standard sizes are 6'x6', 8'x8', 12'x12', and 20'x20'.
Butterfly Frame An aluminum frame made to hold "Rags" for controlling light, usually outdoors. These frames are made from either round or square tubing with capability of dismantling for transport.
C+Stand Known also as a Turtle Base C-Stand, this stand was developed by Matthews primarily for the Still Photographic and Video markets. The riser column removes from the base for easy transport. The latest version of the C+Stand features the new Posi-V-Lock receiver.
C-47 A spring loaded pin used to hold diffusion, cinfoil or gels on barn doors of peppers or other lights.
Candle Stick A pipe that terminates in 1-1/8" Jr Receiver, used to mount large units in lifts.
Century Stand Also known as C-Stand, Grip Stand or Gobo Stand. Probably the most popular multi-purpose stand ever developed. Its unique "nesting" leg design allows many Century Stands to be used in very limited floor space.
Chain Vice Grip Locking chain clamps used to clamp around irregularly shaped objects. Often, 5/8" pins are welded to the clamps for mounting equipment.
Cheeseboro Scaffolding Clamp or Grid Clamp. There are many varieties: swivel, 90 degrees, with pins welded on, etc.
Cine-Net See Bobbinet
Cinevator A heavy duty light stand with a load capacity of 300 pounds. The Cinevator raises and lowers its load by a specially designed motor drive system. Available in 110 Volt or 220 Volt.
Clipboard A metal or wood piece made in several sizes (3"x6", 4"x12", 8"x14") with a clip attached. Used as an additional or extended barndoor.
Condor Bracket A Condor is a construction crane often used by movie crews to get large lights at high angles. Since the "bucket" on these cranes is relatively small, a Condor Bracket allows lighting fixtures to be mounted without the use of stands.
Crafty Craft Service. Snacks and refreshments, meals provided on set.
Crank-o-vator A double riser crank up stand, where both risers go up simultaneously. Designed to lift lighting fixtures up to 150 lbs. in weight. Also available in a Low Boy version.
Cucoloris Used to create shadow patterns on backgrounds or subjects by breaking up a flat lit wall into interesting pools of light and shadow. Imitates sunlight filtering through trees.
Cup Blocks A wooden block, which has a cup, routed out so that the wheel of a light stand can sit in it. Cup Blocks were used extensively in the days when light stand wheels did not have brakes to keep them from moving.
Cutter Cutters are bigger or odd shaped flags. Cutters are used to "cut" the light off certain areas of the set. Sizes larger than 30"x36" are considered cutters as well as the odd shaped ones such as 12"x42" or 18"x48".
Daddy Long Legs Wide Base Hi Hi Overhead Stand.
Day Player A crew member working part time on a project. Usually hired as extra help on a busy day, or as a replacement.
Diff Diffusion paper; there are many types of these with varying degrees of diffusion.
-submitted by Adam Baroukh
Diffusion Short for Wire Diffusion that actually won't diffuse light but does decrease light intensity.
Donut A square piece of plywood with a hole in the center, used to keep rolling stands without wheel locks in place. For critical lighting situations, donuts are often nailed to the studio floor.
Dot A round scrim, net or solid offered by Matthews in 3", 6", and 10" for controlling light in tight situations such as a table top.
Double Net Two layers of bobbinet, used on overheads, butterflys, scrims...related term double scrim. Can be both white and black; black double nets will give approximate light loss of 1.2 stops, and white double nets will give approximate light loss of 1.0 stops. Both black and white will give you reduction of light intensity and white will introduce ambient bounce.
Drop Down The Baby Drop Down is made with a female 5/8" receiver at one end and a baby pin at the other. In between is a hinge which when added to the end of a light boom allows the light fixture to stay level regardless of the angle of the boom. The junior Drop Down does the same thing when attached to a Junior Boom. The 45 degree Angle Drop Down mounts on a Combo Stand and allows a reflector to be used at a low angle without the Yoke or Bale creating a shadow.
DuckBill Bead Board Clamp or in Matthews' case a Quacker Clamp.
Duvetyne Cotton fabric used to make Flags, Cutters and a solid Butterfly and Overheads. On the West Coast it is considered the same as Commando Cloth is on the East Coast.
Electrical box tie-in This is the electrical cable end clamp that hangs onto a 3-phase box. A kind of threaded twist lock insulated alligator clamp. Also known as a 'tie-in cable set' or just 'tie-ins.'
-submitted by John Anthony
Elephant Blocks Triangular stackable blocks used to level up gear such as dolly track.
Elvis Checkerboard Grifflectors in gold and white.
Extension Arm Extension Arm, Gobo Arm, Grip Arm or Extension Grip arm all refer to a tube with a 2-1/2" Grip Head permanently attached. The Matthews Extension Arm has a Stainless Steel shaft with a 5/8" outside diameter which allows a standard baby light fixture to be mounted on it and used as a boom. Other manufacturers who do not adhere to our tight tolerances, do not always allow the mounting of light fixtures on their Extension Arm. Matthews offers the Extension Arm in both 40" and 20" lengths.
Finger A small rectangular thin wire frame covered with Bobbinet, Silk or Duvetyne for lighting control in small areas on a set. Matthews manufactures two sizes 2"x12" and 4"x14".
Flag A rectangular frame with a mounting pin, made of 3/8" thin wall tubing onto which Duvetyne is sewn. Flags mounted on Century Stands are used to create shadow areas on the set.
Flex Arm A flexible mounting arm with four or five lockable ball joints for mounting Dots, Fingers or Flex Scrims.
Flex Scrim Flex Scrims are available in both open end and solid and used primarily with Flex Arms. Before the Superflex, standard flags and open ends were too heavy for the available Flex Arms. Flex Scrims are made with 2 mounting pins and are available in 10"x12" and 12"x20".
Floppy Cutters made with an additional panel that is held in place with Velcro when not needed and released to double the size of the Cutter when needed.
French Flag French Flags are made out of either a firm but flexible ABS plastic and used to shade a camera lens with the help of a French Flag Arm or made of steel and used on a Flex Arm which is attached to a light fixture.
Furniture Clamp See Bar Clamp
Gary Coleman A 20" C-Stand.
Gator Grip Same as a Gaffer Grip; a clamp with an adjustable jaw equipped with 12 rubber gripping pads that protect the surface being clamped and provide greater clamping ability.
Globe light bulb, bulb
-submitted by Jeffrey Haney
Goal Post Used to support textiles and lights. Supports a rail or pipe with two stands on either side.
Gobo Ball A bright orange, soft rubber ball which slips onto protruding Extension Arms to prevent injury to eyes and other sensitive areas of the body. Gobo balls are not recommended for golf, handball or street hockey, but stick it on a radio antenna and it sure makes it easy to spot your car in a parking lot.
Gobo Head Also known as Grip Heads, this handy piece of equipment is used to mount on top of a stand and to attach Extension Arms, Flags, Cutters, etc...
Grieb Arm A flexible arm which can be bent into almost any position to hold a French Flag, Dot or Finger, Flex Scrim or Flex Clamp.
Grip Our main man on the set. Responsible for rigging cameras, the safe operation of camera cranes and dollies, not to mention camera cars. Grips erect sets and do non-electrical lighting control with the use of such items as Scrims, Flags, Butterflies, Overheads, Cutters and Cookies.
Grip Head Same as Gobo Head.
Grub Screw Another term used to describe a Set Screw.
Happy Head We couldn't list these under either Gobo Head or Grip Head for fear that they may get confused with those of other manufacturers. The Happy Heads are absolutely the best holding grip head in the world.
High Boy High Boy is slang for Hi-Hi Roller or High Overhead Stand.
High Hat A very low mounting adapter for camera heads. Usually mounted on a wooden board.
Hollywood Riser Junior or 2K Riser or Junior Stand Extension.
Hurricane Stock Cornet Boom, 750 Boom.
Inky 300Watt Mole light fixture.
Juicer Term used for an Electrician.
Junior The term Junior is used when referring to a 2000Watt or 2K light fixture. The standard Junior is made with a 1-1/8" Pin attached to the Yoke or Bale, and therefore gets mounted into a female receiver on the stand. It is the opposite of the Baby mounting system for safety purposes. Lighting fixtures larger than a 2K also have a Junior Pin.
Key Light The main light source on which the entire lighting plot is usually based.
Knurling Texture applied to an originally smooth surface, allowing better gripping of an object or piece of equipment.
LamÉ - or, Lame with E accent acute Silver or Gold laminated to a knot trico fabric. Used in sizes up to 20'x20' to reflect light.
Lenser Flag used to shade a camera lens from direct light.
Lettuce Single wire diffusion. A double is known as a tomato.
Lollipop Mafer Movie set slang for Double Matth Gag. For years the standard in small clamps used on the motion picture set. Now replaced by the improved Super Mafer. Its hexagonal receiver for attaching everything for 5/8" Baby Pins to Flex Arms has become legendary. The new Double Super Mafer allows the use of two attachments on one clamp.
Low Boy A term commonly associated with a low light stand.
Magic Finger A 5/8" Baby Pin mounted on a Ball Head which can be mounted to the top of any Baby Stand. Will lock tight at any angle between 360 degrees in the pan and 90 degrees tilt. The new Extended Magic Finger allows the mounting of a 2-1/2" Happy Head or Grip Head in addition to a Baby fixture.
Man-Maker Term used to describe a Full Apple Box. Used to make actors look taller on camera.
Meat Axe Originally designed for use on studio catwalks; it is now commonly used in television studio grids. The attached C-Clamp mounts on the grid or railing of the catwalk, and allows the mounting of a flag or cutter via its 2-1/2" Grip Head. For safety reasons, neither the arm nor any of the attachments are removeable.
Menace Arm Menace. A noun. 1) Something that threatens to cause evil, harm, injury, etc.; a threat: Air pollution is a menace to health. 2) A person whose actions, attitudes, or ideas are a menace.
In movie terms, a menace arm is just what the word describes. A menace. A possible danger; a threat.
Before MAX, a Menace Arm was a jury-rigged arm usually built on set and used to place a light or camera in an otherwise difficult position. This was not only very time consuming to build and very dangerous if not constructed or used properly.
Hence the Max Arm designed by Key Grip Richard Mall and built by Matthews is safe and time efficient, capable of lifting and placing a light or camera from a negative six feet to positive 17 ½ feet with a horizontal reach of 17 feet.
Mombo Combo Redesigned for greater strength and safety the new Mombo Combo is capable of reaching new heights. At its full extension of 27 feet, we strongly recommend the use of the new Guy Rope set that is now available and Anchor Pins if no other safe attachment is available.
N.D. Neutral Density gels reduce the intensity of a light source without affecting the color of the light. Can be applied to lights as well as windows.
Net Short for Bobbinet, netting used in screims and overheads to help control light.
Nyloc A nut featuring an internal nylon collar that resists turning and locks the nut in place, keeping it from self-loosening.
Open-Ended Scrims/Flags that have a wire on one side of the frame so as to not have the frame cast a shadow on that side.
Over-Saver Small camera slider used to adjust over the shoulder shots.
Pancake East Coast term for Eighth Apple Box.
Pidgeon East Coast term for Baby Plate or Junior Wall Plate.
Pig Tail Short piece of electrical cable with connector plugging device at both ends.
Polito Bracket Made to hold Expendable Reflectors or bead board and foam core, the Polito Bracket can be adjusted from 24" to 48". To further enhance its functionality, it has an ear for mounting in a grip head; a ground spike and a handle for hand holding.
Polly Polystyrene bounce cards. Can be made of foam core or a variety of other bounce materials.
-submitted by Adam Baroukh
Poultry Bracket Need a Junior as a backlight, but can't use a light stand because it can't be hidden behind the telephone pole that is in the shot? Use the telephone pole as your light stand. Or use a street lamp or a tree trunk! The Matthews Poultry Bracket turns all of these into instant light stands. Made with a 1-1/8" Junior receiver at the end of the arm with a 5/8" pin directly below it, even a Cutter can be mounted from the same bracket.
Priscilla Checkboard Grifflectors in silver and white.
Pumpkin A canvas or nylon bag containing many pouches closed by a single drawstring. Regularly used to store screws of various lengths.
Pup 1000 watt (1k) light fixture.
-submitted by Adam Baroukh
Quacker Clamp Duckbill or the Matthews Quaker Clamp.
Quarter Apple An Apple box one-quarter thick as a Full Apple.
Rags Fabrics used on Butterfly and Overhead Frames.
Ricky Rods 5/8" steel rods that screw together. Used for rigging.
Rocky Mountain Legs A leg extension allowing the leveling of a stand on uneven terrain. Also called a leveling leg or lazy leg.
Senior Hollywood term for 5000 Watt or 5K lighting fixture. These fixtures utilize a Junior Pin (1-1/8"), as do the larger 10Ks and Brutes.
Set Screw A headless screw normally driven by a hex socket.
Single Net A single layer of Bobbinet used in overheads, butterflys, scrims...related term single scrim. Can be both white and black; black single nets will give approximate light loss of 0.6 stops, and white single nets will give approximate light loss of 0.5 stops. Both black and white will give you reduction of light intensity and white will introduce ambient bounce.
Space Saver Apple Box, Jr Plate, and Riser - a C+Riser supported by a Jr. Plate attached to an Apple Box.
Sparky Term used for an Electrician.
Stair Block Made from 2x4 or 2x6 lumber stacked like stairs to raise furniture on a set. Also called Step Blocks.
Stinger Hollywood term for a single extension cord or a heavy-duty single extension.
Stirrup A mounting device most commonly attached to Telescoping Hangers for the mounting of theatrical fixtures which have pipe clamps attached to their yokes.
T-Bar A 40" long 1-1/4" steel tube with a Junior (1-1/8") Pin welded midway. Often used for hanging theatrical lighting fixtures.
T-bone A much larger version of the Junior Wall Plate. It has a Junior receiver welded to a large "T" which has holes for nailing to the floor. The safest way to mount large lighting fixtures at a very low angle.
Tomato Double wire diffusion. A single is known as lettuce.
Trombone Trombones derive their name from the musical instrument, which also telescopes. Designed to hang on a set wall, the retaining arms adjust to their thickness for security. The arm has a 90-degree offset on it, and telescopes in two sections. A tennis ball slipped over the lowest vertical drop down prevents marring of the set wall. Available in a baby and junior versions.
Turtle Stand Primarily a C-Stand with a removable base. Also called a C+Stand. Image shown here is with Griphead and Arm.
TVMP TVMP stands for TV to Motion Picture adapter. Most Television lighting fixtures have a hope in their Yoke to attach a Pipe Clamp. Theres is no way to mount this light fixture to a stand. The TVMP adapter attaches where the Pipe Clamp did, and allows the fixture to be mounted on either a Baby or Junior Stand.
Underslung Positioning a camera system on the bottom side of a dolly like the Dutti Dolly, when the dolly is suspended between two stands.
Video Village An area on set where monitors are set up for the Director or Producers to view the shots.
Wall Sled Rigging used on set walls to hang lights and flags.
Western Dolly Large Doorway Dolly normally used on rough terrain to transport equipment as well as camera support.
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Yellow Jacket Like a bumble bee...a rubberized trough used to protect cables from damage from wheeled traffic. Shaped like a speed bump, it contains a lid and dividers for organizing cables.
-submitted by Axel Thiele
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