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What are the Most Popular Slang Words for Vinyl Records?

A record on a record player

Holly |

We're sure there must be hundreds of slang and other words for describing vinyl. Here are a few of the most popular, and some of our favourites.

1 - Wax

The term "wax" is a common slang word used to refer to vinyl records. It originates from the material used to make early records, which was made of a substance called shellac. However, as technology evolved, vinyl became the predominant material used for record production.

The term "wax" likely comes from the fact that the surface of vinyl records has a waxy texture. Additionally, during the manufacturing process, the vinyl material is heated and moulded into the shape of a record, which further reinforces the connection to wax.

This slang word has inspired many vinyl-related businesses across the world, as well as 'Hot Wacks' magazine which is considered to be the bible of bootleg releases.

Hot Wacks magazine
Hot Wacks is a popuar magazine documenting bootleg releases

2 - Vinyl

While the term "vinyl" itself is not necessarily slang, it is commonly used as shorthand or colloquialism for vinyl records. In this context, "vinyl" is a widely recognised term among music enthusiasts and collectors, often used in casual conversations and even in marketing.

The use of "vinyl" as slang for vinyl records has gained popularity in recent years, particularly as the resurgence of vinyl has grown. It's a simple and straightforward way to refer to records. The term "vinyl" is derived from the material used to produce records, which is polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

3 - Platter

The term "platter" is sometimes used as slang for vinyl records, but it is generally considered to be quite a dated term, harking back to the 50s.

It's worth noting that the term "platter" is not as widely used as "wax" or "vinyl" when it comes to referring to records. However, within specific DJ or vinyl enthusiast communities, you may come across this slang term being used to describe vinyl records, primarily in the context of DJing or spinning records on a turntable.

Record spinning

4 - Spinners

The term "spinners" is not as widely used as some other slang words for vinyl records, but it has gained popularity in certain music circles. It's a playful and evocative term that captures the dynamic and interactive nature of playing vinyl records on a turntable.

We do wonder whether the naming of the music groups ‘The Platters’ and ‘The Spinners’ had anything to do with records!

5 - LPs

The term "LP" serves as a widely recognised abbreviation and slang for vinyl records, particularly those known as albums or long-playing records. It originated from the phrase "Long Play," representing vinyl records designed to play at a slower speed of 33 1/3 revolutions per minute. These records typically contain a more extensive collection of tracks on each side, providing a fuller and longer listening experience compared to singles or EPs.

Beyond its practical meaning, "LP" carries historical significance, representing a significant era in music consumption. Its usage evokes a sense of nostalgia and appreciation for the vinyl medium, emphasizing the allure of full-length album experiences. Within the vibrant community of record collectors and music lovers, "LP" remains a cherished term that celebrates the unique qualities and enduring charm of vinyl records.

Stacks of LPs

6 - Records

The term "records" is widely embraced as slang for vinyl records. It serves as a versatile and inclusive term that encompasses the entire spectrum of vinyl releases. When people use "records" in this context, they are referring to the diverse range of vinyl formats, including albums, singles, EPs, and more.

7 - Vinyls

This one may spark some controversy…

The term "vinyls" is sometimes used as slang for vinyl records, particularly in informal conversations. While not universally accepted or grammatically correct, it has gained popularity as a casual way to refer to multiple vinyl records.

"Vinyls" is a plural form derived from the material used to make records, which is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). While "vinyl" is the correct singular form, the addition of the "s" to create "vinyls" has become a linguistic shortcut, mirroring how people often add an "s" to form the plural of other nouns.

The use of "vinyls" as slang reflects the informal nature of discussions surrounding vinyl records. It has become a convenient and recognisable way for collectors and enthusiasts to refer to their vinyl record collections collectively. However, it's worth noting that the term is not universally embraced and can be a point of contention among those who prefer grammatically correct usage.

Plural of vinyl

8 - Slabs

"Slabs" is a slang term occasionally used to refer to vinyl records, primarily within more specific music circles. The term "slabs" conveys a sense of weight and solidity, likening vinyl records to heavy, substantial objects. It could especially be used to refer to particularly heavy vinyl pressings, like 180g or 200g releases.

While "slabs" may not be as widely used as some other slang terms for vinyl records, it conveys a particular perspective on the format. It evokes a sense of the weight and importance that vinyl records hold in the hearts and collections of those who appreciate their unique characteristics and sonic qualities.

9 - Frisbees

"Frisbees" is a slang term occasionally used to refer to vinyl records, particularly in a playful or light hearted context. The term draws a playful comparison between vinyl records and the flying disc toy known as a Frisbee.

It's important to note that the term "frisbees" is not as widely used as some other slang terms for vinyl records, and its usage tends to be more informal or light-hearted.

If you want to have a go at playing frisbee using a vinyl record, we’d recommend choosing one long past its best in terms of condition… Alternatively, you could buy a frisbee that looks like a record, designed by David Shrigley!


10 - Liquorice Pizza

"Liquorice pizza" is a slang term used for vinyl records, and it also happens to be the title of a film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Released in 2021, "Licorice Pizza" is a coming-of-age comedy-drama set in the 1970s San Fernando Valley. The term "liquorice pizza" itself refers to the round shape of vinyl records, resembling a pizza, and the dark colour reminiscent of liquorice candy.

The film was named after a chain of record shops in Southern California. Their logo (and there are lots of similar images online) was of a female chef holding up her 'freshly baked' liquorice pizza!

licorice pizza​​

10 - Pancakes

Ok… this one was invented in our office. It deserves to catch on, though. They’re both round!

Pancakes on a record player
Reddit | Slothz1lla​​

Do you use any of these slang terms or is there another one you'd like to share?

Get in touch with us, or leave a comment below!

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1 comment

You forgot one—“sides”, as used by a few hipsters in the 1950s, according to the 1959 album “How To Speak Hip” (a parody of language-learning records, with Del Close portraying the guide/narrator, and John Brent playing the role of “Geetz Romo”, a hipster that the guide features as an example of how to speak “hip”). As in, “let’s split to my pad and listen to some sides”. :)


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