A Filk Glossary

Here are some common bits of filk jargon, with explanations lovingly stolen (with credit) from filkers around the internet:

Bardic Circle
BNF
Chaos Circle
Filk Hog
Follower
Found Filk
Frank Hayes Disease
Instafilk
Non-topological/Poker-Chip Bardic Circle
Ose
OVFF
Pegasus Awards


Bardic Circle

Explanation from Kay Shapiro’s Filk FAQ Glossary:

Filksong organizational rules whereby participants sit in a circle and take turns. Turns pass sequentially along the ring with each person given the choice to perform, pick someone else to perform, or pass.


BNF

Explanation from Debbie’s Filk FAQ:

Informal term for “Big Name Filker”. Usually refers to someone who is well-known in the filk community but like the term “filk”, the exact definition varies depending on the person you ask.


Chaos Circle

Explanation from Kay Shapiro’s Filk FAQ Glossary:

Filksing that has no particular organization; filkers participate as they please.


Filkhog

Explanation from Debbie’s Filk FAQ:

The term “filkhog” is usually applied to someone who performs more times during an open filk circle than their fair share. What exactly a “fair share” is, of course, varies from person to person. The term is also used as a verb, i.e. “Gomer sure was filkhogging in last night’s circle, wasn’t he?”


Follower

Explanation from Debbie’s Filk FAQ:

A song that relates in some way to a recently performed song.

Usually you’ll hear this term called out in open filk (“I have a follower!”), indicating that the speaker would like to perform something next.


Found Filk

Explanation from Debbie’s Filk FAQ:

‘Found filk’ refers to songs that were written outside of the filk context, but are appropriate for singing within a filk environment because of particular content, especially that related to science fiction and fantasy. Here is a list of some sf references in music.


Frank Hayes Disease

Explanation from Debbie’s Filk FAQ:

When a performer forgets lyrics or guitar chords, filkers will sometimes call out, “Frank Hayes disease, give generously!” Those of you not familiar with Frank Hayes might be curious about this strange affliction.

Frank Hayes is indeed a real person. Here’s his Wikipedia entry.

From a Duckon bio years ago: “By 1983 or so, my ability to forget had reached legendary status,” Frank writes. “Some filkers claimed they got temporary amnesia just from sitting in the same room as me. On one amazing (but true) occasion, Heather Alexander borrowed a guitar, not knowing it was mine–and promptly forgot a song she had known for years.”


Instafilk

Explanation from Kay Shapiro’s Filk FAQ Glossary:

“Instant Filk” – a filksong written on the spot.


Non-topological/Poker-Chip Bardic Circle

Explanation from Kay Shapiro’s Filk FAQ Glossary:

Filksing organization rules whereby each participant is issued one turn per round, this turn symbolized by a poker chip or other counter. To take a turn, the participant tosses in a chip and announces his or her intentions. To pass, simply toss in a chip without comment. When all turns are used, the round is finished, and each participant gets a new token.


Ose

From morose, via the pun “Ose, ose, and more-ose.”

Explanation from Kay Shapiro’s Filk FAQ Glossary:

Classic description: “The kind of ballad, usually sung in a minor key, where everyone dies except the dog… Then he dies too.” Generally, any moody/depressing/horrific song will be tagged as ose.

As with any attempt to categorize songs, the line between ose and non-ose is fuzzy at best, and made more so by humorous (humor-ose?) parodies of ose songs and the like. [Note: humorous ose is also called “cheeryose.”]


OVFF

The Ohio Valley Filk Fest. From the OVFF site:

The Ohio Valley Filk Fest is the world’s largest fan-run filk convention, for all fen with a song in their heart.

OVFF is where the Pegasus Awards are awarded. It generally takes place in Columbus, OH.


Pegasus Awards

The Pegasus Awards are a yearly set of awards for filk music, presented at OVFF. From the Pegasus site:

The Pegasus Awards were founded by OVFF to recognize and honor excellence in filking.

Any member of the worldwide filk community is eligible to win. Past Nominees have hailed from the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, and Singapore as well as the United States.

The nomination and ballot procedure is similar to that of the Hugo, except that one does not need to be a paid member of the convention to nominate or vote. Anyone with an interest in Filking or Filk music can place a nomination and/or vote.

The results are tabulated, the winners determined, and the award is presented at the Pegasus Awards Banquet on Saturday evening at each OVFF.