Want to learn the graffiti slang?



Graffiti and street art have been inextricably linked to New York City since the 1970s. At that time, the Hip Hop culture turned out to be full and graffiti and street art were then mainly part of pop culture. Meanwhile, street art in New York City has evolved into a special mix of curated artwork by international artists. In some neighborhoods you can find the beautiful works of art on almost every street corner.

Not only the street scene in Amsterdam is influenced by New York. In slang, you will also hear New York vocabulary echo. “Biten”, “bombs” and “burnen” are lively examples. And strong examples of Americanized language have emerged, such as ‘digging’, ‘rocking a wall’ and ‘court rocker’. Learn the language of the spraycan and take a look at these graffiti terms.


1. Cap

Nozzles that attach to the top of spray cans. For example, skinny and fat caps.

2. Catch a tag

Tagging a name somewhere.

3. Crew

A collective of graffiti writers who paint together.

4. Dog/Line out

To put a line through or go over another writer or crew’s work.

5. Diss

To disrespect or insult another graffiti writer.

6. Dub

A quick outline of a writer’s name, traditionally with chrome and black colours. A term used mostly in London.

7. End to end

A piece covering the entire length of a train carriage.

8. Fill-in

The inside colour of a piece, throwup or dub.

9. Hall of fame

A legal or semi-legal spot that’s painted frequently. Check out our hall of fame in the graffiti artists around the world

10. Hot

A risky spot which is usually watched by the police or has a high chance of police being called.

11. Active

A actively painting graffiti writer, you’ll find them on the street right now. 

12. All city

A graffiti artist whose tags, throw-ups and pieces can be found everywhere.

13. Bite

To copy another writer’s letter structures, characters or graffiti style.

14. Blackbook

A sketchbook or marker pad containing a graffiti writer’s sketches. Check out more than 100 graffiti alphabet examples to learn more!

15. Bomb/Bombing

To completely cover something or somewhere in graffiti.

16. Buff

To chemically clean graffiti from a surface.

17. Bumpkin

A writer from outside of a major city. Take your pieces, throw-ups and graffiti characters to the city. 

18. Burn

To paint very well with maximum style. 

19. Burner

An incredibly well painted piece. Respect to you guys out there. 

20. Inactive

A writer who has temporarily stopped painting. Hope he’s coming back for more.

21. King

A legendary or prolific writer. Legends of the game. 

22. Mission

A high-stakes painting trip in the city, the train yard or other risky places. 

23. New school

A newer generation of graffiti writers.

24. Old school

An older generation of graffiti writers.

25. Outline/Hollow

A throw-up or piece painted with only the outline and no fill-in.

26. Piece

A graffiti painting, short for masterpiece. Usually painted with many colours.

27. Plot

A spot that a graffiti writer is planning (or plotting) to paint.

28. Rack

To steal. Can apply to anything, but usually means stealing spray paint.

29. Safe

A spot which isn’t very dangerous or can be painted without much risk.

30. Scar/Ghost

Graffiti that is still faintly visible after someone has cleaned it.

31. Shout out/Hit up

To put another graffiti writer’s name up.

32. Heaven spot

Graffiti pieces that are painted in places that are particularly hard to teach, such as rooftops, overpasses and freeway signs; often dangerous

33. Whole train

Train cars which have been completely covered in graffiti; one of the most respected forms of the
art form

33. Whole train

Train cars which have been completely covered in graffiti; one of the most respected forms of the
art form. Check out Train bombing

34. Married couple

two simultaneous train cars painted next to each other with a single painting

35. Angel

A writer who has passed away

36. Character

Graffiti characters (like the cartoon characters) to spice up your piece or throw-up. 

37. Tag

A writer’s name or signature. Check out what do graffiti tags mean? For more information. 

38. Throw-ups

‘Throw-up’ or ‘throwie’ is a widely referenced graffiti term, most commonly used to describe a tag-like drawings of bubble letters designed for quick execution. Maybe it has something to do with trains? 

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