So, has anyone in started work on an oral history of people saying birdsite/birdworld on here or were you all waiting for an internet linguist to take up residence?

Please @ me with your theories/stories!

@gretchenmcc I've seen people on Twitter also call it the "blue bird site" in a derisive way—but anecdotally, not prior to Mastodon's break-out last year

@gretchenmcc People use it because the original word is triggering for some people. "birbsite" or "birb" are also common.

@gretchenmcc Quite possibly for the same reasons people say "orange website" to refer to one particular forum, whatever those reasons happen to be.

@gretchenmcc we've been waiting for an internet linguist! Though I can't offer much history; this place was already talking funny by the time I arrived.

@gretchenmcc I first saw birdworld a few days ago.

From when I joined in March-ish 2017, I remember mostly birbsite/birdsite. I always saw it as a way to be cute and not take Twitter too serious, and that's how I still use "birbsite". Verbally taking twitter from its pedestal, but not really derogatory. More like "we're fluffy elephant place, they're birbsite, nothing out of the ordinary".

I've never used the word hellbird, but it's been around for a while I think, probably already in use when I joined?

@gretchenmcc I took it as taboo avoidance that aligned with the content-warning culture on Mastodon, plus an acknowledgement that many new joiners in 2017 spent a lot of time comparing Masto and Birdsite. Therefore any mention of Twitter was skunked, so calling it birdsite seemed a way to acknowledge the unpleasant subject we knew everyone would rather avoid.

@gretchenmcc I think @shel and @Trev who've been here almost since the start may have the history of it to some degree.

I know shel also knows why we say gameing instead of gaming as well.

@maloki @gretchenmcc @Trev we say gameing cuz it was an in-joke among @tom's friends that caught on over here.

i don't know who started birdside i think it might have been @slimekat?

@gretchenmcc no, but can I interest you in some observations of emoji usage?

Early on, 🍍was a symbol of welcome to new users, but I’ve been seeing less of that recently. has a bit of a thing for replacing letters with emoji of that letter, especially se it didn’t show up; I’m doing this on a mediocre iOS app)
But the most interesting usages are of instance-specific custom emoji. More on that in a moment.

Apologies for the length of that moment. Custom emoji mean that, if someone identifies a need for a gesture or gesture variant (like :blobpats:), they can just ask their admin to make one. My most used emoji is a custom one, :teapot:, that I think conveys the connotations of tea better than 🍵.

Pinging @chr who makes a lot of custom emoji. Also gonna mention the neologism "emojos," which is a peeve of mine

@gretchenmcc @chr
There's also opportunities to create emoji for specialized uses. On, the Magic the Gathering-themed instance I co-admin, we have symbols for the colors of mana (not the trademarked symbols though, the guy never got back to us).

@gretchenmcc of note people call mastodon "fluffy elephant website"

@gretchenmcc Superstition. If we say the name here, it will be cursed in the same way.

@gretchenmcc also 'birbsite' as a secondary obfuscation/meme reference

@gretchenmcc I've often wondered if there was a relationship between Portlandia's "put a bird on it" and "the other" bird. (BA in Lx, but not a practicing Lx'er).

@gretchenmcc I remember @Gargron saying 'bird site' a lot early on, but I'm not sure if that came from quitter or other gnusocial before mastodon

@KevinMarks @gretchenmcc no i picked it up from other mastodon users at the time

It was not in use before Mastodon, I think it was the second influx that brought it with it. The one that emigrated from Twitter, rather than arriving from Show HN.
@kevinmarks @gargron @gretchenmcc Bird site is definitely a mastodon thing.  The GS side often ridiculed it as an infantile and immature naming.  Just call Twitter by name.
@KevinMarks @gretchenmcc @Gargron My guess is that it came from him. I don't remember "birdsite" being used before Mastodon.

@bob @KevinMarks @gretchenmcc @gargron ISTR birdsite was used nearly 10 years ago, back in the days. I know for sure that "t-word" was used.

@bob @gargron @gretchenmcc @KevinMarks definitely could be wrong, and my memory definitely could be wrong

my memory: notoriously not good

@bob @gargron @gretchenmcc @kevinmarks I was on Identica from 2009 onward, and I do not recall seeing "Birdsite" in use there. "T-word" was used, but "Twitter" was used more often than any shamename.

@gretchenmcc i recall it being because a lot of early adopters were specifically trying to escape twitter. the euphemism was always a little tongue in cheek - birdsite, birbsite, hellbird, hellsite, etc. i felt like that specific slang was a naturally evolving social cohesion thing, we all agreed twitter sucked

@gretchenmcc Joined first half of 2017 - always saw it as "birdsite".

My assumption was a combo of two things:
1) a community sensitive to triggering content (and given the number of Twitter refugees on Mastodon, an assumption that a direct mention could be triggering)
2) a general propensity for silliness and playfulness.

@gretchenmcc I’ve seen people saying variations on “birdsite” for years on twitter (i imagine before Mastodon started). Before that I saw “this website”, “this hellsite”, “twitter dot com”. I suspect there was overlap with people who would refer to hacker news as “(the) orange website”.

@gretchenmcc It’s essentially the Hastur/Voldemort performative taboo, only for a website full of awful stuff, which thus must not be named.

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