If you already consider yourself a prepper and have been taking steps to get prepared for a few months (or years), then you may already be familiar with all the prepper jargon and acronyms.
But if you’re relatively new to the space, then chances are you’ve come across an acronym or two that made you scratch your head.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a brief list of common prepper acronyms. I’ve separated them out into three groups: the most common acronyms; those that are less common, but still used occasionally; and some government acronyms sometimes used by preppers.
Most Common Prepper Acronyms
BOB – “Bug-Out Bag” – A bag that is packed with items you will need if you’re forced to quickly evacuate your home.
EDC – “Everyday Carry” – Something you carry with you every day. For example, a pocket knife, Leatherman tool, or concealed carry.
EMP – “Electromagnetic Pulse” – A type of weapon that could be used to bring down the U.S. electrical grid. Usually appears as “EMP attack.”
SHTF – “Shit Hits the Fan” – Generically used to describe crisis situations. In a broader context, it refers to a time when we finally experience the natural consequences of our bad decisions. Can be applied on a national or personal level. Sometimes the longer version of this acronym is used: WTSHTF – When the Shit Hits the Fan.
TEOTWAWKI – “The End of the World as We Know It” – A situation where everything we are accustomed to changes. This acronym is long and awkward, so the misspelled version is also fairly common: TEOWATKI.
More Prepper Acronyms – Less Common, But Still Used Occasionally
BOL – “Bug-Out Location” – The place where family members have agreed to meet in case of evacuation.
BOV – “Bug-Out Vehicle” – A vehicle, often a large truck or RV, that is specifically equipped to bug out.
EOTW – “End of the World” – Not the literal end of planet earth, but the end of a government, a nation, or a particular way of life.
G.O.O.D. – “Get Out of Dodge” – A phrase that means one should leave town or get out of the city and stay somewhere else.
MRE – “Meal Ready to Eat” – Originally a military term. Refers to individually packaged rations for soldiers in the field.
WROL – “Without Rule of Law” – Describes a situation where there is anarchy and/or martial law. In either case, ordinary civil laws would not or could not be enforced.
YOYO – “You’re on Your Own” – The idea that you cannot depend on anybody else when the SHTF.
Some Government & Military Acronyms Sometimes Used by Preppers
B.O. – “Barack Obama” – The current two-term President of the United States.
BOHICA – “Bend Over, Here It Comes Again” – Military term. Refers to a bad situation you can’t get out of. For example, imagine being pinned down and taking heavy fire from an enemy. Suddenly, there is a lull in the attack that lasts for a few minutes. When it begins again… BOHICA. (Note: This acronym can be applied to almost any law passed by politicians.)
EBT – “Electronic Benefits Transfer” – This is how people enrolled in SNAP (“food stamps”) receive their monthly welfare benefits. The money they receive is automatically loaded into an account. They can then buy food and other “necessities” using an EBT card, which is basically the same as a debit card.
FUBAR – “F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition” – Military term that means something is really messed up.
POTUS – “President of the United States” – The current POTUS is B.O.
SNAFU – “Situation Normal All F***ed Up” – Closely related to FUBAR. Military term that means everything that can go wrong is going wrong.
SNAP – “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” – The official name for the government welfare program that provides money to families to buy food. Sometimes referred to as “food stamps.”
TPTB – “The Powers That Be” – A reference to the known (and unknown) people who control the nation, its money supply, and its citizens. Sometimes shortened to “the PTB.”