Published: 27 May 2007
Work in Progress, needs more work.

Hectad, Myriad, Centisquare

At some point in our history we realised we needed a simple, unambiguous way to refer to the different size squares on the mapping grids we use. These terms where the result again of suggestions via the forum, with a little voting to solicit the most popular.
See also LinkExternal link


The server that ran the Geograph website, was soon noted as being hamster powered, as in 'we need to put more hamsters on wheels' when things where running slow. Or a hamster fell out of its wheel when something broke. Later also used as a general term to refer to any part of the inner workings of the site.

The tea set

Later, when Geograph moved to its new home of a cluster of servers, as system administrators know, you need a name for every server for easy reference; so on the forum we asked users to 'Name our Servers', after hundreds of suggestions, we finally settled on the great British tradition, Afternoon Tea, so the servers became known as:

Milk, Toast, Crumpet, Cream, Jam, Scone, Tea, Cake
(also we had Butter and Pasty helping out the primary servers.)

As of September 2020, all the servers have been retired from active service as the website is now on the Cloud.


Due to our database being powered by MySQL, this at some point got corrupted to SQuirreLs, as they are such good foragers for nuts (information ;) )

Hamster Dance

Now we have multiple servers, and the data is cached on each server for a while, pages can sometimes change each time you view them due to coming from different servers, this has simply become known as the hamster dance.


There is lots of history of this in the forum, but basically this was one of the first (of many!) slightly odd categories (which are intended to be Geographical) - somehow it took a life of its own, with informal points being awarded for anyone submitting a PEACOCK themed photo.


Not started by Geograph, but often used - short for Get Off My Land - leave it to your imagination what that means.


This Is Not A Photography Site - basically highlighting that geograph is not primarily about 'artistic' photography, preferring to concentrate on documenting the land, warts and all. Sometimes that means excellent photography, sometimes not - but first and foremost we welcome contributions from photographers whatever the skill level.

Fred Drift

The nickname given to the user who initiates Thread Drift (often inadvertently), which is the process by which a thread's topic of discussion drifts away from the intended theme (which is usually set out in the first post). By this method a thread can easily take on a life and character of its own that nobody could have predicted. Note it's customary not to engage in (or prolong) serious thread drift unless the original topic has run its course.


These are probably the most famous Geographisms, but see also these forum threads

Names for different size squaresExternal link
Name Our ServersExternal link
Proverbs for GeonerdsExternal link

see also
Finding Your Way in Geograph ForumsExternal link
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright May 2007, Barry Hunter; licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.
With contributions by Penny Mayes. (details)
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