Amateur radio has no lack of specialized terms. Many of these have origins in Morse code's shorthand because if you thought it was indecipherable before, why not have abbreviations that have no bearing on their actual meaning?

Usually, people on VHF do NOT use these abbreviations. Sometimes, people are just a little too excited about hearing a new ham or from a recent contest and decide to use this lingo. Other parts of this vocabulary are simply what people use to refer to things in ham radio. Feel free to use this glossary to help if something doesn't make sense either on the air or on my site.


  • QSO -- a record of contact made with another station. Basically, "I swear I talked to them."
  • QSL -- a confirmed record of contact with another station. Both sides have verified the contact with one another either electronically through a myriad of websites facilitating such records, or with QSL cards. Honestly, QSOs count for nothing, it is the QSLs that count for official recordkeeping.