This is a glossary of sorts for players of Civilization games.

This page is not up to date with the release of Civ IV.

General glossary

  • Babs – Babylonians
  • Apolyton –
  • Civ – Civilization (either the game or a civilization within it)
  • Epic Game – A single-player random or customized map, as opposed to a scenario.
  • Goodie hut – Minor Tribe (Civ), Unity Pod (SMAC); "pod" is more common for the latter.
  • ICS – Infinite City Sprawl, also derisively Infinite City Sleaze and other uncomplimentary phrases
  • MP – Multiplayer game
  • OCC – One City Challenge. An attempt to complete the Epic Game with only one city. More specifically, an organized contest involving this.
  • PBEM – Play by e-mail
  • Territory – What you do not have enough of and everybody else has too much of
  • Village – See "goodie hut"

Civ2 glossary

  • ToT – Test of Time (special edition of Civilization II)

Civ3 glossary

  • C3C – Civilization III: Conquests (expansion pack)
  • GL – (Military) Great Leader; Great Library
  • MGL – Military Great Leader
  • PTW – Play the World (expansion pack)
  • REX – Rapid Early Expansion
  • SGL – Scientific Great Leader

Call to Power glossary

  • CTP – Call to Power

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri glossary

  • >pop< - Xenofungal bloom
  • AA – Alien Artifact
  • CC – Cybernetic Consciousness
  • CDF – The Citizens' Defense Force
  • CP – Colony Pod
  • HGP – The Human Genome Project
  • HSA – The Hunter-Seeker Algorithm
  • IoD – Isle of the Deep
  • MCC – The Maritime Control Center
  • ME – The Merchant Exchange
  • PB – Planet Buster
  • PK or PKs – The Peacekeeping Forces
  • PTS – The Planetary Transit System
  • SCC – Super science city (a base with lots of labs-enhancing Secret Projects)
  • SMAC – Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
  • SMAX – Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire
  • SP – Secret Project; Single Player
  • ToE – The Theory of Everything
  • UoP – The University of Planet
  • VW – The Virtual World
  • WP – The Weather Paradigm

Freeciv glossary

  • Smallpox (spox)- Freeciv term for Infinite City Sprawl, see ICS in general glossary, although 'smallpox' usually refers to building lots of cities with no city improvements very close together, while 'ICS' usually refers to any tactic that relies mainly on building more cities rather than improving existing cities.
  • Bigpox (Largepox, lpox) – Freeciv term for strategies involving improving a few cities and building in depth rather than expanding. Bigpox games are games where the rules are changed to favour such strategies.
  • Rapture – We love the King day in the other civilizations; the citizens of a city are celebrating

Differences of terminology among games


The Civ games tend to share identical concepts, though sometimes they are referred to by different names. Differences between units will not be listed here except for very basic types common to all games. SMAC has the most different terminology, being an unofficial Civ game (although designed in part by Sid Meier) and being set in the future on another planet. For differences in terminology among the Test of Time games, consult the manual. Freeciv always uses the Civ2 term.

Warning: This may not be accurate yet, and does not include Call to Power terms.

Civ1 Term Civ2 Term Civ3 Term SMAC Term Meaning
Food Food Food Nutrients Increases city growth
Shields Shields Shields Minerals Builds units/improvements
Trade Trade Commerce Energy Goes to taxes/research/luxuries
Taxes Taxes Taxes Economy Portion of trade that goes into your treasury
Science Science Science Labs Goes to developing new tech
Luxury Luxury Entertainment Psych Goes to keeping citizens content/happy
Settlers1 Settlers1 Settler Colony Pod Establishes a new city
Settlers1 Settlers1 Worker Former Enhances terrain
Government Government Government Social Engineering Affects bonuses and penalties of your civilization
Barbarian Barbarian Barbarian Mind Worm Unit associated with no civ; raids player units
Minor tribe2 Minor tribe2 Minor tribe2 Unity Pod Causes random event
Happy citizen Happy citizen Happy citizen Talent Offsets unhappy citizens
Content citizen Content citizen Content citizen Worker Ordinary citizen
Unhappy citizen Unhappy citizen Unhappy citizen Drone Causes disorder riots if exceeds number of happy citizens
Civil disorder Civil disorder Civil disorder Drone riots Production ceases

[1] In Civ1 and Civ2, Settlers function both as city-building units and terrain-enhancing units. If we were to follow Civ1 terminology here, the word "Settler" would create ambiguity for Civ3 and SMAC players. Therefore, the Civ3 terminology for "Settlers" and "Workers" has been adopted as an exception to the general rule to use Civ1 terminology. Civ1 and Civ2 players can simply read both words as "Settlers".

[2] The word "village" is synonymous with Minor Tribe. They are invariably called "goodie huts" by fans, because they usually dispense "good" things such as free technologies or money and in most graphics sets they are represented by a hut (or small number of huts). "Goodie hut" is often abbreviated to "hut".