DJ Lingo – What Did That DJ Say?

DJ Lingo – What Did That DJ Say?

I wanted to write this fun article for those of you just starting to DJ, or who may be friends with a DJ and need to learn the lingo.


What exactly does DJ mean? DJ is short for Disc Jockey. It’s someone who jocks discs (vinyl records). There are different types of DJs, including Club DJs, Mobile DJs (private parties/weddings etc), and Radio DJs. Different DJs may use different techniques, but it is generally someone who selects, plays and mixes music for a crowd.

Beat Matching/Mixing/Spinning/DJing

This refers to the main meat of DJing- making the two songs the same speed. This is so that when they play the two songs together, they are seamless. There is no stopping or mish mash of beats. Speaking of mish mash…


This is when a DJ doesn’t quite get the beat matching right. When the two songs are faded into each other, the beats are not matched and it sounds horrible. Also called shoes in the dryer because of the sound.


When a DJ rinses it, it means he did an incredible job. Everyone was dancing, his mixes were impeccable, it was all around amazing! “Man, that DJ RINSED it last night!” It actually originates from old English language, where they used to use the phrase “A rinsing good time!” Rinse is most often used in electronic music circles, including Techno, House, and Drum and Bass.


This refers to the beats per minute, or how fast the song is. Just like a heart rate, it is calculated by counting the number of beats per minute. This is very helpful when determining if you can mix two songs together, as they have to be similar speeds to do so. For example, you can’t mix a 80 BPM song (“American Woman” by Lenny Kravitz) with a 150 BPM song (Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison).


We’re not talking about an itchy back. This is a DJ technique that is used a lot in Hip Hop. It is the sound that is made when a record is moved back and forth and those sounds are cut in various patterns. It takes quite a different skill than beat matching. They are a lot like mathematical patterns put to a beat of music.


Doubles refers to when a DJ has two of the same records/songs and is using them at the same time. A DJ who is using doubles is often referred to “Rocking Doubles.” You rock doubles a lot of the time when you are…

Beat Juggling

When a DJ has doubles of a record, and picks a certain part of the record to repeat or layer on top of the other. It is used to create interesting patterns of the same beat or phrase. This takes a very fast hand and great degree of skill.


These are DJs that specialize in scratching and/or beat juggling.


When DJs battle it is like a sort of exhibition where each DJ has a certain amount of time to show the audience what their skills. Turntablist battles are very popular.


This is a type of music that was popularized by DJ Z-Trip. It is a layering of one song over another. It is most often the vocals of one song over the beat of another. It is often a mish mash of genres such as a rock beat with hip hop vocals over or vice versa.

Now that you know the Lingo of the DJ, you can better understand DJs and what they are talking about! I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I did writing it!