Here you will find a list of stamp collecting terms, a list of stamp collecting acronyms, and a few websites I highly recommend as excellent resources for the stamp collector.
Glossary of Stamp Collecting Terms
Album: A book for storing stamps or covers.
Cachet: An image on the left-hand side of covers.
Cancel: An ink mark placed on the stamp by the Post Office in order to show that the stamp cannot be reused.
Cover: A postally used envelope with a stamp or other means of postage payment.
Duplicate: An additional copy of a stamp which one already has in their collection.
Fancy Cancel: A cancel with an interesting design.
Gum: The sticky substance on the reverse side of stamps. Also known as adhesive.
Hinge: A piece of gummed glassine which is used to attach a stamp to an album page.
Imperforate: A stamp without perforations.
Jumbo: A stamp with uncommonly large margins.
Margin: The blank area around a stamp’s design.
Mint: An unused stamp.
Mount: Clear acetate holders for stamps. Used to mount stamps into an album.
Pair: Two connected stamps.
Perforation: The little holes between stamps which enable easy separation of the stamps.
Philately: The collection and study of postage stamps and related items.
Plate Block: A block of stamps from the corner or side of a sheet of stamps.
Postmark: Same as a cancel.
Precancel: A stamp with a pre-printed cancel, allowing it to bypass normal cancellation by a Post Office.
Revenue Stamps: Stamps that do not pay normal postage, but pay other fees or taxes.
Selvage: The margin around a sheet of stamps usually depicting the plate number and other markings, such as copyright notices.
Sheet: A complete and unseparated unit of stamps as printed.
Strip: Three or more unseparated stamps in a row or column.
Tongs: Tweezers used for handling stamps.
Topical: A stamp depicting a specific topic such as bees, sports, guitars, etc.
Used: A postally used stamp which can never be used on mail again.
Watermark: Purposeful thinning of paper during the manufacturing process forming semitranslucent patterns or letters, making it difficult to counterfeit a stamp.
Glossary of Stamp Collecting Acronyms
BOB: Back of book. Referring to the stamps at the back of specialized catalogs.
CTO: Canceled to order
CTS: Circular date stamp
CV: Catalog value
DG: Disturbed gum
EFO: Errors, freaks, and oddities
F: Fine (centering)
FDC: First day cover
FV: Face value
F-VF: Fine to very fine (centering)
HH: Heavily hinged
HR: Hinge remnant
LH: Lightly hinged
LP: Line pair
MNH: Mint never hinged
NH: Never hinged
OG: Original gum
PB: Plate block
PNC: Plate number coil
PO: Post office
SCV: Scott catalog value
SE: Straight edge
SON: Socked on the nose (cancel)
SS: Souvenir sheet
VF: Very fine (centering)
VLH: Very lightly hinged
XF: Extremely (or extra) fine (centering)
Excellent stamp collecting resources