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This is a page dedicated to briefly describe terms that are frequently used in Survivor. Feel free to add new entries. To learn more about these term, there are links to direct you to its mother article.


  • Advantage - A reward given to a player in a "Reward Challenge" in which the player will have some sort of advantage in the upcoming Immunity Challenge.
  • Alliance - A group of people who band together for strategic purposes (see Alliance).
  • Auction - A type of reward challenge in which the remaining contestants are given a specific amount of money to outbid each other for various items (see Survivor Auction).


  • Blindside - To eliminate a person from the game by surprise.
  • Buff - A colored band of cloth which denotes tribal affiliation (see Buff).


  • (The) Car Curse - The inexplicable coincidence where the winner of a Reward Challenge which has a car for a prize does not win the entire game. (see Car Curse)
  • Castaways - The contestants in each season (see Castaway).
  • Challenge - The competition in which the tribes or contestants vie for Reward and/or Immunity. (see Challenge)
  • Confessional - A directing tool where a castaway usually narrates from their perspective to the audience, typically talking about strategy, their experience on the island and fellow castaways. These are also done when contestants are voting at Tribal Council and also when they are voted out. (see Confessional)


  • Day 39 - The final day of the competition. Except in the case of Survivor: The Australian Outback, which lasted for 42 days.
  • Duel - A special challenge in which the current inhabitant(s) of Redemption Island and the most recently voted out contestant(s) compete for a chance to get back in the game.
  • Day Zero - A twist from Survivor: Blood vs. Water where prior to the game officially starting, the ten pairs of contestants will be left overnight at individual locations around the island leading them to believe that they will be working and competing together as a duo (see Day Zero).


  • Exile - To send a player to Exile Island.
  • Exile Island (or Exile)  - A location where a castaway would be temporarily banished from his/her tribe for a predetermined period of time (see Exile Island).


  • Fan Favorite Award - Another name for Sprint Player of the Season, where the season's most popular contestant gets an extra prize (see Fan Favorite Award).
  • Final Two/Three - The remaining two or three castaways who would face the Jury and are eligible to be voted for the title of Sole Survivor.
  • Fire-Making Challenge - A special challenge wherein the people involved in a tie duke it out to stay in the game. Only happens during the final four or when tribe is down to only two members.
  • Flip - To betray one's alliance by joining another alliance.
  • Flush - To play the Hidden Immunity Idol when it is not necessary or to be voted out without playing the Hidden Immunity Idol.


  • Goat - A derogatory term for players who are viewed as undeserving to make it to the Final Tribal Council.


  • Hidden Immunity Idol (or Idol) - An item that can be found by castaways and can be used to save oneself or others from getting voted out (see Hidden Immunity Idol).


  • Idol (out) - To cause the elimination of another castaway by playing the Hidden Immunity Idol.
  • Immunity - An exemption from being voted out.


  • Jury - A group of recently eliminated contestants who will decide the Sole Survivor among the final few (see Jury).


  • Kidnap - A chance to "kidnap" a member of the opposite tribe for a limited period of time.


  • Loved Ones - The relative, spouse or friend of a castaway who visits the island for a predetermined period of time (see Loved Ones).


  • Medical evacuation (or Medevac) - An instance whereby a contestant is forced to leave the game due to medical reasons (see Medical Evacuation).
  • (The) Merge - The halfway point of the game where the competing tribes combine as one until the end of the game and the game becomes individual (see Merge).
  • Mutiny - A chance offered to the castaways to switch tribes.



  • (The) Outcasts - A ghost tribe in Survivor: Pearl Islands consisting of the first six players who were voted out of the game and were given a chance to return to the game after competing in a special three-tribe Immunity challenge (see Outcasts).


  • Pagonging - A post-merge strategy employed by a tribe by successively voting out the remaining members of the other tribe (see Pagonging).
  • Parchment - The paper used by the contestants in their voting.
  • Perfect Game - A contestant who wins Survivor by a unanimous jury vote and also never had a vote against them the entire game.
  • Ponderosa - A sequester house for eliminated castaways.
  • Power Duo - An alliance of two people that are more devoted to each other than the alliance they formed or joined.
  • Purple Rock - A pre-Final Four mechanism to break a tie vote. Players (except Immune players) will have to draw rocks, and the person who gets the purple rock gets eliminated.


  • Quit - To voluntarily leave the game without being voted out (see Quit).


  • Redemption Island (or Redemption) - A location where castaways would stay after being voted out and await their upcoming Duel(s) (see Redemption Island).
  • Returning player (or returnee) - A player who returns to the game for another shot at competing and winning the game.
  • Rites of Passage - A ceremony involving the tribute of the final few to the eliminated castaways before the final Immunity Challenge.


  • Schoolyard Pick - A twist done in Survivor where two castaways serve as captains for two tribe and alternate picking between men and women until both tribes are filled evenly. If there are an odd number of castaways, the person not chosen waits on Exile Island and joins the losing tribe following Tribal Council. (see Schoolyard Pick)
  • Shelter - A hut built by castaways on the island. It is a place where a tribe eats and sleeps, normally keeping them dry during harsh weather conditions. 
  • Snuffing - The act of extinguishing an eliminated contestant's torch by the host.
  • Split vote - A strategy employed by an alliance with a 2/3 majority by distributing their votes between members of a smaller opposing alliance, to possibly defuse any power gained by playing a Hidden Immunity Idol (see Split Vote).
  • Sole Survivor - The title bestowed on the winner of each season (see Sole Survivor).


  • Throwaway vote - To purposefully or randomly vote a castaway, knowing that his/her vote might not have any strategic significance whatsoever.
  • Torch - An item that holds fire, which represents a castaway's "life" in the game.
  • Tree Mail - An area of a tribe's camp where they receive letters (typically written as a cryptic poem), notifying them of an upcoming challenge or Redemption Island duel. It is a play on "E-Mail". (see Tree Mail)
  • Tribal Council (or Tribal) - The elimination ceremony and the place where votings take place (see Tribal Council).
  • Tribe - The competing teams in each season (see Tribe).
  • Tribe Dissolve - The dissolution of one or two tribe(s) before the Merge, with the members being absorbed by the remaining tribes or the remaining castaways being shuffled into new tribes.
  • Tribe Switch - A twist which involves sending members of a tribe to the other and vice versa (see Tribe Switch).
  • Twist - A drastic game-changing alterations to the original format of the game (see Twists).


  • Ulonging - A circumstance when a tribe constantly loses Immunity challenges (see Ulonging).
  • Urn - The container in which the castaways place their votes.


  • Voted out - To be eliminated from the game.

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