At one of the Hot Rod Power Tour stops a few years ago, I met a GM designer at the automaker's booth. I can't recall his name, but I was so starstruck I think I remember our conversation consisting mostly of me saying, "Hey, you're cool."

Don't let this happen to you. The New York Times provides a lexicon of design slang to help you at least fake a conversation if you happen to run in to, say, Brian Nesbitt at the local bowling alley. We're sure most Autoblog readers know many if not most of the terms defined in the story, but there are a few that might surprise, and a refresher course is rarely a bad thing. Here are a few of the more obscure terms to get you started:

I.P. - The NYT's story warns to never use the word dashboard when speaking with a designer, but instead to refer to it as the instrument panel, or , preferably, the I.P.

D.R.G - Cars designed with traits of its company have what is called Down the Road Graphic. It's the "visual signature" that with only a quick glance, communicates the brand.

Dead Cat Hole - We can guess the origins of this term, but it refers to the space between a car's tire and the wheel well.

Check out the NYT story for more terms defined, like gummidinger and rat hole.

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