The Hunger Games: A Glossary of Terms

03/12/2012 at 03:00 PM EDT

The Hunger Games: A Glossary of Terms
JABBERJAY: Male birds with the ability to record and repeat entire conversations that were created by the Capitol to spy on its enemies during the Dark Days.

MENTOR: Previous winners of the Hunger Games are lifelong mentors to the tributes from their district each year.

MOCKINGJAY: When male jabberjays mated with female mockingbirds they produced mockingjays. These black-and-white birds don't have the ability to record conversations but they can mimic human sounds and are able to memorize songs. Katniss wears a mockingjay pin inside the arena as her tribute token.

MUTTATION: Animals genetically altered and manipulated by the Capitol to be used as weapons. Examples include jabberjays and tracker jackers.

PANEM: "A shining Capitol ringed by thirteen districts," Collins writes of her books' setting. Panem is located in what used to be known as North America after a series of disasters, including droughts, storms, fires and encroaching seas.

PREP TEAM: Each tribute is assigned a team of stylists to help them look their best (according to Capitol standards) at various public appearances related to the Hunger Games. The goal: to lure sponsors to send the tributes gifts inside the arena.

PRESIDENT SNOW: The longtime totalitarian leader of Panem.

The Hunger Games: A Glossary of Terms| Jennifer Lawrence

Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the reaping

Murray Close / Lionsgate

REAPING: Each year before the Hunger Games, the citizens of each district gather to pick their tributes in an event known as the reaping. All children, beginning at age 12, are entered into a random drawing. Each year that goes by that a child is not picked, their name is entered an additional time until age 18. After drawing the name of one girl and one boy, eligible children can volunteer to take a spot as tribute. The reaping airs live in the Capitol, where the citizens are exempt from the reaping.

THE SEAM: The most impoverished area of District 12 and Katniss's home. It borders the uninhabited(and off-limit) woods, where she and Gale hunt for much-needed food.

SPONSOR: During the Hunger Games, a tribute's mentor is responsible for procuring needed – and very expensive – items with donations from supporters known as sponsors. A sponsor can be a wealthy Capitol citizen who is impressed with a tribute's performance or members of the community of his or her district, pooling their resources.

TESSERA: Needy district kids can apply for extra food for themselves and/or family members in exchange for their names being added additional times at the upcoming reaping.

TOKEN: Each tribute is allowed to bring something to the Hunger Games that represents their District and reminds them of home. Katniss's token is the mockingjay pin.

TRACKER JACKER: Muttations that resemble wasps, whose painful stings induce intensely frightening hallucinations.

TRIBUTE: A participant, aged 12 to 18, of the Hunger Games.

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