I've left particle physics after my diploma a few years ago so I am not familiar with all of the slang, anymore. My question is pretty simple: How common is it to call the W and the Z boson "gauge bosons" in professional physics. Is it pretty much not used and seen as a sign of the person doing so not having understood the Higgs Mechanism? Is it used well knowing that it's just lazy talk? Or is the name "gauge bosons" really established for the W and Z? Did I simply not understand the Higgs mechanism? Something completely different? As for the background of my question: Some time ago I was surprised seeing the Wikipedia article "gauge boson" listing the photon, gluons, W and Z as the gauge bosons of the Standard Model. What I learned is that gauge fields are the fields that are required to keep the action invariant under a local gauge, the SM gauge fields being the massless gluons, photons, W and B fields. I would then expect that a "gauge boson" is just the quantized field (maybe this is where I go wrong). However, I've never seen anyone else than me wondering about calling the massive W and Z, mixtures of gauge fields and Higgs fields, "gauge boson" so I am a bit confused. My question on Wikipedia was left unanswered for about half a year now. Comments by actual particle physicists (please remember that I am interested in the professional usage, not usage on forum discussions), both from theory and experiment, would be very welcome. EDIT: On the German keyboard, T and Z are next to another. I meant the Z, of course. Maybe some moderator can correct the thread title.