Serrated adenomas (SAs) are part of the distinct serrated polyp pathway of colorectal carcinogenesis characterized by microsatellite instability and deficiency in DNA mismatch repair. Sessile SA is a recently recognized lesion that typically presents as a large sessile polyp, but lacks the conventional dysplasia. It is more frequently found on the right side than on the left side of the colon, and is thought to represent an intermediate form in the hyperplastic polyp to sessile SA, traditional SA, and colon cancer sequence. Many terms have been used and are still in use in the literature to describe this lesion, such as "hyperplastic polyposis", "giant hyperplastic polyposis," "large hyperplastic polyps," "hyperplastic-adenomatous polyposis syndrome," "giant hyperplastic polyp," and "mixed epithelial polyp." The purpose of this paper is to review and clarify the confusing nomenclature, and to provide a framework for understanding the genetic alterations and clinical significance of these precursor lesions in the serrated polyp pathway of colorectal caner.