Let’s assume that you are discussing the good old days with your friends on social media chat. One of them cites something really interesting and nostalgic, to which the other comments with “OG.” They start laughing and virtually high-fiving each other while you just sit there and wonder what the heck is going on. Does OG mean something funny? Is it an appreciatory gesture? Or is it just their inside joke that you weren’t a part of? We’ll stop you right there! It’s not an inside joke, and you aren’t out of the loop yet. It’s just internet slang, and the OG slang meaning could be one of many things depending on the context. One of those meanings may have already crossed your mind, but is it the right one for your conversation?
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What Does OG Mean?
The initial meaning of OG that you might have figured out already is “original,” right? But it doesn’t really fit in with the above example. Why would your friends get so excited after commenting “original” to something nostalgic? Indeed, the OG meaning in the text isn’t the shorthand in this case but an abbreviation, like MBN, and the full form of this common abbreviation is “original gangster.” Its American meaning is the same as “original” but with a slight twist. Original gangster implies that you also respect them a lot. In the case of the example, the commenter was trying to say that the nostalgic reference was original and highly respectable.
The other popular definition variants of OG include triple OG or the real OG. All these instances mean the same thing that you consider the subject to be the first of many and have a profound respect for them.
Where Does the OG Term Come From?
Since OG carries the term gangster, you probably have some semblance of its origin. You guessed it right! The earliest instance of OG usage could be traced back to the underworld gangs of yore. More specifically, it originated in the 1970s with the emergence of a gang in Los Angeles called Original Gangster Crips. The members said that the original meaning of their gang name was “We are the first.” However, OG didn’t become a pop culture American slang till the 90s, probably because of the rapper Ice-T’s track titled “O.G. Original Gangster,” which was among the top 10 singles of rap music in 1991.
How Is OG Used?
OG is mostly used to describe a person, but it can also denote the quality of an idea, invention, discovery, or anything unique. An OG person is, according to you, the absolute best at what they do, making them an exceptional badass in their game. For example, your friend, John, has acted in a number of plays, and he gives his heart and soul to enacting each role. While describing John to your other friends, you may say, “John is an OG in the world of theater.” Additionally, you can also use it to describe your favorite celebrities, style icons, rockstars, themes, art, music videos, science, and so much more. The list is endless!
What Does OG Mean on Social Media?
The meaning of OG remains the same on social media as in real life. The OG meaning in the text is the same as how you may say it verbally. So, if you want to comment on an Instagram post talking about your favorite celeb, you can simply type something like, “He’s OG in the arena.” The slang term is especially popular among millennials to laud someone who is old-school. In this increasingly digital world, it’s a novelty to find someone living without technological essentials like televisions, smartphones, or computers. A person living off the grid or nearly so is popularly known as OG.
Examples of OG on Social Media
The term can be used in various situations on social media. You can use it to describe your grandparents (who generally aren’t active on the internet) to your online friends and followers. You may say something like, “My grandmother suffered through both World Wars. She’s the real OG.”
This term is often used in celebrity discussions, like “The only OG Batman is Christian Bale,” to which someone may reply, “He is triple OG.” If OG means an extraordinarily respectable figure, triple OG implies thrice that!
Books that define a new genre are called OG on social media. For instance, “J.R.R. Tolkien revolutionized the fantasy arena. He was the OG.”
Movies also provide some great examples. “Back to the Future Part, I was the OG, the rest of the parts were alright.”
Music is another great space where OG is often expressed. “There was no one more OG than Jimi Hendrix,” or “Eluveitie is the OG of folk metal.”
Another frequent usage of OG can be found in video games. “She is a Warcraft goddess. A true OG.” In that sense, OG may also be a short form of “online game.” It’s a confusing phrase in the gaming world, indeed!
The context doesn’t really matter as long as the term makes sense in the sentence.
Is It Good to Use the Slang Word OG?
Back in the 70s and 80s, OG was used only by mafia members. An OG in a gang probably meant they had the most number of kills. Recently, however, the OG slang meaning is used in a positive way. Murder is no longer considered to be OG, but charity is triple OG. The fact of the matter is it is good to use the slang word OG both in real life and on social media.
The Influence of OG: Examples and Insights
The use of OG has influenced people from many walks of life. It is used in various other contexts, not just to mean someone badass or extraordinary. For example, when you become successful and move out of your hood but still keep in touch with the culture and people there, you will be called the real OG. It may also be used in a humorous manner. For instance, a pop music lover may be called OG by his hip-hop friends as a prank.
To sum it all up, OG means “original gangster” or “original” on social media, which translates to the ultimate badass or an amazingly exceptional individual. The term was born among the gangs of LA in the 70s, but it evolved into a positive emotion that seeped into social media worldwide.