What does OG Mean?
I know you’ve probably seen those 2 letters thrown around a lot on text messaging apps or social media and have no clue what they stand for.
Well, it’s a good thing you ended up on this article! Today, I will take a detailed look at the meaning of OG, its history and some examples of how it is used.
Continue reading to learn all about this popular slang term!
What Does OG Mean in Texting, Slang & Social Media?
The letters in OG has two different meanings. The first is “original gangster.” This term comes from American gang culture in the 1970s. It’s used to describe someone who is a founding member of a gang or crew. The second meaning is “Original.” This is used to describe something that is the first of its kind.
A Deeper Look at the Meaning of OG
The term OG has been around for many year and it found its way into popular culture through its use in rap and hip hop songs in the 1980s.
Since they’re essentially two definitions, let us take a more detailed look at both of them.
Original Gangster Meaning
Self-proclaimed former gang members Steve Champion and Anthony Ross claim the term was first used in the early 1970s by the United States Los Angeles-based gang The Original Gangster Crips. The men state the slang “original gangster” or “OG was derived from the gang’s name and stood for “we’re the first.” They say Crips members would use the OG acronym when tagging which part of the gang they belonged to.
As the LA Crips gang expanded in the 1970s, with new recruits joining from different gangs, the definition of began to change. OG then became synonymous with someone who was deeply devoted to their subset gang, and younger members of the gangs began to use it in reference to the elders. The wordbecame so popular that even rival gangs, and eventually others not affiliated with the gang scene, started using it.
The presence of OG can be observed in mainstream music and commercialized rap music from as early as the 1980s.
One well known example of OG in the mainstream context is in famous rapper Ice-T’s single album title “O.G. Original Gangster”. The single of the same name was heavily rotated and secured a number 7 peaking spot on the 1991 Billboard rap charts.
As text messaging has evolved, OG, like popular words bae, smh and NP, has also become a shortened form of the word Original. With the older definition applied, it essentially means that a person or thing has a classic style or way of doing things that was not mainstream. With the new meaning applied, O.G. can be used as a reference to authenticity in a person or thing.
This term is often used to describe someone who is considered to be a pioneer or leader in a particular field. It can also be used to describe something that is the best of its kind, such as an “OG track” or “OG sneakers.” In some cases, OG can simply be used as a way to show respect for someone or something.
The video below does a pretty good job breaking down the meaning of both definitions.
How Do You Use the Word OG?
The term OG can be used in a variety of ways and depending on the digital platform that you are using, the meaning can change slightly.
Let us look at how this acronym is used on social media, text messaging and even in email subject lines.
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OG Meaning in Chat/Text/Whatsapp?
If you’re typing in messaging apps and OG is used, it can mean one of two things. More than likely, it is being used as an abbreviation of “original”, so look at what it is being applied to in order to understand the context.
If they are paying respect or showing reverence to someone, it is likely that they are using the word as an acronym for “Original Gangster.”
Example: If someone types to you “this is an OG meme” they are saying that this is a meme that is original, and not a copy of another one.
OG Meaning on Social Media/Tik Tok/Instagram/Facebook?
You probably see OG used a lot on social media, especially on Tik Tok, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. If someone uses it in their post, they are more than likely using it as an abbreviation of “original.”
Example: Someone might post a picture of an old car and caption it with “This is an OG.”
OG Friendship/Relationship Meaning
The term OG is also used in relationships and friendships. It is used to describe someone who has been your friend for a long time or someone who is considered to be a “ride or die.”
Example: A guy could be talking about his girlfriend and say “She’s my OG, we’ve been best friends since kindergarten.”
OG Meaning in Gaming?
If you’ve played Fortnite long enough, then you have probably come across the term. An OG in Fortnite or other online games is someone who has been playing the game for a long time and is considered to be an expert at it.
OG Shoes/Footwear Meaning
In the world of sneakers, an OG is a shoe that is the original colorway or style of a particular model. It is usually the first version of the shoe that was released to the public.
Examples: The first Air Jordan sneaker was released in 1985 and if you have an OG pair of these, you would have an original pair from that release.
The word can also be used to describe a retro version of a shoe that has been re-released by the company.
Example: Nike might release an “OG” version of the Air Max 1 that is the same color and style as the original release.
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Examples of using OG in Real Life:
We’ve already established that OG is a term used to characterize authenticity and respect.
In this regard, it can be used to describe sporting legends like Michael Jordan, Usain Bolt, Muhammad Ali and others who are undisputed champions in their fields. In this respect, OG is used similarly to the acronym GOAT (Greatest of All Time). So instead of saying “Usain Bolt is the GOAT in track and field”, one might say “Bolt is the O.G. of track!”
The word can also be used in a less serious and banter-like way for someone who does quirky things. For example, a friend who is able to catch sweets with his/her mouth, could be jokingly called an OG.
A search for the hashtag OG (that is #OG) on Instagram will reveal more than 4.8 million posts made worldwide. The featured posts include videos of elite athletes, unique sneakers and other products, amped up vehicles and bikes, and some of the world’s greatest singers, actors and other performers. It also includes funny videos from reality TV shows and kids doing silly tricks.
So, now you know exactly what OG means and how it is used. Whether you’re seeing it in a social media post or hearing it in a rap song, you should have a better understanding of its meaning.
Just remember, OG can be used in a variety of ways – from describing someone who is tough or original, to simply showing respect for someone or something.
Now, I want to hear from you. Are you an OG? Let me know in the comments below!