What Does “NGL” Mean, and How Do You Use It?

Anyone who spends time on the Internet should know that acronyms, shorthand and slang are widely used. Knowing that and understanding every phrase are two very different matters, however. Especially because language and how people use it change rapidly, it’s hard to keep track of what people mean when they use acronyms in a conversation.

The expression NGL is a great example.

What does NGL mean?

In an acronym, the first letter of each word is used to represent the whole word.

In this case, N stands for “not,” G stands for “gonna” or “going to” and L stands for “lie.” Put together, that means NGL is the same as saying, “not going to lie.” More formally, this might be written as, “I’m not going to lie.”

Unlike most Internet acronyms, NGL is almost always used before a full sentence. That’s because the phrase “not gonna lie” serves to emphasize the truth of what follows by pointing out that it isn’t a lie, and that the person saying it is completely sincere. NGL also tends to imply that the user is surprised by what they are saying, or that they’re admitting something unusual. However, this doesn’t always hold, and NGL is often just used to emphasize something.

The origin of NGL

Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact record of when this phrase or its acronym were first used in its current sense. However, the phrase “not gonna lie” seems to have first appeared in print in the 1980s, when the meaning of it was much the same as today.

Of course, it’s possible to find older examples of the three words in the same order. All these, however, tend to simply be somebody declaring that they will not lie about something unstated in a standalone sentence, rather than in the same way NGL is used.

It’s hard to say when the phrase made the jump to common Internet slang, as well. It doesn’t appear on older lists of “net speak” from the 1990s, suggesting it’s a somewhat recent addition to the ever-growing lists of acronyms that make communication online simultaneously so fun and so confusing.

How to use NGL in a sentence

To use NGL, simply place it at the beginning or end of a sentence expressing something that might otherwise be hard to believe. Because the acronym serves the same grammatical role as a word like “actually,” you should technically separate NGL from the rest of the sentence with a comma. However, since many people do not use punctuation on the Internet at all, this is optional.

For example, if you wanted to recommend a movie that you found moving, you might say, “NGL, her acting was so good I cried.”

The acronym is also commonly followed by the word “bro” or “man,” especially when used by male speakers. You might say, “NGL bro, I wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole,” in response to someone raising an uncomfortable or awkward topic.

In short, even if you don’t add it to your everyday vocabulary, the acronym NGL is a great way to express a kind of emotional vulnerability when sharing unusual beliefs or experiences.

What Does “GG” Mean, and How Do You Use It?

On occasion, the internet creates unique phrases and terms found nowhere else. Plenty of terms come from the real world and filter into the internet, though. Then sometimes web users take phrases and twist them into something new. That’s exactly what happened with “GG”, a term that stands for “good game”. Without a doubt, most people have heard or used that term in real life. Chances are high they’ve seen it thrown around online, too.

A Term That Started In The Real World Forever Ago…

People use “good game” in the real world to showcase respect after a competition. It’s a popular phrase after a game of sport, both amateur and professional. In fact, some individuals might utilize the phrase after a game of cards or something silly. Human beings used “good game” years ago, and they’ll continue to use the phrase moving forward. You won’t find a much more simple and common phrase these days.

…Taken and Adapted By Internet Users A Couple Decades Ago

On the internet, “GG” and “good game” hold the same kind of connotation. The acronym developed with the rise of online gaming in the 1990s and early 2000s. Players started congratulating opponents with a quick “good game” after matches through text chat. In no time at all, gamers shortened the phrase to “GG” to save time and effort. “GG” remains a simple show of respect after any form of online competition.

Twisting The Original Meaning of The Phrase Into Its Exact Opposite

Then again, the internet wouldn’t be the internet without a little twisting of the term. Both “GG” and “good game” don’t always convey respect between gamers. Many people use the terms online in a sarcastic or disrespectful manner. For instance, a player might throw a “GG” into the chat before victory is assured. They use the acronym as a show of disrespect and self-confidence. “GG” is much more common in this case than “good game”.

Context Determines The Intention Behind “GG” Online

Only the internet could allow an acronym like “GG” to feature dual meanings. In each case, context determines whether users intend respect or disrespect. A “GG” after a close online match often denotes respect. Tossing a “GG” into the chat at the beginning of a match often conjures a sense of massive disrespect. Although the term may be positive or negative, most people don’t take or use the term with much seriousness.

An Online Gaming Acronym That’s Used Thousands of Times Per Day

The average person online doesn’t care about a positive or negative “GG”. Since “GG” is commonly used in gaming, players may never encounter each other again. A positive or negative “GG” might evoke a response from someone for a moment, but that’s it. Most people don’t think twice about a “GG”, whether it’s positive or negative. Either way, every single person that plays online games understands the term’s basic meaning.

“GG” and Its Modifications or Related Terms

“GG” can be modified with other acronyms in online gaming. For example, “GGWP” stands for “good game well played”. Once again, the usage of “GGWP” can be positive or negative based on context. “GG EZ” means “good game easy” and is almost always a negative phrase to disrespect opponents. Related online gaming terms include “GLHF” (good luck have fun) and “GN” (good night), among a countless variety of other acronyms.

The Web Version of “GG” Is Now Used In The Real World, Too

As previously mentioned, “GG” was adopted from the real world term “good game”. It was then twisted into a term with dual contextual meanings. That version of “GG” and “good game” has now spread back into the real world. Many people now use both the acronym and the actual term in their everyday lives. Unsurprisingly, a term spit out of the internet still maintains both its positive, respectful usage and its sarcastic, rude usage.

A Term That’s Going To Grow In Usage Moving Forward

“Good game” as a real world term has probably been around for centuries. On the web, “GG” and “good game” hold a 20-year history from online gaming. Neither version of the term will disappear anytime soon as online gaming continues to expand. Younger generations tend to identify with the term more than older individuals. Nonetheless, most people have heard the term or understand its basic meaning today.