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As far as internet slang goes, “OG” is on the older end of the spectrum. If you haven’t caught on just yet to phrases like “he’s the OG” or “that was so OG,” it’s safe to say you’re a little behind. But enough dragging you—what is OG, and what does OG mean in context?
What does OG mean?
According to Urban Dictionary’s most popular definition, OG is a simple abbreviation that “used to mean Original Gangster.” It has since been further co-opted to mean simply “original.”
Rapper Ice-T definitely didn’t invent the terminology for OG, but he might be the first person you reference.
In mainstream culture, calling something or someone OG or O.G. dates back to the early ’90s. Ice-T released his fourth studio album, O.G. Original Gangster in 1991. The album peaked at number 15 on the Billboard 200 chart and is Ice-T’s most successful record to date.
In the record’s title song, “O.G. Original Gangster,” Ice-T provides probably the best OG definition to date:
I ain’t no super hero
I ain’t no Marvel Comic
But when it comes to game I’m atomic
At droppin’ it straight
Point blank and untwisted
No imagination needed, ’cause I lived it
This ain’t no fuckin’ joke
This shit is real to me
Still, to describe something as OG dates back much further than Ice-T. Another popular OG reference point is the original gangsters, like Al Capone, Bugs Moran, Owney Madden, and other bootleggers and mobsters of the Prohibition era.
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You might also hear someone referencing O.G. when talking about strains of weed. OG Kush is a popular strain of marijuana both for regular stoners and even those who have limited knowledge of weed strains. According to Wikileaf, The strain also draws its name from “Original Gangster,” due to its “status as an old-school building block strain.” Though some interpretations refer to OG Kush as “ocean grown,” in reference to its origins on the coast of California.
Today, people continue to use “OG” on social sites when discussing pop culture—especially TV and movie reboots.
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Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
Lauren L'Amie is the SEO editor of the Daily Dot. Her work focuses on women and the internet, tech, and health. Previously, she has contributed to Tom's Guide and Texas Monthly. Currently, she is based in Brooklyn and becoming a keyword ninja.