What does OG mean—and where does it come from?

He's not your everyday-type prankster.

Nov 16, 2018, 10:54 am*

Internet Culture

Lauren L'Amie 

Lauren L'Amie

ice t

Milan Risky/Shutterstock (Licensed)

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.”

what does og mean Urban Dictionary

OG history

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
I’m Ice-T
Ice-T may be spending his days playing the beloved Detective Tutuola on Law and Order: SVU, but his pioneering contributions to old-school hip-hop and gangster rap make him a true OG.

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.

what does og mean Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)


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.

what does og mean On Sizzle

Today, people continue to use “OG” on social sites when discussing pop culture—especially TV and movie reboots.

what_does_og_mean Twitter/@MickeyRoo



Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance. 

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*First Published: Sep 18, 2018, 7:00 am