Language is constantly evolving so it can be hard to keep up, especially with all the abbreviations and double meanings of words. Even social media has its own languages and abbreviations. You may be confused about what these letters stand for if you are not updated.
Internet slang includes TBH which means “to be honest,” and LOL for “laugh out loud.” Then there’s TTYL which translates to “talk to you later” and G2G for “got to go.” Phrases and conversations can now be condensed to a few letters. To test your online language skills, what does NGL mean in a text? Let’s find out.
An Overview of Internet Slang
Internet slang started way before the internet was born. The vocabulary of its new-age dictionary has been and is continuously growing. It all started when these words (primarily abbreviations) were used for commands and syntaxes during programming. They eventually became the norm and can now be frequently seen in chats, social media, games, online communities, and message boards.
Internet users who are fans and innovators of new terms and shortcuts have their own supportive communities, allowing them to interact and be understood with only a few letters from the alphabet.
The fundamental purpose of internet slang is to communicate and express one’s self but in easier, more convenient, and shortened formats.
Since typing on the keyboard and smartphones is the primary method of sending a message, internet slang is faster since you only need to type letters rather than entire phrases. When text messages started out, there were restrictions on the number of characters in messages, so using internet slang helped maximize these character limits.
Today, internet slang has evolved and expanded. It is no longer just alphabets. Even punctuations, symbols, and capitalization can all mean something. Multiple punctuation marks are often used to emphasize and communicate a level of urgency while sending a text in all caps means being annoyed or upset. Another example is using the tilde (~) to denote sarcasm.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Internet Slang
The primary advantage of internet slang is it significantly reduces keystrokes. It is a fun, exciting, and exclusive language that enables users to communicate with less effort and takes less time.
For example, “AFAIK, u need to MYOB,” has 5 words with 21 characters. When you expand it, it means, “As far as I know, you need to mind your own business.” In comparison, the unabbreviated version is 12 words with 52 characters.
Of course, internet slang has its own disadvantages. Mainly, the tendency to be misunderstood by recipients who are not fluent with these shortcuts is greater. It also makes it harder to learn the English language if messages aren’t properly spelled out.
What Does NGL Mean in a Text?
Another popular abbreviation today commonly used in Reddit, X (formerly Twitter), and other social media sites is NGL. The abbreviation stands for “not gonna lie.”
This phrase means that you’ll be telling the truth to someone. In internet text, this abbreviation is usually placed at the beginning of the sentence or the end of a statement. It can be used when someone is admitting a fact or making an observation that can otherwise be embarrassing. It’s also applicable for people who are making a complaint or expressing criticism that’s likely to offend or negatively impact someone.
NGL is almost the same as TBH, although the context of NGL is more indicative of certain emotions. For instance, it can be used to openly disagree with someone or insult another person while exposing your vulnerability and feelings.
This phrase has been around for 100 years or even more, although its shortened form is more recent and modern. “Not gonna lie” or in proper and complete English — “I’m not going to lie” — has been thrown around in many casual and serious conversations but usually as an empty colloquialism.
It was around 2009 or 2010 when “not gonna lie” was further shortened into NGL. That was also the time when it was added to the Urban Dictionary. From then on, NGL started being included in Google Trends while its use in online communications became more widespread. Today, NGL has no grammatical rules and can fit seamlessly in many sentences.
Usage and Examples of NGL in a Text
#1. NGL to share your individual opinions and thoughts.
NGL lets you express the idea that you are being honest and true to yourself. It gives the person you’re speaking with a heads-up that what you’re saying is based on your personal beliefs.
Here are examples of this:
• “NGL, I hate prunes.”
• “NGL, but metal straws are not for me because they’re difficult to clean/”
• “NGL, going to that concert was a waste of time and money.”
• “Mustard is disgusting, NGL.”
Note, however, that NGL isn’t always used to criticize. It can also be added to a compliment like, “NGL, I didn’t expect their crepes to be so good,” or “I really enjoyed her knock-knock joke, NGL.”
#2. NGL as part of an insult to someone.
Although everyone is entitled to their opinions, some people have a penchant for hurting others. Unfortunately, NGL can pre-empt an insult. Sometimes, people use the term to share an opinion that can be offensive to someone else.
Some sample statements where NGL is used as an insult are:
• “NGL, but that color makes you paler than usual.”
• “This is the worst lasagna I’ve tasted, NGL.”
• “NGL, but I find you gullible.”
There are many times when our opinions are hurtful to others even if hurting them wasn’t our intention. So, use NGL with caution. Not all opinions need to be expressed. At the very least, they can be rephrased to be less derogatory.
#3. NGL to contradict the majority’s opinion.
Everyone is entitled to agree or disagree about anything and everything. This is where NGL comes in handy because you can state your opinion even if it contradicts the ideas of the majority. People will find it harder to take offense because the abbreviation emphasizes that you’re just being true to yourself.
Sometimes, when one person disagrees or provides a different opinion than the majority, it encourages the rest to re-assess the situation and consider the possibility that they’re wrong.
Here are some examples where NGL is used to refute and disagree with other people in a respectful way:
• “NGL, I don’t think it’s smart to focus on a minor detail when we still have to resolve critical problems.”
• “I think you may be taking this too personally NGL.”
• “NGL, but being a hothead is not going to help.”
#4. NGL to admit a shortcoming or shocking truth.
Lapses and mistakes make us human. So, there will naturally be times when we have to own up to our faults. Being truthful about your misses can even work to your advantage.
The next time you commit an error, you can use NGL. Here are some ways the term is used in this context:
• “NGL, but I haven’t even read the email, much less started with the presentation.”
• “I don’t understand what you want from me, NGL.”
• “NGL but I don’t know what a tamale is or how to eat it.”
#5. NGL to admit that you thought otherwise.
It’s common to come up with our own assumptions and conclusions. Sometimes, these disappointments need to be conveyed in conversations in appropriate ways. If the outcome you were hoping for didn’t materialize, then letting someone know about it may be necessary.
Here are a couple of examples of how you can use NGL in this scenario:
• “NGL, but I thought royal blue would win as the color of choice.”
• “NGL, but I thought the deadline was tomorrow.”
• “NGL, but I didn’t think you were serious when you said that.”
#6. NGL to state the obvious and the facts in life.
There are times when the obvious needs to be stated. People sometimes forget basic facts that are essential for decision-making, forming opinions, and evaluation. NGL can be used to reiterate something obvious that they might have missed or forgotten.
Here are a few instances that show how you can use the term to help remind others:
• “NGL, but you can’t afford $5,000 a month for rent.”
• “NGL, but it would have been better if you read the manual first before attempting to assemble this cabinet.”
• “NGL but buying that purse is equivalent to two months of my salary.”
We’ve covered 6 ways to use NGL in this section but there are probably more. After all, language is constantly evolving, especially in the digital age where more opportunities and ways to communicate are emerging all the time.
A Few Parting Words
What does NGL mean in a text? Since you now know that NGL stands for not gonna lie, you can start typing it in your messages and emails. NGL, it’s pretty convenient and a good way to get your point across.