Og


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Definition for Og (2 of 4)

o.g.

abbreviation

Architecture. ogee.
Philately.original gum: the gum on the back of a stamp when it is issued to the public.Also O.G.

Definition for Og (3 of 4)

O.G.1

or OG


noun Slang.

a leader or elder in a street gang: Even the toughest homie will show respect to a real O.G.
a person or thing that is respected as genuine and classic (often used attributively): Julia Child was the O.G. of elevated American cuisine.This is an O.G. muscle car built just for street racing.

Origin of O.G.

1
First recorded in 1970–75; abbreviation of Original Gangster, coined by the Crips, a gang founded in 1969 in Los Angeles and extending along the southern California coast. O.G. was popularized by O.G. Original Gangster, the fourth studio album (1991) by the American rapper Ice-T, stage name of Tracy Lauren Marrow (born 1958); cf. gangsta

Definition for Og (4 of 4)

O.G.2

abbreviation

Architecture. ogee.
Philately. See o.g. (def. 2).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

ABOUT THIS WORD

What else does OG mean?

OG is a slang term for someone who’s incredibly exceptional, authentic, or “old-school.” It can be earnestly used for a legend like Michael Jordan or more ironically, like for that friend who can unwrap a Starburst with their mouth.

How do you pronounce OG?

[ ohjee ]

Where did the term OG come from?

While OG has come to be a hip way of referring or showing respect to someone who’s an expert in any facet of life, its origins lie in gang culture. According to Steve Champion and former South Central Los Angeles gang member Anthony Ross in 2006, the term first started being used in the early 1970s by the LA-based Original Gangster Crips. The term original gangster was derived from the gang’s name and initially stood for “we’re the first.” Crips members would use the OG abbreviation as a shorthand when writing which part of the gang they belonged to (e.g., Original Eastside Crip or OG Eastside).

As the Crips expanded in the 1970s, and many new recruits were coming from different gangs, the definition of the term began to change. An OG became 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 term became so popular that even the Crips’s rival gang, the Bloods, started using it.

During the 1980s, OG began to enter the mainstream with its use in commercialized rap music. In songs and music videos, an OG was seen as someone in gang culture who was hip and impressive (an exceptional badass), and soon the term was used to describe people in the real world who exemplified those characteristics even when they had no gang affiliations. At the same time, the term continued to carry on its initial meaning in the sense that something was OG if it was the first of its kind or unique—that is, original.

One notable example of OG in the context of commercialized rap is in LA-raised rapper Ice-T’s single (and album) “O.G. Original Gangster,” which, at its peak, was #7 on 1991’s Billboard rap charts.

There also exists a popular strain of weed known as OG Kush. The origin of the strain’s name is debated, but according to Amsterdam-based cannabis-seed seller DNA Genetics, who’s responsible for marketing OG Kush seeds, the strain originally went by a different name, but was renamed OG Kush by the popular 1990s LA rap group Cypress Hill. Cypress Hill, apparently, was using OG in its sense of “exceptional.”

How to use the term OG

Due to its gang origins, OG is still often used in reference to anything gang or hip-hop related. There also exist variations of the term including real OG and triple OG, which have come to mean someone who has made it out of the hood and become a success but remains connected to their roots.

OG can also praise someone or something that is considered authentic and excellent, often in an admirably old-school or classic way.

OG can also be used ironically to describe people who are polar opposites of the stereotypical gangster. For example, one might be jokingly labeled an OG if they are considered nerdy.

More examples of OG:

“These OG trolls say they belong to a longstanding internet subculture that works to push the boundaries of free speech, mock anyone who takes themselves too seriously, and expose hypocrisy.”
—Jamie Bartlett, Vice, October 2014

Note

This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

Example sentences from the Web for Og

British Dictionary definitions for Og (1 of 2)

OG

abbreviation for

officer of the guard
Also: o.g philately original gum

British Dictionary definitions for Og (2 of 2)

o.g.

abbreviation for

own goal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012