Being able to speak English isn’t just about learning word order and proper grammar tenses. But you know that already, right ? Language ability is a tool. It enables us to communicate with friends, understand the world around us, resolve problems, and more importantly express ourselves. 

That’s why knowing the “lingo” ( special language for a community) is so useful ! With the internet, an entire new lingo was born. Read below to understand the most common phrases used by users in social media. 

TROLL:  a person who writes a mean or insincere comment to a post or video to make the original poster (OP) feel bad. 

Common expression: he’s just trolling you – don’t pay attention to him ! (troll can be used as a verb) . Don’t feed the troll !    (don’t respond to the trolls’ comments, otherwise the troll will continue with their actions) 

Background: a troll is a mythological character from Nordic folktales. Trolls are large ugly or frightening human like beings that like to hide from people. But troll is also something fisherman do; when they want to catch a fish they troll the bate on a line very slowly behind their boat. Thus, the internet troll is born: both ugly, mean and attracting (or “bating”) people to respond to their negativity. 

LOLZ: is an initial for “laughing out loud,” with an additional “z” in the end. This is usually used sarcastically to express a lot of laughing if you find the post or comment stupid. “Z” is a slang version of plural “s.”

Common expression:  Do it for the LOLz (do it just to get laughs). Oh god, that’s silly ! LOLz 

Background: the acronym LOL is one of the first expressions to arise from the early days of the internet as a popular expression in response to blogposts or in forums. With time and the rise of Internet trolls, LOL transformed into the more sarcastic LOLz. Other common colorful related acronyms are ROFL (rolling on the fucking floor), LMAO (laughing my ass off). 


TOUCH GRASS: Simply another way of saying “go outside.” An insult telling the user that they “lost touch with reality” and are being unrealistic or toxic.

Common expression:  All you do is tweet all day – go touch grass ! (tweet here is used as a verb: it means to write on Twitter)

Background: this favorite trolling response became very popular from the first days of Twitter and the birth of  “Twitter wars.” But gamers know this expression well, too ! So much so, that there is a even a video game in Steam called, Touch Some Grass. 

touch some grass game meme 

BLUE CHECKMARK: this is symbol used on Twitter to signify an account is verified.

Common expression: oh, he thinks he’s special because he has a blue checkmark ! 

Background: Some controversial users though don’t ever get a blue check mark even though they have thousands of followers.  Due to this, the “blue check mark” has turned into a meme, where “verified blue check mark” people are considered the “upper class” of twitter and those without the “proletariat.” 

english meme blue check mark esl learn

OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA WORDS YOU SHOULD KNOW TO SPEAK LIKE A NATIVE 

OP: is shorthand for “original poster” – the user who starts a thread on twitter or a message board like 4chan. 

SPAMMER:  someone who sends unwanted emails to many people or responds to a message thread with advertisment.

re” is a common prefix in English which means “to do again.”  It is especially common in internet lingo. 

REPOSTmeans to either create the post again, or to share someone’s post

REPLY – means to respond to an email or post.

RETWEET – means to share a tweet (a post made on Twitter).

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