Tag Archives: Gaming Terms

Gamer Folk Speech


My informant, AW, is my 15-year-old brother. He is heavily involved in multiple online gaming communities that exist on Discord and other social platforms and revolve around multiplayer online games such as Valorant and Overwatch. This piece was collected during an informal interview at home when I asked him to share something unique to the gaming community. I refer to myself at SW in the text.


Main Text:

AW: “Whenever someone is doing really or someone just made a crazy play or an insane play or something like that, um, people would say like you’re popping off or you’re cracked or… um I mean this ones fairly normal but you’re insane or something like that. And people have taken that super far… instead of saying you’re insane people will literally say like ‘you’re absolutely bonkers. You’re mentally unstable.’ Meaning that you did something insane and stuff like that. So yea there’s a lot of terminology like that, that every gamer will understand.”

SW: “Where do you learn it?”

AW: “Um… literally just from talking to people a lot of social cues, a lot of – how I guess you would learn language. It’s just… you don’t ever ask you just kinda know eventually.”

SW: “Why is it important?”

AW: “Cuz every gamer knows it and every gamer says it. It’s… a lot more acceptable to say ‘you’re insane’ or ‘you’re cracked’ than it is to say ‘wow that was a really good play, good rally. That was… that was a good effort. You, you played that very smart.’ Like no one ever says that you say ‘dude you’re insane you’re cracked.’ Or, or you simply just say ‘sheeeeesh.’”

SW: “Which means what?”

AW: “It can mean a lot of things. But in the gaming culture specifically, it’s just a surprised reaction or a… an admiration of something. Like if someone just did something insane you’d go ‘sheeeeeeesh bro.’ Or like… or if someone does something like, super sus, if you know what that means, that’s another word that – yea if someone does that you’d just go ‘sheeeeeesh bro. Sheeeesh.’ It really can be used for anything, it has so many meanings it’s just like, an exclamation. 



One of my favorite parts of the internet is how quickly folk speech spreads and how some sayings are universal while others only exist within a very specific group. I think the main purpose is to distinguish members of the group from outsiders. As AW mentioned, these phrases are picked up naturally as you spend more time in the community, so it becomes a way to tell how long someone has been in the community. In the gaming community, it’s probably especially important to form a group identity since most people have ever met each other face to face. Gaming folk speech seems to be largely focused on making things more hyperbolic, which might reflect the group culture of being more energetic and dramatic in both your manner of speech and your actions. This probably happens because you can’t rely on body language in these conversations, so you must come up with standardized ways to verbally express emotions of excitement or congratulations that might otherwise be expressed simply through a cheer or a high five.

The Hidden Language of Gamers

Abstract: Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic a huge wave of online gaming has consumed all platforms and with that new interaction amongst all communities. In the game, terms have been adapted with the meaning being to give up on a match or to lose because the game wasn’t played correctly. These terms are analyzed below

Background: JL is an amateur gamer with a plethora of experience in the gaming community. He’s 20 and lives in Florida with one of his favorite pastimes is joining up with his team and competing in competitive matches in the evening or over the weekend at potential tournaments. The interview conducted below contains the phrases which he says are most common when he games. The topic came up when discussing how the virus is affecting the gaming community and those who’ve recently joined.

Slang: “You’re throwing”

JL says the term is similar to saying “you’re messing up” or along the lines of “you’re ruining this for the whole team” if he’s on a team with other people. Basically I am doing something that I should be doing that affects others in a negative way. In reality, they’re probably a better way of conducting the task but they chose the wrong method. 


Person 1: I’m moving forward to attack the energy. *Fails*

Person 2: Fall back, person 1 is throwing and now we have to regroup.   


At first, the term sounds like something that would be said to someone play a sport with a ball and yelling at them you’re throwing to such person. However, in the gaming world, this term takes a new meaning and is especially common when used in a team game with players utilizing their microphones to speak with others and discuss strategies. The term You’re throwing tends to come about when your teammates are frustrated with their loss or when the opposing team is allowing for an easy victory. This term could’ve originated from a baseball game in which many players are required to throw balls and compete as a team and have developed into a gaming slang culture that infects gaming platforms with no requirement to throw anything such as shooters and team-based combat games. 

Slang: “GG no Re Plebs”

JL: A term which means “smoking the kids” who challenged you the first time to a rematch after they lost the first time. Essentially the GG means good game and the Re stands for a rematch and finally, the term plebs describe. Typically this phrase is brought up really during a team fighting video game. 


Team 1: Let’s re-compete in a new match to prove we messed up the last one. 

Person 2: Alright let’s compete.

*loses the match again*

Person 2: GG no Re plebs.

Interpretation: GG is a phrase most common when playing in any competitive games whether they’re shooter games or games focused more on a professional sport. Hearing this phrase used quite a few times when I would play games. This phrase was generally used when we were opting to rematch an opposing team and then continuing to beat them. The phrase is commonly used through voice but also text chats are also populated by the phrase when a match is completed. The toxicity in the phrase also helps with adding a minor advantage by agitating the opposing team and throwing them off of their momentum with these phrases. The phrase is a combination of two phrases since it incorporates the GG term and the term plebs which is the main word meant to tick off your opponents.

Gamer Terminology

“Yeah, it’s called lagging. When your internet is slow and glitches you can say to the other people online that you are lagging.”

Context: The informant has been playing video games for over 10 years and would consider himself a serious gamer.

Informant Analysis: He noted that he first heard the term lagging when he was in middle school playing Call of Duty. He also said that the term lagging is solely a gaming term that just about every common gamer understands. It is meant to tell the people you are playing with online that you are unable to do something or your screwup in a game was not your fault.

Collector Analysis: Although the informant said that the purpose of the term lagging is to let your friends know your errors are the internet’s fault, I believe it is more than that. Utilizing the term lagging can also be used if you do mess up but can blame something out of your control as the problem. It also is term that signifies to the other gamers that one is part of the group– a regular player. In the gaming world, there is a certain amount of respect for people who are good at particular games. If one is good enough, you can be live streamed for people to watch. At this level, lagging becomes a term that signifies that you are not bad at the game.