When we converse — virtually or in real life, there are chances we may not always be honest. This is generally a tact for saving someone’s or our own emotions. But, there are times when we choose honesty and in fact, sometimes, brutal honesty. There are many phrases and slang that have been in place for years to indicate this kind of honesty.

‘To Be Honest’ or TBH, ‘Frankly’ or ‘Quite frankly’, ‘Honestly’, and so many more indicate that what we’re about to say is completely, filterlessly honest. In recent times, there has been an addition to this list of ‘Honest Sayings’ — ‘I’m not gonna lie’ or ‘Not Gonna Lie’. This subjectively popular phrase is eased out with the textual acronym ‘NGL’.

NGL is relatively a moderately used acronym/slang. It is popular on social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram, but not universally known as OMG or LOL. However, the slang is picking up on other social media clients and texting clients.

Honestly, How Long Has it Been Going On?

Phrases suggesting honesty have been in vogue for quite some time now. NGL is the latest way to say that you’re being honest about things. The slang made its first appearance on Urban Dictionary during the early 2000s (approximately between 2003 and 2005). This shows that though social media welcomed the acronymic slang a little later, it has been part of our colloquial vocabulary for a little longer.

NGL is one of those rare slangs that has pretty much only a single expansion regardless of its usage on the internet. It means ‘Not Gonna Lie’, and has always meant that — much like its sister slang ‘TBH’. NGL and TBH have quite a few similarities. They fall into the same bracket of ‘honest slangs’. While one has a negative in the slang, the other is only positive. Regardless, they both mean the same thing.

How to Use NGL Online?

Textual slang and acronymic slangs, in particular, must be saved for textual platforms only. It’s ridiculous to use it in person. This applies to almost all initialisms and acronymic slangs including NGL.

Each time you want to express an honest and/or brutally honest thought, opinion, etc., use NGL to express that sincerity online. You can apply this slang while typing out a caption, a comment, or sending a direct message (DM). Since this slang exclusively suggests honesty, it is not supposed to precede a lie, so please refrain from dishonesty.

Though the general way of using NGL is at the beginning of an honest sentence, it can be used at the end as well. You can use this slang with all caps – ‘NGL’, all lowercase letters ‘ngl’, or only with a capitalized initial ‘Ngl’. If you wish you can also use the acronym in its expanded form. Here are some examples for using NGL online:

  • Ngl, I really thought you were excited about the carnival!
  • I wish I told you earlier. NGL.
  • Nah, really didn’t dig it all that much, ngl.
  • NGL, I thought last night was unexpectedly fun!!
  • Baby, that shirt’s really ugly. Not gonna lie.
  • Not gonna lie, she was pretty mean before this unexpected turn of events.

When not to use NGL? Do not use NGL if you’re going to lie. Totally defeats the purpose of the slang and the principles it stands for!


Lying is part of the human dialect. We lie for different reasons — small or big, significant or insignificant. Nevertheless, we lie. Despite its infamous brand, lying is not always considered immoral. Sometimes, and on very trivial grounds, lies can help save a situation. Like, make oneself or another feel good. It works as a saving mechanism.

Slang and phrases like ‘Not Gonna Lie’ and ‘TBH’ creates the impression that maybe we’re all casual but pathological liars. If not, why would we need such phrases to assert our honesty? Fortunately, that is not the case. While we are honest with our conversations, most of the time, slangs like NGL and TBH only build on that honesty to puts forth an even more honest judgment. It sets the user on trustable grounds.

For example, the famous NGL meme – ‘He had us in the first half, ngl’. This only plays on the existing fact that he had us, but when we say ‘ngl’, we’re confessing that in all honesty, he had us, should there be any doubts about it.


We have phrases like NGL for all the times we need reliable and relatable verbatim for pure honesty. This initialism that expands to ‘Not Gonna Lie’ helps make things clearer and truthful.

It’s easy to assume someone’s lying when they simply talk. But, when they use phrases or slang of honesty, there’s some kind of reassurance that they may be sincere. Besides, it is an unspoken truth to not lie while using NGL!