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Snapchat Lingo: What Is ISTG?

When you first begin messaging people on Snapchat (or any other online messaging app, for that matter), you’ll start to run into acronyms that you’re unfamiliar with. For example, one of the most common acronyms used these days is ‘ISTG.’ So, what does ISTG mean, and when should you use it?

ISTG stands for “I swear to god.” The most common case where ISTG is used is to show certainty when faced with skepticism. If you say you doubt the information someone gave you, they may respond with ISTG to show how confident they are about the information.

This is the primary use of the acronym, but it’s not the only one. You can also use the acronym to make your threats sound more intimidating or just as a general interjection. Let’s go through ISTG as well as a few other common Snapchat acronyms in order to help you properly talk to your friends online.

What’s the Meaning of ISTG?

Woman whispering into the ear of another woman with a surprised gasp, and the letters ISTG behind them

ISTG stands for “I swear to god.” Although the acronym may seem very similar the ever popular OMG, or “Oh my god,” it actually has a much different meaning and is used in entirely different situations.

The most common situation in which you’ll see someone use ISTG is when they want to show how certain they are regarding the information they’re sharing.

For example, if someone messages you something and you respond that you don’t believe them, they may respond with ISTG to show how confident they are that the information is correct.

Another common (but more unpleasant) use of ISTG is as a threat. If you want someone to take your threats more seriously, adding ISTG will give them a stronger impact and make them sound more intimidating.

Finally, ISTG can also be used as a general interjection. For example, if you give someone a piece of bad news, sometimes they’ll simply respond with ISTG. This is because ISTG can imply that the speaker wants to take some form of action without specifying what that action is.

So, now that you know what ISTG means, there are probably some other Snapchat acronyms that you aren’t familiar with but should get to know. Let’s go through some of the most popular examples of Snapchat and texting lingo so that you aren’t caught off-guard in the future.


IYKYK might scare off some readers simply due to the large amount of letters it has in comparison to other popular texting acronyms. However, IYKYK is actually quite simple to understand. IYKYK stands for “If you know, you know.”

The most common use of this acronym is to indicate that the message is an inside joke that you may not understand. For example, if someone posts a seemingly innocent photo with the caption “IYKYK,” then there’s likely some deeper meaning behind the photo that many of their followers won’t be able to understand.


NGL is another common texting acronym that is easy to understand. NGL stands for “Not gonna lie” or “Not going to lie,” and it means pretty much exactly what it sounds like: The speaker is trying to convince you that they’re not lying.

NGL is typically used in situations where the speaker would usually want to lie. For example, after being forced to go to a concert of a band they don’t like and having a good time, someone might text something like “NGL I actually enjoyed that.”

Some people just put NGL in front of any opinion they share.


TBH sprayed on a blue brick wall

Finally, TBH is another extremely common acronym found on the internet and in texting. It’s extremely similar to NGL in its meaning. TBH stands for “To be honest,” and just like NGL, TBH is used to indicate that the speaker isn’t lying.

So, if they have such similar meanings, when are you supposed to use TBH rather than NGL?  NGL and TBH are actually entirely interchangeable. There likely isn’t a single situation where you can use TBH where you couldn’t also use NGL.

At most, some people claim that NGL is more casual than TBH due to the fact that it uses improper English with the word “gonna.” However, most people don’t actually consider this difference when reading a message including NGL or TBH.

In fact, some people take these two acronyms’ similarities to the extreme by just using both at the same time. You may sometimes see people use the acronym NGLTBH (Not gonna lie to be honest). This is usually to convey the fact that the speaker is asserting their truthfulness with a comedic tone.