What Does “IG” Mean?

If you’ve used Snapchat or IMs or have been texting the average English-speaking young person, you’ve probably seen the acronym “IG” before. Thankfully, this article will answer that question: what does IG mean?

What Does the Acronym “IG” Mean?

According to Urban Dictionary, the acronym “IG” stands for the phrase “I guess” and “Instagram” depending on the context. In text messages and chat, IG generally means “I guess” (either to express agreement or ironic certainty through skepticism and reluctance; frequently accompanied by eye-rolling) whereas on social media and other online forums that use internet slang, “IG” usually refers to Instagram, the company owned by Meta (previously known as Facebook).

That’s right, all that buildup for just a casual phrase; but such is the nature of acronyms in modern times, they are often used casually in digital text conversations in order to quickly convey meaning.

When Did The Acronym “IG” Start Being Used?

Now that we’ve established exactly what the acronym of IG meaning is, we’ll delve into the history of the abbreviation’s usage in society. The acronym known as “IG” would first begin to gain traction with people using it around the end of 2015. No surprise either, as the 2010’s marked the decade of digital familiarity; in which society had passed the shock regarding the initial onset of the internet in the early 2000s & were now looking for ways to make interacting with the world wide web more casual and efficient.

As such, many users with prominent digital lives began to casually use a number of different acronyms in order to more easily communicate with one another across the internet during these years. As time went on, the acronym “IG” caught the eye of the mainstream public, and as such its use skyrocketed more than 127% in less than a year, between the end of 2015 and the end of 2016.

Growth of IG Phrase. Source: Google Trends
Growth of IG Phrase. Source: Google Trends

Other Meanings of The Acronym “IG”

Now that we’ve established the basic facts regarding the usage of the acronym known as “IG”, as well as it’s history and origin of use, let’s delve into some of the other possible meanings for this acronym. The primary alternative meaning for the acronym “IG” would actually refer to the hit social media platform known as Instagram. That’s right, from casual straight up to professional.

Almost as long as “IG” has been used to refer to the phrase “i guess”, it has also been used as a shorthand reference to the social media platform; the primary difference being that people usually capitalize the letters in the acronym when referring to the platform (I.E “IG”), as opposed to keeping them lowercase.

Many people utilize the acronym “IG” to refer to the business, and it even has a track record of being used in somewhat professional situations as well; being a keyword for negotiations between business owners and social media influencers.

When To Use The Acronym “IG”

The best times to use the acronym “IG” mid-sentence, would essentially be in any text conversation in which you find yourself saying “I guess” for some particular reason. It would be best to ensure that the conversation is practical and casual, as to avoid making the possibility of making a wrong professional impression.

A Couple Example Sentences Showcasing The Use of “IG”

Now that we’ve delved into nearly everything there is to know regarding the IG meaning, we’ll demonstrate a couple of sentences where it’s used appropriately for reference then end this off.

“She’s going to the college that she chose, but she could also be considering some other options IG.”

“IG it doesn’t make much of a difference which one we eat today, since they have the same amount of calories.”

“Since you’re insisting that I answer the question, the only answer I can think of is IG not.”

“Ig you didn’t receive my previous message on WhatsApp, but we’re going out clubbing tonight.”

Other Meanings of the Abbreviation IG

The abbreviation/acronym IG can have other meanings besides “I guess” and Instragram. Here are several:

  • Immunoglobulin (IgG, IgA, or IgM)
  • Inspector general (or general inspectorate)
  • Interest group
  • In game (in online gaming circles on Discord)
  • Installation/implementation guide
  • Igloo
  • Italian greyhound
  • Ignore
  • Independent group

A History of Acronyms & Why We Use Them

For as long as civilized society has existed, and probably even longer, humans have made use of what we call “Acronyms”. These are essentially compact, efficient words or names formed from the initial letters of a longer name or phrase, usually utilizing individual initials as the letters for the acronym itself; such as NATO, which stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Acronyms can also consist of the syllables that make up its composing phrases/words as well; such as Benelux, which is a blanket term that represents Belgium, The Netherlands & Luxembourg altogether.

Similarly, Acronyms will usually be pronounced as words by those that make use of them, good examples of this method of pronunciation include the likes of NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration), and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization). In other cases, acronyms will be pronounced as the individual letters that constitute them; good examples of this method of pronunciation include the likes of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) & ATM (Automated Teller Machine). Even still, some pronunciations combine the two methods, such as in the examples of “JPEG” and “IUPAC”.

Acronyms have, since age-old eras, always been seen as a more efficient means of communicating a message whilst taking up less linguistic real estate, so to speak. This is doubly so if the message that needs to be communicated is one of professional representation, such as political organization or institution. That said, we aren’t here today to discuss any old acronym out there; we aren’t even here to discuss the professional ones. We’re here to discuss and delve into one acronym in particular, that acronym being the one titled “IG” that is seen so often in modern text conversations.


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