Best Responses

How to Respond When Someone Says “Ong “

We’ve all been in a situation where a friend says something like “Dude, that party was crazy last night, ong!” or posts on social media “No cap, 2023 is about to be my year, ong.” But have you ever wondered what exactly “ong” means when used in that context? As students learning about modern communication, it’s important to understand the meaning and significance behind certain slang terms and phrases. In this blog post, I’ll explain what “ong” refers to, provide tips on how to respond effectively when someone says it, and share some personal anecdotes from my own experiences.

What Does “Ong” Mean?

At its core, “ong” is shorthand for “on God” or “on my soul.” It’s essentially used as a verbal confirmation or way to emphasize the seriousness or truthfulness of a statement. When someone says “ong,” they are vouching that what they just said is 100% true and sincere. The idea is that by invoking God or their soul, they are placing the highest importance on validating their words. Some key things to note about the meaning and usage of “ong”:

  • It originated in African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and became popular in hip hop/rap music before spreading more widely.
  • While similar to phrases like “no cap” or “no lie,” using “ong” carries additional weight since it brings God/one’s soul into it.
  • Tone is important – saying “ong” casually is just confirmation, but using an intense tone implies there will be serious consequences if lying.
  • It’s become ubiquitous in Gen Z slang on social media as a powerful yet compact way to emphasize a statement.

So in summary, when someone says “ong” after making a claim, take it as them placing the utmost importance on you believing what they just asserted is the complete and unvarnished truth. Failing to acknowledge that could risk coming across as dismissive.

Active Listening and Follow Up Questions

One of the most effective ways to respond when someone says “ong” is through active listening and asking follow up questions. This conveys you are sincerely processing what they said and want to better understand their perspective. Some tips:

  • Maintain eye contact, nod occasionally, and use small acknowledgments like “mhm” to show you’re listening closely.
  • Paraphrase what they said in your own words to confirm comprehension before responding. Try adding something in your conversation like “So what I’m hearing is…”
  • Ask open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. For example, “What made you feel so confident about that?”
  • Resist the urge to argue, dismiss, or fact check in the moment. Your focus should be active listening to understand their viewpoint.

For example, if a friend said “Dude, I met the girl of my dreams at that party last night. Ong, she’s perfect!” A good response would be making eye contact, nodding along, then asking “What made her seem so perfect to you?”

Relatable Personal Stories

Another approach that often lands well is responding by sharing a relatable personal story of your own. This helps the conversation feel more natural and builds connection. When appropriate, try relating what they said to a story from your life that illustrates understanding without dismissing their perspective.

For instance, if a coworker said they were definitely getting that promotion, responding “Ong, I know the feeling. I was sure I’d ace that big presentation last month too. Unfortunately it didn’t work out, but I appreciate the confidence!” This will show that you’ve been in similar shoes before.

Sometimes a short anecdote is all that’s needed to respond supportively. Like if a friend said they were moving in with their long-distance partner soon, saying “Ong, that’s huge! Reminds me of when my sister made the big move to be with her now-husband. I’m sure it’ll work out great for you guys.” Relatable mini-stories go a long way.

Related: How to Respond to WSG?

Additional Options for Effective Responses

Beyond active listening and sharing stories, here are some other response strategies that align well with acknowledging someone’s use of “ong”:

  • Well wishes and encouragement – Say something positive like “I’m rooting for you, ong!”
  • Humor (if the vibe allows) – A lighthearted joke can show you’re taking them seriously while lightening the tone, like “Ong huh, these hands must be blessed then!”
  • Recognition of effort/skill – If relevant, compliment the work/talent that led to their confidence, like “With skills like yours, ong I’m not surprised!”
  • Agree to disagree gracefully – If you don’t share their view, find a tactful way to say so without confrontation. Phrases like “Fair enough, I can see why you’d think that.”
  • Set a reminder to circle back – For uncertain outcomes, offer follow up by saying “Let me know how it goes, ong you’ve got this in the bag!”

The bottom line is meeting them where they’re at with understanding and support. Approaching “ong” claims from a place of empathy and validating their feelings is key.


Q: What if I don’t believe what they said is true? How do I respond supportively?
A: Remember the goal is showing you listened without judgment. Express support for their confidence/skills but don’t necessarily have to agree on specifics. Find a way to acknowledge the spirit behind it graciously.

Q: Can I also say “ong” when responding?
A: Sure, using “ong” back can work if it fits the flow of conversation naturally. Mirroring their language shows you share their vernacular. But it’s not essential – the focus should be empathy over just parroting words back.

Q: What if they say something objectively false? How do I clarify?
A: Tread lightly. Unless blatantly harmful, it’s best to avoid direct fact-checking that could come across as dismissive. You can pose open-ended questions to have them explore the topic further instead of outright saying they’re wrong.

Q: How do I respond if I’m close with this person versus an acquaintance?
A: With close friends, humor, anecdotes and one-on-one conversations may come more easily. But the core ideas remain the same – actively listen, validate confidence/effort, share understanding. With acquaintances keep responses a bit more brief/surface level to stay respectful.

Conclusion – Showing You Care Through Respectful Responses

In closing, the most important thing when someone emphasizes a statement with “ong” is showing through your response that you care about their perspective without judging them. Even if you don’t fully agree, finding respectful ways to acknowledge what they said, whether through active listening, sharing relatable experiences, encouragement, or gracious disagreement, communicates genuine interest in understanding their viewpoint.

As students continuing to learn effective communication skills, being mindful of phrase meanings like “ong” helps ensure we can thoughtfully meet others where they’re at through inclusive responses. Approaching exchanges from a place of empathy, respect and cultural competency will serve us well in diverse settings. Keep practicing respectful listening without dismissal, and we’ll all become stronger communicators as a result.

How to effectively respond when someone says “ong” really comes down to validating their confidence, relating on a human level, and showing care through compassionate replies. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well equipped to thoughtfully acknowledge modern slang in conversations.

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