Green FN Is Another Phrase Taking Over TikTok, but Use It With Caution

Green FN originated in the world of 'NBA 2K,' but like most things, it found its way over to TikTok and it isn't just associated with basketball.


Mar. 4 2024, Published 11:21 a.m. ET

Few places are better at generating and spreading new terminology than TikTok, where users often use slang terms that don't have a lot of meaning to anyone who isn't already familiar with them. If you've ever seen a phrase on TikTok that you aren't super familiar with (or one that doesn't even seem like a word) you aren't alone.

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One recent term that has popped up on the social media platform and confused some is "Green FN." While the phrase has its origins in the world of video games, this is what we know about what it means, and why it's become so popular on TikTok.

Steph Curry following through on his shot during a game against the Washington Wizards.
Source: Getty Images
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What does Green FN mean on TikTok?

Green FN stands for a far more explicit phrase, "green f--kin' n---a" that's used to refer to someone who is particularly suave or cool. In its original use case, the term was fairly specific to the world of basketball. That's because the term originated from NBA 2K, a series of video games in which gamers get the chance to replicate an NBA season and play with or against the stars of the modern NBA.

In NBA 2K, a green shot is one where you nail the timing and release so that it has a high probability of going in. Green shots are considered the goal for many who play the game, a "Green FN" is a person who brings that kind of swagger to their life off the court, in addition to their game.

Essentially, then, Green FN is a term that started in the world of gaming, and was eventually applied to real basketball and then to other circumstances outside of basketball.

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To put it another way, "Green FN" is sort of like the trend from roughly a decade ago where people would shout "Kobe!" anytime they did anything that may have vaguely resembled a basketball shot.

The term has spread pretty widely on TikTok, and while it's still sometimes associated with the world of basketball and set to basketball highlights, the term isn't used exclusively in that arena.

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Nobody ever explains new terms and phrases on TikTok.

What has made matters worse when it comes to actually deciphering what the phrase means, though, is the fact that the people who use the phrase seem utterly committed to making sure that no one has any idea what it means. These people use the term without taking the time to explain it, which means that unless you already know what is being said or can piece it together, you're left in the dark.

As words and phrases from TikTok spread and circulate, they often move to other spaces in the real world. Don't be surprised if you hear someone in your actual life use the phrase "green FN" whether you're playing basketball or not. It may have started on TikTok and NBA 2K, but that doesn't mean it's going to stay there forever.

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