TikTok Is OD With Its Slang, but What Does "OD" Actually Mean?

Jamie Lerner - Author

Feb. 7 2024, Published 10:46 a.m. ET

Linguist David Crystal has many quotes about the constantly in flux nature of languages. “Dictionaries are living, breathing documents,” he reminds us, so it’s no surprise that words often take on new meanings in slang. Thanks to the power of TikTok, language is now changing faster than ever as entire generations are tuned into the same source of entertainment. If Gretchen Weiners really wanted to make “fetch” happen, now would be the time!

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The latest eccentricity in language is the use of “OD” on TikTok. People will say things like “That’s so OD” or “You’re OD.” Now that the vernacular is getting passed around left and right in real life and social media, people are wondering what OD actually means.

Silhouette of person on laptop with TikTok logo
Source: Getty Images
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On TikTok, “OD” still stands for overdose, but it suggests that something is excessive or too much.

Plenty of content creators say that something or someone is OD when making videos. It means that something is too much, so it has taken on a meaning beyond a literal overdose. In the past, we used OD to describe when someone overdosed on something, whether that’s a drug, screen time, or another harmful thing.

Now, however, if something or someone is OD, it just means that they’re being excessive. But this use of the word comes from conversational slang and it only spread through TikTok. We can see in two different videos how the slang has evolved from street slang into TikTok slang.

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In the first video, shared in 2020 by creator Dewane Mutunga, he defines several New York City slang terms, from “Brolic” to “Jackin’” and several others, including “OD.” He explains, “OD just means ‘a lot,’ like ‘excessive,’ like, ‘Nah that’s OD, you OD’ed,’ or whatever.” Now, almost four years later, Gen Z women who use TikTok are also using the term “OD.”

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The second video features influencer Ryan Burton asking white girls about different slang terms on the LoveLiveServe TikTok channel. “What does ‘That’s OD’ mean?” he asks them. “That’s overdose, like that’s too much. You’re doing too much,” one girl says. “That’s the right answer,” Ryan confirms.

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“That’s a lot, that’s like, too much,” a different girl adds. “Overdose, that’s too much,” another says. It seems like most frequent TikTok users are familiar with the street use of OD thanks to the platform's ease of sharing and changing language.

OD isn’t the only slang term that has taken on a new life thanks to TikTok. For example, the term, “bussin’” has been around on Urban Dictionary since 2006, but it has taken on a whole new life thanks to TikTok. It means that something is “really good,” so for example, we’d say that our night out at the comedy club was bussin’.

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Another example of this is the term “spicy,” which TikTokers still use today, although it has been around with a similar meaning since at least the early 2000s if not earlier. Even still, TikTok has altered its meaning slightly. In the early 2000s, it just referred to someone or something sexual, whereas now, it also includes things or people that could be aggressive or controversial.

But perhaps an in-depth explanation of all of TikTok’s changing slang is OD, so we’ll just leave it there.

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