Tech

What Do “GM” and “GN” Mean, and How Do You Use Them?

Man using a smartphone while lying in bed.
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GM and GN are ways to start and end the day with someone special. Here’s what these time-based acronyms mean and how to use them in your conversations.

Good Morning, Good Night

GM and GN stand for “good morning” and “good night,” respectively. People use these in instant messages and group chats to “enter” a conversation in the morning and “exit” at night. GM usually implies waking up, while GN means going to sleep.

They’re commonly written in the lowercase “gm” and “gn,” as their uppercase variants may have a different definition in some communities. These acronyms are comparable to other shortened greetings. One very similar term is “nyt,” an abbreviated form of “good night” on the internet.

Where GM & GN Come From

GM and GN rose to popularity at around the same time, in the early 2000s. The first definition of GM on Urban Dictionary is from 2003 and reads “used online for good morning.” On the other hand, the initial entry for GN on Urban Dictionary is from a year later in 2004 and states, “good night.”

While they’ve likely been around since the 1990s, these acronyms took off with the rise of instant messaging apps like AOL Instant Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. These were among the earliest forms of internet communication between teenagers.

GM and GN eventually exploded in use in the 2010s with the rise of online dating. As texting and chatting turned into the most popular methods for couples to communicate, these two acronyms became some of the most common phrases in the internet dating vocabulary.

A Way to Check In

GM and GN are common in online chatrooms and communities. GM is used to “check-in” and make one’s presence known, while GN is a “check-out,” implying that you’re going to sleep for the night. However, just because someone says “gn” doesn’t mean they’re going to sleep. Usually, they’re logging off from their device.

Due to the global nature of the internet, there are many chatrooms and servers where users are in entirely different timezones. That’s why GM and GN are typical in international communities. Users will often say “gm everyone” or “gn all” to provide context about their time. You’ll find this in Discord servers, MMORPGs, or even Twitter threads.

Another everyday use case for GM and GN is in relationships. When two people are in the early stages of dating, it’s pretty standard for them to text each other constantly. So saying “gm” in the morning and “gn” in the evening can be a way to check in on each other or a ritual to start and end the day together.

In this situation, “gm” is used to start the day’s conversations, while “gn” closes it off. Couples might also use the full versions of these, depending on their texting style. These acronyms usually are thoroughly understood among younger people, so they often use them out of sheer convenience.

These acronyms typically refer to the speaker’s timezone. That means the person saying “GM” usually points out that it’s morning in their location. However, occasionally, couples in a long-distance relationship may affectionately use it to refer to the other person’s current time.

Other GMs

Dungeons and Dragons game set up with dice
CiEll/Shuttertstock.com

While there aren’t a lot of alternative definitions for GN, there are many other meanings for GM. Despite “good morning” being the most common definition, it can still be confusing. When you see this acronym, you should pay attention to the context to understand what the writer means.

One of the most common definitions for GM is “game master.” A GM can refer to anyone who runs or organizes a group-based game. This is a general term in the tablet-top RPG community who play games such as Dungeons and Dragons. A campaign’s GM conceptualizes the world, defines the rules for gameplay, and manages the story. You can also find “GM” used in MMORPGs.

GM can mean “good move” in turn-based online games like chess. A GM can refer to “grandmaster,” the highest tier that you can attain in professional chess. There’s also “genetically modified”; however, this is more commonly abbreviated as “GMO” or “genetically modified organism.”

The acronym can stand for General Motors, one of the biggest automotive companies in the world. Lastly, “gm” can also be the abbreviation of “gram,” especially if it’s in lowercase. However, it usually follows a number, so it should be pretty easy to spot.

How to Use GM and GN

Using GM and GN in your texts is straightforward. Use them to replace “good morning” or “good night.” Alternatively, you can send them to people or groups at the start or end of the day. These acronyms are commonly written in lowercase but may be written in uppercase if it doesn’t create confusion.

Here are a few examples of gm and gn in action:

  • “GM, everyone!”
  • “Hey, gn… sweet dreams. :)”
  • “Checking in for the day. GM all.”
  • “I’m tired and sleepy. gn, don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

If you’re interested in learning some more internet slang terms, explore our pieces on BTW, SRSLY, and FML. You’ll be texting circles around everyone in no time.

RELATED: What Does “FML” Mean, and How Do You Use It?




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