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Several times, I have had conversations, all over instant messenger, finish with "word" or "Word up G".

As it ends a conversation, I am guessing it is like "goodbye".

My question is what is the meaning of "word" and "word up g"? Also, what is the origin?

I am more interested in the meaning as that will help with understanding its usage.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Both are generally used to mean "I agree." The terms are from late 1980s hip-hop slang. As Ed Guiness notes, popular usage probably originated with the single Word Up! by Cameo.

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I ended up asking the guy, he said it meant, "I agree". Thank you –  Wulfhart May 13 '11 at 16:22
1  
The expression was in common use loooong before that Cameo single. –  5arx Jul 19 '12 at 23:17

In his 2006 Roc the Mic Right: The Language of Hip Hop Culture, H. Samy Alim quotes Geneva Smitherman on this use of word:

The African American oral tradition is rooted in a belief in the power of the Word. The African concept of Nommo, the Word, is believed to be the force of life itelf. To speak is to make something come into being. Once something is given the force of speech, it is binding—hence the familiar saying "Yo word is yo bond," which in today's Hip Hop Culture has become WORD IS BORN. The Hip Hop expressions WORD, WORD UP, WORD TO THE MOTHER, and similar phrases all stem from the value placed on speech. Creative, highly verbal talkers are valued.

And the concept of someone's word being their bond is as old as dirt (or at least dates back to Shakespeare's time).

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The background info here is good to know. Thank you –  Wulfhart May 13 '11 at 16:23

Well this Yahoo answer claims that it comes from "word of God" (meaning the Bible), and used to mean swearing on a Bible.

The "G", though, is most probably for "Gangsta". "OG", for example, stands for "Original Gangsta".

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