ISTG Meaning in Text with Examples

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning that when you make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Affiliate links cost you nothing to use and help keep my content free. It is a win-win for us both! For more info, see the Disclosure Policy.

There’s a lot of slang on social media, and it can be tough to keep up with all of it. If you’re wondering what the initialism ISTG means, it’s actually pretty simple.

ISTG Meaning

ISTG stands for “I swear to God.” It’s often used as an exclamation or a way to emphasize something and can be written in lower or upper case letters.

If you see someone using ISTG when texting, they’re probably emphasizing how serious they are about something. It could be used to show how excited they are or to express frustration.

It is similar to the extremely popular initialism OMG (oh my God) in that it is used to express disbelief or shock. However, ISTG is not as popular as OMG and is not used as often.

ISTG Origin

“I swear to God” is a much older phrase that has been used for many centuries. When you “swear to God,” it means that you promise to tell the truth and make a solemn oath. Spiritual or religious people often feared going to hell if they told a lie under oath. In some courts around the world, it is still required to swear under oath before giving evidence.


ISTG was created as a shortened, internet-friendly version of this phrase. The initialism ISTG is believed to have originated on the internet in the late 1990s or early 2000s. It’s unclear exactly where it started, but it quickly gained popularity in text messages and forums.

It’s possible that the initialism was created due to the SMS character limit. By using initialism, people could save characters and thus be charged no more than the standard text message rate.

Example Scenarios That Use ISTG

Here are a few example scenarios in which you might see someone use ISTG online or in text messages:

Example 1

  • Person A: I can’t believe she said that!
  • Person B: ISTG I know! I was so shocked.

Example 2

  • Person A: I’m so excited for the concert!
  • Person B: ISTG me too! I’ve been waiting forever.

Example 3

  • Person A: Hey, are you feeling okay?
  • Person B: ISTG, I am never drinking again!

Example 4

  • Person A: Haha I tricked you.
  • Person B: ISTG I’m going to kill you!

When Not To Use ISTG

ISTG is an informal abbreviation; therefore, it cannot be used in a professional setting. It is also mainly used by kids or teens.

While ISTG may seem harmless, it is important to be aware of the potential for offense. Like any slang term, ISTG can be misused. It’s important to be mindful of how you use it and who you use it around. Some spiritual or religious people may find it disrespectful. This can be especially disrespectful if you use the alternative — ISTFG, which means “I swear to f*cking God.”

If you’re unsure whether or not ISTG is appropriate for a particular situation, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid using it altogether. There are plenty of other ways to express yourself without resorting to potentially offensive language.

ISTG Alternatives

If you’re looking for other ways to emphasize something on social media or via text message, you can use plenty of other initialisms and slang terms. Some alternatives to ISTG include:

  • WTF (what the f***)
  • OMG (oh my God)
  • I promise
  • Cross my heart
  • I swear
  • For real
  • Pinky promise
  • S2G (swear to God)

In Conclusion

ISTG is a popular abbreviation in texting that stands for “I swear to God.” It’s used informally and usually by teens. It expresses strong emotion, often frustration, anger, or disbelief.

If you’re ever unsure about what a piece of slang means on Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, or any other form of social media, be sure to do a quick search online. There are plenty of resources that can help you understand the popular initialisms and terms used on the apps. We’ve also listed the most popular abbreviations on social media for you to check out.

Language Pack

6-Day English Challenge

Sign up for my free 6-day challenge + English vocabulary planner to improve your English skills. Practice for just 10 minutes per day and see the results! Sign up here.

One-on-One and Group Classes (Free Trial!)

Language lessons and targeted rapid learning at Lingoda to improve confidence. Classes are available 24/7 in English, Business English, German, French, and Spanish. Get a 7-day trial here.


Learn how to write the letters of the alphabet and common English words with my printables available here. Improve early reading scores by 74% with the early learning program Homer.

Most Common Words in English

Did you know 3000 words in English make up about 95% of everyday conversation? Learn the 2000 most common words in English completely FREE when you sign up for English Class 101— no credit card required! Also, check out their monthly free gifts selection.

English Language Learning Videos

Study and learn English independently and at your own pace with the successful Building Your English Brain and English Vocabulary Launch: Upgrade your Speaking (intermediate).

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments