The Meaning of Stonks: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of stonks? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word stonks, including its definition, etymology, usage, examples, and more!

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What does the word stonks mean?

According to The Balance, Dictionary, and Urban Dictionary, the joke word stonks is a deliberate misspelling of stocks. This is used humorously to describe big gains or losses on the stock market. The meme depicts the character Meme Man in a suit standing in front of a stock image of a blue screen filled with numbers and an orange arrow. This meme surged to popularity in early 2021 amid the infamous GameStop stock surge. During this surge, retail investors banded together to counter a hedge fund’s short position on the GameStop stock. The hedge fund shorted their stock, and bet on a decline in its share price. It had been a flat line gradually trending lower, but shot up astronomically when retail investors all bought at once.

The share price increase subsequently hurt the hedge fund’s chances of having a successful short. More and more people began to invest in the video games retailer GameStop using investing app Robinhood – so much so that they temporarily stopped the trades of the GameStop stock. People put a significant portion of their investments into GameStop. Before the surge, the highest the GameStop stock price hit in trading during that time was $33.70 in April 2016. It on average closed at $19.54, and at the end of January 2021 it hit a high of $483. This stock market war that gained the attention of mainstream media is a great example of stonks. You can see the word stonks in a tweet or on other social media platforms. Even Elon Musk, billionaire and owner of Tesla and SpaceX, tweeted “Gamestonk!!” during the frenzy. Sinder Dionne Warwick also asked, “What are stonks and why is it a trending subject?” on Twitter.

Another term, diamond hands, also became popular during this time to refer to how members express their belief that their position is valuable and worth holding onto for maximum profit, per ABC. Check with a financial advisor before saying YOLO to your stonks – you wouldn’t want to end up in a similar position as the hedge funds that experienced heavy losses. The stonks meme is sometimes accompanied by a rocket emoji.

Many different languages have their own words to refer to the stock market. People who speak languages other than English may not know about the stonks meme, so it is important to know translations for different words if you are traveling out of the country or if you are communicating with someone who does not speak English. This list of translations for the stock market is provided by Word Sense

  •  Mandarin: 股市‎ (gǔshì), 股票市場‎, 股票市场‎ (gǔpiào shìchǎng)
  •  Italian: mercato azionario‎ (masc.)
  •  Tagalog: bilihan ng sapi‎
  •  Georgian: საფონდო ბირჟა‎
  •  French: marché boursier‎ (masc.), marché financier‎ (masc.)
  •  German: Aktienmarkt‎ (masc.)
  •  Portuguese: mercado de ações‎ (masc.)
  •  Estonian: aktsiaturg‎
  •  Kazakh: қор нарығы‎
  •  Japanese: 株式市場‎ (かぶしきしじょう, kabushiki shijō)
  •  Polish: giełda‎ (fem.)
  •  Hindi: शेयर बाज़ार‎ (masc.)
  •  Swedish: aktiemarknad‎ (common)
  •  Kurdish: bazara pişkan‎, sûka pişkan‎
  •  Hungarian: tőzsde‎, értéktőzsde‎, részvénypiac‎
  •  Spanish: mercado de valores‎ (masc.)
  •  Russian: фо́ндовый ры́нок‎ (masc.), ры́нок це́нных бума́г‎
  •  Greek: χρηματιστήριο‎ (neut.)
  •  Arabic: سُوق اَلْأَوْرَاق اَلْمَالِيَّة‎ (masc.) (f), بُورْصَة‎ (fem.)
  •  Bokmål: aksjemarked‎ (neut.)
  •  Czech: akciový trh‎ (masc.), trh cenných papírů‎ (masc.)
  •  Malay: pasaran saham‎
  •  Danish: aktiemarked‎ (neut.)
  •  Lao: ຕະຫຼາດ‎
  •  Finnish: osakemarkkinat‎

What is the origin of the stonks meme?

According to Know Your Meme and Slate, the stonks meme originated on June 5th 2017 on a Facebook group. The Facebook page Special Meme Fresh posted the image of the character Meme Man i front of the stock market stock photo with the caption “stonks.” this image gained over 3600 reactions and likes. From there, the image spread to other social media platforms like Reddit and YouTube, especially on subreddits like Reddit’s WallStreetBets and others as a reaction image to poor financial decisions or large financial gain. It has continued to gain internet meme popularity on sites like Twitter and TikTok, and is now a rallying cry on WSB. 

How can stonks be used in a sentence?

The word stonks is often used in the meme image as a reaction to a good ro bad financial decision. This is a very casual joke meme that should only be used in casual, informal settings with people you know well. It is not appropriate to use the word stonks in a formal or professional setting. Do not use stonks in a business email or formal letter. Save using this term for times when you are joking around with friends. Below are a couple of examples of stonks.

Person 1: Dude guess what? I totally forgot I invested $50 into Bitcoin in the 8th grade. I just remembered my login, and it’s now worth over $1000!

Person 2: Stonks!!

Person 1: Drinks on me!!

Here, Person 1 describes a good financial decision and Person 2 reacts with stonks.

Person 1: Ugh, this is my first year filing quarterly taxes. I totally forgot that you have to send them in every few months and now all of my savings is going toward my taxes. I’m totally broke now.

Person 2: Stonks 🙁 JK that’s a bummer. Sorry dude. 

Person 1: At least now I know.

Overall, the word stonks is an intentional misspelling of the word stocks. This meme rose to popularity in early 2021, though it was created in 2017, with the GameStop stock market frenzy.

Sources:

  1. Stonks | Know Your Meme
  2. Stonks: Why we’re all saying it now. | Slate 
  3. What Are Stonks? | The Balance 
  4. Slang Meaning Of Stonks | Definitions | Dictionary.com 
  5. Stonks | Urban Dictionary 
  6. GameStop Reddit lingo making you more confused? Here’s your shortcut guide | ABC AU 
  7. Stock Market | Meaning, Origin, Translation | Word Sense