Stonks Meaning: Here’s What it Means and How to Use It

You know the stonks meme, but did you know there’s another older definition for this word? Read here to learn more about stonks’ meaning.

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Who doesn’t love a good meme? Memes have become so ingrained into our culture that it’s hard to imagine a life without them. One meme that has become popular in recent years is the “stonks” meme. It features a strange-looking 3D rendered human figure in a suit with an upward trending graph being him, and the caption simply reads an incorrect spelling of the word stocks: stonks. 

But did you know that the word stonk is a real word? Stonk’s word was around long before the meme became popular, and the definition is completely different than the meme would imply. 

So, today’s word of the day is stonks. Here’s a complete guide to this obscure word in its many forms and definitions, complete with examples, synonyms, origins, and more. 

What Is the Definitions of Stonks?

The true definition of the word stonks is vastly different than how you might perceive it in a meme context. So, here are both of the definitions of the word stonk. 

The original definition (pronounced ˈstäŋk) is a concentration of military fire:

Its slang Definition is a purposeful misspelling of stock used online and in memes to imply a vague understanding of the market.

American dictionaries are currently watching this word to see how its uses evolve. At this moment in history, it seems that the slang definition has become vastly dominant over the original definition.

A History of Stonks 

The original meaning of the word stonk is shrouded in a bit of mystery. There is no evidence that it was derived from Latin or any other ancient language. Its most likely origin was imitative, meaning that the word was almost like an onomatopoeia to mimic the sound of artillery bombardment. 

The genesis of the slang definition happened in 2017 on Reddit’s wallstreetbets subreddit page centered around discussing the stock market. A meme with text that reads “stonks” was posted to make light of poor financial decisions. Whenever the subscribers would make a bad investment, they might jokingly say “stonks” to be facetious. 

The meme was out of the mainstream until 2021, when this subreddit group bought as many shares of the video game company GameStop as possible, driving up the price to extraordinary levels — at one point rising 160% over the course of 10 days. With new technologies like Robinhood, the group was able to buy up massive amounts of GameStop stock, increasing the demand and price dramatically. 

This unexpected move shook up Wall Street, and it dealt a major blow to hedge funds. The legality of the action became a major point of discussion on social media, talk shows, and in conversations around the US and the world. As the group garnered more attention, so did their internet slang, even catching the eye of Elon Musk. Thus, the stonks meme became popular all over the internet. 

Examples of Stonks in Context

Here are some example sentences of how the word stonk might be used in conversation. Examples of both definitions are listed so you can get a good feel for each of them. 

The stonks came day after day, laying waste to the military base, chipping away at their numbers.

There was a moment of quiet before the final stonk of artillery came, baring deep into the side of the ship.

I bought some bitcoin yesterday, but the value dropped by 90% this morning. Stonks!

At the basketball arena, I had to buy a burger for $23. Stonks!

The usage of the slang is almost exclusively for comedic purposes, and because of the immense popularity of the meme on social media, it has become almost inappropriate to use the original definition.

A general or captain suggesting to launch stonks on the enemy would make little sense in the modern context, so the slang version has definitely become the dominant definition.

Are There Synonyms of Stonks?

There are no real synonyms for the slang version of the word stonks, but here are some synonyms for the original, military definition.

  • Battering
  • Bombardment
  • Cannonade
  • Storm

Other Forms of Stonks

The military definition can also be turned into a verb. If one army is stonking another army, they launch an artillery bombardment on them. The verb allows the word to be turned into action rather than a subject.

The Slang and the Original

The word stonks is a perfect example of how language constantly evolves and changes. Culture influences the definitions of words; it can add definitions to them and even change the definition entirely. That’s why it’s important to keep up with cultural trends to ensure you’re saying or writing what you intend to. 

Now you know everything you need to know about the word stonks. So go use it well, and if you need a refresher on the definitions or the origin of the word, feel free to come back to this article to brush up. 


  1. Can GameStop Stock Advance Continue After A 92% Surge In A Week? | Forbes 
  2. Slang Meaning Of Stonks | 
  3. Stonk definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary