If you're just now emerging from the TikTok vortex that sucked you for the last few hours, welcome. You probably now know how to do the "woah," have annoyingly catchy songs stuck in your head, and are studying up on brand new lingo. What's TTR? How do you "ship" a couple? And what does "no cap" mean on TikTok?
No cap is more than just a hashtag — it's mentioned in this viral song by YoungBoy Never Broke Again that loads of TikTok users lip-sync to, it's a phrase used by the hottest influencers, and its emojis often flood the comments section. And yet, despite the endless references, it isn't easy to nail down a specific definition based on context clues alone.
Per Urban Dictionary, no cap "usually means no lie," so it often follows an unbelievable statement or serious question. And according to Dictionary.com, to "cap" can also mean to brag about something, so if you say "no cap," it means you aren't talking yourself up. Some people also use it to mean "totally."
On his YouTube channel The Wade Empire, where he often explains the meaning of words and phrases, entertainer Terrell Wade agrees that "no cap" is a form of telling the truth, adding "the word 'cap' pretty much just means 'lie.'" And over on the YouTube channel All Def Comedy, in a segment called "Is That What The Kids Say?" the presenters get to the bottom of the meaning of "capping," specifically. If you're "capping," they say, it means you're lying.
TikTok user @kindasortateacher says she had her students explain it, along with other Gen Z words like yeet, mood, and sus, as part of a school project. They landed on the definition: Not containing falsehoods of any kind. To use it in a sentence — as any teacher would want you to do — you might say, "I'm so tired I'm going to sleep till Monday. No cap."
The phrase was popularized back in 2017 when Atlanta-based rappers Young Thug & Future released a track called "No Cap," where they rap about their cars and jewelry, among other things. While in this context it might refer to having "no cap" or no maximum on how much money you're willing to spend, these days it's typically used as a joke to punctuate something that seems unbelievable or "unreal." There are literally millions upon million of videos out there.
So, how does all of this new TikTok vocab make you feel? A little old? Like you're back in high school English class? Try incorporating a word or two into your everyday conversations, and you'll feel like you're fluent in no time — no cap.