Gnarly Meaning: What Does Gnarly Mean? with Useful Examples

What does Gnarly mean? Find out the definition and usage of the internet slang word with ESL infographic and useful texting conversations in English.

Gnarly Meaning

What Does Gnarly Mean?

By using the term ‘gnarly’, the user wants to convey the extreme circumstances of an event. Some other uses for this term would fit in situations trying to describe anything extreme and hard to believe.

Origin of Gnarly

In the 1970s, surfers coined the term ‘gnarly’ as a way to describe the waves. Those chosen ‘gnarly’ waves were not normal every day, easy to ride types. Instead, they were waves so intense they were almost unrideable. They even used the phrase to describe clothes and/or surfboards that were completely awesome looking in design and style.

Conversation Examples

Ways you will hear the internet slang term used.

Example 1

  • Texter 1: Hey man did you get a chance to go to the beach this week?
  • Texter 2: No, work has kept me so busy.
  • Texter 1: I know huh, getting older can suck at times.
  • Texter 2: IKR
  • Texter 1: I went and man you should have seen the waves, they were so gnarly.
  • Texter 2: Darn and I missed it yet again.

Here is a simple conversation between friends and how growing up seems to keep them busy where one missed some awesome surfing days because he had to work yet another weekend.

  • ikr – I Know Right

Example 2

  • Girl: I love your necklace, are those shells?
  • Guy: Yeah I think they are called Puca. I got it when I was down in Florida on spring break last year.
  • Girl: It’s totally awesome.
  • Guy: Thanks, we had such a gnarly time down there.

Now a girl tells a guy how she likes his necklace and he gets the chance to explain where he got it from and how much fun the trip was.

Example 3:

  • Guy 1: Hey how was the trip?
  • Guy 2: It was alright, I got to meet her parents.
  • Guy 1: I bet that was fun.
  • Guy 2: It wasn’t bad, honestly we had a blast going to the zoo and just kicking it like we did growing up.
  • Guy 1: gnarly

Now a couple of guys having a conversation about one hanging out with his girlfriend and her parents, after telling the other guy he actually had a blast his friend uses ‘gnarly’ to explain how he thinks that is awesome.

Gnarly Meaning Infographic