Trading Lingo from Wall Street Bets Decoded

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Last updated 17 January, 2022

You might be actively stalking the WallStreetBets thread on Reddit, but just how in the know are you? Here’s a guide to help you distinguish between your tendies from $becky.

There are limitless stock options and other tools one can try in the financial market. Expert traders are making their fortune off the financial markets. Before you start following their strategies and diving into the stock market, it’s always good to arm yourself with adequate knowledge

And where better for a newbie to start than WallStreetBets, the subreddit where participants discuss stock and option trading? Here, you’ll pick up aggressive trading strategies, which primarily revolve around highly speculative, leveraged options trading, and maybe even be tempted to invest in a meme stock or two.

If you’re ready to foray into that wild terrain for the intrepid investor, consider this article a crash course in the commonly used trading lingo from WallStreetBets.

1. Stonks

If you have been taking internet memes lightly, maybe it’s time to reconsider them. They could make your trading life much more straightforward. The slang ‘stonks’ originated from an internet meme and is an intentional misspelling of ‘stocks’.

The original meme showed a bald mannequin clad in a black suit standing in front of market data numbers with arms folded. An orange arrow subtitled ‘stonks’ is depicted on the bunch of numbers pointing at the data.  The slang often portrays terrible financial decisions or comments on an investment's financial loss.


YOLO, which stands for ‘you only live once’, is a widely used acronym in every industry, but what is the meaning of YOLO in trading specifically? It is a common term on WallStreetBets used by investors who go all in or invest a significant amount in a particular asset like apes stock.

3. Diamond-Hand Ape

‘Diamond hands’ is a popular slang on WallStreetBets or platforms like the AMC stock forum. It refers to financial market investors who are incredibly risk-tolerant and confident about their position on a stock. They believe that the stock or cryptocurrency is worth holding on to for the longest time and will never bow to any pressures despite the high market volatility. These investors’ strength to counter market pressures is thus likened to the unyielding strength of diamonds, hence the name ‘diamond hands ape’.

Such is the risk tolerance level demonstrated by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Tesla holds about 42,000 Bitcoins, and despite the high volatility shown by the crypto giant in 2021, they continue holding on to the coin.

4. Paper Hands

‘Paper hands’ is the exact opposite of ‘diamond hands’. It refers to investors who easily bow to market pressures and sell their stocks. It could be selling when the price is high just before a dip or when prices fall. WallStreetBets Redditors use ‘paper hands’ and ‘weak hands’ interchangeably, or an emoji of two joined palms facing upwards. Paper hands generally exit positions quite early because they cannot handle the heat. Such investors are also said not to have the conviction to go to the moon on WallStreetBets.  

5. Bag Holder

‘Bag holder’ is an informal term used on the WallStreetBets subreddit to describe an investor who opts to hold a position in a stock that is already decreasing in value, hoping the asset will rebound. In most cases, the assets deteriorate to worthless values, and the chances of regaining them are pretty low. Often, the bag holders lose their money and are usually the last holders of a failing stock or other investment. The term ‘hold the line’ can also be used in place of bag holding.

6. $Becky

$Becky is a slang used to describe a set of securities associated with companies whose goods and services have high demand among young white women, mostly college girls. It could be the stocks of companies like Lululemon Athletica or Starbucks.

7. Tendies

Tendies, often represented with a chicken thigh, refers to profits made on an investment. The term is the short form of ‘chicken tenders’ and closely connects to the 4chan meme where a 20-year-old man living with his mother demands tendies.


HODL is an acronym for ‘holding on for dear life’. It is mostly cryptocurrency investors and the cryptocurrency subreddit that use this slang. Typically, it is an intentional misspelling for ‘hold’, an investment strategy where investors acquire a stock or cryptocurrency and keep it long-term. They hold on to the premise that the value of a crypto coin will increase in the future and allow them to sell at a profit.

9. Long as a Python

The statement ‘long as a python’ is used on WallStreetBets to refer to a prolonged bullish trend or an excessively huge holding in a single financial asset disregarding the risk.

10. Pump and Dump

Pump-and-dump schemes are more common in the cryptocurrency space. It is a scheme to push the price of an asset up and get short-term profits before the price falls back to normal. It happens when a group of investors resolves to buy an asset simultaneously to increase demand and drive prices up, i.e. pumping. The investors hold the investment for the short term to wait until it reaches the peak and then sell altogether, i.e. dumping. After the investors sell the asset holdings, the price drops to its original value.

11. Whale

A whale emoji can denote the slang ‘whale’, which refers to an investor who holds a large number of stocks or cryptocurrencies, such that if they sell, they can influence the price by creating excess supply.

12. ATH and ATL

You will come across these acronyms in any financial market. It stands for ‘all-time-high’ and ‘all-time-low’, respectively depicting the highest and lowest prices reached by an asset, e.g. a stock or cryptocurrency. 

13. Buy the Dip

Buying the dip is one of the best investment decisions for most investors. It means buying a stock after its price has fallen, hoping that it will soon start rebounding.

Final Word

It can be fun to follow the WallStreetBets thread for the trading jargon and conversations. However, actual trading is not always fun. Investors lose a lot of money trading, so if you make up your mind about trading, be sure to only invest what you can afford to lose.

Read these next: 
A Keen Investor’s Guide To Cryptocurrency (2021)
How To Build The Best Passive Income Portfolio For Your Future Self
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Want To Time The Market? You’ll Need To Learn These 12 Candlestick Patterns
Best Forex Brokers In Singapore For Avid Traders


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