Cryptocurrency slang is a collection of phrases used in the Bitcoin community that are not always based on official terms. From HODL to FOMO to FUD, there's a lot to know before diving into the crypto world.

Cryptocurrency seems to be everywhere you look. If you’ve researched Bitcoin, you’ve probably encountered confusing jargon there and across the entire crypto market.

Whether you are a seasoned investor or a newcomer to the wonderful world of Bitcoin, you should be well acquainted with the different crypto slang and idioms related to it.



Think Bitcoin enthusiasts don’t have a sense of humor? HODL will prove you wrong. This crypto slang term started in December 2013 when a member of the Bitcoin board made a post that contained the text “I am hodling.” What he actually meant was he was “holding” his crypto coin long-term. Of course, Bitcoin enthusiasts would not let this typo pass.

The post soon became a meme, and bitcoin fans used it as an acronym for “hold on for dear life.” It is mainly used in the crypto community when the price of Bitcoin (or now, when any other particular coin) falls to discourage people from selling. They ride it out until its value increases again.

2. To the moon

In the cryptocurrency market, the expression “to the moon” is used to describe a currency increasing rapidly to a much higher price. It implies that the price is so high, it reaches the surface of the moon. Bitcoiners have even started to use “mooning” instead of “increasing” when referring to Bitcoin prices.

Read more: How Bitcoin Prices Are Set – Everything You Need To Know

3. When moon

Aside from “to the moon,” there is also another expression, “when moon,” used to describe instances when the prices of a particular cryptocurrency go up. This situation is the time when holders are encouraged to sell their Bitcoins.

4. When lambo

In real life, when you ask people, “when will you buy a Lamborghini?” you mean it literally. The same also goes for Bitcoin when holders ask “when Lambo” in the crypto world. It refers to when they will be rich enough through their crypto assets to buy a Lamborghini with their cryptocurrency.

5. FOMO (explicitly referring to crypto coin)


When you do not go out with your friends on Saturday night, you have FOMO or the “fear of missing out”. Or, if you miss out on a hot stock in the stock market, you might have FOMO.

In the cryptocurrency world, though, this term is also used to refer to the feeling you get when you see a massive increase in a cryptocurrency that you don’t own.

Because of this, you sell other coins you currently have to get on the bandwagon. Cryptocurrency trading is mainly driven by emotions instead of valuation. This reason is why FOMO is a significant factor in swing trading with cryptocurrency.

6. FUD

FUD means “fear, uncertainty, and doubt,” typically used when referring to the entire cryptocurrency space. This term can be used to refer to the negative press that discourages people from investing in cryptocurrency. In some cases, it can mean “facts you dislike.”

7. Shill

When you hear cryptocurrency enthusiasts use the word “shilling,” don’t be confused. This means that they are promoting a specific cryptocurrency in a very corrupt way for their own gain. For example, a friend can warn you, “Yeah, he’s only persuading you to buy that crypto because he’s a shill!”

8. OCD

Many people have obsessive-compulsive disorder. For Bitcoin traders, OCD means something different: obsessive cryptocurrency disorder.

This term is used to describe a condition that develops in people who own bitcoin. Individuals who have this are so obsessed with Bitcoin that they constantly watch its prices go up and down, 24/7.

9. Bitshaming

When a HODLer is mocked by another HODLer for not having a massive value in Bitcoin yet, they are being bitshamed. One of the most famous examples of bitshaming involved Andreas Antonopoulos, a Bitcoin lecturer. Antonopoulos was shamed when he admitted not HODLing his bitcoin because he needed money to cover his rent and other bills.

10. Nocoiner

Do you already have bitcoin? If not, you are a nocoiner. Many bitcoin holders may scoff at you for not relishing its potential. While it may be used for everyone who does not have a bitcoin, this term mainly targets skeptics and nonbelievers.

11. Bitcoin maximalist


What other cryptocurrencies can you name aside from Bitcoin? If you ask a Bitcoin maximalist, his answer would be it doesn’t matter! These people live by their principle that Bitcoin will be the only cryptocurrency and take over the world. In short, they are guilty of hyperbitcoinization.

Read more: What Is The Future Of Crypto?

12. Vaporware

You can trust Bitcoin holders to come up with fancy names for coins you don’t want in your wallet. Vaporwave are coins that have artificially inflated value. Unfortunately, they are worth nothing. You really can’t help it, as vaporwave will lose value over time.

13. P&D

P&D stands for “pump and dump.” The “pump” in “pump and dump” refers to a sudden increase in price made by traders who buy vast amounts of Bitcoin to create the illusion of demand. This effect causes others to purchase that coin due to FOMO. Then, these people are forced to “dump” their other coins.

14. Whale

Imagine a whale. Because of its massive size, it takes up ample space. This term represents people who own more than 5% of cryptocurrency coins.

Of course, these people can be dangerous. The Bitcoin world is mysterious, and when its prices go down, many HODLers blame the whales, which may be true since they can dramatically influence the crypto market. One thing’s for sure; these whales are incredibly rich and can get a Lambo whenever they want.

15. BearWhale

Now that you already know what a whale is, it’s time to understand the meaning of BearWhale. A BearWhale is a giant trader who believes that prices will fall. Because of this, they try to unload many bitcoins at the same time.

Of course, this situation will often lead to a crisis. It will take a whole lot of effort from HODLers and other Whales to normalize things again and revert the wrongdoings of a BearWhale.

16. Bag holder

HODLing is a great thing, but if you miss the point of holding on to a particular coin, you become a bag holder. This type of person does not understand that they need to let go when Bitcoin is decreasing in value. If you wait too long, you’ll end up holding an empty bag. To emphasize the significance of this term, holding is even spelled correctly when referring to this failing investment.

17. REKT

Many gamers are into cryptocurrency. This fact is why many cryptocurrency slang terms are linked to gaming. Rekt is a term that describes when Bitcoin holders get blown out due to an immense coin collapse. For example, if a bag holder refuses to let go, he’s going to get rekt.

18. Choyna

What does Choyna sound like? If you thought “China,” you got it right. But why is this term relevant?

This fact is because of so much activity from mining Bitcoin from traders in China. This term originated from “Flibbr,” a Bitcoin trader who used the phrase to mock President Donald Trump.

19. Fudders

Fudders are bitcoin traders who believe bitcoin prices will fall. In other words, they will buy bitcoin, so its value decreases.

As a trader, their goal is to make money by selling bitcoin for less than it is at the moment or trading with vast gains of more than 10% over 8 hours. Readers may find greedy Fudders annoying because they make bitcoin go down in price; however, you can’t help but admire these people if they turn out to be correct.

In bitcoin, you win some and lose some. For example, bitcoin fell to $18K in January 2018. Many bitcoin traders thought the cryptocurrency market was about to fall off a cliff and that bitcoin’s value would be sub $10K soon. As bitcoin holders panicked, Fudders started to buy bitcoin at the bottom price of $18K. Soon enough, bitcoin rose from $20K to $27K within a few days.

20. Melon

What does Melon sound like? If you thought “melon,” you got it right! Melon is a term that refers to bitcoin itself, the digital currency. Why? This fact comes from a song called “Fruit Salad” by the South Korean girl group named Wassup.

Why should you care about new slang in the Bitcoin community?

New bitcoin slang is coming out all the time because Bitcoin closely follows the lineage of other slang before it. For example, pioneers use acronyms like LMAO to represent “laughing my a** off” among gamers who often act impulsively and say goofy things. Slang evolves as societies change, so it’s essential to stay up-to-date with this emerging lexicon. Don’t become a bag bitcoin holder by ignoring bitcoin slang that you don’t understand.


Getting into Bitcoin can be pretty overwhelming not just because of its mysterious nature but also because of the number of unfamiliar words you’ll encounter. Now that you understand the most commonly used jargon in the Bitcoin community, you can sound like an expert.

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Chris has an MBA with a focus in advanced investments and has been writing about all things personal finance since 2015. He’s also built and run a digital marketing agency, focusing on content marketing, copywriting, and SEO, since 2016. You can connect with Chris on Twitter.