What Is 'Ligma Johnson?' The Twitter Meme And Ligma Meaning Explained (2024)

After Elon Musk acquired Twitter last month, interest has peaked once again over the slang word "ligma" due to two pranksters who fooled local news networks into thinking they were named Rahul Ligma and Daniel Johnson, two Twitter employees who had seemingly been laid off.

Of course, they were faking it, staging the elaborate hoax and becoming meme legends in their own right. However, many people weren't in on the meaning of "Ligma Johnson."

Addressing these people now, who are too innocent to understand: does the word "ligma" sound like anything familiar? How about the word "Johnson?" Are these two words a code for something, maybe, something explicit? Let's explain.

What Does 'Ligma' Mean?

In almost everyone's online history, they've encountered the word "ligma" once or twice. Although the word seems like jibberish, it's a sneaky play on words meant to deceive the unknowing. Basically, "ligma" is an abbreviation for "lick my," which entails the licking of an explicit male feature in the underwear region.

Now that you know the dirty secret, where did the "ligma" joke come from? It all started on May 28th, 2018, when Twitter and Instagram user Galevik told Parkland shooting victim turned gun control activist David Hogg that he should "boycott ligma" in a Twitter reply. Hogg succumbed to the trolling and the exchange became a viral Instagram video after Galevik was blocked by Hogg.

What's The Meaning Of 'Ligma Johnson?'

So, if "ligma" means "lick my," then what does "Johnson" mean? Well, the slang word "johnson" goes far back into history, well before the online era. Sometime in the mid-1900s, "Johnson" became synonymous with male genitalia. Some believe that it started in America after the popularization of automobiles. There's a part of a car called a "johnson rod," and "rod" is also slang for a man's member.

Therefore, "ligma johnson" is the combination of both slang words, essentially daring the person stating the "name" to lick their Johnson.

Who Are Rahul Ligma And Daniel Johnson At Twitter?

Interest in "ligma Johnson" as a phrase peaked last month after Elon Musk bought Twitter and mass layoffs ensued following his arrival. News reporters, wanting to capitalize on the moment, flocked to Twitter's HQ in California. There, they saw two men holding boxes filled with stuff, presumably from an office cubicle.

The two men claimed to be Twitter developers who were immediately fired after Musk's acquisition. They said their names were Rahul Ligma and Daniel Johnson. If only the news reporters interviewing them knew the meaning of the phrase…but they didn't, and were instead trolled in a crazy way.

Here at Know Your Meme, our editors reached out to the men behind the prank to ask them about their viral idea and its preparation. The prankster named Rahul Ligma is actually Twitter user @0interestrates, and he said:

"I work out every morning at the gym that is in the same building as the Twitter HQ. Saw a bunch of cameras outside that morning while walking in and thought that it was just kinda crazy that these people are outside waiting desperately for some action to happen. So middle of my workout I thought it would be really funny if I walked out with a box and they fell for it. So I texted a friend and asked him to pull up with a box. He pulled up with two and we just walked out and they fell for it."

Both Ligma and Johnson were welcomed back to Twitter HQ by Elon Musk in mid-November, leading to a viral photo of the trio posing in front of the big bird logo.

What Other Explicit Wordplay Memes Are There?

Throughout meme history there have been multiple wordplays that bait-and-switch people in group chats, Twitter replies and Discord servers across the web. For instance, one of the first was Deez Nuts, in which the word "deez" was used to bait. Of course, "deez" went viral after a video from 2015 showing Instagram user WelvenDaGreat on the phone with his friend.

Even before "Deez Nuts" surfaced, the infamous word "Updog" had been tricking middle schoolers since the 1990s. It's unknown who first used the "updog" bait as a prank, but online instances of its use date back to the year 2000.

After the virality of "ligma" in 2018, multiple variants emerged like Sugma ("suck my"), Bofa ("both of"), Sugondese ("suck on these") and the Indonesian city Grabahan ("grab a hand"). Many of these posed as infectious diseases online and were namedropped in conversation with the word Corona, as in, COVID-19. As the pandemic started to manifest in 2020, so did the use of "sugma" and "bofa," which in turn led to its own kind of outbreak.

For the full history of Ligma, be sure to check out our entry on the slang term here for even more information.

What Is 'Ligma Johnson?' The Twitter Meme And Ligma Meaning Explained (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Chrissy Homenick

Last Updated:

Views: 6784

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Chrissy Homenick

Birthday: 2001-10-22

Address: 611 Kuhn Oval, Feltonbury, NY 02783-3818

Phone: +96619177651654

Job: Mining Representative

Hobby: amateur radio, Sculling, Knife making, Gardening, Watching movies, Gunsmithing, Video gaming

Introduction: My name is Chrissy Homenick, I am a tender, funny, determined, tender, glorious, fancy, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.