GameStop stock spike lingo: This is what Reddit’s WallStreetBets vocabulary means

Some stocks are rising due to meme stocks. Here’s why.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Who would’ve thought a Reddit community could cause a stock to take off? Video-game retailer GameStop’s stock surged to an all-time high of nearly $373 a share on Wednesday, having regularly been below $20 per share this year. Why is this happening now? 

Because small investors are using Reddit communities, like WallStreetBets (which grew by 500,000 users in the past three days), to drive “meme stocks” causing short sales and short squeezes. And it’s not just GameStop. Other companies, like AMC and Nokia, have also been affected by the coordinated surge.

No, this doesn’t mean you should necessarily drop everything and fully invest in one of these companies. Some are calling the market manipulation a “Ponzi scheme,” and the stock price will likely drop once the hullabaloo dies down. 

In fact, broker TD Ameritrade restricted trading of the GameStop and AMC stocks on Wednesday, and trading app Robinhood followed suit on Thursday, in response to the runaway growth. Stock prices fell after-hours and WallStreetBets restricted access as a result of the day’s activities. The White House is monitoring the situation.

GameStop stock spike lingo: This is what Reddit's WallStreetBets vocabulary means

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If you do decide to dive into the stock market — and we’re not advising you in either direction — here are some top tips about investing, and some robo-advisors that can help you.

Part of what’s so unusual about the GameStop stock spike is the vocabulary that’s been used to drive the trading action. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, helped fuel the activity with a one-word tweet on Tuesday: “Gamestonk.” 

What’s a stonk, and what does it have to do with trading? Here’s a sampling of the lingo behind the enormous highs, and what the terms mean: 

  • Stonks: An intentional misspelling of stocks. Sometimes features Meme Man when used in a meme (see below).
  • Diamond hands: When a trader is prepared to hold onto their stocks or securities for a long time.
  • Rockets: When someone wants a stock price to skyrocket.
  • Hold the line: Holding on to a stock, even if it goes down in value.
  • “We like the stock”: A meme used for a currently trending stock.

Stonks is often associated with Meme Man, pictured.

Know Your Meme

Here’s more information about how Reddit and Elon Musk sparked the GameStop surge. Here’s everything you need to know about stock splits and five investment accounts everyone should have. Plus, check out the funniest GameStop Reddit jokes and memes.

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