Ratio – Meaning, Origin and Usage

If you spend any of your time on social media or playing multiplayer video games, you can't have escaped mentions of "ratio". The fact that "ratio" is an insult is usually immediately apparent, but what does the term mean, and where did it come from? Learn more about that, and how to use "ratio", in this post.


The internet slang "ratio" refers to a poor "comment-repost-like" ratio. It means, in other words, that a post receives significantly more comments and reposts (in the case of Twitter, "retweets") than likes.

Many people read the post and interact with it, but few like it. The implication is that the post was bad.

The slang "ratio" has quickly spread not only across social media platforms, but also onto multiplayer video games. In practice, directing "ratio" at a comment someone makes is akin to calling them a loser.

​Example Usage

Are you still not sure what ratio means, or how you could use it in a sentence? These examples may help:

  • "L + ratio + bozo + fatherless + KYS" (invariably without punctuation at the end) — in this example, someone on social media or in a multiplayer game strings together all the insults they can think of in reply to a message they didn't like.)
  • "Clippers went all of 2020 without beating the Lakers, L + ratio" — in this case, a tweet in which a user insults a sports team.
  • "I'm so going to ratio you" — indicating that you'll draw traffic, but primarily insults, to a person's social media post.


The word "ratio" itself originates from the Latin language, in which it meant a numbering, calculation, or account. In the modern English language, a ratio is a mathematical concept that refers to the relationship between two or more different things.

The "three parts flour to one part milk" in a recipe is a ratio, for example, and currency exchange rates may be expressed as ratios as well.

The internet insult "ratio", which began on the social media platform Twitter, comes from this same concept. The Twitter user @85mf expressed that "Nothing on this site makes me happier than reply-to-RT ratios like this", "RT" meaning "retweet", in 2017.

The post to which this user was referring had hundreds more comments than retweets or likes — something that indicates that the post received plenty of attention, but very few people agreed with it.

At its core, the insult "ratio" means that someone said something so bad that it attracts a lot of controversy and little support.

Beginning in around the year 2020, this emerging insult started to be combined with others. The most common variety is "L + ratio", in which the "L" stands for "loss" or "loser". Other insults, such as "fatherless", "bozo", "blocked", "reported", "banned", and others may be added as well, often to form long strings.

As the popularity of the insult rose, it soon became possible to spot "ratio" even on platforms that have no actual comment-to-like ratios, such as first-person shooter games.

"Ratio" was defined on Urban Dictionary countless times, mostly in 2020, 2021, and 2022. Sometimes it is defined as a poor comment to like ratio. It is also defined as "your stupidity is showing" or "a stupid comeback people do when they have nothing else to say".

​Words Similar to Ratio

Similar internet insults include:

  • Loser
  • Bozo
  • WTF (meaning "what the fuck?")
  • Skill issue

​Words Opposite to Ratio

While there are no direct antonyms, ways to tell people online that they're winning include:

  • GG
  • Touche
  • Well-played (also abbreviated to "WP")

​What Is the Correct Word?

The correct word is "ratio". It technically means a poor comment to like ratio, or a poor comment to like and retweet ratio, but has come to be used as an all-purpose insult.

​Ways People May Say Ratio Incorrectly

People use "ratio" in ways that have nothing to do with mathematical ratios all the time. Don't worry about incorrect ways to use "ratio", and, if you want to, simply use ratio to insult anyone on the internet, in any context.

​Acceptable Ways to Phrase Ratio

You can use the slang "ratio" to insult someone on Twitter and similar social media platforms, including TikTok, when their posted content receives a lot of attention but very few likes. You can also use "ratio" as a general internet insult, usually combined with a long string of other insults separated by "+" symbols. Add anything you can think of, and you'll be using "ratio" correctly.

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