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What Is A Neg?


Couple Talking at a Cafe
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A neg is a backhanded compliment, usually said by a man to a woman, to surprise and/or annoy her so she does a double take and tries to prove her value to the man. Negging comes from the Pick Up Artist community and was a very popular method suggested to men who wanted to take very attractive women "down a notch" in the mid 2000s.

Negs are short, sincere, to the point and should make the intended 'target' laugh or smile, not scowl or get angry. A neg intends to show an attractive woman that the guy talking to her offers something new and exciting to the conversation yet isn't tongue tied, swayed by her beauty or intimidated. As many men approaching attractive women start off with a compliment, this distinguishes the man who negs from the crowd. As well, if the neg works properly, the woman will try to prove her value to the man by engaging him, chasing him or other preening behaviors that show sexual or romantic interest.

Have you negged someone or used a neg yourself? Share your definition or what worked and what didn't: Neg Stories

The term neg originates with a Pick Up Artist who goes by the name Mystery (real name: Erik von Markovik). Mystery coined the term around 2004 or 2005 through his company, The Mystery Method, which teaches Average Frustrated Chumps (AFCs) how to transform into master seducers. Neil Strauss' book, The Game (2005) speaks often of negs and how to use them within the context of Mystery's Method.

Examples of a neg:

  • Growing up there was a kid in my class who always wore a weird green sweater, and we used to tease him about looking like a giant booger. I swear this sweater (touch arm lightly) is the same color!
  • Wow, great hair. Extensions?
  • When I first walked in I thought you had bitter beer face, but after talking to you I realized you just weren't having a good time.
Also Known As: backhanded compliment, crack, cut, dig, insult, joke, jibe, parting shot, put-down, scoff, slam, snappy comeback, snub, take-down, taunt

"Lisa was neg-proof. Next to her, other girls seemed like incomplete human beings." ~ page 438, The Game by Neil Strauss

Readers Respond: Reader Definitions and Stories About Negs and Negging

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