What does ‘frag’ mean in gaming?

We're fragging.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Derived from the fragmentation grenade, a commonly used item in shooter games, the word frag has become more than just the name of an item. 

The word “frag” in gaming is regularly used as a substitute for “kill” or “eliminate.”

If you’re on a killing spree and down many opponents, you might say “I’m fragging” to brag to your teammates about all the eliminations you’re getting. 

While the term is now used to describe success in-game, its origins are much grimmer. The origins of the word come from the Vietnam War by U.S. soldiers.

The term “fragging” was used to explain intentional attempts to kill a fellow soldier. The word was used because oftentimes a frag grenade was the weapon used in “fragging” incidents.

The word’s close association with the fragmentation grenade can also lead to confusing situations when playing military-style shooters like Call of Duty.

Because frag grenades regularly make an appearance as items in those games, it might behoove players to choose their vocabulary wisely when talking about “fragging out.”

Though most players will understand that if you’re “fragging” you’re talking about getting kills, you could confuse a friend who thinks you might have frag grenades available to use or see some laying around.