The phrase touch grass means that a person should go outside more because they are spending too much time inside their home. When someone says to go touch grass, it can be meant as a joke, advice, or an insult.
Example: Did you really get into an online argument with someone over which thermos they should buy for optimal liquid temperature? Maybe touch grass sometime instead of getting into needless quarrels with people on internet forums. It might do you some good.
Similar: go outside, get some fresh air
The Origin of “Touch Grass”
This expression with its current figurative definition (listed above) has been around since at least 2016 and it has continued to gain traction. Of note, the phrase “touch grass” existed prior to that year, but its use was generally in the literal sense. For instance, people would make a comment about how animals kept in captivity were touching grass for the first time.
There are multiple websites that have contributed to the growth of this expression. One of them is Twitter, as various users have written tweets with it. Additionally, streaming platforms Twitch and Youtube have helped popularize it. How so? Because some of the popular streamers on these sites use the phrase occasionally. For example, after a streamer reads a message by someone from the audience (or the chat), they might then tell that chatter to go touch grass, perhaps in a joking manner.
So how should a person interpret this expression? Literally speaking, it is easy enough to understand. You walk outside, find a patch of nearby grass, and then you reach down and touch it with your hand. It’s not exactly complicated, but what about the figurative meaning, how is that to be understood?
Simply put, the phrase “touch grass” is another way of saying “go outside.” The implication seems to be that a person has spent too much time indoors, and as a result, their health has been negatively impacted. Therefore, they are advised to “touch grass,” that is, to go outside in order to find something better to do. This might include such things as finding work, making friends, or getting some exercise.
Of course, it’s not only streamers who use this expression. People in online forums do as well. And once it becomes common enough, it’s possible that you will hear it even while at school or at work. At least now if that happens, you will understand what this phrase means.
Examples and Sentences
- My brother told me I play too many video games and that it wouldn’t hurt to touch grass. I suppose getting some fresh air every now and then could be beneficial.
- What helps me when I’m stressed is taking a break from what I’m doing and touching grass.
The Grass Is Always Greener
Read more about this phrase and see what it means.