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When Did the Term "OMG" Originate?

The first recorded use of the abbreviation "OMG", which stands for "oh my god," "oh my gosh" or "oh my goodness," was from a letter written in 1917 by Lord Fisher to Winston Churchill. In the letter, Lord Fisher jokingly refers to a new order of knights signified by the letters "O.M.G. (Oh! My God!)." Many decades later, the abbreviation became a part of textspeak — the common abbreviations used by people who are communicating via text messaging or through social media.

More about common abbreviations:

  • Contrary to popular belief, the international distress signal SOS does not stand for "save our ship." It is not an abbreviation for anything.

  • In textspeak, LOL means "laughing out loud." Healthcare workers, however, have historically used the abbreviation to mean "little old lady."

  • Law enforcement personnel have used the term OMG in reference to "outlaw motorcycle gangs."

Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.
Discussion Comments
By anon316776 — On Jan 30, 2013

As I remember, at the beginning of the seventies of the last century when I was studying in Leeds, UK, "S.O.S." meant: Switch Off Something, e.g., if one switched off any electric device say an electric bulb, that would contribute to saving power, hence saving fuel (petroleum). It was because of the boycott of the Mideastern petroleum export to the west in view of the political crisis at that time.

It is worthwhile too, to mention the abbreviation Y.M.C.A. of the youth’s song in those same days.

By dimchild — On Jan 29, 2013

Somebody added me to your subscription list years ago and I have been reading your articles since then. I just registered because I wanted to tell you that today's article was quite informative and useful, just as the majority of your articles are. If possible, write more on common abbreviations. It may also be nice to add links for further reading for those interested in a particular subject. Thanks for the service.

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
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