Thursday, July 5

The Origin of OMG

Today we have a very interesting expression to talk about.

OMG is among the first and most popular Internet slang. It stands for “Oh my God” or “Oh my gosh.”

But different from what most people would expect, OMG as an expression is actually much older than the Internet itself!

The first use of the expression “OMG” has been credited to John Arbuthnot Fisher.

In 1917, Fisher wrote a letter to Winston Churchill. Here’s part of his letter:

I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis! -- OMG! (Oh! My! God!) – Shower it on the Admiralty!

At that time, Fisher was 70 years old and serving in the British navy as an admiral.

Portrait by Hubert von Herkomer

These days, “OMG” as an expression is very popular - especially on SMS, chat, and Twitter.

But face to face, we don’t use it so freely yet.

OMG is still largely attributed to a particular group of people: the Valley Girls.

The Valley Girls are a worthy champion of this phrase, and a completely unique and interesting species.

Valley Girls are between thirteen to nineteen years old. They can usually be found off the coast of California.

They’re stereotyped as being pretty but quite empty between the ears. And they’re shopaholics, among many other “Val Gal” things.  

This is not to say that the use of the expression OMG is and will be limited as the exclusive trademark of the Valley Girls.  Quite the contrary, I am writing this post to say that the English language is very much alive and thriving. It’s evolving, shedding off some of its obsolete words and welcoming new ones.

     Who knows? Give it another couple of years and you might hear everybody saying OMG everywhere.  

 Registered & Protected

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