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Friday, December 23, 2011

Ridiculous Origins of Everyday Words


Between technology and pop culture slang, our language is changing at a terrifying rate. Remember when a hipster was an old-fashioned type of pants? Now it's a guy who wears them ironically.

That's why we find it so fascinating to go back and understand where the words we use actually come from; we've already told you about slang terms with racist, criminal and perverted histories. Yet somehow, those aren't even the weirdest word origins we've come across. For example ... OMG

As you almost certainly know, "OMG" means "Oh my God, I am probably 12." It is most commonly associated with teenage girls who have, by now, probably forgotten that the word "ohemgee" ever stood for something other than simply "ohemgee" (if they were even aware of that in the first place).

Like "LOL," "WTF" and other similar abbreviations, "OMG" gained widespread use in the last years of the 20th century with the advent of instant messaging -- but it actually goes back much, much farther than that.
But It Came From ...

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first person to use "OMG" was a 75-year-old British admiral, which is about as far as a carbon-based life form can get from a teenage valley girl in a mall texting her friends about Justin Bieber's butt. His name was John Arbuthnot "Jacky" Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher of Kilverstone, and he coined the term while writing his memoirs ... in 1917. Almost 100 years ago.
 
Read more: Word Origins
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