In optics, it meant Optical Myasthenia Gravis. In computing, it meant Object Management Group. Then the Internet happened. OMG (sometimes just stylized omg; meaning "oh my God") was added to the Oxford English Dictionary as a word in 2011, but to find where it comes from, we have to go back a century. It was the middle of World War One when Winston Churchill, the man who would be Prime Minister of England in 23 years, received a letter dated September 9, 1917 from First Sea Lord John Fisher, in which was written the phrase "I hear that a new order of knighthood is on the tapis- OMG! (Oh! My God!)- shower it on the admiralty!" This is the first ever recorded mention of the word, which is pretty darn cool. It might have been floating around before, and it was certainly floating around afterwards, but only a little bit.. Usage of the acronym really started up around 1994, when people on the Internet started using text-speak. And now it's officially an English word! Ah, the impact Churchill had on life today...
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a sophomore studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, and law.