The First Known Use Of “OMG” Was In A Letter To Winston Churchill During WWI

Published: 26 November 2023

via the History Facts web site

Churchill-Fisher gang framed

John Arbuthnot Fisher (Lord Fisher), First Sea Lord (right), and Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty (left), together after a meeting of the Committee of Imperial Defence in 1914 (center).

OMG, can you believe this?

Winston Churchill’s remarkable life was filled with genuine “OMG” moments, from withstanding the disastrous Gallipoli campaign during the First World War to leading Britain through World War II as prime minister. Churchill held a front-row seat to many history-defining moments, even including the little-known origin of the term “OMG” itself.

The expression “OMG,” an acronym for “oh my god,” became popular as early internet lingo during the 1990s. But the first known use of the acronym actually dates back to a letter written to Churchill in 1917, while he was serving as first lord of the admiralty in the British navy.

The letter was written by John Arbuthnot Fisher, who, as first sea lord (the navy’s highest ranking officer), often quarreled with Churchill. In the 1917 missive, Fisher wrote, “I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis [table] — O.M.G. (Oh! My God!) — Shower it on the Admiralty!!”

Sadly for the linguistically-hip Fisher, neither Churchill, the navy, nor the British people adopted his clever quip. It wasn’t until the arrival of the internet age some 70 years later that the “OMG” acronym exploded in popularity.

Read the entire article on the History Facts web site here:


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