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What does LOL mean?

I'm a little dense when it comes to this abreviated language.

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    1. I thought it meant lots of laughs. same gist.

      1. How about a more sarcastic view as in "lots of luck"? That is always what I have assumed it meant.

        2 Replies
        1. re: feelinpeckish

          I'm pretty sure it's meant to mean "Laugh Out Loud" -

          1. re: MMRuth

            I consulted with several teenagers who text their fingers to the bone who confirmed it means "Laugh out Loud"

        2. A lot of these abbreviations originated in chat rooms and instant messaging.

          AOL Instant Messenger has a list of common acronyms. Some are relevant only to real-time conversations (like a/s/l) but I've seen many of these on the board, like IIRC, IMO, etc.

          HTH! ;-)


          1. Add to that "DH". I've seen it on the boards here...what does that mean?

            5 Replies
            1. re: OCAnn

              I always assumed "darling husband" but seeing it written out, it seems like a lame assumption.

              1. re: chaddict

                It's "dear husband" and dd is "dear daughter", etc., I guess.

                1. re: chaddict

                  Yup!! And under certain circumstances it can also mean "Darn Husband"


                2. re: OCAnn

                  I thought it meant "designated hitter," since I was a big baseball fan.

                3. Lol is an old Germanic term for fun. In Dutch 'we hebben lol gehad' means we had fun. I am not sure how it ended up in the English lingo but like anything else on the Internet, short forms are created for faster communication and this word got to be one of them.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: fatboy44

                    LOL is definitely an acronym for "laugh out loud", not a borrowed word from Dutch. It's used to communicate to the reader that the writer thought something was funny enough to engender a real chuckle or laugh.

                    1. re: TorontoJo

                      Interesting coincident. No language borrows from an other language. They are mostly adaptations like for example the Japanese name for large house, Man Shion. It is travel, immigration, technology etc. that integrates language. The word 'lol' also describes a similar meaning in German and since English is closely related to Germanic it may as well have shown at some point (Pennsylvania Dutch?). Like the word U for you. U is the word used for you in old dutch. Hoe gaat het met U. How goes it with you or 'how are you'. Because I speak several languages fluently I always try to connect the dots. I probably was wrong about lol but I still see the possibility. Cheers

                      1. re: fatboy44

                        Fair enough, fb44, no criticism intended. I love etymology (which I probably shouldn't admit in public!), so can definitely appreciate connecting the dots...

                        (sorry moderators, I realize you will probably delete the tangent)

                  2. Add to that "FWIW," I think that's what it is... no clue what this means!

                    2 Replies
                      1. That's so cool about Dutch. Does the word "rotflol" mean something too?

                        There's a useful resource for confusion relief here:


                        2 Replies
                          1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                            its derivative is "rotflmao" or simply "lmao"

                            for "rolling on the floor, laughing my ass off"

                            and BTW- I always thought they were in present tense, since in an IM conversation, you are usually using such an acronym to describe what you are doing at that very moment.

                          2. lol means laugh out loud. I once had the same question.

                            1. I used to think LOL meant "Later on, love" until someone finally enlightened me.

                              1. But on the other hand, at some hospitals, LOL means "little old lady".

                                1. I prefer haha when i find something funny. I hate internet lingo with a passion.

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: MVNYC

                                    My college freshman sister says "haha" on IMs all the time. I can never tell if she's being sarcastic.

                                    1. re: julietg

                                      my neice put's hee hee after every text. Makes me crazy

                                      1. re: jcattles

                                        LOL!!! (Couldn't resist - sorry everyone)

                                        1. re: aurora50

                                          C'mon people. This is computer basics. Let's move on. For the record, I find LOL to be one of the most annoying abbreviations. Not sure why. Must be the inflationary use of it.

                                            1. re: toodie jane

                                              if some of u guys dont know here are some other abreviations
                                              lol=laugh out loud
                                              rofl=rolling on floor laughing

                                              1. re: coolgirl279

                                                IMO in my opinion
                                                IMHO in my humble opinion
                                                TMI too much information
                                                OMG oh my goodness or G-d

                                                I hate them too, can barely understand my kids' texts.

                                                1. re: coolgirl279

                                                  i never took the word typo to be an accronym, fwiw (for what it's worth '-))

                                                  1. re: coolgirl279

                                                    Wow, it's amazing to see 'typo' adopted as new textspeak, especially given the word's origins in manual type-setting.
                                                    I'm not sure whether I'm amused or disappointed.

                                      2. See the following still very relevant thread from 2008:

                                        ACRONYMS: Could we use them less and more responsibly?


                                        Mr Taster

                                        1. Years ago, when texting was relatively new, I met my future husband at work. I texted him, and he quick ran out and learned how to text so he wouldn't appear dense to me. I used the abbreviation "LOL". He thought it meant "Lots of Love" and that gave him courage to ask me out. Later we were married, even though the whole relationship was based on this misunderstanding!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: runwestierun

                                            That's sweet. In the old-fashioned sense. LOL used to mean lots of love in the days of letterwriting - the days of "SWAK" sealed with a kiss - and the more daring among us would put a lipstick kiss over top of the letters. Was nice.

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              SWALCAKWS = sealed with a lick cause a kiss won't stick :)

                                          2. LOL - lost our luggage. An acronym associated with Continental Airlines.

                                            4 Replies
                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                Hey, here on CH (for bad meals) it ought to be "Lost our Lunch".... ;-D>

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  Or for good meals: love our lunch!

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    "Or for good meals: love our lunch!"

                                                    But then I want to describe my meal in more "loving" detail to relive the rapture of the ravioli, the pulchritude of the pate, the lusting after the lasagna....but some verbal shorthand for an execrable experience would keep me from remembering too much, without letting other CH's walk unprotected into the line of fire... ;-D>

                                            1. I always use the "urbandictionary" web site to answer these types of questions - it hasn't failed me yet.

                                              1. Herb Caen, the late three-dot columnist for the SF Chronicle, used LOL to describe Little Old Ladies, as a character type, back in his late 50's early 60's columns.

                                                He often elaborated on the desciption by calling them "LOL's in Tennis Shoes" which given that this was still the age when women of grandmotherly age did NOT go out without gloves, hat and dress shoes meant someone who could scoff at propriety of dress. The original women's libbers.

                                                1. I just saw a new one the other day, YMMU or something like that, maybe not U but I'm sure of the YMM. I guess accuracy would be important for a explanation, right? I have no idea what it means, and couldn't figure it out from the context of the post.

                                                  Any clues?

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                    YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) - in other words you may have a different take on things than what I just wrote...

                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                      Oh, thanks, can't imagine what that had to do with the post, though.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        So do I but sometimes you don't know what you don't know.
                                                        Thanks for the link, now I can go pro.