Trivia

Hard

Who Was The First Recipient Of Texting Slang “OMG!”?

George Bush
Steve Wozniak
Bill Gates
Winston Churchill
Photo of Sir Winston Churchill taken in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on December 30, 1941.
BiblioArchives/LibraryArchives (Flickr)

Answer: Winston Churchill

In the 21st century, we’re used to slinging text missives at sonic speeds around the globe, but back in the day—Winston Churchill’s day that is—text arrived in a more snailish fashion via the post and telegraphs.

In 2011, the Oxford English Dictionary admitted the texting shorthand outburst “OMG” into its hallowed pages. As part of the acceptance process, extensive review of its use in the English language uncovered the very first written use of the term. While certainly not the first time anyone had written down the exclamation “Oh my God!”, when Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher wrote to Churchill in a September 1917 letter:

I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis—O.M.G. (Oh! My God!)—Shower it on the Admiralty!

He unwittingly made Winston Churchill the very first person to receive OMG as a communicative gesture.

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