Winston Churchill Was the Recipient of the First OMG

By Alexis C. Madrigal

I can't say that I saw this one coming. This week, the Oxford English Dictionary added several words to its hoary collection including OMG, the common IM abbreviation for Oh My God, and it turns out that the acronym is a lot older than you'd expect. Turns out, British Navy Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher beat the kid in that AOL chatroom to the punch by about 80 years.

Slate limns:

In 1917, Fisher wrote this sentence in a 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 sent the letter to Winston Churchill.

("On the tapis," for those not up on their Victorian slang, could mean "on the table.")

Via @elizabethw723.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/03/winston-churchill-was-the-recipient-of-the-first-omg/73054/