What is "LOL" and how do you use it?

What is “LOL” and how do you use it?

The term “LOL” is a staple of the Internet and text message conversations far and wide. Where did this legendary three letter abbreviation come from and how do you use it? Find out here.

Laughing out loud

LOL means “laugh out loud” or “laugh out loud”. It means that something is funny or made you laugh.

It is one of the most famous acronyms on the internet and is used in almost every part of the web. Due to its popularity, it is even used during in-person conversations and has gained an entry in many English language dictionaries.

You can also use “LOL” as a verb. For example, if you want to convey that something has made you laugh in the past, you could type “I LOL’d”.

Note: the term “LoL” may also mean League of Legends a free online multiplayer game that you can download for Windows or macOS.

An Internet classic

Being the most prolific internet slang term, LOL has a legendary history. The first instance of LOL used to mean “laugh out loud” in a digital medium dates back to the 1980s on a Usenet server. As the internet grew, the use of LOL also grew, becoming one of the most common abbreviations in internet chat rooms, instant messaging apps, and social media websites for decades.

Its legacy as a crucial piece of Internet jargon solidified in 2011 when Oxford University Press added it to the Oxford English Dictionary. Since then, it has spawned many variations and has been used countless times, sometimes moving away from its original use as a theme song to show laughter. In recent years, users have switched from using the uppercase “LOL” to the lowercase “lol”, however, there are some subtle differences between the two.

Variations of LOL

Someone laughing while looking at a phone.

The widespread popularity of LOL has led to the creation of many different variations and related slang terms. Some of the more common related terms include ROFL and LMAO, which mean “rolling on the floor laughing” and “laughing my ass” respectively.

Other versions of the term have emerged from distinct parts of the Internet. Some known variants of LOL include “lul”, “lel” and “lolno”.

Also, the widespread adoption of emojis and the popularity of laugh-related emojis can probably be traced back to LOL. In particular, the emoji ” Face with tears of joy ”(😂) has become a staple of the internet and carries a very similar meaning to LOL.

Change meaning

An illustration of LOL chat bubbles.

Like many Internet acronyms, the meaning of the word “lol” has changed over time.

Nowadays, a common use of the word is an online sentence filler, similar to how people say “um” or “like” in speech. Many people will send the word “lol” before or after a message without really thinking about it. For example, you might say, “I ate a pizza for lunch, lol.” While there is nothing inherently funny about that message, it may show stupidity, sarcasm, or indifference based on the context.

LOL also changes meaning based on how it is capitalized. The uppercase “LOL” often conveys real laughter or finds something funny. On the other hand, the lower case “lol”, which is more common, is often used to express fun, interest, or nothing at all.

There are also ways to use negatively lol. Sending nothing but “lol” in response to someone’s message can be a subtle clue that you don’t find what they said exciting or relevant to you. Alternatively, replying “lol” to a seemingly serious message shows that you are not taking what they are saying seriously.

How to use LOL

To use LOL, put it in your messages whenever you find something funny. If something really made you laugh, use capital LOL. On the other hand, if something is just a little funny, use lowercase lol.

ANNOUNCEMENT

The acronym is fairly well known outside of internet circles, so you can even say it out loud in conversations instead of real laughs. However, be careful when using it in professional settings, as it is considered to be relatively informal.

Here are some examples of LOL in action:

  • “LOL! I’m collapsing! “
  • “There’s no way I’m going to do it lol.”
  • “Running a marathon? I can barely climb a flight of stairs, LOL.

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