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OH... MY .... GOD!!

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  • OH... MY .... GOD!!

    OH... MY... GOD!

    The phrase oh my god has a long history, with record of the oath my god dated to at least 1340. It’s possible that oh my god is a variation on both my god and oh god, both of which have historically been used to express emotions like dismay, astonishment, and frustration. These early uses may have their roots in prayer, expressing gratitude, request for help, or pleading for forgiveness from a higher power.

    The particular construction oh my god appears in print in 1880s in a religious context, showing up as a more general exclamation of extreme emotion by 1905. The relatively late appearance of the phrase may be due to long-running taboos against religious profanities in the English-speaking world, with oh my god seeing more and more recorded use as these attitudes began to soften.

    In 1917, OMG, short for oh my god, first appeared in print—in a letter to Winston Churchill—that’s right. The abbreviation was perhaps anticipated by migod and ohmigod in the 19th century, meant to imitate the colloquial pronunciation of the exclamation.

    OMG of course gained widespread usage with the rise of digital communication in the late 20th-century, likely propelled by character limits placed on early text- and instant-messaging. While originating as a shortening of oh my god, OMG has become so common that speakers now widely use OMG, pronouncing each letter, in everyday speech.

    Oh my god and OMG have also influenced arts and culture. For instance, Sir Mixalot’s 1992 hit single “Baby Got Back” opens with a girl saying, “Oh, my, God, Becky, look at her butt.” The character’s drawn-out oh my god was intended as inaccurate parody of the speech of white Valley Girls. Since Sir Mixalot, OMG has also become the target of judgment of the supposedly air-headed or lazy speech of teenagers, especially young women.

    A 2012 Indian movie was called OMG: Oh My God!, leading to huge search interest in the abbreviation, and showing the truly global reach of the expression.

    Source: .dictionary.oh-my-god/

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