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LOL meaning - Curious as to the definition of LOL?

Updated on August 25, 2013

Have you ever wondered what the definition of LOL is? Perhaps someone has said it to you in an internet chat, Twitter or even a text and perhaps you even assigned a meaning incorrectly. Well, LOL means "Laughing Out Loud".

Many older people mistake LOL too mean "Lots of Love", and there have been some high profile occurrences of this. One especially embarrassing use was by David Cameron who signed off his texts as LOL. He was forced to publicly admit his error during the Newspaper Scandal inquiry when he was called to give evidence.

Anyway, enough about the incorrect usage, and more about its most common usage as "Laughing Out Loud". You should not take this definition too literally however, as it can be used in many contexts, or even just as a filler in conversations.

LOL Origins

It is sometimes very difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of slang words, but if you believe a claim by Wayne Pearson its all started in the 1980s when he used it in a teleconference room called Viewline.

Whether this is true or not, the increase of internet slang in the late 1980s when GEnie, AOL and Compuserve came to prominence. Then much later (in the 1990s) once we all started using Twitter, Facebook and Texting a whole new generation started adopting and adapting further these early acroynms.

LOL Usage

LOL is typically used in electronic media where you are not face to face but you want to communicate that you are laughing. Now, it's use has been so prolific, that it is now an accepted term that can be used when face to face.

Here is an example:

Person 1: Did you see that episode of Southpark when Kenny died. That was so funny.

Person 2: Yeh LOL.

Accepted Variations of LOL

There are many variations of LOL in use, relating to the act of laughing. Some of the more popular ones are as follows:

  • LUL
  • Lolz
  • Lulz (this has a slightly differing connotation and is used to laugh at someone who is the victim of a prank).
  • Lawl (this is sometimes used to mock those using LOL)
  • LOLOLOLOLOL (for added emphasis)
  • LMAO (Laughing my ass off)
  • ROFL (Rolling on the floor laughing - for added emphasis)


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