What does LOL mean?

The term LOL Is an acronym that groups the English-speaking expression Laughing out loud , Which in Spanish means something like"laughing at a jaw,""laughing loudly,""laughing loudly,""laughing a lot,"or"laughing at laughter,"if you use a literal translation of Original phrase in the language of William Shakespeare.

Whatever translation is chosen, LOL has no equivalents in the language of Cervantes, so this acronym is adopted as such, without further changes than those of pronunciation.

What does lol mean

This of course means that LOL is a linguistic loan that was transmitted by the world with great speed, due to the influence of globalization, English and computing in the late twentieth century. Therefore, LOL can no doubt be described as a neologism throughout the rule.

Origin of the term LOL

LOL is unquestionably a relatively recent word, but its etymology could not be addressed without touching the context in which it originated.

It was then the twentieth century and in the middle of that century was developing very fast computing, From the giant models that occupied university sheds to the small ones, that fit in a trunk, the computer was transformed at a vertiginous speed in which there were also changes in its components.

In other words, computers not only changed in size; Also changed internal structure. his hardware Was renewed radically with the years and with them came new words to define them.

Some, in fact, were as obsolete as the objects to which they referred, since they were replaced by better devices and that is why their use and marketing were discontinued. One such case is the Floppy disk , Replaced today by the Pen drive .

Other examples of these neologisms are those used daily: Laptop , Smartphone , Tablet , Socket , bit , bug , Fix , Cracker , Hacker , Kernel (For Linux users), Scanner , Joystick , And an etcetera of more words.

In the same way acronyms appeared that started from chains of words much longer, as RAM memory (de Random Access Memory ,"Random access memory") and ROM (from Read Only Memory ,"memory of only reading").

Thus, the newly arrived words were also related to the software (Eg App , As mentioned in the field of Tablets Y Smartphones ) And then went deeper, such as programming languages, writing, computer programs and of course in video games.

English was everywhere and by the end of the twentieth century the leading computer companies in the world competed in the market, such as Apple and Microsoft.

The rise of modern operating systems resulted in the development of a revolutionary software Which would forever change communications between users.

The Internet, which in the 1950s had remained a purely military technology, was now on the verge of popularity among ordinary people who did not necessarily have anything to do with government, army, or corporations.

Thus, the Internet brought with it the reform of communications with electronic mail, e-mail . But it also gave birth to a means of communication between people more simultaneously, in real time, and that is the Chat .

The chat was an impulse because he managed to have an instant chat without having to wait hours or days for the sender's response to arrive; The conversation, then, was done instantly, in the act.

However, time was limited and it was better to say more things with less resources. In this way, for the year 1993, the acronym LOL appeared, which was used in chat to shorten the laughter.

That is, the chat user wrote LOL instead of Laughing out loud , Just as by that time an extended use of RAM was made, in order to economize words and by extension ideas. And the LOL of English was exported with the same meaning to the other countries of the globe.


In American English, more specifically that of the United States, LOL is pronounced with an elongated, rounded"a"that phonetists know as the open posterior vowel / ɑː /; Therefore the correct thing is / lɑːl /.

In British English, which is that of the United Kingdom, this acronym uses the posterior vowel open / ɒ /, so the LOL of Great Britain is said / lɒl /, as if the"o" Make the lips adopt a rounded position.

In both American English and British English, the LOL consonants are alveolar lateral appendages, that is to say the / l / of the phonetists and almost the same he - the"l"- of Castilian.

With Spanish and other languages, the pronunciation will be made according to the phonetic standards that correspond to them.

If the AFI transcript is followed, in the language of the CID Campeador LOL it is said / lol /, that is to say that a short posterior vowel is used semi-closed and rounded with two consonants alveolar side consonants, which in simple terms is the"l "And the traditional"o"of Spanish speakers, both Peninsular and American.

Spelling and syntax

The writing of LOL is universal in all the languages, since it is a foreigner that is little prone to modifications.

It is possible that LOL can be adapted to other writing systems such as aliphate of Arabs, Russian Cyrillic or Japanese syllabary, but this is not a frequent phenomenon because it is more practical to represent this acronym through the Latin alphabet.

LOL, in fact, can be written in lowercase (lol). There is not always a fixed rule, but many times it has been observed that LOL is put at the end of the sentence, like the following example: By accident I put my pants upside down lol.

Context in which LOL is used

The meaning of LOL gives a clear clue as to how and when to use it. As it expresses a laughter and a situation that seems funny or makes you laugh, and because you try to have some idea understood as a joke, LOL is therefore an acronym that is only used in informal situations, especially if it is in social networks and text messages.


  1. Butterfield, Andrew; Ekembe Ngondi, Gerard and Kerr, Anne (editors, 2016). A Dictionary of Computer Science, 7th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  2. Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 3rd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  3. Collins English Dictionary, 10th edition. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers Limited.
  4. Daintith, John and Wright, Edmund (2008). A Dictionary of Computing, 6th edition. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  5. Harper, Douglas (2017). Online Etymology Dictionary. Pennsylvania, United States. Retrieved from etymonline.com
  6. Howe, Denis (2017). Free Online Dictionary of Computing. London, United Kingdom. Retrieved from foldoc.org
  7. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, 3rd edition. London: Longman Dictionaries.
  8. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 9th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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