DON’T VACILLATE! VANQUISH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!
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Origin of O.P.1
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ABOUT THIS WORD
What else does OP mean?
How do you pronounce OP?[ oh-pee ]
Where does OP come from?
The internet shorthand OP comes from Usenet, an online discussion forum that started in the 1970s that gave rise to a lot of internet slang. On Usenet, OP emerged as a convenient way to refer back to the original poster whose comment started the longer thread. The term is recorded since at least the 1990s.
Say, for example, an OP posted a cake recipe on a baking subreddit. Your grandma might ask OP if they use salted or unsalted butter. And yes, both grandmas and bakers are on Reddit. OP is also helpful, as many users, such as on Reddit and 4chan, are anonymous online.
In 2007, the homophobic OP is a f****t caught on as a meme on 4chan, apparently as an outgrowth of troll culture. That year, a mock song circulated the forum denigrating the type of person who frequently begins posts as a loser with the slur f****t.
Since at least the 2000s in video game and anime culture, OP is short for overpowered, referring to a player who is far more skilled than their competition or an extremely dominant character. This use has somewhat spread to more mainstream contexts, such as describing a basketball player like Steph Curry as overpowered.
How is OP used in real life?
Users of internet forums like Reddit, 4chan, Something Awful, and 9gag may use OP to reference the author of a post. This use has crept onto more mainstream social media like Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.
I’m not here to debate with you about anything, I’m just correcting an assumption that you made because you misunderstood what op meant.
— ♉️ (@tinybebe_) August 20, 2018
Gamers and anime role-players may use OP to describe a player who just wiped out their whole team. Sports fans may use OP to gloat over their team’s victories or bemoan their defeat in the face of dominant players.
Lol, Bro the Warriors Jumpshots are op!
— DizzyWicked (@TheBossD23) August 31, 2018
More examples of OP:
“The NBA’s MVP is OP, and no one in the league appears able to Nerf him.”
—Steve McPherson, Rolling Stone, November, 2015
“…’OP will surely deliver,’ a phrase used sarcastically after redditors ask the original poster to publish a follow-up thread.”
—Lauren Rae Orsini, The Daily Dot, April, 2012
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.