Slang dictionary

oh my lord

or OML [oh mahy lawrd] or [oh em el]

What does oh my lord mean?

Oh my lord is an exclamation variously and widely used to express surprise or frustration. It’s commonly abbreviated as OML online.

Where does oh my lord come from?

oh my lord

Oh my lord is part of a family of religious-derived interjections in the English language, notably including oh my god and oh my heavens. While they may have originated as prayerful invocations (Oh, my Lord!) of the Christian Lord, Jesus Christ, in English, they have become widely used as an exclamation in secular society. In the written record, we can find evidence for lord as an interjection in the late 1300s, though almost certainly such expressions as oh my lord predated it in everyday speech.

Helping to popularize oh my lord in the contemporary lexicon may have been popular media such as the 1983 film Valley Girl, featuring young women prominently using the expression oh my god.

In 1978, music group Boney M. released their Christmas song “Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord,” which made the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and refrains on on my lord in its original religious sense. Several other musicians have titled their songs Oh My Lord, including Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in 2001 and Ringo Starr in 2005.

Examples of oh my lord

i just wanna have a cute relationship oml
@mikelle_06, March, 2018
Oh my lord. My amazing impertinence might just have paid off. Excitable *eek*.
@cmfwood, March, 2011
Breathless coverage of the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has been consuming our newsfeeds since late November. Oh my lord, it’s been less than two months?! Wow.
Aimée Lutkin, Jezebel, January, 2018

Who uses oh my lord?

Like its more common counterpart oh my god, oh my lord has widespread use in colloquial speech and writing to express surprise, shock, frustration, or exasperation. It usually begins an utterance or sentence (e.g., Oh my lord, did you see what he was wearing? or Oh my lord, not this again.). On the internet and social media, oh my lord is more commonly seen as the initialism OML. OML is also popular in memes and on GIF keyboards.

Sometimes, the lord in oh my lord is stylized as lawd, a historic pronunciation of lord now associated with AAVE.

For many Christians, saying oh my lord may be considered offensive, a possible instance of taking their lord’s name in vein. One humorous substitute includes Oh, Mylanta!, a minced oath popularized by D.J. Tanner (Candace Cameron-Bure) on the TV sitcom Full House.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of oh my lord like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of oh my lord that will help our users expand their word mastery.