OP

or O.P.

[oh-pee]

What does OP mean?

On internet forums and message boards, OP is short for original poster, or the person who started the thread that users comment on.

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In video gaming, anime, and sports, OP is a shorthand for overpowered, describing an indomitable character or player. 

Warning: This article features information about a homophobic slur that is highly offensive and that should not be used ... ever.

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Examples of OP

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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
three types of zodiac posts / 1. relatively accurate to the signs' personality traits / 2. literally just OP subtweeting people in their life but mentioning them by sign instead of by name / 3. homestuck
@sunieepo, July 2018

Where does OP come from?

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The internet shorthand OP comes from ye olde 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 one Reddit and 4chan, are anonymous online.

In 2007, the homophobic OP is a faggot 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 faggot.

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By 2011, the taunt had morphed into OP is a phaggot, the alternate spelling to avoid filters, and came to insult the quality or value of the thread.

Know Your Meme

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

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Who uses OP?

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.

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.

And using OP is faggot or phaggot? That’s not just immature, but also downright homophobic.

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