Jan 04 2013
What does SOS stand for?
There have been many meanings associated with SOS. The most important thing to know about the term is it is a sign of distress. It is used to mean help is needed as quickly as possible. Because of this idea, many people have tried to associate the term with specific words, but really it was designed when Morse code was the standard of communication. It was three dots followed by three dashes followed by three dots. This was an easy combination for those even unfamiliar with the code to follow. Sort of like “911” it made a very simple distress call.
In retrospect people have tried to term it according to the acronym. “Save our Souls,” “Suspend Other Services,” and “Save our Ships” have all been suggested as a meaning. Overall the term just stands on its own as a call for help. Another fun little acronym is “Shit on a Shingle,” an army term for chipped beef on toast.
This original FAQ was inspired by: