OMG! The exclamatory online abbreviation has won the approval of the Oxford English Dictionary.
The term —short for "Oh my God" — is one of dozens of new entries in the authoritative reference book's latest online update.
Other Internet-inspired expressions given the stamp of approval include LOL, "laughing out loud"; IMHO, "in my humble opinion"; and BFF, "best friends forever."
The dictionary says that although the terms are associated with modern electronic communications, some are surprisingly old. The first confirmed use of "OMG" was in 1917.
Here's the entry, for those without access:
Etymology: Initialism < the initial letters of ‘oh my God' (frequently as a graphic abbreviation).
The final element may sometimes represent gosh, goodness, etc.
colloq. (freq. in the language of electronic communications).
A. int. (and n.)
Expressing astonishment, excitement, embarrassment, etc.: ‘oh my God!’; = omigod int. Also occas. as n.
1917 J. A. F. Fisher Let. 9 Sept. in Memories (1919) v. 78, I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis—O.M.G. (Oh! My God!)—Shower it on the Admiralty!
1994 Re: AW: Ryan & Lorna‥NOT in rec.arts.tv.soaps (Usenet newsgroup) 24 Sept., OMG! what did I say?
1997 C. Parker Joy of Cybersex 183 OMG Oh my God!
2006 Elle Girl Mar. 134/4 Is this ridiculous to anyone else? Are we dreaming? OMG, What is going on?
2009 R. V. Kozinets Netnography x. 183 All of it blogged and microblogged and promoted with lots of omgs and lols.
2010 Nottingham Evening Post (Nexis) 9 Dec. 15 OMG, it's Ken Barlow on my phone; I'm not worthy!
Causing or characterized by a reaction of astonishment, excitement, etc.; that might cause one to exclaim ‘oh my God!’
1982 Los Angeles Times 15 Jan. i. 4/5 (advt.) You'll find the season's best tangelos and tangerines now at our famous produce stalls. We spotted some marked O-M-G Tangelos, about the biggest we've seen.
1999 OMG! Chicago 8/19 in alt.music.s-mclachlan (Usenet newsgroup) 20 Aug., She stood at the corner of the stage with this ‘girly’ happy OMG face.
2007 Houston Chron. (Nexis) (3 Star ed.) 31 July (Business section) 1 The iPhone is a very different device, and when you first start working with it, there's definitely an OMG! effect.