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Lots of love[edit]

I have added "lots of love" as being abbreviated to LOL. As far as I know this dates to before LOL's widespread useage as meaning "laughing out loud". Due to its nature, the older meaning of LOL would mostly be confined to personal letters or emails (or in my case SMS. heh). However there are a few sources for this useage. Most noteable being I knew LOL as "lots of love" long before I encountered it as meaning "laugh out loud" (and boy, was that a confusing experience, lol). I have put that it is outdated, because I doubt many people would use it these days. --Beeurd 23:24, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. I didn't know about that sense. Remember, though, that dictionaries are not valid citations here. See WT:CFI for details. Rod (A. Smith) 04:35, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I understand that dictionaries are not really the best, but it seemed to be the most reliable source. There are others, but they are mostly other online dictionaries and personal homepages. But I still felt it should be included. :) --Beeurd 17:20, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Right. Thanks! Rod (A. Smith) 21:49, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
My experience is that lots of love and lots of luck (sarcastic) are both current English meanings of LOL, and are increasingly being used on the Internet (particularly lots of love) as the general public (as opposed to geeks and gamers) adopts the Internet. So watch this space is my advice. I won't update the article as I'm not sufficiently familiar with the Wiktionary policies and practices on citation and verifiability to venture into a controversial update, but IMO someone probably should. Andrewa 23:20, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, I see I did actually add those long ago, and I don't see any discussion of their subsequent removal. Interesting. Andrewa 23:30, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
It should have been noted on this page that some of the senses failed an RfV, but as these mechanics are pretty recent I'm guessing it was too long ago. It's what we sould probably be calling legitimate vandalism in a cheeky tongue sort of way. DAVilla 17:42, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Re the history: Are you sure about this? I don't know if people would bother to abbreviate much in personal letters particular in say the 1980s when people probably tended to write more formally anyway. As for e-mails well perhaps people would have but how often would people have been saying lots of love in e-mails? I mean I don't want to be too stereotypical here but most early e-mail users were male and while there would have been some gays and some people communicating with relatives etc and there were obviously some females so I'm sure there were some times when people may have used lots of love, I don't think they would have been common. Indeed would seem to me people would be more likely to be using laughing out loud in e-mails even if it's a bit strange given they're likely emailing colleagues and stuff. Rememember IRC (WP:IRC) was invented in 1988 and chatting in BBSes existed already before then. I don't know when LOL as laughing out loud came into existance but late 80s sound plausible. It was definitely widespread when I started in late 1995. P.S. I guess it's possible be would be loling from a friendship POV e.g. Bill Gates to Steve Jobs; I like your OS, can I copy it? LOL BG. etc Still doesn't seem to be something that would be common tho Nil Einne 16:40, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, LOLuse to mean Lots of Love!! I use to sign off my letters... Yes, hand written letters... With LOL, and my name. Then as computers and email became more popular, everyone would sign off with that, instead of Sinceraly. As the younger generations adopted LOL as laugh out loud, it took some time to get use to. Many people had to ask what it implied. So for those saying it always meant laugh out loud... That's just in your time. You can't deny its original meaning when so many people remember it being only lots of love. LOL

We can't add things just because someone says they existed. That would allow all kinds of unproven rubbish. You must provide proof. Equinox 15:08, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Not a reliable source obviously but the earliest usenet posty from Google Groups I can find mentioning LOL and "laughing out loud" (which is before any laughs out loud or laugh out loud) is from 1989[1]. So it looks like I was right about the late 80s part. The earliest usenet post with LOL and "lots of love" is 1993 which also mentions laughing out loud [2]. As stated I'm not saying this is definite evidence and I know Google Groups isn't a complete usenet archive but it does back up my hypothesis. Oh and the first evidence for lots of laughs is 1993[3] which also mentions laughing out loud. P.S. Did a bit more checking and found out the earliest use for LOL on usenet that has been Google Groups archived appears to be for Little Old Lady [4] Nil Einne 16:50, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

LOL and ROFL both go back to the compuserve era - we used them in the 80's. it's always been "Laughing out loud". you typed in words to describe what you were doing as you typed. ROFL is "Rolling on floor, Laughing". It works as a description of action. Yes, I'm old. And I was a compuserve sysop also.


Should there be a translations section? Because LOL has many different shortened translations. Some I can think of are French's "mdr" (mort de rire, lit. died of laughter), and in Japanese it's "w" (w is short for the verb 'warau' meaning 'to laugh'). Though I have seen french people use "lol", it seems to be pretty popular on predominate (but more or less international) english web sites such as Youtube. 00:50, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Good point, thanks!
I’ve copied the French translations, which are a start.
—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 21:33, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

LOL River[edit]

There is a river in Japan called "Lol", such this be mentioned? It is "ロル川" (Roru gawa, lit. Lol river) 00:51, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Probably not. We don't have and probably wouldn't have an entry for the river. See WT:CFI. DCDuring TALK 04:44, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

I know we don't have an entry, that's why I'm asking if we should have one. 22:53, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
Did you read the answer DCDuring gave you? --EncycloPetey 00:01, 14 July 2008 (UTC)


Err... This ain't a word ! So this does'nt get to be pronounced. Ever. Even if idiots fom all around the world do pronounce it. It is not a prounounceable word ! 23:56, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

It's an initialism, so yes, it is pronounced, just like EU, USA, and DDT. --EncycloPetey 23:59, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Surprise mean[edit]

I think it also refeers to a high surprise, since the shape of lol, remains to someone with opened mouse screaming uoohhhhh, with his hand on the face.

LOL and lol[edit]

"lol" is listed as an alternative spelling of "LOL". Shouldn't this fact be mentioned in the article for "lol", lol? --Mortense 21:29, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

lol no —S. Jevtić/С. Јевтић (talk) 01:40, 28 June 2019 (UTC)


We need ror version of lol. [5]. --Ivan Štambuk 13:36, 2 June 2010 (UTC)


Shouldn't we add that it is an acronym? An editor since 8.28.2011. 14:38, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

lol as an international word[edit]

Isn't it interlingua- capable word? look at translation table.

German: There were no results matching[edit]

There is no page with that name! (Es existiert keine Seite mit diesem Namen!) in de.wiktionary for the so-called Translations

German: reps (de), and lal (lachen heraus loud)

I think, these two "entries" should be removed. Was that just a joke? -- 10:57, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

(lachen heraus loud) [??]
and it is rather laut heraus lachen than that. -- 11:01, 6 August 2012 (UTC)


"Lol" is dutch for "fun", maybe this is noteworthy?

We have that at lol: it's not related to the English "laugh out loud", though. Equinox 14:37, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Actually in America L.O.L. did mean LOTS OF LOVE; long before the age of the internet. I have read old cards and letters dated as far back as the late 1800s and up to the early 2,000s that use that affectionate acronym in lieu of Lots Of Love. It was used rather extensively in the pre-internet days of "snail mail" just as sealed with a kiss; S.W.A.K. was used to stamp on backs of letters in envelopes using wax or rubber stamps; It was also handwritten on the envelopes; or as an affectionate sign off to the end of a letter/card. 14:39, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Everyone says this but nobody can find even one single example. Surely some people kept their old letters. Equinox 14:51, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

RFV discussion: November–December 2017[edit]

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"Lots of love". Some discussion at Talk:LOL. Equinox 00:34, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

cited Kiwima (talk) 22:26, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

Not adequate... At least one of them is a mention, not a usage, and the others are very disputable. Looks clear to me that some of them (e.g. the shake your booty like J-Lo) is "laugh out loud" (often used by kids almost as punctuation); being at the end of a letter doesn't prove it's love. (Google "lol bye" for comparable examples.) Equinox 04:11, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
I agree the 2011 could be laugh out loud, and have removed it. Part of the problem I am having is that anything that makes a quote completely unambiguous also tends to make it a mention rather than a use. The 2014 quote, if you read the whole thing, is pretty clearly a use for lots of love (it's part of a love letter). I assume you are dismissing the 2015 quote as a mention? Kiwima (talk) 06:32, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

As I have been poking about looking for cites on this, I was disturbed by the number of articles, etc. that say when an older person uses LOL to mean "lots of love" it is a "mistake" (most notably, Cameron), without pointing out that this meaning used to be current. Everybody in my age bracket that I have talked to clearly remember LOL meaning "lots of love" - enough that I would consider this widespread usage if the quotes don't cut the mustard. And I think it is important that a dictionary that includes acronyms document that history of the abbreviation (we include far more obsolete phrases and words, after all), rather than join into this collective delusion that older people are just idiots who are all somehow guessing that LOL means "lots of love" with no justification. Kiwima (talk) 20:55, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

RFV-passed Kiwima (talk) 02:38, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

I have just reopened this because I don't believe the citations are adequate. Equinox 10:56, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

RFV discussion: January–February 2018[edit]

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"Lots of love". Kiwima closed this before it was adequately cited. We now have 5 purported citations: 2007 is a mention ("what do you think LOL means?"); 2010 looks good; 2011 is a mention; 2014 is very possibly the other LOL ("laugh out loud"), which as I mentioned before is often used as informal punctuation in Internet contexts; 2014 Texas Colt Gibson ditto, probably laughing not love; 2014 Stuart Heritage is a mention. This has not passed RFV and I understand Kiwima's frustration but IMO she was wrong to close it. We need adequate unambiguous citing. Equinox 10:48, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

Unambiguous citations can be hard to find, especially for finely distinguished definitions. Rewording or combining definitions is sometimes the best way to close out an RfV rather than deletion or reliance on ambiguous citations. Mentions are often useful to show how others perceive meanings in use. DCDuring (talk) 16:31, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure how you could reword or combine in this case. And, as I said the requisite week before I closed this one, I believe this one falls under the "common usage"" criterion. Admittedly, it is informal, but everybody I have asked "what would LOL at the end of a written letter mean?" who is over the age of sixty (about half a dozen people) has immediately responded "lots of love". Nobody had any doubts or hesitation. Kiwima (talk) 23:22, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
That makes me feel so young. DCDuring (talk) 01:52, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Former British Prime Minister David Cameron famously believed that "LOL" meant "Lots of Love". See this. He's now 51; at the time, he would have been in his 40s, I believe. I originally thought that "LOL" meant "Lots of Love" too. (Me and Dave ... what are we like?! LOL) Mihia (talk) 01:31, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
The first use of "LOL" in the 2007 citation seems like a use, as does the use in the 2014 "Stuart Heritage" citation, which seems to be a quotation of (someone else's) use, such that we could (if anyone wanted to be picky) present just the part inside the quotation marks, sourced like "anonymous British mother, quoted by Stuart Heritage, in...". If we agree the 2010 citation is acceptable, I think we have just barely enough support for this, and the circumstantial evidence that this is what some (older) people intend provides important additional support, for keeping it with a "rare, dated" label. Perhaps there is a repository of old letters or telegrams, e.g. from WWI or WWII, which could be searched for additional citations. - -sche (discuss) 02:11, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
  • RFV passed. I have removed Gibson 2014, which I agree most likely supports a different sense, but I concur with -sche that we have enough support that just passes the use-mention criterion. I also disagree with Equinox that 2007 is a mention; the part he quoted is, but it is used just prior to that in the quote. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:37, 22 February 2018 (UTC)

It's still IMO not properly cited but Christ knows I won't convince you lot. Anyway, I thought this is pretty much the only time in my 12-year Wiktionary history that I feel policy wasn't followed, so (exception proves the rule) we are pretty hot. Equinox 05:15, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

RFV discussion: November 2017–May 2018[edit]

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"reps" and "(lachen heraus loud) lal"

RFV for the German translations "reps" (added in June 2009) and "(lachen heraus loud) lal" (added in October 2010, moved from lol where it was added in March 2007) at LOL#Translations.

  • lal: "lachen heraus loud" is no proper German and the abbreviation "lal" for "lachen heraus loud" makes no sense. ( has "lal" together with "Lacht Aus Laut", but that's not a reliable source and comes with an un-German example.)
  • reps: What should "reps" even stand for or mean? (Shall it be the Finnish reps?)

- 05:02, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

RFV failed, but in the future, RFV isn't necessary for translations, especially when they're as dubious as these.__Gamren (talk) 15:23, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

RFV discussion: February 2019–January 2020[edit]

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I previously challenged LOL for "lots of love": I am personally deeply convinced that LOL never meant "lots of love" and this is similar to a backronym, where people thought it must have meant that. Let's look at the four citations: they are awful and inadequate:

  • 2007: "what do you think LOL means?" (says the modern kid), "lots of love" (says the ignorant father, getting it wrong).
  • 2010: "lol, dad, miscommunication", it says that the lol (laughter) was misunderstood as love instead of laughter.
  • 2011: possibly acceptable but it is almost a mention rather than a usage.
  • 2014: specifically (and a humorous example of) the misunderstanding of love as laughter, but the presentation suggests it's unusual and we have no proof that this cute anecdote ever happened in the real world.

If anyone can find a LOL that is unambiguously love and not laughter and isn't in some kind of humorous misunderstanding context, I will buy them a beer (or whatever cheap thing they like) on PayPal. I think this is an urban myth. Prove me wrong, bitches. Equinox 05:36, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

I personally am SURE that LOL meant "lots of love" because I personally remember it doing so, and know plenty of other old fogies like myself who also remember it doing so. It feels like a violation to be told my past and my memories are bogus. I doubt we will ever find evidence on Google to support this meaning, and even if I can find a bunch of old letters to support it, how do I bring them in as evidence on Wictionary? Kiwima (talk) 18:45, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Hmmm, no offence meant, and even if you aren't "CFI-compliant" your memories matter because this stuff will go to the talk page, and may be proven by future, better people than ourselves. I still really want to see proof of this. If you actually have letters with LOL used that way that would be really important and interesting even if we can only stick 'em on the Talk or Citations page, and I'm sure you can cut out any part that would be too personal. Thanks for your help. Equinox 19:00, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
There is no question that some people have THOUGHT that LOL meant "lots of love", and even used it thus. Famously former British Prime Minister David Cameron did so (see e.g [6]). By the way, I see no need for you to call us "bitches". It is unpleasant. 02:14, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
I, too, recollect LoL/LOL as being part of the handwritten closing I put on greeting cards. I guess it's obsolete now because the other use is so dominant. DCDuring (talk) 02:33, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
Acronym Finder and AbbreviationZ both include "lots of love" and "little old lady" among their definitions. DCDuring (talk) 02:46, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
In most of the stuff you get on Google Books for "LOL" + "lots of love" this usage is framed as a misunderstanding. [7] [8] Usenet seems more promising, though. [9] ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 09:19, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
If you ask anyone over 60 what LOL meant at the end of a letter, they will tell you it was a common abbreviation for "lots of love". It has been totally eclipsed now by laugh out loud, and doesn't really make it into permanently archived sources, but I still think this one was common enough to get in by common usage. Kiwima (talk) 21:53, 25 March 2019 (UTC)
Definitely generational. Certainly was "lots of love" when I was sending greeting cards to relatives. If three of us find some old greeting cards with LOL and upload the images to Commons, would that be good attestation? DCDuring (talk) 22:00, 25 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't have any old letters to prove this (got rid of them when I emigrated), but it was such COMMON USAGE!!!!! DCDuring clearly remembers it as well. Part of the reason I feel so strongly that this one should be included is because of all the current reactions to older people who interpret this as lots of love. They are not finding a completely unfamiliar acronym and making a wild (incorrect) guess rather than trying to find out what it means, they are being misled by their own past experience because it used to mean lots of love, which is a much more reasonable mistake. Kiwima (talk) 13:05, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
If we could establish a likely period for usage there are publications which include many personal correspondences (e.g. soldiers writing home). I agree that this will be a hard one to track down, but perhaps not impossible. - TheDaveRoss 13:57, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
I have no doubt that LOL was commonly used for "lots of love" at the end of a letter, similar to how XOXOXO is used today (that is not at all to say that "XOXOXO" is some recent invention), because, although that was a bit before my time, I have a large family, and they (a large number of them under sixty [although I would note that there is a saying {albeit one that has begun to no longer been true ever since the advent of the blasted social media age that we now unfortunately live in} in my state that means in a nutshell "that which begins in California/out West, and is not readily apparent {in other words, not a common trend or fad}, takes roughly ten years before it comes to {MY STATE}", which I suppose makes perfect sense considering that California is on the polar side of the country from where I live--even the northernmost parts of California are notably below where my area is on a map. In any case, I bring this up because the saying in question also indicates a broader point, I feel, that much of that which begins and much of that which fizzles out in another part of the country {outside of the Northeast} has historically taken much longer to begin or to fizzle out where I live]) recall and have told me in the past (many years ago) precisely what User:DCDuring and User:Kiwima recollect. Was this, perhaps, less common in the United Kingdom than it was in North America (I'm not suggesting that it was specific to a particular area or anything like that, I'm just wondering if it was more common in one than in the other)? Because I have a pretty strong feeling that if I were to go at this very moment and ask the kind elderly woman who lives right next door to me if there was another way of indicating what "XOXOXO" indicates at the end of a letter, she would tell me that "LOL" or "lots of love" has served that purpose. Even if I do end up taking the time to find clear evidence of that fact, though, I would decline Equinox's (probably unserious) offer, as I am a staunch teetotaller-- always have been and always will be. Tharthan (talk) 15:51, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
I've tried search Google Books, restricting the title to include "letters" or "correspondence", with time period 1800-2000. No joy. DCDuring (talk) 16:35, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
That's the problem really. On the one hand I can imagine the frustration of Kiwi et al (as though I had to defend a word like autofire after the accidental burning of all 1980s video game magazines); on the other hand I don't think we should ever make exceptions to attestation rules just because we like our editors and they're probably right. What if it's a massive hoax that only comes to light 50 years later? boo. Equinox 02:54, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
Looking at the cites in the entry, I'd dismiss the first (2002), but the others seem to meet our standards. The fact that there is difference between what older users and younger users mean and understand by LoL warrants a dated label. I fail to understand how evidence of misunderstanding isn't relevant attestation. I agree that it is mentiony, but it is substantive, in-the-wild mentioning that we are seeing. I think we should be happy to find some attestation for such a common misunderstanding, especially involving intra-familial communications, often involving children. It would be interesting to determine whether the "lots of love" meaning predated widespread use of greeting cards. I think not, but I'm not sure how we could find out. DCDuring (talk) 14:10, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
I suspect the association with greeting cards is just from your particular experience. In my experience, it was commonly used in thank you letters. Kiwima (talk) 23:06, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
The OED Third Edition has the new entry (March 2011) with cites from 1989 for the laughing sense, but makes no mention of the love sense. That's not to say that they might not find an instance of older usage in the future, but previous editions had no entry. I never used it in any of my thank you letters. Dbfirs 15:44, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
I opined in the last RFV (Talk:LOL) that the 2007 and 2014 citations look like uses to me. If we wanted to be very picky about presenting who they were uses by, we could change the citations to a format I have occasionally seen used when a book quotes a person besides the author, like "anonymous British mother, quoted by Stuart Heritage, in...", but I'm not sure that's necessary. The 2002 citation looks like the "jib" type of citation that WT:CFI specifically says is OK. That the citations intend this meaning is reinforced by the circumstantial evidence from some of our longtime editors that this is a meaning they've seen people intend. Hence, I think this just barely passes, although we should consider tagging it "nonstandard" as it doesn't match what the majority would apparently understand the term to mean, and it would be helpful it we could find e.g. some database of old telegrams, perhaps from the world wars, to search for additional examples and see if this should be tagged as rare. - -sche (discuss) 16:28, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
"Dated" may not be a strong enough label, because of the insistence of youngers that it is an error: it may be "obsolete". But we don't usually call such things "non-standard". DCDuring (talk) 16:38, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
"Obsolete" seems like too strong a label for something with citations from the 2000s. If younger people are insisting it's an error, not standard, "nonstandard" seems like a label for that, although perhaps usage notes or a {{qualifier}} after the definition would be even better and clearer. Btw, I tried searching old newspapers via, but there's too much chaff from scannos. - -sche (discuss) 16:42, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
How can any initialism or acronym ever be non-standard if it faithfully relates to the full standard name or phrase? DCDuring (talk) 17:12, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
  • All this dismissal of my personal experience is ageist and makes me feel bullied and unsafe. Either remove all these dismissive labels or I'm going to WMF Trust & Safety (or whatever they call it now). DCDuring (talk) 18:00, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
I think that it's a bit absurd that someone would even suggest that there is some sort of mass delusion here, as if everyone who actually was present when the abbreviation was used (or have relatives who were, who remember) are all mistaken. There is no question that the abbreviation was used. The problem is, it was a very colloquial thing, so attestation is difficult for that reason. Tharthan (talk) 18:35, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
Anyway, I'm going to call this cited. If someone wants to write a usage note, please have at it. - -sche (discuss) 22:32, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
Passed. We've got citations where people are using the term; several are "nested" citations (where the word is used in a snippet/quotation of text from someone other than the main author), but this does not prevent their use (such citations have been used in other cases, too). And we've got contributors who we (hopefully) trust confirming that the usage really existed. If there should be additional tags (e.g. if this usage was "uncommon") or a usage note, that can be discussed separately. - -sche (discuss) 19:06, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for making the judgement call on this one, @-sche. I did not feel that I could be objective in doing so. Kiwima (talk) 21:00, 4 January 2020 (UTC)

The "diluted" definition doesn't apply to "LOL", only "lol"[edit]

Title. Sense 3, "Indicates light-heartedness or amusement, or that the accompanying statement is not intended as serious." does not apply to the capitalised form, which is how you can tell the difference between using the word like punctuation in the "not intended as serious" sense" ("i like this lol") and using the word in its literal meaning ("LOL that's hilarious"). – Nixinova (talkedits) 04:13, 8 May 2020 (UTC)