This entry should be amended to note that the "z" is added emphasis from the common typo committed when hitting the "shift" key.
- Except that it's not: see . Unfortunately, although this FAQ is accurate, the fact that it has not been cited in a reliable source means that we cannot include it on Wiktionary. Shii 14:21, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I removed the following from the entry as uncited: "The "z" was originally a mistake while attempting to hit the shift key on a QWERTY keyboard with the left hand, and type "OMG"." - -sche (discuss) 04:26, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Returnin' the etymology
I don't know about anyone else, but I do see the same origin all over the Internet as to why it is typed as 'ZOMG', summat like 'miss-hiting the swift key and holds 'z' instead'. Also, I've found this if this is enough proof? Tony6ty4ur (talk) 23:28, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.
I'd like to share some information for anyone hoping to pin down a source or etymology for this neologism.
With the exception of a few isolated uses on USENET, ZOMG can be reliably sourced to at least as far back as June 2003, when a copy of the ZOMG FAQ appears in the Web Archive. That document, by Matthew "Rick_Feynman" Milan, dates the term to January 2003, where Milan and James Curbo coined the term in an ICQ chat.
According to Milan's own entry in the Urban Dictionary, dated April 2005,, the word was coined as a parody of leet-speak, or hacker slang. This was part of a trend in the 90s and early 2000s to invent jocular acronyms, such as NIFOC or OMGWTFBBQ.
While a few isolated instances on USENET pre-date this, Milan's independent coining of the term was most influential via the Something Awful and Raspberry Heaven communities which originally spawned 4chan in 2003, which in turn influenced other internet commmunities.
The current top definition on Urban Dictionary supposes that it's caused by missing shift while excitedly typing "OMG", but this definition did not appear until August 2005, four months after Milan's definition and two years after the ZOMG FAQ which makes no mention of it.
While Urban Dictionary has therefore popularized the "missed-shift" etymology, it doesn't reflect the original etymology of the term, but rather is a backronym, likely coined by user who, in 2005, may quite easily have been unfamiliar with the 1990s hacker acronym fad, and rationalized a different etymology as a back-formation.
18.104.22.168 03:47, 12 January 2019 (UTC)