SOS

What Does SOS Mean?

SOS means "Save Our Souls" or "Save Our Ship" It is the international distress signal.

The letters SOS are the international distress signal, used by shipping when in immediate danger and widely recognized as a cry for help, whether spoken, sent as a text message, or by flashing a light or arranging objects to spell out the letters. For example:
  • SOS. We are sinking three nautical miles southeast of the Portland Head light.
  • SOS. I have run out of hair gel. Has anyone got some spare?
The letters SOS were adopted as the international distress signal in Morse code at the International Radiotelegraphic Convention, held in Berlin in 1906. Subsequently, the meanings "Save Our Souls" and "Save Our Ship" were ascribed to SOS, but these are both unofficial definitions. SOS was chosen because it is easy to send and could not be confused with other messages. In Morse code, SOS is sent as an unbroken sequence of letters with no spaces (i.e., as ...---...).

Prior to 1906, the most widely recognized distress signal in use was CQD.

Summary of Key Points for First Definition

"Save Our Souls" is the most common definition for SOS on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
SOS
Definition:Save Our Souls
Type:Abbreviation
Guessability:
1: Easy to guess
Typical Users:
Adults and Teenagers

Summary of Key Points for Second Definition

"Save Our Ship" is another common definition for SOS.
SOS
Definition:Save Our Ship
Type:Abbreviation
Guessability:
1: Easy to guess
Typical Users:
Adults and Teenagers

Example of SOS Used in a Text

SOS

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