What Does S/O Mean?

S/O means "Shout Out" or "Significant Other."

S/O is often typed as s/o or SO.

Shout Out

The term "shout out" means a mention, a credit, or a greeting. The term is commonly used by radio DJs or live on-stage performers. In other words, to give someone a "shout out" is to acknowledge them for something (usually for their help). Giving a shout out is a common way of showing appreciation, but not all "shout outs" show appreciation. A "shout out" might be just a mention in a public setting.

In a social-media context, a "shout out" refers to tagging someone (i.e., including their name with a link to their site or social-media account).

Significant Other

S/O also means "Significant Other" (i.e., a partner). This term has arisen to promote gender inclusivity and to avoid any implication that couples ought to be married. Unlike terms like "wife," "husband," and "spouse," the abbreviation S/O does not assume a partner is married, and it does not assume a partner's gender.

Image for S/O

When I write S/O, I mean this:

meaning of S/O

"Shout out" is the most common definition for S/O, but it can also mean "significant other."

Video Summarizing S/O

Here's a short video explaining how to use S/O:

Summary of Key Points

"Shout Out" is a common definition for S/O on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Shout Out
Guessability:guessability level 3

3: Guessable

Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Second Definition for S/O

"Significant Other" is another common definition for S/O
Definition:Significant Other
Guessability:guessability level 3

3: Guessable

Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Examples of S/O in Sentences

Here are examples of S/O being used in conversations:
  • Toni: Will you give me a S/O before your first song?
  • Jordan: If I remember, I will.
  • (Here, S/O means "shout out." This means "Will you give me a mention?")
  • Toni: Thanks for the S/O on Twitter.
  • Jordan: You're welcome. Hopefully, you'll get a few followers from it.
  • (Here, S/O means "shout out." It means "Thanks for recognizing me.")
  • Toni: You and your S/O are invited to my birthday party on Saturday.
  • Jordan: Great!
  • (Here, S/O means "significant other" Toni is not assuming the gender of Jordan's partner or that Jordan is married.)

An Academic Look at S/O

In both meanings, S/O functions as a noun. When it means "shout out," S/O is a compound noun (i.e., a noun made up of more than one word). When S/O means "significant other," it is noun phrase comprising an adjective and a pronoun. Of note, "shout out" is increasingly being written as one word, i.e., "shoutout."

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

Before the digital era, we might have said something like "appreciation" or "kudos" instead of "shout out" and "wife," "husband," or "spouse" instead of "significant other."

Example of S/O Used in a Text

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