Wednesday, January 18, 2012


What the SOS Distress Signal Stands For?!

It is commonly held that SOS is an acronym for “Save Our Ship” and thus often written “S.O.S.”.  Interestingly though, SOS actually stands for nothing at all.  It’s not an acronym for anything, which is why it is incorrect to put full stops between each letter.
So why was SOS chosen to signify a distress signal?  The thought was that SOS, in Morse code signified by three dots, three dashes, then three dots, could not be misinterpreted as being a message for anything else.  Also, being sent together as one string (with no stops), it could be sent very quickly and needing very little power to transmit.  As the 1918 Marconi Yearbook of Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony notes, “This signal [SOS] was adopted simply on account of its easy radiation and its unmistakable character.  There is no special significance in the letters themselves…”

Finally.. I knew where the shortcut {SOS} came from...


  1. i thought it was save our lives :P, thank you for correcting ^_^.

  2. thanks for the information abrar :)