The English language is full of difficult vocabulary & grammar rules. This makes it very hard for non-native English speakers to learn the language! The popular use of acronyms in everyday conversation adds yet another level of complexity to the situation. The abbreviation “LMAO” is a great example of this. In this post, we will explain what LMAO means & how you can use it in your everyday life!
LMAO Meaning Explained
The literal meaning of LMAO is “laugh my ass off” or “laughing my ass off”. This is a very common expression in the United States that is used to react to an incredibly funny situation.
No, this expression is NOT literal! If someone reacts to your email with “LMAO! You are so funny.” This does not mean their butt actually fell off because your joke was too funny. Terms like LMAO or ol’ are considered slang and should not be used in a professional setting.
LMAO is a hyperbolic and informal way to tell someone that you are laughing. Here are some appropriate times to use LMAO.
- DM’ing someone on social media
- Text messaging
- An informal email with friends
Here are some times in which it is NOT an appropriate time to use LMAO:
- Formal email to your boss.
- An important business letter.
- Academic writing
Just like we saw in our post analyzing the phrase thank you all, even small spelling changes matter. Even in informal words like LMAO…spelling matters!
Here are some example sentences that demonstrate how to use LMAO correctly in your daily life.
- LMAO! Mark always tells the best jokes.
- Ayy LMAO! I can’t believe you pulled that prank off.
- LMAO! I can’t believe she actually fell for that trick.
Just like we saw in our post on sergeant or sargent, small spelling changes can make a big difference!
Other Popular Abbreviations
There are many informal abbreviations that people use on a regular basis. Here are some of the most popular acronyms.
- LMAO – Laughing my ass off
- LOL – Laugh out loud
- OMG – Oh my God
- TGIF – Thank God it’s Friday
- ROFL – Roll on the floor laughing
Just like the word stoaked, these phrases are all informal and should not be used frequently in serious writing.
Alternate Ways To Say LMAO
LMAO is a very popular reaction to use for a funny situation while texting. However, there are other ways to express your laughter.
- Hehe – This is a common expression that people use in a text message to express laughter. It is not correct to say “hehe” in formal writing.
- Emojis – Laughing emojis have become a very popular way to react to specific situations with laughter. There are several different laughing emojis that people use while texting.
- GIF – Another alternative to LOL is using a GIF to express laughter. Most people will send a short clip (GIF) of a person laughing that represents their reaction to a message or situation.
Just like the terms Nana or Nanna, these alternate ways to express laughter should only be used in a casual setting!
Popularity Analysis (LOL vs LMAO)
As you can see from Google’s Ngram data, these acronyms are far from new. However, it is obvious that “LOL” is far more popular today than “LMAO”. In my opinion, this is because “LMAO” uses an inappropriate word that is not proper for most contexts.
This doesn’t mean things can’t change! Just like we saw in our analysis of the phrase “Catch you on the flip side“, vocabulary can evolve over time. Certain expressions or phrases become more popular as culture changes.
Formal vs Informal Writing
In order to advance your writing skill, you need to have a firm understanding of the difference between informal and formal writing. Part of the editing process is checking that you do not mix these writing styles in your work!
Formal and informal writing are two different styles of writing that have their own distinct characteristics.
Formal writing follows written grammar rules. You would not use phrases like “sounds good to me” in formal writing!
- Typically used for academic or professional writing, such as scientific papers or business memos.
- Characterized by the use of precise & literal vocabulary.
- Zero or limited use of slang & colloquial terms.
Informal writing does not directly adhere to written English grammar rules.
- Tone is more conversational and might include personal opinions
- Less organized structure.
- Can often contain sentence fragments, slang, and jokes.
- More flexible writing style.
We saw in our post about how to spell mam that context matters! Do not use casual, slang, or informal writing in formal writing pieces.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is OK to say LMAO during informal conversations like text messages. LMAO is one of the most popular internet abbreviations that people use to react to a situation that is considered extremely funny.
The acronym LMAO means “laughing my ass off”. The acronym ROFL means “rolling on the floor laughing”. Both these acronyms are used to react to an extremely funny situation & are used in instant messaging or text messages. These and other acronyms should only be used in real life in an informal context.
When a girl texts you “LMFAO” that means she thinks what you said is funny. She is “laughing her freaking ass off”. Not literally! Keep in mind that this acronym can also be used in a sarcastic and condescending tone in a text conversation.
MK is a slang version of the word ok. Unlike the acro LMAO, MK is only used in verbal conversation. It is incorrect and awkward to write MK in text messages or instant messaging. The most appropriate time to use this phrase is when talking with a close friend.
By now, you should be an expert at this common phrase used to react to something incredibly funny. Remember, LMAO means “laughing my ass off”. This is something that should only be used in written correspondence! It is awkward & incorrect to say “LMAO” out loud. People will think you spend a bit too much time on the internet!
This common phrase that has more than one meaning should only be used in a casual setting. If you need some extra help with spelling & grammar rules, consider using our sentence rewording tool to make things easy!