Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
1910, from International Morse code letters, chosen arbitrarily as being easy to transmit and difficult to mistake. Not an initialism for "save our ship" or anything else. Won out over alternative suggestion C.Q.D., which is said to mean "come quickly, distress," or "CQ," general call for alerting other ships that a message follows, and "D" for danger. SOS is the telegraphic distress signal only; the oral equivalent is mayday.
Old English swa, swæ (adv., conj., pron.) "in this way," also "to that extent; so as, consequently, therefore," and purely intensive; from Proto-Germanic *swa (cf. Old Saxon, Middle Dutch, Old High German so, Old Norse sva, Danish saa, Swedish så, Old Frisian sa, Dutch zo, German so "so," Gothic swa "as"), from PIE reflexive pronomial stem *swo- "so" (cf. Greek hos "as," Old Latin suad "so," Latin se "himself"), derivative of *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (see idiom).
Old English swa frequently was strengthened by eall, and so also is contained in compounds as, also, such. The -w- was eliminated by contraction from 12c.; cf. two, which underwent the same process but retained its spelling. As an "introductory particle" [OED] from 1590s. Used to add emphasis or contradict a negative from 1913. So in mid-20c. British slang could mean "homosexual" (adj.). So? as a term of dismissal is attested from 1886 (short for is that so?, etc.). So what as an exclamation of indifference dates from 1934. So-and-so is from 1596 meaning "something unspecified;" first recorded 1897 as a euphemistic term of abuse. Abbreviating phrase and so on is attested from 1724. So far so good is from 1721.
Latin si opus sit (if needed)
The usual tedious exaggerations, pieties, wretched food, etc
[WWII armed forces; fr same old shit]
Chipped beef on toast or some similar food; shit on a shingle: It was commonly referred to in the service as SOS
[WWII armed forces; fr shit on a shingle]
1. Scheme Object System.
2. An infamously losing text editor. Once, back in the 1960s, when a text editor was needed for the PDP-6, a hacker crufted together a quick-and-dirty "stopgap editor" to be used until a better one was written. Unfortunately, the old one was never really discarded when new ones (in particular, TECO) came along. SOS is a descendant ("Son of Stopgap") of that editor, and many PDP-10 users gained the dubious pleasure of its acquaintance. Since then other programs similar in style to SOS have been written, notably the early font editor BILOS /bye'lohs/, the Brother-In-Law Of Stopgap (the alternate expansion "Bastard Issue, Loins of Stopgap" has been proposed).
3. The PDP-10 instruction to decrease a value. Oppose AOS.
(Nubian, Sabako), an Ethiopian king who brought Egypt under his sway. He was bribed by Hoshea to help him against the Assyrian monarch Shalmaneser (2 Kings 17:4). This was a return to the policy that had been successful in the reign of Jeroboam I.