The Meaning of OP in Online Conversation

Who is this OP everyone's talking about?

Computer screen showing a Reddit post thread

Con Karampelas / Unsplash

Just two simple letters are a reference to a poster in online communications. OP stands for Original Poster

How OP Is Used

The initialism OP has two common meanings in contemporary online communication. It will sometimes mean overpowered in the world of online gaming. More commonly, however, OP means original poster in discussion forums.

The original poster is the person who started a discussion thread, and OP is used to refer back to that person as the responses grow.

Example of OP in Use

(Krista) I think the OP was actually just sharing an anecdote about traveling to Chile. He wasn't looking for a debate on Chilean politics.

(Jordangerous) LOL, thank you for saying so, Krista. I think we have many trolls here.

(Krista) Yeah. I think he scared the OP away though, and that's not good for the forum.

Expressions Related to OP:

  • TTT / Bump (To the Top, an expression to promote an aging post by pushing it to the beginning of the discussion thread.)
  • QFT (Quoted for Truth, a type of forensic stamp or expression of support for an argument)
  • Props (Proper Respect and Acknowledgement, an expression of support)

How to Capitalize and Punctuate Web and Texting Abbreviations

Capitalization is a non-concern when using text message abbreviations and chat jargon. You are welcome to use all uppercase (e.g. ROFL) or all lowercase (e.g. rofl), and the meaning is identical. Avoid typing entire sentences in uppercase, though, as that means shouting in online speak.

Proper punctuation is similarly a non-concern with most text message abbreviations. For example, the abbreviation for "Too Long, Didn't Read" can be abbreviated as TL;DR or as TLDR. Both are acceptable formats, with or without punctuation.

Never use periods between your jargon letters. It would defeat the purpose of speeding up thumb typing. For example, ROFL would never be spelled R.O.F.L., and TTYL would never be spelled T.T.Y.L.

Recommended Etiquette for Using Web and Texting Jargon 

Knowing when to use jargon in your messaging is about knowing who your audience is, knowing if the context is informal or professional, and then using good judgment. If you know the people well, and it is a personal and informal communication, then absolutely use abbreviation jargon. On the flip side, if you are just starting a friendship or professional relationship with the other person, then it is a good idea to avoid abbreviations until you have developed a relationship rapport.

If the messaging is in a professional context with someone at work, or with a customer or vendor outside your company, then avoid abbreviations altogether. Using full word spellings shows professionalism and courtesy. It is much easier to err on the side of being too professional and then relax your communications over time than doing the inverse.