The Meaning of 'OP' in Online Conversation

Who is this OP everyone's talking about?

Posters on an online forum such as Reddit keep referring to someone or something as "OP." While the internet slang term 'OP' could stand for being overpowered in a game, it usually means something else.

OP Stands for:

Original Poster

How OP Is Used

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. The term is used most often in messaging or online forums, where 'OP' refers to the person who originally posted a question or comment.

Reddit forum.

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) — acknowledgment and an expression of support

How to Format 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 acronym 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.

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.