01 July 2012

"ROFL" evolves

We all know that language evolves, but sometimes the speed with which it does so is startling.  ROFL originally was an acronym for "rolling on the floor laughing," but it has already taken on new meanings, as explained by the DCblog:
To rofl now means sort of, to waste time in a pleasant way either alone or in a group. So someone sitting around looking at YouTube videos is rofling. So is someone throwing a football around with their 3-year-old. It's like ‘hanging out’ but with more positive and silly connotations, as if wasting time were a desirable thing.

You can also use to rofl to mean to fudge, or to make it up as you go. As in, ‘What's the plan on Friday?’ ‘We'll rofl it.’

On top of that, a few people also seem to be using it to mean ‘beaten badly in a competition or fight.’ As in, ‘We tried fighting the orcs in our game of Dungeons and Dragons this weekend, but we got rofled.’ ...

There always was a figurative sense to rofl: no one ever actually rolled on the floor. So it's not surprising to see it extending in meaning in various directions.
Now you know.   And you won't be befuddled the next time you hear it used in a new way.


  1. Hm, I must be getting behind. I haven't heard rofl used in any of those senses. I've heard (and used) rofl-stomped quite a bit to describe a humorously easy win (or embarrassing loss), but not 'rofl' on its own.

  2. Interestingly, the fairly common acronym LOL (Laugh Out Loud) is actually a word in Dutch: "lol" is a noun denoting "a pleasant feeling of happiness and enjoyment".
    LOL ...

  3. i've seen kids use WTF for Wow! that's Fantastic!

  4. Roar out F***ing Loud, is another possibility

  5. I thought ROFL meant "Rolling on the Floor."

  6. Nothing evolves faster than cyber slang. I still feel like referring to someone as a "troll" or "trolling" originally translated as one who deliberately baited victims with rage-inducing comments/opinions/actions- Not to express honest impulses, but only to upset others and solicite a visceral response. All for the LULZ ("shits and giggles"?) of course.

    These days a "troll" is basically anybody online that you don't like.


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