HomeWhat does “OP” mean online, and how do you use it?

What does “OP” mean online, and how do you use it?

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If you’ve recently been on a message board, Reddit, or any social network, you can see people talking about someone called “OP.” If you are not sure who it is, read on.

What does “OP” mean?

“OP” means “original poster” or “original post.” Although the two terms are widely used on message boards and Internet forums, they mean different things.

The original poster is the person who started the discussion topic, forum topic, or Reddit post. They often start conversations or ask questions. If they are asking for advice on a particular situation, they respond to comments or messages in this thread. When other people refer to the person who started the thread, they type “OP” instead of their username.

The “original post” appears first when you open the thread created by the original poster. It is a less common use of both. It is used when the post contains a lot of information, such as “mega-threads” or guides that contain many important links, updates and images.

“Opening” and “Overpowering”

There are two other uses of Genesis OP that you can see online. In mobile phone communities, OP can stand for “opening”, which means opening credit at the beginning of each episode.

In games, OP means “more powerful.” This means that a character, object or something else in the game is considered very powerful.

When typed in lowercase, “op” stands for “opposition”. The plural form, “aps” can also mean “operation”.

History of OP

OP can be seen in the early days of online message boards in the 1990s and early ’00s. OP was first defined in the civic dictionary in 2003. Nowadays, it is a common term on various websites that use a message board format, such as Reddit.

OP was often used instead of the original poster’s username. Because most accounts on message boards were anonymous, they contained obscure words, letter names, numbers, and symbols. In addition, these sites did not have a tagging or notification system, as message boards now do. OP was a very quick and easy way to refer to the original poster.

In the early days of message boards, the thread’s OP could also use the Internet abbreviation “ITT”, for “in this thread” in the title of their posts. It is less common to see ITT in headlines, but the term is still used online.

OP and Reddit.

Reddit app logo on iPhone home screen.
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The acronym OP is widely used on the online message board, Reddit. In Essay Meanting or AMA threads, people are asked to ask OP questions. Unless an OP is a well-known public figure, commentators often use the term “OP” to ask a question.

The second use is when a poster shares a story or personal experience. When the story is discussed in the comments, people often call this poster OP. For example, someone might post, “If I had to act like an OP, I’d probably give up.”

Related: What does “AMA” mean, and how do you use it?

OP on social media.

Twitter app on smartphone.
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OP is also a general term on social media, especially Twitter. When a tweet has a long chain of responses from more than one person, it becomes a Twitter thread. Therefore, “OP” refers to the person who sent the first tweet.

Threads are common on Twitter due to the platform’s 280-character limit. When people want to type long stories or post a lot of pictures, they separate them into multiple tweets. If someone stumbles upon an out-of-order tweet in a thread, they will often find OP’s first tweet.

How to use OP on forums

OP is a colloquial term that is not really related to formal emails. You can use it only on social media or online message boards.

Here are some ways to use OP:

  • “OP, please give us an update when you receive the package.”
  • “The OP has a lot of nutrition information.”
  • “What’s your favorite game on PS4, OP?”
  • “I find OP’s story interesting, TBH.”

OP is one of the many abbreviations you will see online. If you want to know more, check out what SMH and NSFW mean.

Related: What does “NSFW” mean, and how do you use it?

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