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What is the meaning of SOS? | How it works?

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Hello YouArmy,

Good Evening,

Have you ever heard anyone speak, SOS!!! SOS!!! Maybe “No”? Because none want to see them in danger situation where there is a life-death question. Still, If you’re lucky to survive from that dangerous situation, you may hear SOS. Now, you may know when it is used. But do you know what does it exactly mean? Why pilots used this?

In today’s post, we will know all about the meaning of SOS, when it’s used and its speciality. So, here we go …

The meaning of SOS

In simple words, SOS meansI’m in extreme danger, please help me!”

So, How SOS works?

SOS Meaning
SOS – from

Well, in general, when someone in serious trouble, a signal sent through the radio from a ship (let’s take it as an example) asking for its emergency. It may be like a ship is sinking. Now, the pilot will say SOS, SOS! In short, thus the whole thing works. However, again, an airliner or any other vessels also send this signal in an emergency.

SOS History

SOS was invented at a radio-telegraphic conference in Berlin, in 1906, and internationally adopted in 1908. Though in that time, another signal like SOS, CQD – continued to be used as well for a while.

However, a radio station receiving an SOS signal obliged to organize a rescue. Otherwise, unless they passed the signal on so that someone else could.

Why the letters are SOS? Is there any reason for naming it SOS?

From then to still today, many people assume the meaning of SOS will be the short form of  “save our ship” or “save our souls” or “send out succour (relief)”.

In fact, this short-form never was. In reality, SOS is a Morse code distress signal which used internationally. It originally established for maritime use.

But as per formal notation, SOS is written with an overscore line to indicate that the Morse code equivalent for the individual letters of “SOS” transmitted as an unbroken sequence of three dots / three dashes / three dots, with no spaces between the letters.

As per the International Morse Code, three dots form the letter “S” and three dashes make the letter “O”. So “SOS” became a common way to remember the order of the three dots and dashes.

So, This is how the meaning of SOS in Morse Code looks like,

. . . – – – . . .

See the list of Internation Morse Code of English Letters & Numbers:

Morse Code - SOS
Morse Code List of English Letters

IWB, VZE, 3B, and V7 form equivalent sequences, instead, traditionally SOS is the easiest to remember.

SOS – Speciality & Facts

SOS still recognized as a standard distress signal can be used with any signalling method. It has also been used as a visual distress signal. For example, three short/three long flashes of light from a survival mirror. Moreover, in some cases, the individual letters “S O S” also spelt out.

Amazingly, the great visual advantage of “SOS” is that it can be read up and down, as well as, upside-down (as an ambigram).


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