The Meaning of SOS

  • SOS is the distress signal, and the message for help, which is used all over the world.


    In the Morse code, SOS is composed of three short, three long, and three short signals, that are very easy to input and remember.

    At the beginning of the introduction of the Morse code, CQD (call to quarters, distress) was used as the distress signal.
    無線信号が実用化された頃は、遭難信号としてCQD(call to quarters, distress)が使われていました。

    However, in 1906, the new signal SOE, which was proposed by Germany, had been adopted as the universal distress signal due to the intelligibility.

    Furthermore, E is one short signal, and it was tended to fail to hear, so SOE became SOS.

    It is sometimes referred to as the abbreviation of “save our souls” or “save our ship,” however, actually these letters have no meaning.
    SOSは「save our souls, save our ship」の略と言われることもありますが、実際にはモールス信号で打ちやすく聞き取りやすいというだけで、文字に意味はありません。

    The etymology is just because it’s easy to input and recognize SOS.

    Original sentence