If you say something funny in group chat, someone might respond with “ROFL!” What does this acronym stand for and how is it different from LOL? We’ll take a look at the term, its origins, and how you can use it in your own conversations.
Rolling on the floor, laughing
ROFL and ROTFL mean “rolling on the ground laughing.” When you read it, you probably have a very vivid image of someone laughing as they roll on the ground. That’s because it’s an acronym used when you want to show great fun for something.
ROFL was one of the first acronyms to gain huge popularity on the internet, along with LOL and LMFAO. You can find it everywhere from posts on the major social media websites to text messages you have with friends and family.
Depending on the context, ROFL and LOL (laugh out loud) can be used interchangeably. However, the former is used in funnier situations where a different acronym just isn’t enough, and you have to show that you are laughing louder than an ordinary “LOL.” Also, ROFL is deliberately used in messages, unlike LOL, which people throw in sentences where it doesn’t necessarily make sense.
One of the earliest writings for the acronym in the Urban Dictionary states that ROFL is used when you’re “forcing the fact that it’s a lot more fun than your usual lol.”
The origin of ROFL
ROFL has been around since the early days of the World Wide Web. Early adopters used it on IRC or internet relay chat as an alternative to LOL.
The first entry for initialism in Urban Dictionary dates back to October 2002, with several other popular posts emerging in 2003. Later, it was popular on Internet forums and message boards before peaking in popularity in the early 2010s as it became widely used in internet memes.
Due to its popularity online, it has also become a term that is spoken in real life. Most people pronounce it as “whole raw”, similar to how you would say “waffle.” You could say something like, “I’m so screwed. I didn’t study for the exam at all.
ROFL is that it is not the first time that “rolling” has been used to describe someone who laughs hysterically. The English language “rolling down the aisles” dates back to the early 20th century and is used to mean that someone is laughing out loud.
Due to how popular ROFL has become on the Internet, the whole phrase “rolling around on the floor laughing” is now often reduced to simply “rolling”. Therefore, you may see a sentence such as “that got me going,” which conveys that the person is laughing. In this case, “rolling” and ROFL mean the same thing.
There are also other Internet-related uses of the word “roll.” One of them is as part of the meme line, “they see me rolling, they hate.” This phrase comes from a lyric from the 2003 hit song by Chamillionaire, » Ridin «. It has become a meme that involves driving somewhere on various absurd forms of transportation.
Fun versus very fun
When should I use ROFL instead of LOL? When you want someone else to know that something is absolutely fun.
Like other words, Internet jargon terms should not always be taken at face value. While LOL and ROFL basically mean the same thing, the widespread use of LOL in all kinds of messages has caused it to lose its power. On the other hand, ROFL has always meant “rolling on the floor laughing”, so people rarely misinterpret it as sarcastic or passive-aggressive.
Capitalization also matters. The capital “ROFL” is considered much more enthusiastic, especially when combined with an exclamation point. The lowercase “rofl” is a bit more subdued, but it still conveys that you find something funny.
How to use it
ROFL and ROTFL can be used interchangeably, but ROTFL has gone out of style in recent years. You can also combine it with other Internet jargon terms to form a single initial, the most popular of which is “ROFLMAO,” which means “rolling on the floor with laughter.”
Here are some ways you can add this acronym to your posts:
- “I slipped on a banana roll.”
- “ROFL, I just saw the funniest thing outside my window!”
- “ROFLMAO, it’s 3 in the morning and I can’t stop laughing.”
For more information on other internet slang terms, see our articles on IDC , RN and Yeet .