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#oomf is an Internet slang acronym meaning “one of my friends” or “one of my followers.” It is commonly used on Twitter as a hashtag in “subtweets,” or tweets that subliminally address a specific person or group of people without directly mentioning them.
Though it is unknown where the hashtag #oomf originated, one of the earliest tweets using the hashtag was posted on February 21st, 2011 by @MissShantae_, who was upset that one of her followers did not text her back.
#oomf didn't text me back… smh!— Shantae Deary (@MissShantae_) February 21, 2011
“Oomf” was first added to hashtag dictionary Twittonary on February 27th, 2011, describing the term as a Twitter shorthand for “one of my followers.” On March 7th, it was similarly defined on Urban Dictionary
with an alternate meaning of “one of my friends.” Later that month, A Yahoo! Answers user inquired about the hashtag’s meaning, to which the top voted answer explained that people use #oomf so other people would not know who the tweet was about. In September 2011, the International Business Times included #oomf in a list of hashtag acronyms that trend frequently on Twitter. In December that year, Tumblr blogger 1week1project reported that #oomf was trending and logged a number of tweets using the hashtag.
In January 2012, members of the LipstickAlley forums discussed the pros and cons of using #oomf as a covert way to air one’s grievances without actually talking to the person in question. In August 2012, the single topic Tumblr The #oomf Diary was created, posting a handful of open-letter style romantic messages directed at an anonymous follower. Around the same time, the Twitter account @OhDearOOMf launched, tweeting similar messages using the hashtag #oomf. As of July 2013, the account has nearly 295,000 followers and the messages get retweeted thousands of times each.
On November 21st, 2012, Buzzfeed reported on the notable resurgence of the “subtweet” hashtag in an article titled “Introducing #Oomf, Twitter’s Best Ever Hashtag.” In February 2013, Storify user the_toney compiled dozens of tweets using the hashtag in several different ways, from playful subtweets seeking to interact with anonymous crushes in real life, as well as confrontational tweets aimed at specific individuals. In July 2013, The Daily Dot also reported on the widespread use of the hashtag.
As of July 2013, #oomf has been used on Twitter more than 25 million times, according to Topsy Analytics. According to Twee.co, it has been a worldwide trend nearly a dozen times between November 2011 and May 2013. The hashtag can also be found on Tumblr and Instagram, where more than 260,000 photos have been tagged #oomf.
The Daily Dot – Twitter’s #oomf, a hashtag for secret flirtations and fights
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