what sos means

Some people mistakenly think the “SOS” in our name means “Save Our Souls”, “Send Our Succor”, or “Save Our Ship”. The original use of “SOS,” however, dates back to 1908 and the International Morse Code distress signal used with maritime radio systems. In Morse Code, “SOS” is a signal sequence of three dits, three dats, and another three dits spelling “S-O-S”. The expression “Save Our Ship” was probably coined by sailors to signal for help from a vessel in distress.

SOS Children’s Village BC raises funds to support the many foster children in British Columbia in need, while SOS Children’s Villages raises funds to support children in developing countries (we do not receive any funding from the international organization). Today an estimated 140 million children worldwide have lost one or both parents, and that number is expected to increase. Most of these children do not have access to education, clean water, food, medical care, and many do not have homes.

Here in Canada, we are just one of 137 countries in which SOS Children’s Villages continues to respond to the call of children. With over 560 SOS Villages, SOS Children’s Villages is currently raising more than 65,000 needy children. Calls of SOS in the communities surrounding the SOS Villages have also been heard and over a million children and adults are being responded to daily in over 2,800 SOS Family-Based Care facilities worldwide.

Where does the term SOS come from?

Unlike WD-40, CVS, and TASER, SOS is not even an acronym: It’s a Morse code sequence, deliberately introduced by the German government in a 1905 set of radio regulations to stand out from less important telegraph transmissions. Translated to Morse code, SOS looks like this:

“. . . – – – . . .”

Three dots, three dashes, three dots. At a time when international ships increasingly filled the seas, and Morse code was the only way to communicate instantaneously between them, vessels needed a quick and unmistakable way to signal that trouble was afoot. At first, different nations used different codes. Britain, for example, favored CQD; as the Titanic sank into the ocean in April 1912, it broadcast a mix of CQD and SOS calls (the resulting confusion helped take CQD out of use for good).

RELATED: Titanic Survivors: What Happened to Them Next

The sequence of triplet dots and dashes proposed by the German government soon became the international favorite for its elegant simplicity. Transmitted without pause and repeated every few seconds, the SOS meaning was unmistakable, specifically because it didn’t form any known word or abbreviation.

Why was SOS chosen as a distress signal?

By 1908, the triple dot-dash-dot code became the official international radio distress signal and remained that way until 1999, when Morse code was declared all but dead. Today, a ship can signal distress with the touch of a button, the lift of a phone, or a call over radio waves, but the SOS message will likely continue to endure as a backup distress call.

Now that you know the SOS meaning, keep the knowledge coming in and learn why pounds is abbreviated to lbs.

Mailing List

For more information on Sos features and functionality, check out the GitHub wiki. The mailing list is the mailing list for any sos related questions and discussions. Sos is a portable, extensible support data collection tool designed primarily for use with Linux distributions and other UNIX-like operating systems. SOS is a Morse code distress signal (##################) originally used at sea.

Morse Code

The letter sequence SOS (pronounced SOS) is used in Morse code as a distress signal, a way to call for help in an emergency, such as on a ship. In both the German law of 1 April 1905 and the international regulations of 1906, SOS is defined as a continuous Morse code sequence of three dots/three dashes/three dots without mentioning any alphabetical equivalent. Germany was the first country to adopt the SOS distress signal, which it called the Notzeichen signal, as one of three Morse code sequences included in the national radio regulations that came into force on April 1, 1905.


SOS was the maritime radio distress signal until 1999 when it was replaced by the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System. SOS is still considered the standard distress signal and can be used with any signaling method. SOS codes are generally only used when sending text messages; mayday is used for voice communications.

Three Dots

In International Morse, three dots make an “S” and three dashes make an “O”, and it soon became common to informally refer to SOS as “S O S”, with the electric world on January 12, 1907, which states that “ships Those in distress use a special SOS signal repeated at short intervals. In this usage, each letter is still pronounced separately (S-O-S).

Emergency Call

When you make an emergency call, your iPhone automatically dials the local emergency number. If you are outside the crisis zone, you will not be notified, but you can still find SOS alerts by searching for information about major crises.

Schools may license the program through MindWise Innovations (formerly Screening for Mental Health, Inc.). While no training is required to provide SOS, many schools/districts prefer structured instruction to increase awareness and build loyalty to the program. SOS Signs of Suicide (SOS) is a one-stop school prevention program for middle school (11-13) and high school (13-17) students.

International SOS

Violent protests in Spain Liliana Martinez, security manager for International SOS, sheds light on the violent protests in Spain over the detention of Spanish rapper Hablo Hazel. Helping Customers in the Face of Civil Unrest Laura Clarke, Security Specialist at International SOS, learns how building relationships with customers has led to better results.

The crew sent out a frenzied SOS signal as they realized the extent of the disaster. The operator of the ship in distress then delays sending the SOS SOS message to give the off-duty radio operators time to reach their radio room.

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