A lot of people are under the impression that SOS, the international code signal of distress, is an abbreviation of “save our souls” or “save our ship” (as SOS is mostly used by ships at sea). But these are just backronyms, deliberately formed to match the word, not the other way round.
So what does SOS stand for after all?
The truth is that SOS doesn’t really mean anything. In fact, there’s no significance in the letters themselves – it’s just a Morse code – three dots, three dashes, then three dots (▄ ▄ ▄ ▄▄▄ ▄▄▄ ▄▄▄ ▄ ▄ ▄). The reason why this specific sequence was chosen as the Morse code when in need of help, was the fact that it could be sent very quickly and it couldn’t be misinterpreted as something else. (the article continues after the ad)
Here’s how an SOS signal sounds like: