The Meaning of /S: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of /S? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the abbreviation /S, including its definition, origin, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the abbreviation /s mean? Where did the abbreviation /s come from?

According to Linguaholic, the term /s is an internet slang abbreviation that is commonly used on online communities and message boards to denote sarcasm. While /s can also be used for physicists and mathematicians to mean “per second,” and is also used by web designers using HTML to strike through a portion of text, you will most commonly see /s to denote some online comment as sarcasm. It is often difficult to discern someone’s tone when you are reading something because you cannot hear the inflection with which the statement is said. Therefore, people in online communities or who are communicating on social media will use /s at the end of a comment or sentence to clarify to readers that the comment is sarcastic. This makes it easier for people to read the tone. This can help avoid arguments or show that something is humorous or intended as a joke. The abbreviation /s is also archaically used to refer to a signature. While this English language term may not be found in an English dictionary, it certainly carries functionality online. Try using /s and other new words in a sentence today!

While other languages may not necessarily use /s to denote sarcasm, many other languages do contain words that mean sarcasm. If you are traveling, knowing how to say that a comment you made is sarcastic is very useful in avoiding conflict with native speakers. This list of translations for the word sarcasm is provided by Word Sense.

  • Danish: sarkasme‎ (common)
  • Arabic: النقد الساخر‎, سُخْرِيَّة‎ (fem.), تَهَكُّم‎ (masc.)
  • Navajo: ąąh nehelghaał‎
  • Italian: sarcasmo‎
  • Finnish: sarkasmi‎
  • Bulgarian: сарказъм‎ (masc.)
  • Tagalog: gayambalbal‎
  • Esperanto: sarkasmo‎
  • Ukrainian: сарка́зм‎ (masc.)
  • French: sarcasme‎
  • Vietnamese: nói mỉa‎, mỉa mai‎
  • Telugu: వ్యంగ్యము‎
  • Portuguese: sarcasmo‎
  • Turkish: alaycılık‎, istihza‎
  • Hindi: ताना‎, व्यंग-कथ‎, व्यंग‎
  • Swedish: sarkasm‎
  • German: Sarkasmus‎ (masc.)
  • Persian: طعنه‎ (ta’ne), گواژه‎ (govāže)
  • Welsh: coegni‎
  • Belarusian: сарка́зм‎ (masc.)
  • Norwegian: sarkasme‎
  • Georgian: სარკაზმი‎
  • Muong: sự mỉa mai‎
  • Hungarian: szarkazmus‎
  • Spanish: sarcasmo‎
  • Catalan: sarcasme‎
  • Korean: 풍자‎
  • Polish: sarkazm‎, kpina‎ (fem.), szyderstwo‎ (neut.), drwina‎ (fem.)
  • Greek: σαρκασμός‎ (masc.)
  • Chinese – Mandarin: 諷刺‎, 讽刺‎ (fěngcì)
  • Dutch: sarcasme‎ (neut.)
  • Romanian: sarcasm‎
  • Russian: сарка́зм‎ (masc.), е́дкость‎ (fem.), язви́тельность‎ (fem.), ёрничество‎ (neut.)
  • Japanese: 皮肉‎ (ひにく, hiniku), 諷刺‎ (ふうし, fūshi)

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word sarcasm?

There are many different words and phrases that a person can use in place of the term /s. /S is only ever used in written speech, so if you are trying to say that something or someone is being sarcastic in real life, you will have to use a synonym. Synonyms are also very useful to know if you want to avoid repeating yourself or if you are trying to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word sarcasm is provided by Thesaurus

  • mocking
  • corrosiveness
  • superciliousness
  • irony
  • sneering
  • raillery
  • invective
  • lampooning
  • cut
  • banter
  • dig
  • scoffing
  • censure
  • contempt
  • aspersion
  • ridicule
  • rancor
  • put-down
  • wisecrack
  • mockery
  • sharpness
  • satire
  • flouting
  • acrimony
  • scorn
  • comeback
  • causticness
  • burlesque
  • mordancy
  • bitterness
  • disparagement
  • cynicism
  • derision
  • criticism

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of sarcasm. These are known as antonyms, which are useful English grammatical devices to know if you are seeking to expand your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the term sarcasm is provided by Thesaurus as well.

  • good faith
  • goodwill
  • probity
  • trustworthiness
  • openness
  • wholeheartedness
  • justice
  • sincereness
  • candor
  • truth
  • reliability
  • truthfulness
  • heart
  • artlessness
  • veracity
  • straightforwardness
  • singleness
  • frankness
  • bona fides
  • impartiality
  • seriousness
  • guilelessness
  • genuineness
  • innocence
  • earnestness
  • sincerity
  • honor
  • honesty

What is the origin of the word sarcasm?

According to Etymonline, the word sarcasm has been used since the 1570s. This noun comes from the word sarcasmus, which comes from the Late Latin sarcasmus. This word stems from the late Greek sarkasmos meaning a sneer or mockery. Sarkasmos comes from the Greek sarkazein meaning to speak bitterly, which literally translates to stripping off flesh. This comes from sarx which is the genitive sarkos meaning flesh or piece of mean. The word sarcasm comes from the Proto-Indo-European root twerk or tuerk meaning to cut, which is also the source of the Avestan thwares meaning to cut. The current form of the English word sarcasm has been used since the 1610s.

How can /s be used in sentences?

The consonant s can be used for so much more than transforming singular nouns into plural nouns or creative possessives with an apostrophe. One will often see /s used at the end of an online comment or SMS text message to denote that the message is sarcastic. In this example, Jean and Maria are in the same math class. Maria texts Jean before class.

Maria: U better study before class, Kelly just told me Mr. M is giving us a pop quiz on derivatives.

Jean: Yay, I love derivatives! I can’t wait! /s

Maria: LOL I feel u… I was out all last week, I don’t know anything!

Jean: At least we will fail together <3 

In this example, Jean uses /s to show Maria that her text message about loving the math topic that they have a pop quiz on is sarcastic. Without it, Maria may have thought she was serious.

Overall, the term /s is far more than just the 19th letter of the alphabet. /S is used for denoting a sarcastic statement to make the tone of an online comment clear to someone else who is reading it. This trending term is often used on sites like reddit. Try using this word of the day in a text message or social media post today! 

Sources:

  1. https://linguaholic.com/linguablog/the-meaning-of-slash-s/
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/sarcasm
  3. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/sincerity
  4. https://www.wordsense.eu/sarcasm/
  5. https://www.etymonline.com/word/sarcasm#etymonline_v_22734