Tuesday, 2 February 2010

omglan: The Real Meaning

Wow. I have just realised that I haven't once mentioned 'omglan' in this blog directly. 'omglan' is the standard name given to anything relating to my group, such as the name of our dodgeball team, football team... actually, any team we have. We all have football shirts with 'omglan' and '21' on the back, bought for each of our 21st birthdays. From now on, I will stop referring to it as 'omglan' and just say omglan.

A lot of people ask why we are called omglan, and where the name came from. We vowed never to tell people, and to make up a reason on the spot each time. Though now, although I will probably be hated... I will say the real reason.

About 6 years ago we all used to play a computer game on the PC. It was quite a small game, and at the time not many other people played it. The game was based on a made up sport, which used aspects of football and basketball, with only one goal, with a hoop above, placed in the centre of an arena.

We got quite good on the computer game, but thought that playing the real thing would be better. Eventually we put up a goal in a field, with a hoop placed just behind it, and divided ourselves into teams to play. It was very fun, and even better than the computer game of it. After playing it we slightly adapted the rules, and it eventually became a great game in its own right.

We looked into it, and saw that we were actually the first to try this properly, and that there were no copyright restrictions to claiming the game as our own. We set up a website, and a local league... which initially only had a handful of teams. We were all pleased when we got a small mention on a website dedicated to following the birth of new sports. Little did we know this would only lead to trouble.

The small media attention had gotten us noticed by the Italian creators of the game, who still claimed it to be their own as in their eyes the changes we made wasn't sufficient for it to be named as its own game. Although we just played for fun, and made no money, they rushed through a copyright and threatened to sue us.

We received an email from their lawyer, Omiodio Lan, so we thought we would play along. As one of my friends knew Italian, they saw it slightly sounded like 'oh mio dio' (or 'oh my god'), so we replied as 'Omg Lan'. The emails went backwards and forwards until we decided to drop the whole thing.

... from then on we always called ourselves omglan, said as 'oh my god lan'.


  1. Oh this made me smile! I have always wondered tbh where it came from, I just always thought it was some cool slang term i didn't know and smiled and nodded! haha

  2. to be honest I always thought it was oh my god lan and never understood why