What is YOLO

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You see YOLO on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram. You see it everywhere on the internet. You hear teenagers say this a lot and some even have shirts that say “YOLO.” You may be wondering, what is YOLO?

Meaning of the Acronym                 

YOLO is actually an acronym that stands for You Only Live Once. This is like a slang term for the Latin phrase, carpe diem, which means “seize the day.” You can also see it as a modern term for the Latin phrase, memento mori which is a reminder that death is inevitable. This suggests that one should live life to the fullest and not be afraid of taking risks.

Origin of YOLO

This slang term is popularized by the rapper, Drake, in his song The Motto. Since then, this slogan was used by teenagers and became popular in the internet world. Aside from that, different kinds of merchandise with this slang term were produced. To find more about the origin of YOLO, you can watch this short documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68UoHcCpX5Y.


The problem with the popularization of this term is that the real and logical definition of what is YOLO seems to be ignored because it is sometimes used as an excuse for reckless and irresponsible behavior. It is ironic that people who use the slogan You Only Live Once turn to this phrase whenever they do things that they are likely to regret in the future.

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