Answered What does SOS stand for?



To Prissy I think you will find S.O.S does stand for Save.Our.Souls it is somthing that has stuck in my mind from school history lessons, the abbrieviation CQD also stnds for come quick danger. E-jai.

Dan C.

Hello, E-Jai,
Respectfully, I am afraid an ambitious teacher may
have fed some misinformation in the classroom,
which is in no case anyone's fault :)
The reason that Dave gave a few messages above is
indeed the reason why the Marconi/Morse minds of
the day assigned SOS as the call of distress,
because of its distinct sound and easy
recognition: ...---...
ditditdit da da da ditditdit

CQD also was not formed to mean 'come quickly -
distress' although that's what the message *means*
Morse lingo used the code 'CQ' to indicate 'all
stations attend' (listen up), the D afterward to
indicate, yes, distress.

Not to blast what you were taught in school, but
the distress codes actually being initials for
phrases is only a myth snagged up and perpetuated
throughout the years by countless people.

WHAT is right/wrong, in my book, ALWAYS takes
precedence over WHO is right/wrong.

I hope this helps! :)



Hi Dan thankyou for your reply and thankyou for your advice I've been waiting for a responce from somebody it;s nice to know I'm not the only one out here.E-JAI

Pat Cook

Apr 26, 2000
Regards the 'CQ' prefix, I had read that this was a bit of shorthand, a sort of phonetic play on words. CQ would translate to 'seek you'. Or is this also one of those tales which has no basis?

May 3, 2005
I'm not sure about the "seek you"/"CQ" connection but during the Titanic inquiries Marconi explained it didn't stand for anything but was just "a general call" and that it was an invitation to any stations hearing a "CQ" to respond by calling that station back for contact. -.-. --.- dah-dit-dah-dit dah-dah-dit-dah

Some examples of its use in amateur radio:
"CQ 20" : "I'm looking for a contact with anyone on the 20 Meter ( 14 MHZ) amateur radio band."
"CQ DX" : "I'm looking for a long distance (DX) contact with any foreign country in the world."
"CQ New York" : A station in San Francisco might be wanting to contact a station in New York.

If you are interested in this subject you might want to contact (by email that is)
American Radio Relay League in Newington, Connecticut, USA. (
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