From the context in which I read the words, I think it refers to "your partner," said by a woman. What feelings are associated with S.O.? Camaraderie? Love? Affection? Friendship? Desire?

  • 1
    Or doesn't have overtones. It's clinical and dispassionate. I can be be used by either sex. It means your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/life-partner while explicitly avoiding any and all details. – Dan Bron Dec 16 '16 at 21:22
  • It's a politically correct way of saying either, “I don’t know if you’re married or dating, straight or gay” or it’s a way to refer to many people’s situations at once where their statuses may not all be the same. – Jim Dec 16 '16 at 21:23
  • 4
    S.O. stands for significant other. – Mick Dec 16 '16 at 21:23
  • 1
  • 1
    Yep, "S.O." stands for "significant other", a sort of code phrase for spouse/lover/partner, without assuming a specific legal relationship or gender "correctness". – Hot Licks Dec 16 '16 at 21:46

Significant Other. It is anyone with whom you have a romantic relationship.

S.O. can be used inclusively for those with more common relationships and those with less common relationships. It would cover straight, gay, multigendered partners, legally adulterous partners during marital separation or could even be used outside of humanity (a dog party could involve bringing the owner's dog and the dog's S.O.).

I have never heard it used plural (in the case of bigomist), but it probably could be.

It does not mean a close friend with whom you do not have a romantic relationship. So a member of a "bromance" (two very close men, but not romantically involved) would not qualify as an S.O.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.