YOLO, also commonly rendered #yolo due to usage on Twitter, is an acronym for "You Only Live Once", recently popularized by Canadian rapper Drake in his 2011 single "The Motto", featuring Lil Wayne. It has since then become the clarion call of the young, rich, and stupid, chanted whenever one feels the need to 'coolly' justify their actions, especially when those actions are brick-on-a-leash retarded.
Some example usages:
- "Dude, did you just get that girl pregnant?" "Yeah, man, but hey, YOLO, am I right?"
- "Whoa, man, I think you got gangrene in your leg from jumping off that cliff into the forest." "Whatever, dawg, YOLO."
- "Just went to work naked, got fired, urinated on the walls of the restroom before I left. #fucktheestablishment #yolo"
- "Publishing a short, poor-quality w/u without putting it up for review. YOLO right?"
It has been attributed to many people over the years, some variations even dating as far back as 1774, in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's German-language play Clavigo. Wikipedia cites Mae West as the most commonly attributed source, while KnowYourMeme asserts it comes from Adam Mesh, who used it in a 2004 episode of The Average Joe, and subsequently launched a clothing line bearing the slogan.
Much like the use of swag, the duckface, or the recreational listening-to of Justin Bieber, YOLO has become recognized as something for the proletariat of the internet, something in the vernaculars of those people that one expects to attempt to download RAM through the Information Superhighway. Because of this, it can also be found in use ironically, as though simultaneously referencing, parodying, and looking down with disdain upon those who use it sincerely—suffice to say, it's only slightly less unbearable.
Yolo is also an unincorporated community and county in California of the United States of America—one wonders what their views on mortality are.
wertperch writes in to confirm the above: "I live in Yolo County. This got old really quickly."