If you are familiar with the TV sitcom FRIENDS from the 1990s, the first thing you remember is probably the show’s theme song! It plays during the title sequence of every episode. One of the lines in the segment is “My love life’s DOA.” What does this abbreviation mean, and how can you use it yourself?
DOA stands for Dead on Arrival
Most of the time, DOA is used as a medical term. It refers to a situation where there might be severe trauma or a big emergency. The patient might need to be rushed to the hospital, just like you might see in TV shows or movies.
However, instead of being able to resuscitate or rush the patient into surgery to repair any damage, the medical professionals are too late. The patient dies either en route to the hospital before they arrive, or they die before doctors can get them treatment. Either way, the patient dies before they arrive to the hospital and/or receive treatment there.
- The emergency department staff were set up to conduct emergency surgery and the surgeon was already in sterile gear, but unfortunately the patient arrived DOA.
- The job of the paramedics and EMTs is to prevent situations of DOA from happening.
What does DOA mean in Friends?
When you are talking about something that is clearly not a patient in the hospital, DOA has more of a slang meaning. As in the FRIENDS theme song, DOA means that the status of something is terrible. In that lyric, the song is making fun of the Friends’ ability to choose and keep romantic partners. This is always used in the context of a joke.
- My grades for this semester are DOA.
- The only thing worse than the taste of the pizza from this restaurant is the smell; it’s like a mouse that was
Other meanings of DOA
In some contexts, DOA can stand for other phrases. Some of the more common examples are:
- Department of Agriculture
- Dead or Alive
- Design Organization Approval
- Direction of Arrival
- Department of Accounts
- Division of Administration
- Department of Administration