Lorem Ipsum – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did you encounter the phrase ‘Lorem Ipsum’ while browsing a website? This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression ‘Lorem Ipsum’ doesn’t have any official meaning. Some people mistakenly think the phrase is Latin, but it’s not. The most common use for ‘Lorem Ipsum’ is a placeholder text on websites.

When you install a CMS on your websites, such as WordPress or Joomla!, the content boxes on the template will use the placeholder text ‘Lorem Ipsum.’

The purpose of the placeholder text is to give the graphic designer an impression of how the text will appear on the template. They use this feedback to adjust the website's design aesthetic to their specifications. The temporary placement of the text is a process called ‘greeking.’ The webmaster will replace the placeholder text ‘Lorem Ipsum’ with content before publishing the site.

Example Usage

“Lorem ipsum, dolor sit amet. What does this mean? It's text on this website, and I have no clue what it translates to. Is it Latin or something?"

"Why does this website have this same phrase in all the content boxes? It says 'Lorem Ipsum' and other weird languages I don't understand."

"When we build your website, we use the 'Lorem Ipsum' placeholder text to configure the copy placement on the site."

"How could you publish the site with that 'Lorem Ipsum' copy on the home page? That's going to ruin your reputation in the market."

"Lorem Ipsum doesn't mean anything, silly. It's not even Latin. All it means is that the webmaster didn't add copy to that section of the site."


The expression 'Loren Ipsum' originates from 'Cicero,' a Roman statesman and philosopher. Cicero used the phrase in a 1st-century BC Latin text. However, 'Lorem Ipsum' is an altered form of the original 'De finibus bonorum et malorum' coined by Cicero. As a result, it's improper Latin and nonsensical.

Various versions of 'Lorem Ipsum' have existed in typesetting since the 1960s. It was a popular term used in ads for 'Letraset transfer sheets.'

'Lorem Ipsum' first appeared online in the mid-1980s. It was used in word-processing and graphics templates for the desktop publishing program 'PageMaker.' Today, 'Lorem Ipsum' appears on popular CMS modules for websites as placeholder content. It's also used in word processors like Microsoft Word and LaTeX packages, as well as Joomla! and WordPress.

Phrases Similar to Lorem Ipsum

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Phrases Opposite to Lorem Ipsum

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What is the Correct Saying?

  • Lorem Ipsum.

Ways People May Say Lorem Ipsum Incorrectly

The phrase has little use outside of web design and copywriting. Using it to define anything other than webpage copy or text is incorrect.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Lorem Ipsum

You’ll find ‘Lorem Ipsum’ as placeholder text on websites under development. It’s a standard phrase used in the copy on the site, and you change it through your CMS to your custom copy. If you come across ‘Loren Ipsum’ on a website, it means the site is still under development, or the webmaster ran out of capital to produce copy for the site.

You can use ‘Lorem Ipsum’ when referring to poor website design with a lack of copy or preliminary website design. Leaving a text box open with ‘Lorem Ipsum’ gives the visitor a bad impression of your online business and website.

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