The meaning behind the slang Amber lamps is an ambulance or a very well-equipped ship, airplane or any vehicle carrying injured or sick people.
Also, as a meme “Amber lamps” is a nickname that was given to a woman who briefly appeared in the background of the famous video that went viral on Youtube, Iyanna Washington’s AC Transit Bus Fight.
In the video, we can see an argument breaking into a fistfight between two men named Thomas Bruso and Michael. The nickname “Amber lamps” came from the misinterpretation of Michael’s call for the ambulance.
The original video was uploaded on the 16th of February in 2010. The two passengers Thomas and Michael got into a serious argument which ended in a fistfight, during which Michael suffers multiple blows to his face.
The meme is a simple misunderstanding, because when Michael yells for calling an ambulance, probably because of the injuries he suffered, people misheard the word and “Amber lamps” was born.
Meanwhile, some viewers paid more attention to the woman who was sitting a few feet away from the altercation. Soon after that, 4-chan users were sharing close-up screenshots of the mysterious and careless passenger with the title “Amber lamps”.
Spread and Usage
Later that day the video was uploaded, a Facebook page was made dedicated to “Amber lamps” and the first entry was written on Urban Dictionary too.
On the 22nd of February, Holy Taco posted an account sharing theories about the thoughts of the woman who witnessed a situation unfold.
That April, an Uncyclopedia page was established for the mysterious woman, making up a theory that she is some sort of mythical being.
The story got so much recognition that “Amber lamps” fans were searching for the woman’s identity, and in April 2010, a Facebook user Ian Garl Frazier posted to the Amber Lamps Facebook page, that he successfully traced the woman, Allison Budzinski.
- Wikipedia – AC Transit Bus fight