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Text message abbreviations and acronyms

Contributor(s): Tim Ehrens

Text abbreviations are shortened versions of a word or phrase used. The abbreviations and acronyms are used to save time, avoid typing and ensure a social media post stays within a certain character limit.  Although many seem as if they are misspelled, grammatically incorrect or confusing, texting abbreviation and texting acronyms are commonly used and are meant to expedite communications by shortening them so that the user doesn't have to spell out phrases, expressions or sentences. The use of emoticons is also pervasive in online communications and texting.

Abbreviation Meaning
?4U I have a question for you
<3 Love/friendship (more 3s is a bigger heart)
121 One to one
2 To (in texting)
2EZ Too easy
2F4U Too fast for you
2G2BT Too good to be true
2M2H Too much to handle
2MORO Tomorrow
2NITE Tonight
4 For (in texting)
8L3W Eight letters, three words (I love you)
AAMOF As a matter of fact
AAQ Assumed asinine question
AFK Away from keyboard
ABC Already been chewed
ABT About
ADDY Address
ADMIN Administrator
AMIIC Ask me if I care
AND Any day now
AFAIK As far as I know
AH At home
AIGHT Alright
AISB As it should be/as I said before
AKA Also known as
ALOL Actually laughing out loud
APP Application
ASAP As soon as possible
A/S/L Age/sex/location
ATB All the best
AYDY Are you done yet?
AYS Are you serious?
AYT Are you there?
B2W Back to work
B4 Before
BAE Before anyone else/slang for "baby"
BAK Back at keyboard
BAMF Bada** motherf*****
BAU Business as usual
BBL Be back later
BBS Be back soon
BC Because
BCNU Be seeing you
BD Big deal
BDAY Birthday
BFF Best friends forever
BFD Big freaking deal
BFN Bye for now
BIF Before I forget
BLNT Better luck next time
BOL Best of luck
BR Best regards
BRB Be right back
BRT Be right there
BTDT Been there, done that
BTW By the way
BYOB Bring your own beer
BYOC Bring your own computer
BYOD Bring your own device
BYTM Better you than me
CHK Check
CID Consider it done
CLD Could
CLK Click
CMON Come on
COB Close of business
CRAY Crazy
CRE8 Create
CU See you
DBEYR Don't believe everything you read
DERP Meaning stupid or silly
DGT Don't go there
DILLIGAS Do I look like I give a s***?
DIY Do it yourself
DKDC Don't know, don't care
DL Download
DM Direct message (Twitter)
DQMOT Don't quote me on this
DUPE Duplicate
EAK Eating at keyboard
EOBD End of business day
EOD End of day/end of discussion
EOM End of message
ETA Estimated time of arrival
EZ Easy
F2F Face to face
FAF Funny as f***
FAQ Frequently asked questions
FB Facebook
FBM Fine by me
FBOW For better or worse
FF Follow Friday (Twitter)
FIMH Forever in my heart
FOAF Friend of a friend
FOMO Fear of missing out
FRT For real though
FTBOMH From the bottom of my heart
FTL For the loss
FTW For the win
FUBAR F***** up beyond all recognition
FWB Friend with benefits
FWIW For what it's worth
FWM Fine with me
FYA For your amusement
FYEO/4YEO For your eyes only
FYI For your information
G2CU Good to see you
G2G Got to go
GB Goodbye
GB2W Get back to work
GD Good
GFI Go for it
GL Good luck
GOI Get over it
GR8 Great
GRATZ Congratulations
H8 Hate
HAK/H&K Hug(s) and kiss(es)
HAND Have a nice day
H-BDAY Happy birthday
HRU How are you?
HW Homework
IAE In any event
IC I see
ICBW It could be worse
ICYMI In case you missed it
IDC I don't care
IDGAF I don't give a f***
IDK I don't know
IFYP I feel your pain
IGN I've got nothing
ILY/ILU I love you
IM Instant message
IMHO In my humble opinion
IMO In my opinion
IMS I am sorry
IMU I miss you
IRL In real life
ISO In search of
ITYK I thought you knew
IYKWIM If you know what I mean
IYSS If you say so
JIC Just in case
JK Just kidding
JW Just wondering
KK Cool cool
L8R Later
LIC Like I care
LMAO Laughing my a** off
LMFAO Laughing my f****** a** off
LMK Let me know
LOL Laughing out loud
LOTI Laughing on the inside
LTD Living the dream
LTNS Long time no see
LULZ LOL (slang)
LYSM Love you so much
MEH So-so or just OK
MHOTY My hat's off to you
MSG Message
MYOB Mind your own business
N00b Newbie, novice
N2M Not too much
NBD No big deal
NGL Not gonna lie
NFS Not for sale
NFW No f****** way
NIMBY Not in my backyard
NLT No later than
NM Nothing much
NMU Not much, you?
NOYB None of your business
NP No problem
NSFW Not safe for work
NVM Nevermind
NOW No way out
OBV Obviously
OH Overheard
OG Original gangster
OIC Oh, I see
OMDB Over my dead body
OMFG Oh my f****** God
OMG Oh my God
OMW On my way
OP Original poster/original post
OS Operating system
OT Off-topic
OTB Off to bed
OTFL On the floor laughing
OYO On your own
PDA Public display of affection
PEBCAK Problem exists between chair and keyboard
PITA Pain in the a**
PLS Please
PM Private message
POV Point of view
PPL People
PROLLY Probably
PRT Please Retweet (Twitter)
PTFO Pass the f*** out
PTL Praise the Lord
PTMM Please tell me more
PWN Own (slang)
Q4U (I have a) question for you
QOTD Quote of the day
QQ Quick question
R Are
RBTL Read between the lines
RLY Really
ROFL Rolling on the floor laughing
ROFLCOPTER Rolling on the floor laughing and spinning around
ROFLMAO Rolling on the floor laughing my a** off
RT Retweet (Twitter)
RTM Read the manual
RTFM Read the f****** manual
SH S*** happens
SH^ Shut up
SITD Sitting in the dark
SK8 Skate
SLAP Sounds like a plan
SMH Shaking my head
SNAFU Situation normal, all f***** up
SOB Son of a b****
SOL Sooner or later
SRSLY Seriously
SRY Sorry
STBY Sucks to be you
STFU Shut the f*** up
STR8 Straight
SUP What's up?
SUX Sucks or "it sucks"
SYL See you later
SYS See you soon
TBD To be determined
TBH To be honest
TBT Throwback Thursday (Twitter/other social media sites)
TCB Take care of business
TFTF Thanks for the follow (Twitter)
TGIF Thank God it's Friday
THX Thanks
TIL Today I learned
TL Too long
TLC Tender loving care
TL;DR Too long; didn't read
TMB Tweet me back (Twitter)
TMI Too much information
TMOT Trust me on this
TWSS That's what she said
TTYL Talk to you later
TTYS Talk to you soon
TYT Take your time
TYSO Thank you so much
UFB Un-f******-believable
UFN Until further notice
UOK Are you OK?
VM Voicemail
VRY Very
WAH Working at home
WAYF Where are you from?
WBU What about you?
W/E Whatever
WH5 Who, what, when, where, why
WDYK What do you know?
WDYT What do you think?
WRK Work
WTF What the f***?
WTG Way to go
WYSIWYG What you see if what you get
WYD What are you doing?
WYGAM When you get a minute
WYWH Wish you were here
Y Why (?)
XOXO Hugs and kisses
YHBW You have been warned
YNK You never know

This was last updated in April 2019

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these thing somewhere little bit fastrating so I think it is better to be realistic sometimes
I used to call this tags with lines..
They are usually used nowadays..

I wasn't aware that a list of chat abbreviations existed...the number of abbreviations is mind boggling...very useful when chatting with someone who engages in what I refer to as "short talk", lol!
It all comes down to keystrokes. If you can get your point across and understood in fewer keystrokes  or if you have a limit to the number like Twitter, then these abbreviations help.
What are common abbreviations/acronyms your company uses to communicate with customers on social media?
Generally speaking, I do my best to not use acronyms that are not tech specific with our social media communications. Acronyms that describe technology, those are fine. Using colloquialisms as "chat speech", I'll use it communicating with my own team, but never to a customer.
Other than the occasional LOL and WTF, my company works to eliminate the jargon. The goal is to talk plain English everyone can understand. There are always some essential tech terms and like every industry, mine grasps for everything that's on the edge of general knowledge. 

For the most part, I'm the hall-monitor here (and elsewhere), reviewing papers, translating unnecessary Jargon to ordinary English, trying desperately to help workers be understood by as many people as possible. (Yes, that peculiar skill set is even on my business card.)
On social media, we would use common health care industry specific abbreviations and acronyms (HIPAA, CAHPS, CMS, etc), but not technology abbreviations or text-speak. I don't know that we have any specific policy regarding the use of abbreviations in social media posts, but I think that it would probably be considered unprofessional.
Other than the occasional LOL and WTF, my company works to eliminate jargon. The goal is to talk plain English everyone can understand. There are always some essential tech terms and like every industry, mine grasps for everything that's on the edge of general knowledge. Sure, between workers, any language is fine, even the occasional hallway grunt, as long as it's understood by everyone in the conversation. But when attempting to leave your tiny room and talk to the whole world, only a common language will do. For the most part, I'm the hall-monitor here (and elsewhere), reviewing papers, translating unnecessary Jargon to ordinary English, trying desperately to help workers be understood by as many people as possible. (Yes, that peculiar skill set is even on my business card.) After all, isn't that ultimately why we're in business...?
It's interesting to see, with a wealth of millennials entering the workplace, if this kind of shorthand will be the dominant form of discourse in the next 10-20 years.
Language evolves and will no doubt be markedly different in a few years, let alone a decade or two. That natural evolution is a good thing, unstoppable in fact. But as business leaders, I think we should fight to keep exclusionary jargon out of our communications. That kind of talk just limits our audience and alienates any outsiders.

There will always be acronym and abbreviations, but while they're still new or aimed for audiences outside of our limited spheres, it's best to include a translation. A definition, so everyone can join the conversation.
ROTFLMAF.... Yet again, as always, language is evolving.

Every niche has its jargon, always has, from art to tech and everything between. Hell, even coffee shops short talk, from BLT to 86. IT is a major culprit in creating "language" no one outside its immediate circle could possibly understand.

Now comes all the new communications of texting and its ilk. New technology, new language. It keeps happening and here it is again. This time, probably because texting is so pervasive, shorthand jargon - think LOL - is creeping into mainstream language - even slipping past the gatekeepers at the OED and publication style guides.

When cell phones were new and keyboards much smaller, there was some logic in using abbreviations and skipping vowels. Fat fingers, tiny keyboards. Now, not so much, though it lingers on and may eventually take hold,  As with most jargon, some of it will stay, some will be lost.

And there are always those who have wanted to simplify written English which has long since needed an upgrade, etymology be damned. Perhaps this is the advent.

Wow, that is quite the list. I've never heard of most of them! Sometimes at work, while chatting with co-workers, I'll use some of the extremely common abbreviations such as "lol".

I have a number of co-workers for whom English is not their first language, though, and many are still learning to speak fluently.  I try to refrain from using too many abbreviations since they obviously aren't as familiar with our common slang, "text" speak, and things like that.

I agree. I'm luck if I use even 5 or 10 percent of those. I use to use more in my gaming days but now most of my correspondence is kept professional. If I chat or e-mail friends and family it is still kept to a minimum..
I use very few of these as well - but I wonder how that differs based on generation. I know text is a more dominant form of communication among younger people, and many of these acronyms may be more popular due to that. 
It's crazy how much this kind of shorthand is evolving. In 10-20 years, I wonder what our discourse will sound/look like!
If the trend keeps going the way it is now with the IM abbreviations and acronyms and now emojies, how long before we are back to the days of hieroglyphics? It's funny to see language coming full circle and back to pictures.
This is a great reference site when trying to understand what people is saying on social networks, especially the young ones... yes, I'm 52, and this is still all new to me; however, I saw the comment "dy*" on twitter and I cannot find a site to explain what it means to me! It is driving me crazy!!! If someone knows what it means, pleaaaase tell me. Thank you, Ricardo.
@ricardo566: Is it possible it may have been a typo of DYT (Do Your Thing)?
Hi, yes that is a possibility, the funny thing is, another user got the message because he or she answered back to that comment, but it was a vague answer to me, such as: you go girl! So there was nothing to give it away. Thank you anyhow, I'm just going to let it go. Meanwhile, is good to try to keep learning new stuff.
The term WYD is used as an abbreviation which means to say what you doing. It is commonly utilized while messaging when you are asking someone what they are trying to do at that exact minute. Among the youngsters who know a lot about latest things, this term WYD is utilized in texting or other social media platforms. When we talk about grammatical context then WYD isn’t equivalent to what are you doing. WYD is the incorrect usage of the phrase what are you doing. People who text a lot mostly use short forms while typing so for the sake of their convenience WYD and many other terms have become a trend. These acronyms are famous among people who like to prefer texting and find it difficult to write full forms of words in a sentence. There are people who are unable to get the actual context of these terms because they are not well-aware from these short forms because of their lack of knowledge. There are many other ways to communicate when it comes to WYD, like what’s up, what you up to, what’s happening etc. There are a few examples that can help you to understand better about the usage of WYD. Like if someone asks Hi! Then you would probably reply Hi! WYD? It means what the other personal is doing at that instant. Another example can be if somebody posted some weird video on social media then after watching that video you will say wyd here? It means to say that you are asking what is the logic behind doing that particular thing in the video? In case you want to know more about WYD you can visit this website


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