Texting abbreviations are now everywhere.
They’ve seeped out of private phone conversations and chat rooms and into every corner of society—from social media to the workplace to even business interactions with customers.
(As an example, one study found that over 5% of tweets in some US states contain texting acronyms.)
But it can be hard to keep up with all of these abbreviations and what they actually mean.
So here’s a comprehensive list (with examples) of some of our selected top texting abbreviations to help you keep track.
Plus, check out the end of the article for some advice on when you should use abbreviations (as well as whether it’s appropriate to use them for business and customer interactions).
2G2BT - Too Good To Be True
Example: A free vacation? 2G2BT.
2MORO - Tomorrow
Example: See you 2MORO!
4EAE - For Ever And Ever
Example: We'll be friends 4EAE.
4YEO - For Your Eyes Only
Example: Here's some confidential info for you. 4YEO.
9 - Parent Is Watching
Example: Can't talk, 9.
99 - Parent No Longer Watching
Example: Alright, 99. Let's talk.
10Q - Thank You
Example: 10Q for the gift!
2NITE - Tonight
Example: Let's hang out 2NITE!
2WIMC - To Whom It May Concern
Example: Please forward this to the appropriate person. 2WIMC.
AFAIK - As Far As I Know
Example: AFAIK, the party is still on for Saturday.
AFK - Away From Keyboard
Example: Sorry, I'm AFK for a moment.
AYKM - Are You Kidding Me?
Example: AYKM? That's incredible!
ASAP - As Soon As Possible
Example: Can you send me the report ASAP?
BAE - Before Anyone Else (Term of Endearment)
Example: You're my BAE.
B4 - Before
Example: I'll meet you B4 dinner.
BBL - Be Back Later
Example: I'll finish this and BBL.
BBLN - Be Back Later, Neighbors
Example: Going next door. BBLN.
BCNU - Be Seeing You
Example: Time to head out. BCNU.
BF - Boyfriend
Example: My BF is coming too.
BFF - Best Friends Forever
Example: Hanging out with my BFF today.
BFN - Bye For Now
Example: Catch you later, BFN!
BG - Big Grin
Example: That's hilarious! BG!
BOL - Be On Later
Example: Have to go, BOL.
BRB - Be Right Back
Example: Need to grab something, BRB!
BRT - Be Right There
Example: Almost there, BRT.
BTDT - Been There, Done That
Example: You don't have to explain; I BTDT.
BTW - By The Way
Example: BTW, have you seen the latest news?
CBA - Can't Be Asked
Example: CBA to deal with this right now.
CUL8R - See You Later
Example: Gotta run, CUL8R!
CYA - See You
Example: I'll be there at 6 PM, CYA then.
DIY - Do It Yourself
Example: Working on a DIY project this weekend.
DM - Direct Message
Example: Send me a DM with your contact info.
DND - Do Not Disturb
Example: DND, working on a project.
EOD - End Of Day
Example: Let's finish this by EOD.
EOM - End Of Message
Example: Just saying hi. EOM.
ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival
Example: My ETA is 20 minutes.
F2F - Face To Face
Example: Let's talk F2F.
F8 - Fate
Example: We were meant to be. It's F8.
FB - Facebook
Example: I saw your post on FB.
FBF - Flashback Friday
Example: FBF to last year's trip.
FF - Follow Friday
Example: It's FF! Check out these cool accounts.
FITB - Fill In The Blank
Example: The answer is . FITB.
FOMO - Fear of Missing Out
Example: Everyone's going, and I have FOMO.
FTFY - Fixed That For You
Example: Your statement was confusing, FTFY.
FWIW - For What It's Worth
Example: FWIW, I liked your idea.
FYI - For Your Information
Example: FYI, the meeting is postponed.
G2G - Got to Go
Example: Time to leave, G2G!
G9 - Genius
Example: You solved that quickly! G9!
GA - Go Ahead
Example: GA and ask your question.
GAL - Get a Life
Example: I really need to GAL!
GBTW - Get Back to Work
Example: Enough chit-chat, GBTW!
GF - Girlfriend
Example: My GF got me a gift card.
GG - Good Game
Example: Well played, GG!
GGWP - Good Game, Well Played
Example: GGWP, it was a close match.
GL - Good Luck
Example: You've got this! GL!
GLHF - Good Luck, Have Fun
Example: GLHF in the game!
GN - Good Night
Example: Time to sleep, GN!
GTR - Getting Ready
Example: Still GTR, almost done.
GTG - Got to Go
Example: Sorry, GTG now.
GR8 - Great
Example: The movie was GR8!
HAND - Have a Nice Day
Example: See you tomorrow. HAND!
HAK - Hugs and Kisses
Example: Sending you HAK!
HBD - Happy Birthday
Example: HBD! Have an awesome day!
HHOK - Ha-Ha, Only Kidding
Example: HHOK, I didn't mean it.
HMU - Hit Me Up
Example: If you're free tonight, HMU.
ICYMI - In Case You Missed It
Example: ICYMI, there's a sale tomorrow.
IDC - I Don’t Care
Example: IDC where we go for lunch today, feel free to pick whatever sounds good.
IDRC - I Don't Really Care
Example: IDRC what we do, I’ll just enjoy hanging out.
IDK - I Don't Know
Example: IDK where he went.
IIRC - If I Recall Correctly
Example: IIRC, she said she would be late.
IKR - I Know, Right?
Example: IKR, the weather is so nice today.
ILU - I Love You
Example: I’ll see you soon! ILU!
ILY - I Love You
Example: Miss you! ILY!
IMO - In My Opinion
Example: IMO, the new album is great.
IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
Example: IMHO, you should take the job.
IRL - In Real Life
Example: Let's meet up IRL.
ISO - In Search Of
Example: ISO a new job.
J4F - Just For Fun
Example: This game is J4F.
JIC - Just In Case
Example: Bring an umbrella, JIC it rains.
JK - Just Kidding
Example: I’m not hungry. JK, I’m starving!
J/K - Just Kidding
Example: I'm so mad. J/K, it’s totally fine!
K - OK
Example: K, sounds good - see you soon!
KK - OK
Example: Got it, KK. Thanks!
L8R - Later
Example: See you L8R!
L8R G8R - Later, Gator
Example: Leaving now. L8R G8R!
LMAO - Laughing My A Off
Example: That meme had me LMAO.
LMK - Let Me Know
Example: If you're interested, LMK.
LOL - Laugh Out Loud
Example: That joke is hilarious! LOL!
LULZ - Laughter At Someone Else's Expense
Example: That's not funny, don't do it for the LULZ.
LY - Love You
Example: Have fun on your trip! LY!
LYK - Let You Know
Example: If I hear anything, I'll LYK.
M8 - Mate
Example: This is my best M8.
MIA - Missing In Action
Example: She's been MIA all day.
MM - Music Monday
Example: #MM, sharing my favorite song.
N00B - Newbie
Example: He’s just a N00B.
NAGI - Not a Good Idea
Example: Going out without an umbrella is NAGI.
NBD - No Big Deal
Example: It's NBD; we can reschedule.
NGL - Not Gonna Lie
Example: NGL, that was impressive.
NM - Not Much
Example: [Responding to “How’s it going?”] NM, you?
NOOB - Newbie
Example: Cut him some slack; he’s a NOOB.
NP - No Problem
Example: Thanks for helping out. NP.
NRN - No Response Necessary
Example: Sending the details, NRN.
NSFW - Not Safe For Work
Example: The video is NSFW (has some strong language).
NVM - Never Mind
Example: Oh, NVM, I found it!
OBO - Or Best Offer
Example: Selling for $150 OBO.
OMG - Oh My G/Goodness
Example: OMG, did you see that?
OMW - On My Way
Example: Sorry, just woke up. OMW.
OOO - Out of Office
Example: I’m OOO until Tuesday.
OTOH - On The Other Hand
Example: OTOH, maybe we should wait.
OTP - One True Pairing
Example: They are my OTP in this show.
PAW - Parents Are Watching
Example: Can't talk, PAW.
POV - Point Of View
Example: From my POV, it was amazing.
PLS - Please
Example: PLS forgive me.
PLZ - Please
Example: Pass the salt, PLZ.
PM - Private Message
Example: Send me a PM with your address.
POV - Point of View
Example: From my POV, it was a great trip.
PPL - People
Example: PPL can be so funny sometimes.
RAK - Random Act of Kindness
Example: Received a RAK from a stranger today.
RL - Real Life
Example: In RL, I work as a teacher.
RN - Right Now
Example: Can't talk, busy RN.
ROFL - Rolling on the Floor Laughing
Example: ROFL, that video was so funny.
SFW - Safe for Work
Example: It's SFW, you can open it.
SK8 - Skate
Example: Going out to SK8 later.
SMH - Shaking My Head
Example: SMH, can't believe she did that.
SOS - Save Our Souls
Example: SOS, I need help with this.
SRY - Sorry
Example: SRY, I can't make it tonight.
TBA - To Be Announced
Example: The time is TBA for now.
TBH - To Be Honest
Example: TBH, I didn't enjoy the movie.
TBT - Throwback Thursday
Example: TBT to last summer's trip.
TGIF - Thank God It's Friday
Example: TGIF! Let's celebrate.
THX - Thanks
Example: THX for the help!
TIA - Thanks in Advance
Example: Can you make 30 copies for me? TIA!
TL;DR” or TLDR - Too Long, Didn’t Read
Examples: TL;DR. Can you summarize what it says?
TMI - Too Much Information
Example: TMI, I didn't need to know that.
TTFN - Ta-Ta for Now
Example: Heading out, TTFN!
TTYL - Talk To You Later
Example: Gotta go now, TTYL!
TYT - Take Your Time
Example: No rush, TYT.
W8 - Wait
Example: W8 for me, I'll be there soon.
WB - Welcome Back
Example: WB! We missed you.
WBU - What About You?
Example: I'm going to the park. WBU?
WC - Wrong Chat
Example: Oops, WC! Sorry, wrong person.
WDYT - What Do You Think?
Example: WDYT about the new design?
WYD - What You Doing?
Example: Hey, WYD tonight?
WYWH - Wish You Were Here
Example: Sending you pictures from the beach. WYWH!
YOLO - You Only Live Once
Example: Let's do it! YOLO!
YW - You're Welcome
Example: YW! Happy to help.
Texting abbreviations used to be primarily acceptable only in personal texting conversations.
More and more, these abbreviations are becoming commonplace, everyday language as a way to shorten words for texting. In fact, people sometimes actually say some of these abbreviations (such as “BRB” and “LOL”) out loud during in-person interactions.
Here are some general guidelines to follow in using texting abbreviations.
The general rule of thumb is that in nearly all personal texting conversations or text-based communication (such as social media posts and emails), most of these texting abbreviations are appropriate to use. (Although some shouldn’t be used just for the fact that they are potentially inappropriate.)
So when you’re texting your mom or one of your friends, it’s generally socially acceptable to use texting abbreviations. (As long as you know the recipient will understand what you’re saying!)
Can you use texting in business conversations with co-workers, colleagues, and supervisors?
This really depends.
Middle-aged and older colleagues and supervisors may be turned off by “text speak” in the workplace. They may see it as unprofessional and too informal. Plus, particularly if there’s a generational gap, using texting abbreviations may lead to miscommunication.
When communicating with supervisors and older colleagues, it’s best to refrain from using texting abbreviations, unless you have a very laid-back workplace culture.
Younger colleagues may not think anything of texting abbreviations, so you’re safer using “text speak” with them. However, there are exceptions, so you’ll want to get a feel for how your colleagues speak and what they are comfortable with.
It’s generally best to avoid most texting abbreviations when communicating with customers.
However, there are some exceptions.
Some texting abbreviations have become so commonplace that they likely won’t turn off most people. “LOL” is probably the most common one.
Also, your brand voice and your audience base may be such that texting abbreviations would be appropriate and potentially even relatable. So you’ll just have to know your own audience.
To close out this article, here are a few tips you should follow when using texting abbreviations…
While abbreviations like “LOL” and “BRB” are commonplace and pretty widely understood, you can’t assume that people always know what you’re talking about when you use abbreviations.
Make sure the abbreviations you use are actually understood.
If there’s a question about whether or not your recipient will understand you, use the full expression instead. You may actually be saving time by not generating miscommunication and confusion.
If your recipient doesn’t use many (or any) texting abbreviations, it’s best if you refrain from using them too.
On the other hand, if your recipient uses abbreviations freely, that’s a sure sign that they are comfortable with them, so you can use them too.
So be mindful of how your recipient is choosing to communicate with you.
While texting abbreviations are broadly accepted in personal conversations, you still want to use them sparingly.
You don’t want your conversations to be inundated with obnoxious abbreviations (and you open the door for a greater likelihood of misunderstandings).
Texting abbreviations are a part of life - and now you can have a point of reference to be more informed and confident as you encounter these abbreviations (and even try to use them yourself).
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