Understand Chat Acronyms


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Can't understand the "IM Language" or "chat slang" the kids are typing? Does it seem like they're speaking a foreign language when they chat? Should you be worried if you see your child getting a message like "Im 47/m/ny, LMIRL 121"? (Yes, you should.) (By the way, the translation is "I'm a 47 years old male who lives in New York, let's meet in real life one to one.") We've all used abbreviations or shorthand at one point or another, but chat programs and text messaging have taken it to a whole new level. Here's how to navigate through this brave new world.

Steps

  1. Become familiar with commonly used abbreviations. Browse abbreviations in the dictionary provided below (listed in alphabetical order).
  2. Practice using them! Join a busy Internet mailing list for a short time and practice reading them, or text-message your kids and practice reading/using them there. Alternatively, ask your World of Warcraft-addicted teen to let you hang out as their character in a busy city for a while, and see what everyone there is talking about.
  3. Carefully examine the order of letters. For example, TTLY should not be confused with TTYL.
  4. Consider the context. Is the abbreviation being used as a greeting, exclamation, verb, or noun? What is it in response to? If you're caught off guard by an abbreviation and can't find the definition on hand, asking these types of questions can help you figure out what the abbreviation stands for.
  5. Ask. If you don't want to seem "out of the loop" by asking "What does that mean?" then generally, you can get away by writing "Y (enter abbreviation)?" as a response. Usually the other person will offer enough of an explanation that you'll be able to understand what they meant with the abbreviation.

Tips

  • Sometimes, people just remove the vowels of words, like in Fall Out Boy's song "Thnks fr th Mmrs" ("Thanks For The Memories").
  • It's handy to memorize the list below, but you don't need to memorize all of them. Just try to memorize the more common ones. (lol, brb, btw, etc.)
  • Most people type chatspeak in lowercase, but it depends on taste.

Warnings

  • Never use an abbreviation unless you are sure of its meaning, because if you say the wrong thing to the wrong person..
  • Try not to use chat abbreviations in real life, especially in formal writing or conversation. Doing this could be embarrassing depending on who you're communicating with.
  • Some acronyms can be seen as offensive.

Chat abbreviation Dictionary

  • 121: one to one
  • ADN: any day now
  • ADR/addy: address
  • AFAIK: as far as I know
  • AFK: away from keyboard
  • A/S/L: age, sex, location (or just "ASL")
  • ASAP: as soon as possible
  • B4: before
  • B4N: bye for now
  • BB: best boy
  • BBFD: big bad forum discussion
  • BBL: be back later
  • BF: boyfriend or best friend
  • BFF: best friends forever
  • BFFL: Best Friends For Life
  • BFFN: Best Friends for now
  • BFN: bye for now
  • BG: big grin / best girl
  • BMA: best mate always
  • BNR: but not really
  • BRB: be right back
  • BRT: be right there
  • BTA: but then again
  • BTW: by the way
  • C: see?
  • CID: crying in disgrace
  • CNP: continued [in my] next post
  • CP: chat post
  • CU: see you
  • CUL: see you later
  • CYA: see you (later) / cover your A**
  • CYO: see you online
  • DBAU: doing business as usual
  • DD, DH, DS, DW: dear daughter, dear husband, dear son, dear wife (often used on boards where you discuss personal things, but wish to keep private the names of your loved ones)
  • DW: dont worry
  • EIP: editing in progress
  • FML: F*** My Life, also a increasingly popular site, FMyLife.com
  • FTW: for the win or f*** the world or For The World
  • FUD: fear, uncertainty, and doubt/Food
  • FWIW: for what it's worth
  • FYI: for your information
  • G2G or GTG: got to go
  • G: grin
  • GA: go ahead
  • GAL: get a life
  • GF: girlfriend
  • GFN: gone for now
  • GFY: go f*** yourself/good for you
  • GG: gotta go/good game
  • GJ: good job
  • GL: good luck
  • GM: good morning
  • GMBO: giggling my butt off
  • GMTA: great minds think alike
  • GSOH: good sense of humor
  • GTFO: get the f*** out
  • GTG or G2G: got to go or get together
  • GYPO: get your pants off
  • H2G: have to go
  • HAGN: have a good night
  • HDOP: help delete online predators
  • HHIS: hanging head in shame
  • Homg: same as OMG
  • IAC: in any case
  • IANAL: I am not a lawyer (but)
  • IAWTC: I agree with this comment
  • IC: I see
  • IDC:I don't care
  • IDK: I don't know
  • IFSFWI: if the shoe fits, wear it!
  • IIRC: If I recall correctly
  • ILU: I love you
  • ILY: I love you
  • IMNECTHO: in my not-even-close-to-humble opinion
  • IMNSHO: in my not so humble opinion
  • IMO: in my opinion; or "IMHO" - in my humble/honest opinion
  • IMS: If memory serves
  • IOW: in other words
  • IPN: I’m posting naked
  • IRL: in real life
  • IWSN: I want sex now
  • JC: just chilling
  • K: all right / okay
  • KFY: kiss for you
  • KIT: Keep in touch
  • KTHX: Okay, thanks.
  • JK: just kidding / joking; also JKING
  • JSUK: just so you know
  • KPC: keeping parents clueless
  • L8R: later
  • LAFFO: laughing out loud
  • LBR: loser beyond repair
  • LD: later, dude
  • LDR: long distance relationship
  • LLTA: lots and lots of thunderous applause
  • LMIRL: let's meet in real life
  • LMAO: laughing my *** off
  • LMSO: laughing my socks off
  • LMFAO: laughing my f*** a** off
  • LMK: Let Me Know
  • LOL: laughing out loud, lots of love
  • LOLZ: Same as LOL
  • LQTS: laughing quietly to self
  • LTNS:long time no see
  • LTP: learn to play (L2P)
  • LTR: longterm relationship
  • LULAB: love you like a brother
  • LULAS: love you like a sister
  • MML: making me laugh
  • MMORPG: massively multiplayer online role playing game
  • MOOS: member(s) of the opposite sex
  • MorF: Male or female?
  • MOSS/MOTSS: member(s) of the same sex
  • M/F: male or female
  • N1: nice one
  • NALOPKT: not a lot of people know that
  • NERF: Non-Expanding Recreational Foam (NERF is a company). Also, nerf when used a a verb (example: The paladins were nerfed in the last game update. The geeks are nerfed in the football game against the jocks.) is generally a gaming term meaning that the subject is now underpowered and the game is out of balance.
  • NE1: anyone
  • NFI: no f***ing idea
  • NFW: no f***ing way
  • NIAGW: not in a gay way
  • NIFOC: naked in front of computer
  • NO1: no one
  • NOOB: newbie (new to the site/new to texting/new to whatever)
  • NSFW: not safe for work
  • NP: no Problem
  • N/P: no problem
  • NVM: nevermind
  • NM: not much, nothing much, never mind
  • OIC: ohh I see
  • OMG: oh my God, oh my goodness, oh my gosh
  • OMGBBQWTF: oh my God, Bar-b-q, What The F*** (surprise and confusion). Sometimes spelled OMGWTFBBQ.
  • OMFG: Oh my f*****g God
  • OLL: oh, Lordy, Lordy!
  • OLL: online love
  • OMW: on my way
  • OP: original post/original poster
  • OTOH: on the other hand
  • OTW: on the way
  • P911: parent alert
  • PAL: parents are listening
  • PAW: parents are watching
  • PIR: parent in room
  • POS: parent over shoulder / Piece of S***
  • PLZ: please
  • PlzKThx: Please. ok? Thanks. (Thanks in advance)
  • PlzKThxNo-Re: Please, ok, Thanks, No-Read (sarcasm)
  • PL0x or PLOX: same as please
  • Pwn: to triumph (not actually an abbreviation, but rather a misspelling of own)
  • PDA: public display [of] affection
  • QFT: quoted for truth
  • R: are (common)
  • RBA: right back at you (right back atcha)
  • RL: real life
  • RTFM: read the f***ing manual
  • RTFO: rock the f*ck out
  • ROFL: rolling on floor laughing
  • ROTFLOL: rolling on the floor laughing out loud
  • ROFLMAO: rolling on the floor laughing my a** off
  • RPG: role playing games
  • RP: roleplay
  • SA: something awful
  • SGXK: set a good example for the kiddies
  • SHID: slaps head in disgust
  • SLAP: sounds like a plan
  • SLGF: secondlife girlfriend
  • SO: significant other
  • SOMY: sick of me yet?
  • SorG: straight or gay
  • SOT: short of time
  • SUF: shut up fool
  • STFU: shut the **** up
  • STHU: shut the h*** up
  • TBH : to be honest
  • TDTM: talk dirty to me
  • THX: thanks
  • TIA: thanks in advance
  • TMI: too much information
  • TTFN: ta-ta for now
  • TTYL: talk to you later
  • TTYS: talk to you soon
  • TTLY: totally
  • TY: thank you
  • U: you (common); how are you?; or you do it!
  • U/C: Can also be typed as UC. Means under construction.
  • UW: you’re welcome
  • w/e: whatever
  • WAYT: what are you thinking?
  • WB: welcome back/ write back
  • WDYT: what do you think
  • WFM: works for me
  • WIBNI: wouldn't it be nice if
  • WIP: work in progress
  • WTGP: want to go private?
  • WTG: way to go
  • WTF: what the f***, what the frak, alternatively Where's The Food or Way too funny
  • WTH: what the heck, or what the he**
  • WUIP: wind up in progress
  • WUBU2: what you been up to
  • WUD: what you doing
  • WUU2: what you up to
  • WYCM: will you call me?
  • WYSIWYG: what you see is what you get
  • Y:why?
  • YM: young man
  • YMMV: your mileage may vary
  • YTMND: you're the man now, dog
  • YW: you're welcome
  • ZOMG: same as OMG

Related Tips and Steps

Sources and Citations