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What are the most used English abbreviations?

Abbreviations exist in almost all languages, they are useful and easy to understand if it is your mother tongue or but even if you have a good command of another language, you can get confused. That is why we have made a list of abbreviations in English and their meaning, so that you can get out of trouble when you come across them, or take advantage of them by using them.

We have to clarify that the abbreviations you use in a chat with a friend are much more informal than those used to send an important email. With which we divide the list between abbreviations in English for chat, emails, and why not? English abbreviations of love.

English abbreviations for chat

LOL: Laugh out loud

BTW: By the way – By the way, it's a pretty neutral abbreviation, you can use it with your friends or boss.

BYOB: Bring your own beer/bottle – bring your own beer/bottle

LMAO: Laugh my ass off – Laugh up your ass: Needless to say, this abbreviation should not be sent to teachers, bosses or family…

YOLO: You only live once

OMG: Oh my god – Oh my God.

PLZ: Please

THX: Thank you

W/end – Weekend – Weekend

YW – You're welcome – You're welcome

JK – Just kidding – Just kidding

BBS: Be back soon

IDK: I don't know

Abbreviations for emails

ASAP: As soon as possible

FYI: For your information

HTH: Hope this helps – Hope this helps

IOW: In other words

KWIM?: Know what I mean – Do you understand what I mean?

B2B / B2C: Business to business / Business to consumer

DOB: Date of birth – Date of birth.

CU: See you – See you

romantic abbreviations in english

BAE: Before Anyone Else – Before anyone else, you can use it as a hashtag when uploading photos with your partner, it is an affectionate way of saying that it comes first in your life.

IWALU: I Will Always Love You – I will always love you

LOML: Love Of My Life – Love of my life

4U: For you

XOXO: Hugs & Kisses – Kisses and hugs

BBB: Bye, Bye, Baby – Bye, bye, baby, but beware that it can also mean “Boring Beyond Belief” (more boring than you think), use this abbreviation wisely if you don't want to get in trouble.

LY: Love you – I love you/I love you

LY4E: Love you forever – I will love you forever

Surely now you can complete your tweets with more ideas. We understand that it is impossible for you to memorize all the abbreviations in English, so when one appears that you do not understand, save this list.

Dare to speak English and use abbreviations!

The most used abbreviations on the internet for text messages and tweets

In the world of messaging programs and chat rooms, using internet abbreviations is as natural as seeing another person taking a selfie on the street. Somehow, those catchy, short words have morphed into a new language used by millennials and Gen Z.

Some people call them internet slang, as many abbreviations are more commonly used in informal conversations between specific groups on social media. However, common slang in British, American, Australian and other variations is typically regional, while internet abbreviations are universal and employed by anyone who absorbs the essence of a specific chat.

You are almost as likely to know the ten most common abbreviations on the internet as the fact that you text or tweet your friends on a daily basis. Take a test: can you identify at least half of the following abbreviations?

LOL, ASAP, OMG, XOXO, B4N, FYI, G2G, FB, MSG, TTYL

Easy? So, let's move on to a more complete list of internet abbreviations, in which you will also find explanations of the examples above.

By the way, FYI, ASAP and other acronyms and abbreviations such as BTW (“by the way”), IMO (“in my opinion” – in my opinion), LMK (“let me know” – let me know) and PRB (“please reply by” – please reply until), started to be adopted in corporate communications by e-mail, something that rarely occurs with common slang.

What makes people abbreviate?

Limits. As simple as this is, people have started to abbreviate words due to the limited amount of characters allowed in a single message or tweet. Until 2017, a tweet could include a maximum of 140 characters, and 20 characters for the username. This number has been doubled to 280 characters, but the tradition of abbreviating remains a trend these days. People want to save time and effort when typing, especially when they are on the go.

In addition, one of the reasons for using short texts is the fast pace of our daily lives, which makes us talk or do more in a smaller space and time.

People have stopped using beautiful words or transitional phrases like nevertheless and notwithstanding the fact that, as they require a lot of tapping to write. So the second reason is people's laziness and impatience to type complete words. Still, that's not so bad, as idleness has been an engine of progress for many centuries.

Brief communication can be compared to a specific secret language code used between users in different online chats, social networks and communication services like Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, etc. In fact, this shortcode is also the perfect way to protect individual conversations from outside intruders.

One hypothesis is that most of the abbreviations came about because teenagers needed to hide their private chats from their parents' eyes. And there are specific examples that confirm this thesis:

  • PAW (Parents are watching)
  • PITR (Parent in the room – parent in the room)
  • PBB (Parent behind back – parent looking behind me)
  • POMS (Parent over my shoulder – parent looking over my shoulder)
  • KPC (Keeping parents clueless)
  • PAH (Parent at home – father/mother at home).

The craziest thing about all of this is that nowadays our parents also use abbreviations in communication programs to talk to their friends. However, sometimes their messages make us ashamed and even fofl (falling on floor laughing).

List of internet abbreviations for conversations

Millennials were the ones who created and popularized the use of abbreviations in internet chats. Common words, word combinations, and even abbreviated phrases have become part of tweets and instant messages.

Of course, you can go into a chat and write, instead of TTYL or OMG, your full variations, like Talk to you later (see you later) / Oh my God (my God!). Twitter won't go down, and people in chat won't curse you. However, eventually you will write the abbreviated versions to keep up with others.

To help you memorize other abbreviations and acronyms, we've grouped them according to a similar usage pattern.

Expressing emotions and feelings

HIFW – How I feel when

HIFW has become one of the most used abbreviations in funny and sarcastic memes and gifs on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And there are dozens of gifs similar to the following example that include the hashtag HIFW on Imgur, GIPHY, GIFER, etc.

Another example with the full words is also often used in blog posts and on Facebook.

TFW – That feeling when

MFW – My face when

MRW – My reaction when

IFYP – I feel your pain

LOL - Laughing out loud

TNTL – Trying not to laugh

JK – Just kidding (I'm just kidding)

ILY – I love you

IMU – I miss you (I miss you)

ADIH – Another day in hell

IDC – I don't care (I don't care)

ZZZ – Sleeping, bored, tired

WYWH – Wish you were here

TIME – Tears in my eyes

BAE – Before anyone else (before anyone else)

You can use this last example above to refer to the most important person in your life. Ex.: Me and my BAE have just watched another episode of Game of Thrones!

Check out another example I found on Imgur.

SSDD – Same stuff, different day

QQ – Crying (crying)

To me, the origin of the abbreviation QQ is shocking. According to the website Urban Dictionary, initially, QQ meant “exiting the Warcraft II game by pressing the shortcut keys Alt+QQ”. So when a player started to complain, others suggested that he “QQ”. It quickly became associated with teary eyes and was also used in text messages and tweets.

FIMH – Forever in my heart

BSAAW – Big smile and a wink

BWL – Bursting with laughter

CSL – Can't stop laughing (can't stop laughing)

Expressing opinions and reactions

IMOIMHO – In my opinion/In my humble opinion (in my [humble] opinion)

OMDB – Over my dead body (over my dead body)

POV – Point of View

TBH – To be honest (to be honest)

FTW – For the win (towards victory, something that is sure to succeed)

This example above and the examples below belong to internet slang abbreviations that describe something of better or worse (FTL) quality. If you say something is FTW, it can be splendid, amazing, perfect, etc.

FTL – For the loss (towards defeat, something that is sure to fail)

YNK – You never know

SMH – Shaking my head (I'm confused)

Describes the reaction to something stupid, aggressive, hostile, unfair, etc.

SRSLY – Seriously

YGTR – You got that right (that's what you got)

GMTA – Great minds think alike

The abbreviation above is occasionally confused with GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). However, anyone who has gone through the complex period of preparation for this exam will always be able to notice the difference. The abbreviation, which refers to the standard way of thinking, has become famous and is even inserted as a stamp on cups, pillows, shirts, etc.

AYMM – Are you my mother? (Are you my mother by any chance?)

CWOT – Complete waste of time

Disclaimers

IANAL – I am not a lawyer

The next time you share legal advice in a public chat, include IANAL or the analogous form TINLA (This is not legal advice), so that you are not accused of providing unlicensed advice. In the US and other countries, even a brief recommendation on how to handle your assets or getting divorced can be considered unauthorized legal practice.

AFAIK – As far as I know (as far as I know)

AFAIR – As far as I remember (as far as I remember)

AFAIC – As far as I'm concerned

AAMOF – As a matter of fact (actually)

IIRC – If I remember correctly

AFAICT – As far as I can tell (as far as I know)

TL;DR – Too long; didn't read (too long, I didn't read the text)

You can reply with this abbreviation not only to reinforce how long the post length is, but also to explain that you got too lazy to read it and just ignored it. Which is why TL;DR also stands for Too lazy; didn't read (I'm lazy, didn't read the text). He later gave rise to ToS; DR (Terms of service; didn't read - terms of service, didn't read the text). As you may know, many people skip reading this part of a website because of complex legal terms and long sentences.

I found a set of other gifs and memes that include this abbreviation.

Calling attention

IRL – In real life (in real life)

TIL – Today I learned

SOML – Story of my life

EMBM – Early morning business meeting

J4F – Just for fun (just for fun)

JSYK – Just so you know (just so you know)

FAWC – For anyone who cares

RLRT – Real life retweet (real life retweet)

OH – Overheard (I heard this)

WUZUP – What's up? (So, how are you?)

CS – Career suicide

DWH – During work hours (during working hours)

Warnings and Recommendations

NSFW – Not safe for work

If you see this type of abbreviation posted next to a specific link, do not click on it. It is very likely that it will lead to some sex, nudity, brutality or violence content that is prohibited from being seen in your workplace.

NSFL – Not safe for life

It refers to some even more offensive and shocking content that is capable of causing mental harm.

SFW – Safe for work

GRAS – Generally recognized as safe

NBD – Not big deal (not important)

OC – Original content (original content)

4AO – For adults only (only for adults)

OP – Original poster (original publisher)

Refers to someone who was the first person to publish a post.

ICYMI – In case you missed it

JIC – Just in case (in any case)

NAGI – Not a good idea

GOI – Get over it

RBTL – Read between the lines

AYOR – At your own risk

DIY – Do it yourself (do it yourself)

E123 – Easy as one, two, three (as easy as one, two, three)

GAHOY – Get a hold of yourself

Asking for favors or advice

TMB – Tweet me back (tweet me back)

WTPA – Where the party at? (where is the party?)

DAE – Does anyone else? (somebody else?)

PRT – Please retweet (please send a retweet)

PTB – Please text back (please send a message back)

TIA – Thanks in advance (thanks in advance)

BUMP – Bring up my post (put my post first on the list)

Notifications, wishes, greetings, goodbyes

OMW – On my way (I'm on my way)

GRATZ – Congratulations (congratulations)

GL – Good luck

IDK – I don't know (I don't know)

TTYL – Talk to you later (talk to you later)

IBRB – I'll be right back (I'll be back soon)

W8 – Wait

NFS – Not for sale (not for sale)

B4N – Bye for now (see you later)

[email protected] – Back at you (I wish the same for you)

BBBG – Bye bye be good (see you later)

BBIAS – Be back in a sec (be back in a second)

RUOK – Are you OK? (Are you alright?)

CYT – See you tomorrow

DBMIB – Don't bother me I'm busy

DM – Direct message (direct message)

GFN – Gone for now (I'm away for now)

Conclusion

You can always check the web for a more extensive list of internet abbreviations and acronyms. However, even with these examples, you will be ready enough to start a conversation in a public chat. Before you start using any abbreviations on our list, check your chat history. If you find that only reactive abbreviations appear in chat (lol, omg, etc.), it's best not to use other unfamiliar examples excessively. Above all, don't use acronyms or abbreviations in a formal chat with your CEO in a corporate chat room.

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