LOL, OMG, BTW: The Internet speaks its own language - and that consists largely of chat abbreviations, which often arise from English phrases. As a user of forums and messenger apps, you should know Internet abbreviations. Below you will find translations and explanations of common terms used in online jargon.
These three common chat abbreviations have a similar meaning—all denote a hearty laugh from the chatter. As with many other Internet abbreviations, LOL, ROFL and LMAO are so-called acronyms, i.e. abbreviations made up of the first letters of a word combination.
LOL is short for "laughing out loud"; the Duden translates this sequence of words as "laughing out loud". There are numerous variations of the popular phrase, which has been listed in the renowned Oxford English Dictionary since 2011. For example, if LOL is written in lower case, it might mean the chatter didn't have to laugh quite as loud.
ROFL, sometimes also ROTFL, on the other hand is less recognizable as a laughing stock than LOL at first glance. The abbreviation stands for "rolling on the floor laughing"; the chatter laughs so loudly in a figurative sense and literally rolls on the floor.
The slightly more vulgar LMAO means "laughing my ass off" when written out. The user of this abbreviation laughs colloquially at the buttocks.
The chat abbreviations OMG and WTF are now being used almost excessively – not only online and on smartphones, but also in direct conversations. With these Internet abbreviations, users express their astonishment and amazement.
OMG, which also appears in the Oxford dictionary, is short for "Oh my God". The acronym is used when something embarrassing or scandalous has happened to someone and the chatter wants to put the feeling of being ashamed of others into words.
WTF is one of the crude chat abbreviations and means "What the fuck?" when written out. According to Focus magazine, a suitable German translation would be, for example, "What the hell?".
Chat abbreviations are not only used in informal exchanges among friends. Even in serious chats and messages, the short words are finding more and more friends. Almost a classic is now BTW, short for "by the way". The German equivalent of BTW - "by the way" - is only five letters longer, but is increasingly being replaced by BTW in chats.
Other common chat abbreviations in this context include: