OMG r u ready 4 a blog post that’s totes awesome?
wait a minute what??
That first sentence might not necessarily belong in a blog post. However, you may occasionally come across strange abbreviations and slang words like these in chats, text messages or WhatsApp.
Social media platforms, their comment sections and online forums, for example, also often use this type of English, which may seem like completely new territory to you.
This is because online conversations can be very different from face-to- face conversations and even from conversations in email. In chats, the English language is much more casual and uses many abbreviations or colloquial words, also called "slang".
To keep you up to date, here are a list of 30 English chat abbreviations – you will most likely come across these abbreviations online. Let's get started!
Since a large part of our communication today takes place on the Internet, the Internet has now almost developed something like its own language. The tone of this language is even more casual than spoken English and it has numerous abbreviations for a wide variety of words and expressions.
But before you dive into the world of Internet English, it's important to remember that there is a lot of profanity and swear words circulating on the Internet, and that words are sometimes misspelled or used incorrectly. Many of the words people use online would never be used in person. So learn this type of English for online use only!
The English language is always changing, albeit at a slow pace. On the other hand, everything happens a little faster online. There, our language changes almost every day, as proverbs, pictures and videos are shared quickly and can also reach other people faster. For example, one day you go online without realizing it and then suddenly you see that someone has shared a new picture or a new saying that you have never seen before.
To keep up with the rapid change in the English language, you can try
learning English with the videos on FluentU. FluentU grabs authentic
videos, like the latest movie trailers and music videos, and turns them
into language lessons personalized for you!
Want to download the FluentU app to your phone or other device too? That is also possible! The app is available for both iOS and Android.
Some words and phrases have been around longer and are used more frequently. These are the phrases you should try to learn if you want to communicate better online.
When you say goodbye or goodbye to someone in English, you usually just say bye. This is an abbreviation invented to save time as the word goodbye is common and can be a bit long winded.
The same phenomenon also exists on the Internet! Many Internet slang words or words from the chat language are primarily abbreviations. Here are a few of the most commonly used English language abbreviations:
If you don't know what a particular abbreviation stands for, just try Google. Type “what does [abbreviation] stand for?” into the search engine and replace [abbreviation] with the term that is unclear to you at the moment.
Some websites have their own “professional terms”, abbreviations and also their own slang (slang). Twitter and Reddit, two social media platforms, are two well-known sites that often use their own slang words.
Many websites and blogs use hashtags (pound signs) to make content easier to find. When Twitter first appeared, there was no option to use hashtags. As a result, Twitter users decided to find their own way to tag their posts. Namely with the help of the so-called hashtags.
Hashtags use the “#” symbol with no space in front of the keywords. Hashtags then spread to the rest of the internet and are no longer unique to Twitter.
An example of a famous hashtag is #TBT, which stands for Throwback Thursday. For example, people who use this hashtag share memories from their childhood (remember phone cords and dial-up modems?). #TBT is also used on other social media platforms, even on non-Thursday days.
Here's an example using the fun hashtag #ICanEatWhateverIWant.
Direct message or DM is a term often used on Twitter to indicate a private conversation with someone. Each user has a “message page” where they can directly read or send messages they receive to other users.
A retweet is when your tweet is shared with your followers (followers) on Twitter. To "retweet" something means that you either like or agree with what a person said, or have something you'd like to add to the mix.
The so-called AMA was first announced on the online community Reddit. AMA is short for Ask Me Anything and occurs when someone, usually well known or from an interesting background, comes online and answers questions from a community.
If you use Reddit, you will also see many other abbreviations such as ELI5 (Explain Like I'm 5), IIRC (If I Recall Correctly, if I remember correctly) and TIL (Today I Learned, today I learned the following) encounter.
A forum is a virtual comment board where people can post about various topics. Forums also have their own slang!
In forums, topics are usually sorted by the order of the last comment received. If a topic moves too far down the list, it goes to the second page of the forum. This reduces the likelihood that it will be seen.
If you want to move a topic back to the top of the list, you move the topic back up by simply writing the word bump as a new comment.
Online, trolls are people who take pleasure in making other people angry or picking fights with them. Trolls usually post or respond to comments in a way that annoys or annoys as many people as possible with their replies.
There is a saying online that goes: “ Don't feed the trolls.” This means that you shouldn't interact with someone who is "trolling around," as it will only encourage that person to keep going.
You can usually find trolls on forums, but of course they can be found anywhere else online. From your Facebook page to the comment box for an online newspaper article!
This is someone who frequently visits a forum, blog, or website but does not leave comments. This term can also be used in offline conversations. To lurk means to hide in German.
— Common Internet Slang Words —
The word meme has been around longer than the internet itself. Off the internet, the word describes a culture that evolved by passing something from one person to another (usually through imitation). A meme can be an idea, a song/melody, an image, or anything else (that can be shared or modified).
Online, however, a meme is usually an image, text, or video that has been copied or modified over and over again. Most of the time, people change an image or text and put their own (funny) mustard on things.
Chances are you've already seen a few memes like Grumpy Cat or Confession Bear .
If you're not sure what a specific meme means, you can read up on it at Know Your Meme.
A so-called facepalm is the following gesture: You clasp a hand in front of your face. This usually happens in response to something very obvious or not-so-smart that someone else said.
If someone fails at something due to an actually easily avoidable error, then this process is referred to online as an epic fail . The word epic originally referred to ancient poems and tales describing the long and awe-inspiring adventures of legendary heroes.
Today we use the word epic to talk about anything that's either big or important. Like the epic sandwich we ate last night!
This phrase originally came from a Hyperbole and a Half blog post where a blogger shares why she never wants to grow up. One of the images shows a triumphant girl and forms the slogan Clean all the things! (clean everything!) off.
This expression is now used as a hyperbole (exaggeration) and usually looks like this: “ X all the Y,” also: Eat all the pizzas, catch all the Pokemon, pass all the tests. In English: Eat all pizzas, catch all Pokemon, pass all tests. It's actually a different meme!
This is just another way of saying "I'm speechless". This expression is used when something seems so incomprehensible that you simply cannot think of an answer to it.
However, grammatically this is not a complete sentence, but it is presented as such on the Internet. Sometimes this expression is used together with the word literally. So like this: Literally, I can't even. Or: Literally, I can't.
If someone has a very clever answer or reaction to something, you can say well played in that case. In everyday conversation, this is the equivalent for the word touché.
Well played can also be used when someone refutes one of your statements in an obvious way or says something that you cannot disagree with.
Many websites have an FAQ section. This is an area where frequently asked questions are answered. The term FAQ is not often used in conversation, but it is good to know it in order to navigate websites.
Totes and adorbs are shorthand for the English words totally and adorable. This is a cute way of saying these words and is mainly observed in younger women.
This phrase is often placed at the end of a sentence and indicates that what is being said is not necessarily something you firmly believe in. This expression is also often used to make something rude or mean seem less rude or mean.
This term is mainly used in online games. Pwned is the intentionally misspelled variant of the word owned. Both words mean the same thing: that someone has been defeated or humiliated.
Even if you're lucky enough to have a stable internet connection or a good computer, you've probably experienced lag at some point. Lag is when a computer or app is too slow to respond, or another device slows down due to a poor connection or older hardware (computer parts).
This term is often used when videos or online games are too slow to reflect what is happening in real time.
The word lag is also used off the internet to describe the same situation: something is lagging behind, getting stuck, or going a little slower than everything else.
A noob is someone who is new or a beginner in a certain field. However, the term noob can also be a mean way of saying someone is ignorant or not good at a certain area. But it can also be a way of explaining that you're new and don't know much about a certain topic. You may see the following spellings: newb or n0ob (with the number zero used as the "o").
The phrase to be honest can be used in the same way both online and offline. The phrase is functionally similar to a noise word and doesn't actually add new information to what you're trying to say.
Many people use this expression when they want to say something that is emphatically sincere or something they really believe in. But it can also be something that they have given a lot of thought to before voicing it.
In my humble opinion, or simply in my opinion , can be used to state your opinion on a topic that is being discussed. Adding the word humble is intended to make your opinion seem a little less important or a little less intrusive.
When someone or something unexpectedly appears in a photo without the photographer's intention, it's called a photobomb. There are many images online of animals ruining photos of people by unexpectedly appearing in front of the camera when the photo was being taken.
Sometimes people even intentionally ruin other people's pictures by secretly sneaking into the picture at the last second. Here is an example.
Spam is a type of email (and regular mail) that doesn't mean much. Spam emails usually contain annoying advertisements that you didn't want to receive. Most spam emails are filtered out by email providers like Google and Yahoo and placed in a separate spam folder.
A trend is something that is currently in fashion. If something is currently trending online , it's popular and a lot of people are talking about it right now. However, what is seen as trending online and on social media platforms is always evolving and is usually influenced by current events and pop culture.
Also called username . Your handle or alias is the alias you choose for a website. This is the name that will be visible to others instead of your real name.
Both handle and alias are everyday English words and both mean the same thing: a name you took instead of your real name to protect your identity. You may have heard these words in a movie related to spies.
This word is exactly what it sounds like: a laugh! Haha, its evil twin mwahaha , and the booming laugh bahaha always indicate laughter in English.
Since you can't see others while they're typing, writing haha is usually a good way to show others that you either made a joke or that you think something is funny.
If you want to talk about something that exists offline, you can use IRL (in real life) to refer to it.
NSFW or Not Safe For Work (not safe for work) is placed as a warning before a link that contains something you shouldn't look at at work. These links usually contain pornography, profanity, or something else your boss probably wouldn't want to see.
Online comments are usually kept short, like in a conversation. However, if a comment is very long, people with TL; DR or simply TLDR reply to it. Both stand for too long, didn't read . This means that the person has hastily read the comment (or simply pointed out that it is long).
You can now use this expression to summarize something you said. If you're writing a long article or comment, you can put the TLDR abbreviation at the end of a piece of text with a one-line summary of what you wrote above.
Here's something funny. It took me quite a while myself before I understood what OTL stands for. I found out that this abbreviation is actually not an abbreviation at all. It's an emoji (a symbol used to express a facial expression or emotion).
It's a man kneeling on the ground. This emoji is used to express disappointment or despair. His head is the "O" on the left, his arms are the stem of the "T" and the "roof" of the "T" is his back. The "L" is his kneeling legs.
Now you're armed with a whole host of essential English phrases, chat abbreviations, and other vocabulary you'll come across a lot online. Online English may be ever-changing, but fortunately it's very easy to look up anything you don't understand at any time!