Clueless About Texting Abbreviations & Acronyms? ME2!

image of texting acronyms & abbreviations


If you’re perplexed by texting abbreviations, acronyms & initialisms, you’re not alone. In fact I got the idea for this article after receiving an email with the subject “Ready For Some IRL?” Huh? What the heck is IRL? I looked it up. It means “in real life.” Who knew? Certainly not me. So I set about researching texting abbreviations, acronyms & initialisms. They’re especially handy in this digital age, when we often need to communicate quickly via a tiny screen.


Here’s what I learned about acronyms, abbreviations and initialisms:

The Difference Between Abbreviations, Acronyms & Initialisms

Abbreviations are shortened forms of words. Examples include etc. (etcetera), and Nov. (November).

Acronyms are a type of abbreviation which is pronounced as a word. Examples include RSVP, PIN (personal identification number), NIMBY (not in my backyard) and ZIP (zone improvement plan).

Initialisms are a type of abbreviation consisting of the first letter or letters of a string of words. They aren’t pronounced as words. Examples include FBI, CIA and PR (public relations). One of my favorites is PIR (parent in room). I wonder if KIR (kid in room) will ever make the list :-).

A List of Abbreviations You May Want to Know

Note: To keep the length of this list reasonable I concentrated on commonly used abbreviations. And I skipped the most common ones, such as CD and FYI. Also, I didn’t include abbreviations particular to online gaming, business, medical, sexual and selected other contexts. I reluctantly included some which include the “f word.” Unfortunately, it appears to be an accepted part of the English language these days. And I made the choice not to include examples based on bad English, such as WAYA (where are you at?). If interested, here’s a more comprehensive list of acronyms, abbreviations and initialisms and a list of texting acronyms every parent should know.

The List
(Scroll down for a printable PDF)

?4U                 I have a question for you

@TEOTD      At the end of the day

2B                   To be

AAMOF          As a matter of fact

ADN                Any day now

AFAIK            As far as I know

AITR               Adult in the room

AKA                Also known as

AMOF            As a matter of fact

AOC               Available on cell

ASAP             As soon as possible

ATM               At the moment

AYT                Are you there?

BBL                Be back later

BBS                Be back soon

BC                  Because

BF                   Best friend

BF                   Boyfriend

BFAW            Best friend at work

BFF                Best friends forever

BOL                Best of luck

BRB                Be right back

BTDT             Been there, done that

BTW               By the way

BYOB             Bring your own booze

CID                 Consider it done

CM                  Call me

CMB               Call me back

CTN                Can’t talk now

CUL8R           See you later

DD                  Dear (or Darling) daughter

DH                  Dear (or Darling) husband

DIY                 Do it yourself

DL                   Download

DS                   Dear (or Darling) son

DW                 Dear (or Darling) wife

EOD               End of day

ESP                Email Service Provider

ETA                Estimated time (of) arrival

EZ                   Easy

FAQ                Frequently asked questions

FB                   Facebook

FBM               Fine by me

FIL                  Father in law

FOMO            Fear of missing out

FU                   F__ you

FWB               Friend with benefits

FWIW            For what it’s worth

FYEO             For your eyes only

FYI                 For your information

G2CU             Good to see you

G2G                Got to go

GB                  Goodbye

GBU               God bless you

GD                  Good

GF                  Girlfriend

GFI                 Go for it

GG                  Gotta Go

GJ                   Good job

GL                   Good luck

GN                  Good night

GOL                Giggling out loud

GR8                Great

GRL                Girl

GTR                Got to run

HF                   Have fun

HMU              Hit me up

HRU               How are you?

HTH               Hope this helps

ICYMI            In case you missed it.

IDBI                I don’t believe it

IDC                 I don’t care

IDK                 I don’t know

IDTS               I don’t think so

IG                    Instagram

IK                    I know

ILU                  I love you

ILY                  I love you

IM                    Instant message

IMHO             In my humble opinion

IMO                In my opinion

IMS                 I am sorry

IMU                I miss u (you)

IOW                In other words

IRL                  In real life

ISP                  Internet Service Provider

JFF                 Just for fun

JJ                    Just joking

JK                   Just kidding

JMO               Just my opinion

JTLYK            Just to let you know

KIT                  Keep in touch

KOW              Knock on wood

L2G                (I would) love to go

L2G                (Would you) like to go?

L8R                 Later

LD                   Long distance

LFD                 Left for day

LI                     LinkedIn

LMIRL            Lets meet in real life

LMK                Let me know

LOL                 Laugh out loud

LOL                 Little old lady (archaic)

LOL                 Lots of love

LTD                 Living the dream

LTK                 Like to know

M2                  Me too

MAGA            Make America great again

MB                  Mamma’s boy

ME2                Me too

MIL                 Mother-in-law

MIRL              Meet in real life

MSG               Message

MTF                More to follow

MU                  Miss you

N/A                 Not applicable or not available

N1                    Nice one

NBD                No big deal

NFS                 Not for sale

NIMBY           Not in my back yard

NLT                No later than

NM                  Never mind

NP                   No problem

NSISR            Not sure if spelled right

NVM               Nevermind

NVR                Never

NW                 No way

OBV                Obviously

OFC                Of course

OJ                   Only joking

OL                   Old lady

OM                  Old man

OMG               Oh my god (or oh my gosh)

OML               Oh my lord

OMW              On my way

ONL                Online

OP                   On phone

OTL                Out to lunch

OTP                On the phone

PC                   Politically correct

PCM               Please call me

PDA                Public display (of) affection

PIN                 Personal Identification Number

PIR                 Parent in room

PLMK            Please let me know

PLS                Please

PLZ                Please

PM                 Private message

POV               Point of view

PP                   Profile picture

PTB                Please text back

QQ                  Quick question

RL                   Real life

RN                  Right now

ROTFL           Rolling on the floor laughing

RU                  Are you?

RUMOF         Are you male or female?

RUOK            Are you okay?

RUT               Are you there?

RW                 Real world

SG                  Sounds good

SIL                 Sister-in-law

SIMYC           Sorry I missed your call

SIT                 Stay in touch

SLAP              Sounds like a plan

SM                  Social media

SMH               Shaking my head

SO                  Significant other

SOL                Sooner or later

SOS                Help!

STFU:            Shut the f____up

SUL                See you later

SYL                See you later

SYS                See you soon

TBA               To Be Announced

TBC               To be continued/confirmed

TBD               To be determined

TBH               To be honest

TBL                Text back later

TC                   Take care

TFS                 Thanks for sharing

TFTI                Thanks for the invitation

TG                   Thank goodness

THX                Thanks

TIA                  Thanks in advance

TMB                Text me back

TMI                 Too much information

TOS                 Terms of service

TSNF              That’s so not fair

TSTB              The sooner the better

TTYL              Talk to you later

TTYS              Talk to you soon

TU                   Thank you

TX                   Thanks

TY                   Thank you

TYT                 Take your time

UFN                Until further notice

UL                   Upload

UOK               (Are) you ok?

UR                  You are

URA*              You are a star

URL                Uniform resource locator

URW              You are welcome

VAT                Value added tax

VC                   Voice chat

VGC                Very good condition

VIN                 Vehicle Identification Number

VM                  Voice mail

VN                  Very nice

WC                 Welcome

WDYK            What do you know?

WDYM           What do you mean?

WDYT            What do you think?

WFH               Work from home

WOM              Word of Mouth

WTF                What the f____?

WTG               Way to go

WU                 What’s up?

WUP               What’s up?

WWYC           Write when you can

WYCM           Will you call me?

WYD              What (are) you doing?

WYGAM        When you get a minute

WYHAM       When you have a minute

Y?                   Why?

YGTR             You got that right

YIU                 Yes, I understand

YL                   Young lady

YNK                You never know

YOLO             You only live once

YP                   Yes, please

YT                   YouTube

YW                 You’re welcome

ZZZZ              Sleeping (or bored)

Here’s a PDF in Case You Want to Save the List

Texting Abbreviations

If I Missed Something, PLMK

If you have a comment about this article or would like to suggest an abbreviation for inclusion, please let me know in the comments section at the end of the article.

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  1. Herron Joan says:

    This is fantastic. My brother writes me in these and I never know what he’s saying, but I surely am irritated ( add ISAI). I’m going to make an absurd sentence with these. Only one I use is BTW. That comes in handy.

    1. Jackie says:

      TFS! That’s “thanks for sharing” so you don’t have to look it up 🤣.