Internet acronyms explained

There’s an ever growing list of acronyms used online these days, mostly for text speak. Here are the most popular.
Internet acronyms explained
Teenage texter

For those of us who didn’t grow up in the digital age, the seemingly endless list of acronyms (or initialisms if you spell them out) used online can be a little confusing.

Thanks to David Cameron we now know that LOL doesn’t mean ‘lots of love’, but what about the rest of them?

We’ve lined up a few of the usual suspects and attached their definitions, in the hope of easing the headache brought on by your kids’ cryptic messages. Or if you are a kid, feel free to use them and increase your street cred. YAW.

A new language

  • BCNU – be seeing you (pretty obvious, right?)
  • BRB – be right back. Because if you don’t immediately reply to a message, it can be very distressing for the other person. It’s always best to notify them.
  • BTW – by the way
  • DAMHIKT – don’t ask me how I know that
  • DDAS – don’t do anything stupid
  • DM – direct message. For privately messaging someone on Twitter.
  • FOMO – fear of missing out
  • FTW – for the win. For when something is really good.
  • IDK – I don’t know
  • ILY – I love you
  • IRL – in real life
  • IMO – in my opinion
  • J/K – just kidding, or joking
  • LOL – laugh out loud. For when ‘haha’, just won’t do.
  • LMK – let me know
  • LMAO – laughing my a*** off. For when LOL just won’t do.
  • LYLAB – love you like a brother
  • LYLAS – love you like a sister!
  • NSFW – not safe for work. Exercise caution before clicking that link - your boss probably won’t approve.
  • OMG - oh my God*
  • PM – personal message. As in an email, or using an online instant messaging service like WhatsApp of Facebook Messenger.
  • ROFL – rolling on the floor laughing. For when LMAO, just won’t do.
  • SITD – still in the dark
  • SHWASLOMF – sitting here with a straight look on my face
  • TBF – to be fair
  • TBH – to be honest
  • TGIF – thank God it’s Friday
  • TLGO – the list goes on. Probably due to TMA
  • TMA – too many acronyms
  • TMI – too much information!
  • TXT – text
  • XOXO – hugs and kisses
  • YAW – you are welcome
  • YOLO – you only live once

Meanwhile in the army...

There's also a handful of terms used online that are based on military slang. For example…

  • AWOL – away without leave
  • MIA – missing in action
  • TWOC – taken without consent
  • FUBAR - messed up beyond all recognition (clean version).

(Secret bonus fact: Lord Fisher first used ‘OMG’ in a letter addressed to Winston Churchill during WWI in 1917.)

BTW, if you’ve got any internet acronyms to share with us, please FF2CB (feel free to comment below).

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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