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…

comments powered by Disqus
A brief history of how texting and text speak changed the way people communicate, including initiali

11 January, 2019
From bendy phones to 5G networks, here’s our roundup of the biggest smartphone announcements...
22 November, 2018
Our biggest Black Tag event ever is now heading into Black Friday, where you can...
8 November, 2018
After years of rumours, Samsung has unveiled its first ever mobile phone at a conference...
29 October, 2018
OnePlus has unveiled its latest amazing new phone. Say hello to the OnePlus 6T. It's...
11 October, 2018
Samsung has just unveiled the world's first quad camera phone. It has an incredible...
10 October, 2018
Samsung has been showing off its new Galaxy range at an event in London. Here's a...
9 October, 2018
Google has officially launched its new Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones....
5 October, 2018
Nokia has just unveiled its latest smartphone - the Nokia 7.1. It's a great looking...
21 September, 2018
Bill capping is here to take away those nasty surprises, and in this article, we’ll...
12 September, 2018
The waiting is finally over, and Apple’s latest smartphones – the iPhone XS, iPhone...
3 September, 2018
We’ve always been taught to judge a camera phone by how many megapixels it has. But...
30 August, 2018
Honor has finally launched the Honor Play smartphone in Europe. It's a powerful phone...