Email Abbreviations

Email abbreviations save time. Many of these email abbreviations have made their way to texting and instant messaging, which began because text messages used to limit the number of characters you could use. Here are some lists of certain types of email abbreviations.

email abbreviations and emojisemail abbreviations and emojis

Common Email Abbreviations

Abbreviations, acronyms, initialisms, and other forms of shorthand make their way into all sorts of text-based communication all the time. Email itself is short for “electronic mail.” Abbreviations can be used to serve a variety of purposes in communication. 

To Tell Your Status

It takes time to type out a lengthy sentence to indicate that you are pausing or ending the conversation. Instead, you can do it succinctly with short abbreviations. These abbreviations include:

  • ADBB - all done bye bye

  • BBL - be back later

  • BBIAF - be back in a few

  • BBIAB - be back in a bit

  • BCNU - be seein' you

  • BFN - bye for now

  • BRB - be right back

  • CUL8R - see you Later

  • L8R - later

  • LTNS - long time no see

  • TAFN - that's all for now

  • TTFN - ta ta for now

  • TTYL - talk to you later

  • WB - welcome back

To Show Your Feelings

Sometimes, all it takes is a few characters to express your emotions. You can agree, disagree, show excitement, or display disgust with just two to four letters. Some of these expressions include:

  • ^5 - high five

  • AAS - alive and smiling

  • BEG - big evil grin

  • BG - big grin

  • GMTA - great minds think alike

  • HHO 1/2 K - ha ha, only half kidding

  • HTH - hope this(that) helps

  • JK - just kidding

  • LOL - laughing out loud

  • MHOTY - my hat's off to you

  • MTFBWU - may the force be with you

  • ROTFL - rolling on the floor laughing

  • RUOK - Are you okay?

  • T+ - think positive

  • TIA - thanks in advance

  • WEG - wicked evil grin

  • WTG - way to go

General Email Abbreviations

Shorthand email abbreviations are as versatile as their full word counterparts. Let your friends know when you’re coming, how you’re feeling, and what you’d like to do with these abbreviations.

  • 2nite - tonight

  • 411 - information

  • 4ever - forever

  • ASAP - as soon as possible

  • AWHFY - Are we having fun yet?

  • AYPI - And your point is?

  • B4 - before

  • DUR? - Do you remember?

  • J4F - just for fun

  • KISS - keep it simple, stupid

  • NFC - no further comment

  • NRN - no reply necessary

  • NTM - not to mention

  • OBTW - oh, by the way

  • P&C - private and confidential

  • P-ZA - pizza

  • QL - quit laughing

  • RTM - read the manual

  • SITD - still in the dark

  • WFM - works for me

  • YYSSW - yeah yeah sure sure whatever

  • ZZZ - sleeping, bored, tired

Emoticons

When people communicate face to face, they rely on facial expressions and tone of voice to enhance the meaning of what the other person is saying. When you email someone, it is hard to get your meaning across with just words. That’s where emoticons and emoji come in handy: combinations of keystrokes that make a (usually sideways) picture that represents an emotion.

  • :) or :-) - smiley face

  • O:-) - angelic smile

  • 8-) - big-eyed smile

  • :-X - big kiss

  • ;-( - crying face

  • :-> - grinning

  • :-| - indifference

  • :-)) - laughing

  • :-( - sad face

  • :-D - shock or surprise

  • :-& - tongue tied

  • :-[ - vampire smiley

  • :-{} - wearing lipstick

  • ;-) - winking

  • :-O - yelling

Common Professional Email Abbreviations

If you’ve ever found yourself staring at an email from your boss with no idea what the letters mean, you’re not alone. Work emails should be as productive as the actual work you’re doing. Here are some helpful abbreviations for writing and interpreting emails at your workplace.

Subject Line Abbreviations

Announcing the subject of your email is the perfect use of the subject line. Abbreviations help you save space and communicate quickly before your recipient even opens your message. They are usually a few letters and a colon followed by your subject line.

Some common subject line abbreviations include:

  • 1L - one line

  • AR - action required

  • CTA - call to action

  • EOM - end of message (when the email body does not contain text)

  • FAO - for the attention of

  • FW: or FWD - forwarded

  • FYI - for your information

  • FYA - for your action (or for your attention)

  • FYR - for your reference

  • FYSA - for your situational awareness

  • I - information (no reply required)

  • LF - looking for

  • NB - nota bene (“note well” in Latin)

  • NIM or NM - no internal message (in email body)

  • NNTO - no need to open

  • NONB - non-business

  • NYR - need your response

  • NYRT - need your response today

  • NYRT - need your response quickly

  • OT - off topic

  • QUE - question

  • RE or Re - regarding

  • RR - reply requested (or reply required)

  • SSIA - subject says it all

  • TBF - to be forwarded

  • UDA - urgent document attached

  • VSRE - very short reply expected

  • WAS or Was - indicates that the message “was” originally under another subject

Other Professional Email Abbreviations

You can use these abbreviations in email subject lines, but you’re more likely to see them sprinkled into the email body. Learn about when your work is due, who the email is addressed to, and what your team expects with these professional email abbreviations.

  • ASAP - as soon as possible

  • BCC - blind carbon copy

  • BTW - by the way

  • CC - carbon copy

  • COB - close of business (day)

  • EOD - end of day

  • EOW - end of week

  • FWIW - for what it’s worth

  • HTH - hope that helps

  • IMO - in my opinion

  • LET - leaving early today

  • LMK - let me know

  • LSFW - less safe for work

  • MIA - missing in action

  • NBD - next business day (or no big deal)

  • NNTR - no need to respond

  • NRN - no reply necessary

  • NSFW - not safe for work

  • NWR - not work related

  • OOO - out of the office

  • PFA - please find attachment

  • PRB - please reply by

  • PS - postscriptum (“written after” in Latin)

  • PSA - please see attachment (or public service announcement)

  • PYR - per your request

  • RB - reply by

  • RLB - read later

  • RSVP - répondez s'il vous plaît (“Please respond as soon as possible” in French)

  • SFW - safe for work

  • TL;DR - too long; didn’t read

  • TLTR - too long to read

  • TYT - take your time

  • WFH - working from home

  • Y/N - yes or no

  • YTD - year to date

Understanding Electronic Mail

More and more email abbreviations and emoticons are being used everyday. Whether you chose to use them or not, it is important to know what they mean so that you can understand the emails and other messages that you may receive. For more information on electronic communication, check out an article on appropriate salutations for emails and letters.

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