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Texting Abbreviations

If you've ever been into an online chat room, used an instant messenger, had a conversation via text message, or talked to a teenager, you are probably at least somewhat familiar with many of the following texting abbreviations. Although they tend to be grammatically incorrect and slightly confusing, they are commonly used and practical, making sending text messages quick and easier on your fingers. You don't have to use them if they make you feel like you're losing IQ points, but chances are that you will have to decipher them at some point if you haven't already, so you probably should know what they mean.

Texting and Chat Abbreviations

Texting and chat abbreviations have almost created a whole new dialect, and if you can't tell your BRBs from your LOLs, here's a handy reference guide to help you "speak Text" with the best of them:

  • @ - at

  • 10Q - thank you

  • 2 - two/too/to

  • Work til 2.

  • Me 2!

  • Wanna go 2 the pool after?

  • 2g2bt - too good to be true

  • 2moro - tomorrow

  • 2nite - tonight

  • 4 - for/four

  • I have something 4 you. Actually, 4 things.

  • 4ever - forever

  • 8 - ate

  • gr8, w8, l8r

  • 9 or prw - parent is watching, parents are watching

  • ?4U - question for you

  • ?4U. Can I borrow your lawn mower?

  • a3 - anytime, anywhere, anyplace

  • abt - about

  • adbb - all done, bye bye

  • afc - away from computer

  • asap - as soon as possible

  • b - be

  • b4 - before

  • b4n - bye for now

  • b/c or bc or bcoz - because

  • bf/gf - boyfriend/girlfriend

  • He's going out with his gf 2nite.

  • bff - best friend forever

  • She's my bff.

  • bif - before I forget

  • brb - be right back

This stand-alone text abbreviation is used to excuse oneself from an Internet conversation for a short while.Most often, it is used when absences will be under five minutes.

  • brt - be right there

  • btdt - been there done that

  • btw - by the way

  • c - see

  • I get 2 c my bf 2nite!

  • cm - call me

  • csl - can't stop laughing

  • cul/cul8r - see you later

  • cwyl - chat with you later

  • cya - see ya

  • dk - don't know

  • dm - direct message

Rather than posing an update on Twitter, individual members can send each other private messages directly. Dm can be used as a noun or a verb.

  • I'll DM you with my email address

  • I sent you a DM yesterday.

  • dnbl8 - don't be late

  • ff - friends forever

  • fofl - falling on floor laughing

  • g2g/gtg - got to go

When you have to leave in a hurry and don't have time for a formal farewell, "g2g" is your go-to stand-alone text abbreviation. You can follow it up with "l8r," "ttyl" or "ttfn."

  • g4i - go for it

  • gab - getting a beer

  • gas - gotta second?

  • gnite - good night

  • gr8 - great

  • gratz - congratulations

  • gtg - got to go

  • gtgb - got to go, bye

  • hagd - have a great day

  • h&k - hugs and kisses

  • hugz - hugs

  • idk - I don't know

This can be used as a complete sentence, or you can follow it up with exactly what you don't know.

  • idk how 2 knit

  • ily - I love you

  • im - instant message

Like "DM," "IM" can be used as a noun or a verb - you can send someone and IM or you can IM someone.

  • ima/imma/i'ma - I'm going to

  • I'ma go 2 the movies w/my bf. (I'm going to go to the movies with my boyfriend.)

  • imo/imho - in my opinion/in my humble opinion

  • imo, your gf is 2 hot 4 you.

  • j2lyk - just to let you know

  • j/k - just kidding

This abbreviation is an addendum to a jocular or sarcastic statement. It is used to clarify that the prior statement was meant in jest.

  • We sold your dog while you were in Florida. j/k

  • k - okay

  • kiss - keep it simple stupid

  • l8r - later

Used as a stand-alone statement to bid farewell or in conjunction with "cu" (see you).

  • cul8r (See you later)

  • lmao - laughing my a** off

Stronger than "LOL," but not quite as exaggerated as "ROFL," "lmao" is used to express hearty laughter.

  • lmk - let me know

  • lol - laughing out loud

Another stand-alone expression, "lol" can be intensified by using capital letters (LOL) or adding exclamation points.

  • msg - message

  • mtf - more to follow

  • n - in

  • n1 - nice one

  • np/no prob - no problem

  • oic - Oh, I see.

  • orly? - Oh really?

  • omg - oh my gosh/oh my god

  • peeps - people

  • pita - pain in the a**

  • This puppy is such a pita sometimes, but he's so cute.

  • pls or plz - please

  • ppl - people

  • r - are

  • What r u talking abt?

  • rotfl/fotfl - rolling on the floor laughing, falling on the floor laughing

  • sec - wait a second

  • sok - it's ok

  • soz or sry - sorry

  • sup - What's up?

  • syl - see you later

  • t@yl - talk at you later

  • ta - thanks again

  • tc - take care

  • thx - thanks

  • tmi - too much information

  • tom/2mrow - tomorrow

  • toy - thinking of you

  • ttfn - ta-ta for now

  • ttyl - talk to you later

  • g2g. ttyl

  • ttyt - talk to you tomorrow

  • u - you

  • u8 - you ate?

  • ur - your/you're

  • u left ur camera at my house

  • thx, ur awesome

  • w8 - wait

  • w/ - with

  • w/o - without

  • wtf - What the f***?

A stand-alone expression conveying any combination of disbelief, frustration, anger, fear and/or confusion.

  • WTF?!

  • wru - where are you?

  • xoxo - hugs and kisses

  • yf - wife

Of course, these texting abbreviations are not the only ones people use. There are tons more, from the obvious to the completely mystifying.


There are also what we call "emoticons" (emotional/emotive icons). Generally, emoticons are simply combinations of keyboard characters that, when combined, resemble an expressive human face.

Here are a few examples:

  • :) :o) :-) :c) =) 8-) If you tilt your head to the left, you'll see a series of happy faces.

  • :( Conversely, any of the above can also be changed to a sad face.

  • ;) By changing the colon to a semicolon, the happy face becomes a wink.

  • (~_^) In this variation of a winking face, you don't have to tilt your head to see it.

  • : :- These two emoticons indicate a kiss.

  • :'( Adding an apostrophe to a sad face causes it to appear as though it's crying.

Maybe you are one of those people who can't stand all these nonsensical texting abbreviations and symbols. Maybe you will insist on spelling out every word and using correct capitalization and punctuation until the day you die. That is perfectly acceptable, but at least now you'll be able to decipher what everyone else is saying.

Texting AbbreviationsTexting Abbreviations

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