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Common Texting Abbreviations and Acronyms

Back in the early days of texting, longer texts were more expensive to send. So early texters developed texting abbreviations and acronyms that made sending messages easier and cheaper. These abbreviations are still common in texting, but they’ve also made their way to social media, message boards, and even conversational slang. Check out a helpful list of online jargon that will help you keep up with the times – and the texts!

Teenager texting using abbreviationsTeenager texting using abbreviations

Abbreviations for Parts of Sentences

If you’re trying to write long sentences quickly, you'll want to consider abbreviations. They can make your message more concise without losing understanding. Take note of this list of common texting abbreviations and their meanings. Each has an example in parentheses that uses correct capitalization and punctuation, but remember that proper grammar can make you sound more formal than needed when texting.

  • @ - at (“C U @ noon.”)

  • 2 - two/too/to (“I work til 2.” “Me 2. Wanna go 2 the pool after?”)

  • 2g2bt - too good to be true (“UR 2g2bt!”)

  • 2moro - tomorrow (“C U 2moro”)

  • 2nite - tonight (“R U coming 2nite?”)

  • 4 - for/four (“Come over around 4. I have a present 4 you.”)

  • 4ever - forever (“Luv u 4ever!”)

  • 8 - ate (“I don’t want pizza, I 8 that last night.”)

  • ?4U - question for you (“?4U. Can I borrow your lawn mower?”)

  • a3 - anytime, anywhere, anyplace (“I can meet a3”)

  • abt - about (“I heard abt your new job!”)

  • adbb - all done, bye bye (“Joe and his gf are adbb.”)

  • afk - away from keyboard (“I’m afk right now.”)

  • asap - as soon as possible (“Please let me know ASAP.”)

  • atm - at the moment (“I’m not sure where Vita is atm.”)

  • b4 - before (“Let’s meet up b4 the concert.”)

  • b/c or bc or bcoz - because (“I can’t come bc I have to babysit.”)

  • bf/gf - boyfriend/girlfriend (“Did Lily break up with her bf?”)

  • bff - best friend forever (“My bff told me about the party.”)

  • bif - before I forget (“Bif – are you coming tomorrow?”)

  • btdt - been there done that (“I don’t want to go to the club. BTDT”)

  • btw - by the way (“Btw, can I borrow the car?”)

  • c - see (“I’ll C U there!”)

  • cm - call me (“Can’t talk now. Cm l8r.”)

  • csl - can't stop laughing (“That video’s so funny, I csl!”)

  • dm - direct message (“DM me the details later.”)

  • dnbl8 - don't be late (“Concert starts at 7, dnbl8!”)

  • g4i - go for it (“There’s a job opening there. You should g4i!”)

  • gab - getting a beer (“Want to hang out and gab?”)

  • gas - got a second? (“Gas? I’ve got a question.”)

  • gr8 - great (“Gr8 news! I got the promotion!”)

  • icymi - in case you missed it (“Icymi, Joan broke up with her husband.”)

  • iirc - if I recall correctly (“The meeting starts at 8 iirc.”)

  • im - instant message (“Im me if you have any questions.”)

  • ima/imma/i'ma - I'm going to (“Ima see Derek tonight.”)

  • imo/imho - in my opinion/in my humble opinion (“Imo, you should wear the red dress tonight.”)

  • iow - in other words (“Iow, Shawn isn’t coming tonight.”)

  • irl - in real life (“We should meet up irl!”)

  • j2lyk - just to let you know (“J2lyk, I can’t make it tonight.”)

  • l8r - later (“The fireworks show isn’t till l8r.”)

  • lmk - let me know (“Lmk if you can bring anything tonight.”)

  • msg - message (“Msg me later if you want more details.”)

  • n - in (“He’s n the garage.”)

  • peeps - people (“Hey peeps! Going out l8r?”)

  • pita - pain in the a** (“Studying for finals is a pita.”)

  • pls or plz - please (“Can I borrow your computer pls?”)

  • ppl - people (“A bunch of ppl were asking about you tonight.”)

  • r - are (“R u ok?”)

  • tom/2mrow - tomorrow (“Want 2 c a movie tom?”)

  • u - you (“Where were u today?”)

  • ur - your/you're (“U left ur camera at my house.”)

  • w8 - wait (“W8 till Bernard gets there b4 opening presents.”)

  • w/ - with (“Do you want a sandwich w/mayo?”)

  • w/o - without (“Don’t leave w/o saying goodbye!”)

  • yf - wife (“I”ll ask my yf if we have plans 2nite.”)

Standalone Text Abbreviations

Texting and online communication moves quickly. By the time you’ve got a reply ready, the moment may have passed. That’s why standalone text abbreviations and acronyms are helpful to keep a fast-moving conversation moving.

Response Abbreviations

When someone texts you a funny meme or posts a shocking announcement, you can react quickly with the right response. These abbreviations work by themselves or as part of a longer sentence. Check out these examples of responses appropriate for text talk.

  • 10q, tq, or ty- thank you

  • fofl - falling on floor laughing

  • gratz - congratulations

  • h&k - hugs and kisses

  • ily - I love you

  • idc - I don’t care

  • idk - I don't know

  • ftw - for the win (or “this is the best or very good”)

  • j/k or jk - just kidding

  • k - okay 

  • lmao - laughing my a** off

  • lol - laughing out loud

  • mtf - more to follow

  • n1 - nice one

  • np/no prob - no problem

  • oic - oh I see

  • omg - oh my gosh/oh my god

  • orly - oh really?

  • prw - parents are watching

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

  • sok - it's ok

  • soz or sry - sorry

  • sup - what's up?

  • ta - thanks again

  • thx - thanks

  • tl;dr - too long; didn’t read

  • tmi - too much information

  • toy - thinking of you

  • wtf - what the f***?

  • wru - where are you?

  • xoxo - hugs and kisses

Ending the Conversation

It’s not polite to leave a fellow texter hanging. End the conversation politely with these texting shorthand options. You can choose the best one depending on how long you’ll be gone.

  • cul8r - see you later 

  • cwyl - chat with you later

  • cya - see ya

  • b4n - bye for now

  • brb - be right back 

  • brt - be right there

  • gnite - good night 

  • gtgb - got to go, bye

  • hagd - have a great day

  • g2g/gtg - got to go (“We’ll talk later, gtg.”)

  • sec - wait a second 

  • tc - take care

  • ttfn - ta-ta for now

  • ttyl - talk to you later

  • ttyt - talk to you tomorrow

  • syl - see you later

  • t@yl - talk at you later

  • yolo - you only live once

Emoji and Emoticons

It can be hard to convey your message with text alone. Emoticons (or “emotional/emotive icons”) used to be the standard way to send a quick image to establish your written tone. However, emoji keyboards now enable users to select an illustration that gets the point across.

Emoticons

Emoticons are simply combinations of keyboard characters that, when combined, resemble an expressive human face. They can be used as punctuation to a longer message or as stand-alone messages. Tilt your head to the left to see these examples:

  • :) - standard happy face

  •  :o) - happy face with a big nose

  • :-) - happy face with a narrow nose

  • :c) - happy face with an upturned nose

  • =) - happy face with cartoonish eyes

  • 8-) - happy face with glasses

  • :/ - displeased or skeptical face

  • <:0) - clown face

  • :( - sad face

  • ^^ - pleased face (or “I agree with the above message”)

  • >:( - angry face

  • :O - surprised face

  • :P - tongue sticking out

  • ;) - winking face

  • (~_^) - another winking face

  • :'( - crying face

  • :* - Kiss

Emoji

An emoji is a picture version of an emoticon. You’re much more likely to see emoji these days than emoticons. Most devices even change an emoticon to its proper emoji. Take a look at your phone emoji keyboard to see all of the possibilities!

Emojis examplesEmojis examples

More Texting Resources

Still not sure your texting skills are up to date? Check out a slideshow that ensures you’re texting what you think you’re texting. You can also read through a longer list of texting slang to make sure you’re not missing any crucial phrases.

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