Internet slang is the language of youth and social media, and if you want to keep up with your kids and your clients, you are going to have to understand it. So we’ve compiled some of the most common abbreviations and terms (that’ll be next week!) so that the next time your teenager texts “BRB gone to get a slurpee, JSYK. DAE want?”, you’ll know what the heck they’re talking about. Because the youth of the world really don’t have time for your damn vowels.
Common internet slang abbreviations:
LOL: laugh out loud. It does not, my Baby Boomer friends, mean Lots of Love.
LMAO: laughing my ass off. LOL’s more amused cousin.
BRB: be right back.
AMA: ask me anything. This is especially popular on Reddit, where celebrities (or even you!) host AMAs. This one with Cookie Monster is especially adorable.
BTW – by the way.
G2G – got to go
LMW – let me know
IMO/IMHO – in my opinion/in my humble opinion
Tl;dr – Too long; didn’t read. If there is an especially long or complicated post online, look for this abbreviation, which will be followed by a quick summary.
DM – direct message (typically on a social media platform)
RT – retweet (Twitter)
TBH – to be honest.
IRL – in real life. As opposed to online.
NSFW – not safe for work. If someone sends you or tags you in a video with this acronym, for the love of all things good, do not open it with other people around.
JSYK – just so you know. Because FYI was too lame, I guess.
FML – f*ck my life. Everything is terrible. Possibly I was arrested or else I dropped my ice cream. I’m very dramatic.
OTL – this one actually isn’t an acronym, but I’m including it just to make things complicated. This is used somewhat synonymously with FML – it is used to show frustration or disappointment. If you look at it as an image instead of letters, you’ll see a person banging their head on the floor (the O is the head, the T the arms and back, and the L the legs and feet). Again with the drama.
HMU – hit me up. For example, “HMU for a coffee later this week”.
WTF/WTH – what the f*ck/h*ll
AF – as f*ck. This is used as a really vague but effective qualifier – “I’m old AF”. Which is…pretty old, I guess.
TTYL – talk to you later
ICYMI – in case you missed it
IDGAF – I don’t give a f*ck (suuuure you don’t).
MIRL – me in real life
TIL – today I learned.
YOLO – you only live once. And, often, that life is often spent doing very, very stupid things.
Now it’s test time
Let’s see how much you have learned. Read “BRB gone to get a slurpee, JSYK. DAE want?” again. Got it this time?
This is by no means a complete list, but it sure is a start. What’s an internet slang abbreviation that confuses you?