Email, Messaging, & Video Calls Texting & Messaging 438 438 people found this article helpful Glossary of Common Texting Abbreviations and Web Jargon A dictionary of modern text message terms by Paul Gil Writer Paul Gil, a former Lifewire writer who is also known for his dynamic internet and database courses and has been active in technology fields for over two decades. our editorial process Paul Gil Updated on March 20, 2020 Texting & Messaging Email Texting & Messaging Video Calls Tweet Share Email Today, it's all about the handheld internet. Our messages need to be short and thumb-friendly for typing. Messages also need to pack in meaningful information along with the baseline ingredients of courtesy and etiquette. Hundreds of bizarre jargon expressions have spawned as a result. Primarily about shorthand, the new jargon saves keystrokes to say THNX or TY (thank you) and YW (you're welcome). The new jargon also conveys spontaneous emotion and personal expressions (O RLY, FML, ISTG, OMG, YWA, OFC). Here's a list of common modern text message and chat expressions. These expressions may be typed lowercase or uppercase as a matter of personal style. 01 of 36 HMU Olga Lebedeva / Shutterstock HMU means Hit Me Up This acronym is used to say, "Contact me" or otherwise "Reach me to follow up on this." It's a modern shorthand way to invite a person to communicate with you further. Example User 1: I could use some advice on buying an iPhone versus buying an Android phone. User 2: Hmm, I read a great article on comparing those two exact phones. I have the link somewhere. User 1: Perfect, HMU! Send that link when you can! 02 of 36 FTW Nednapa Chumjumpa / EyeEm / Getty Images FTW means For the Win FTW is an internet expression of enthusiasm. While there were nastier meanings in previous years, FTW today commonly stands for For the Win. It expresses enthusiasm. FTW is the same as saying, "This is the best" or "This item will make a big difference; I recommend using it!" Example Anti-lock braking, ftw!Spellchecker, ftw!Low-carb diets, ftw In decades past, FTW had a much harsher meaning. 03 of 36 OMG (AMG) Jacquie Boyd / Getty Images OMG means Oh My God! An alternate is AMG, which means Ah, My God! OMG, just like O Gawd is a common expression for shock or surprise. Example User 1: OMG! My cat just walked across my keyboard and launched my email! User 2: LOLZ! Maybe kitty is checking on his eBay bids! ROFLMAO! 04 of 36 WTF West / Getty Images WTF means What the &$#!? This is a blunt expression of shock and concerned confusion. Somewhat like OMG, WTF is used when an alarming event occurs, or some unexpected and disturbing news was conveyed. 05 of 36 WBU Barwick / Getty Images WBU means What About You? This expression is used in personal conversations where the two parties are well acquainted. This expression is commonly used to ask for the other person's opinion or to check for their comfort level with the situation. 06 of 36 PROPS Barraud / Getty Images PROPS means Proper Respect and Acknowledgement Props is a jargon way to say proper recognition or proper respect due. Props is commonly used with the prepositional phrase "to (someone)." As a stylish way to acknowledge someone's skill or achievement, props has become quite common in modern text and email conversations. Example User 1: Props to Suresh! That presentation he gave was really good. User 2: Mhm, big props to Suresh, for sure. He blew away all the other presenters at the conference. He put lots of work into that, and it really showed this weekend. 07 of 36 IDC Andrew Rich / Getty Images IDC means I Don't Care Use IDC when you're trying to make a decision with your messaging friend, and you are open to multiple options. While IDC is largely an emotionless term, it can sometimes convey a negative attitude. It's best to use this expression with friends and not new acquaintances. Example User 1: We can meet at the mall first, then head to the movie in one car, or we all meet in front of the movie ticket box. Wut would you like? User 2: IDC, you pick. 08 of 36 W/E Daryl Rubio / EyeEm / Getty Images W/E means Whatever W/E is a dismissive and passive-aggressive expression, often used as a rude way to diminish someone's comment. It is a way of saying, "I'm not interested in arguing this point anymore," or "I disagree, but I don't care enough to make an issue of it." Like most things passive-aggressive, this expression is a form of sugar-coated hostility. 09 of 36 NSFW Dimitri Otis / Getty Images NSFW means Not Safe for Work Viewing It is used to warn the recipient to not open the message at the office or near young children because the message contains sexual or repulsive content. Commonly, NSFW is used when someone forwards lewd jokes or crude videos to their friends. Considering that millions of people read their personal email at work, the NSFW warning is helpful in saving people potential embarrassment with their coworkers or supervisor. 10 of 36 RTFM Fox Pictures / Getty Images RTFM means Read the &@#$%^! Manual This is a harsh and impatient response that says, "Your question could easily be answered by basic working knowledge or by reading the documented instructions." You will see RTFM used in discussion forums, online gaming, and in office email conversations. In almost all cases, the usage will be from a mean-spirited veteran who is mocking someone for asking a basic question. In some cases, however, the person in question will deserve the hostility if their question is so basic that it demonstrates incompetence. 11 of 36 TTT Nathan Griffith / Getty Images TTT means To the Top (also known as Bump) This abbreviation is used to push an aging conversation thread to the top of the recent list. This promotes a conversation before it gets forgotten. 12 of 36 WB Edwards / Getty Images WB means Welcome Back This pleasant expression is common in online communities (for example, MMO gaming), or in regular IM conversations at people's work desks. When a person types back to announce their return to the computer or phone, the other party types WB to greet the person. 13 of 36 SMH Usmani / Getty Images SMH means Shaking My Head SMH is used to show disbelief at someone's stupidity or bad decision. It's a way to pass judgment on other people's actions. 14 of 36 BISLY DigitalVision / Image Source / Getty Images BISLY means But I Still Love You This slang acronym is used as playful affection, often during online arguments or debates. It can be used to mean: No hard feelings.We're still friends.I don't like what you just said, but I won't hold it against you. BISLY is commonly used between people who are familiar with each other. 15 of 36 TYVM Lorenz-Palma / Getty Images TYVM means Thank You Very Much An alternate is TY, which means Thank You. This is a form of common courtesy, shortened to four letters. 16 of 36 GTG Skelley / Getty Images GTG means Good to Go An alternate is GTG, which means I've Got to Go. GTG is a way of saying, "I'm ready" or "We're ready." It is common when messaging to organize a group event, and everything is in order. Example User 1: Did you get the buns and soda pop for the picnic? User 2: Just need the buns and then GTG. 17 of 36 LOL (LOLZ, LAWLZ) bgblue / Getty Images LOL means Laughing Out Loud Alternates are: LOLZ, which means Laughing Out Loud.LAWLZ, which means Laughing Out Loud (in leetspeak spelling).PMSL, which means &$#@%^! Myself Laughing. Just like ROFL, LOL is used to express spontaneous humor and laughter. It is perhaps the most common text message expression in usage today. You will also see variations like LOLZ (a version of LOL), ROFL (Rolling on Floor Laughing), and ROFLMAO (Rolling on Floor, Laugh My &#! Off). In the United Kingdom, PMSL is also a popular version of LOL. LOL and LOLZ are often spelled all uppercase, but can also be spelled "lol" or "lolz." Both versions mean the same thing. Just be careful not to type entire sentences in uppercase, as that is considered rude shouting. 18 of 36 BRB Memebase.com BRB means Be Right Back This is a sister expression to bio and afk. BRB means that you need to leave the phone or computer for a few minutes but will return quickly. BRB is often combined with some kind of quick description of why you are stepping away, for example: BRB doorbell.brb dog needs to go out.brb bio.BRB kids made a mess.BRB - stove is dinging.brb someone is on the other line. 19 of 36 OATUS Vedfelt / Getty Images OATUS means On a Totally Unrelated Subject This is internet shorthand for changing the topic of conversation. OATUS is commonly used in online chatting, where a current conversation topic has been evolving for several minutes, but you wish to change the direction of the conversation on a whim, often because something just occurred to you. Example User 1: I don't care what Steve Jobs says, Apple is hardware-locking us *and* they refuse to acknowledge that we want to have Flash and USB ports. User 2: Yeah, but Apple still makes the best cellphones and tablets. And you can get hardware to give you USB ports. User 3: Guys, OATUS: I need some help with my Firefox. User 2: Is something wrong with your Firefox? User 3: Unsure. It keeps giving me an error message when I try to log into my Hotmail. 20 of 36 BBIAB Stock Colors / Getty Images BBIAB means Be Back in a Bit An alternate is BRB, which means Be Right Back. BBIAB is another way of saying AFK (away from keyboard). This is a polite expression that users employ to say they are moving away from their computers for a few minutes. In the context of a conversation, it is a polite way to say, "I won't be responding for a few minutes, as I'm indisposed." 21 of 36 ROFL (ROFLMAO) Pierre / Getty Images ROFL means Rolling on Floor, Laughing ROFL is the common acronym jargon expression for laughter. It stands for Rolling on Floor, Laughing. You'll also see variations like LOL (Laughing Out Loud) and ROFLMAO (Rolling on Floor, Laugh My &#! Off). 22 of 36 WTB (WTT) Jamie Grill / Getty Images WTB means Want to Buy An alternate is WTT, which means Want to Trade. This is a joking expression, commonly used to jibe or tease someone. "WTB non-lazy office workers" is a joking way to tell colleagues that they are slackers. "WTB a life" is a self-effacing way to say, "I'm unhappy." 23 of 36 O RLY Chris Montcalmo / Getty Images O RLY means Oh, Really? O RLY is a slang response to express sarcastic doubt, dismay, or incredulity to another online user. Use this expression when someone else makes a questionable statement or false claim, and you wish to make a snarky response to their obvious mistruth. Similar expressions to O RLY are NO WAI! (no way!) and YA RLY (yeah, really). O RLY is often spelled all uppercase, but can be also spelled "O Rly" or "o rly." All versions mean the same thing. Just be careful not to type entire sentences in uppercase, as that is considered rude shouting. While the use of O RLY does have a humor element, it is inherently a negative expression. Be careful not to use this expression too often, lest you become known as an online troll (provoker of negative energy). Use this expression sparingly, and only when another online user makes a claim that is blatantly false or untrue, and you can easily prove so. 24 of 36 RL GCShutter / Getty Images RL means Real Life An alternate is IRL, which means In Real Life. RL and IRL are used to reference one's life outside of the conversation. For computer chat and email, RL refers to life away from the computer, and this expression adds a humorous flavor to the description. 25 of 36 NVM id-work / Getty Images NVM means Never Mind An alternate is NM, which means Never Mind. This acronym is used to say, "Please disregard my last question or comment," commonly because the user found the answer seconds after posting the original question. Example User 1: Hey, how do I change my phone to show your photo when you call? User 2: Did you look in the contact list settings? User 1: nvm, I found it! It was on the last screen! 26 of 36 BFF Fuse / Getty Images BFF means Best Friends, Forever BFF is a form of written digital affection in the 21st century. BFF is commonly used as an adolescent expression by tween-age girls to express camaraderie. BFF is also used by males to make fun of this primarily-female expression. This expression is used both in uppercase or lowercase format when typed in an email or instant message. BFF has multiple related abbreviations: BF (Boyfriend)GF (Girlfriend) Other common abbreviations used in online messaging include: DW (Dear Wife)DS (Dear Son)DD (Dear Daughter)DH (Dear Husband)DB (Dear Brother) 27 of 36 IIRC Chris Ryan / Getty Images IIRC means If I Recall Correctly IIRC is used when answering a question that you are unsure of, or when you want to make a pointed suggestion where you are uncertain about the facts. Examples Wikileaks is about government whistleblowers, iirc.IIRC, you can't submit your taxes online without a special code you get in the post. 28 of 36 WRT Lovric / Getty Images WRT means With Respect to An alternate is IRT, which means In Regards To. WRT is used to make a reference to a specific topic under discussion. It is especially helpful when the conversation is moving in different directions, and the person wants to focus on one portion of the subject. 29 of 36 OTOH Bradbury / Getty Images OTOH means On the Other Hand OTOH is used when a person wants to list items on both sides of an argument. OTOH is often spelled all uppercase, but can be also spelled "otoh." All versions mean the same thing. Just be careful not to type entire sentences in uppercase, as that is considered rude shouting. Example User 1: I think you should buy that new i7 computer. Your current machine sucks. User 2: My wife would kill me if I spent 2 grand on a new computer. User 2: OTOH, she might like a faster machine in the house, if I can get her that interior design software to go with it. 30 of 36 ASL Pekic / Getty Images ASL is a question that asks your age, sex, and location ASL is an abrupt question that is common in online chat environments. It is how regular users try to bluntly identify if you are a man or woman and if you are in their age range. A/S/L is often spelled as lowercase "a/s/l" or "asl" for ease of typing. The uppercase and lowercase versions mean the same thing. There is a significant subtext when someone asks, "ASL?" 31 of 36 WUT Compassionate Eye Foundation / David Oxberry / Getty Images WUT means what WUT is the modern jargon spelling for "what." In the same way that you would use "what" in daily conversation, WUT can replace it for informal text messaging and chat. You can use WUT as a question, or as the subject of phrase action. Yes, this word makes English teachers cringe. Examples wut is wrong with u? u dont return my calls.wut do u wanna do tonite?i dont know wuts up with her. she's been like that all week.idc wut we do, as long as it involves food.wuts up shawty? 32 of 36 IMHO (IMO) Paul Morigi / Getty Images IMHO means In My Humble Opinion Alternates are JMHO, which means Just My Humble Opinion.IMO, which means In My Opinion. IMHO is used to demonstrate humility while simultaneously making a suggestion or posing an argument in an online conversation. IMHO is also spelled in all lowercase as "imho." Examples IMHO, you should get the smaller car in silver instead of red.A lot of people think she's a flake, but IMHO, Lady Gaga is a very talented performer who delivers a catchy product. 33 of 36 PMFJI PeopleImages / Getty Images PMFJI means Pardon Me for Jumping in An alternate is PMJI, which means Pardon My Jumping In. This is the internet shorthand for politely entering a conversation. PMFJI is commonly used when you are in a common chat channel with several people, and you wish to politely add to a conversation that started taking place without you. PMFJI can be spelled in all lowercase or all uppercase; both versions mean the same thing. Just be careful not to type entire sentences in all uppercase, lest you be accused of shouting online. 34 of 36 YMMV Baldwin / Getty Images YMMV means Your Mileage May Vary This expression is used to say, "The results are different for everyone." 35 of 36 MEGO Pelaez / Getty Images MEGO means My Eyes Glaze Over It is a jargon way of saying, "This is really boring" or "This is way too technical for anyone to really care." Example User 1: No, because the game uses a two-roll system, the crit rating does factor with hit rating on an (X + Y)*% uptime basis. You will need to divide that over the entire time of combat, allowing for the proc per minute average of 6 seconds every 60 seconds. User 2: Oh, man. MEGO! User 3: ROFL! MEGO is right! 36 of 36 Crickets Science Photo Library / Getty Images Crickets is a stylistic way to say, "why is no one responding to me here in chat?" Use this expression when you are in a game chat or an online forum, and you've asked a question but haven't heard a response. Example User 1: Hey, I could use help. I don't know where to go to turn this quest in near the Stormheim flight path (silence for 3 minutes) User 1: *crickets* User 2: Sorry, wasn't reading guild chat. I think you turn that in back in Dalaran, not in Stormheim.