What Does IYKWIM Mean?

This long acronym represents a popular phrase

A graphic of a text message that says IYKWIM on an iPhone.

Lifewire

One of the longest acronyms known to the internet slang world is "IYKWIM." With six letters in total, this one can be difficult to decipher. Here's what IYKWIM means and how it's used, along with a few examples.

What Is IYKWIM?

"IYKWIM" is an acronym that stands for, "If you know what I mean." You've likely heard this popular phrase used in many everyday, face-to-face conversations.

How IYKWIM Is Used

IYKWIM is used in the digital world similarly to how it's used in the real world. People often tack it onto the end of an already complete sentence to hint at some deeper meaning or unsaid message behind what was previously said. That message could be anything, but many people use it to allude to things that are inappropriate or sexually suggestive.

When the phrase is spoken out loud, the speaker might pause briefly after the previous sentence before saying it, perhaps using their tone of voice to emphasize what they're alluding to or even manipulating their facial expression (such as by raising their eyebrows, smiling, or winking). When used in acronym form online or in text messages, however, the messenger has to do more work to make up for the lack of face-to-face expression. Emojis placed after the acronym, such as the smirking face emoji, can bring a little more emotional expression to the message.

It's a common trend to end a sentence with an ellipsis (...) before typing IYKWIM. This can help create a brief pause between the previous sentence and the acronym.

There are no rules about using this acronym, so you might come across it directly after a sentence with no additional punctuation or emojis at all. Its use simply depends on the messenger's online/text conversation style.

Examples of IYKWIM in Use

Here are some examples of IYKWIM in everyday use online.

Example 1

Friend #1: "I'd love to get our English prof to give me private tutoring lessons IYKWIM."

Friend #2: "Ha! Maybe in your dreams..."

In this first example, IYKWIM is used directly after a previous sentence. Friend #1 uses it to allude to a crush they have on their English professor.

Example 2

Friend #1: "Hey, want to go out for lunch?"

Friend #2: "Sure but I just ate, so I've got to wait a bit to make some room... IYKWIM."

This second example shows how IYKWIM can be used after an ellipsis to help create a brief pause at the end of the previous sentence. Friend #2 uses it to hint that they need to let their digestive system do some work before they can eat again.

Example 3

Friend #1: "Thanks for showing me all your super cool dance moves last night!"

Friend #2: "Anytime. There's a lot more where that came from IYKWIM ;)"

In this last example, a comma helps to separate a comment from the IYKWIM acronym. An emoticon is also used for added expression. Friend #2 is probably trying to flirt with or be extra friendly with Friend #1.

Using IYKWIM With AITYD

In some cases, IYKWIM might be accompanied by another acronym. "AITYD" stands for the phrase, "And I know that you do." It's an add-on to IYKWIM that follows directly after it.

AITYD is used to confirm that the recipient easily understands the hidden message behind the original words. It's an appropriate acronym to use after IYKWIM if you're very good friends with the recipient or simply know them well enough to predict their thought process.