2023’s Most Used Internet Abbreviations

by | Last updated Dec 21, 2023 | English Learning

Explore common internet abbreviations and learn how to use them effectively in online conversations with this texting abbreviation guide.

In the realm of messengers and chat rooms, employing Internet abbreviations is as commonplace as encountering someone taking a selfie on the street. These concise and catchy shorthand expressions have evolved into a distinct language embraced by millennials and Generation Z.

Referred to by some as Internet slang, these abbreviations are predominantly utilized in casual conversations within specific social media groups. Unlike the localized nature of traditional slang in British English, American English, Australian English, and others, Internet abbreviations are universal and can be adopted by anyone who grasps the essence of a chat.

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What leads individuals to use abbreviations?

Constraints play a role in the adoption of abbreviations. The practice of shortening words has emerged due to the character limits imposed on messages and tweets. Initially restricted to 140 characters per tweet, with an additional 20 characters for a username until 2017, the limit has since doubled to 280 characters. Despite this increase, the habit of abbreviating persists as individuals seek to conserve effort and time, particularly when composing messages on the move.

Furthermore, the fast-paced nature of contemporary life contributes to the use of shorthand in texting. The need to convey more information in less space and time aligns with the accelerated pace of our daily activities.

Primarily, millennials were the pioneers who introduced and popularized the use of internet chat abbreviations. Condensed forms of common words, phrases, and even complete sentences have become integral to tweeting and instant messaging. Have you ever wondered about the meaning of “NTH” in text messaging and why people don’t simply say “Nice to have!”?

Certainly, one can enter a chat and use the complete expressions like “Talk to you later” or “Oh my God” instead of the abbreviated forms “TTYL” or “OMG.” Twitter won’t crash, and fellow chat participants won’t respond negatively. However, over time, you may find yourself using the abbreviated versions to keep pace with others.

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Expressing emotions and feelings

ADIH – Another day in hell

IDC – I don’t care

ZZZ – Sleeping, bored, tired

WYWH – Wish you were here

TFW – That feeling when. TFW internet slang often goes in a caption to an image.

MFW – My face when

MRW – My reaction when

IFYP – I feel your pain

LOL – Laughing out loud

JK – Just kidding

IDC – I don’t care

ILY – I love you

TIME – Tears in my eyes

BAE – Before anyone else

You can use it referring to a person who you care for the most. E.g. Me and my BAE have just watched another episode of Game of Thrones!

SSDD – Same stuff, different day

QQ – Crying

I find the inception of the QQ abbreviation quite astonishing. Initially, as per the Urban Dictionary, QQ was coined to signify quitting the Warcraft II game using the hotkey Alt+QQ. Consequently, when a player began complaining, fellow gamers would suggest they “QQ.” This association soon extended to depicting crying eyes and became a commonly used expression in text messages and tweets.

BWL – Bursting with laughter

LMAO – Laughing my a** off

BFF: Best friends forever

BSAAW – Big smile and a wink

CSL – Can’t stop laughing

Expressing Opinion and Reaction

NTH – Nice to have. what does nth mean in texting messaging

POV – Point of View

TBH – To be honest

IMOIMHO – In my opinionIn my humble opinion

OMDB – Over my dead body

NTH – Nice to have. what does nth mean in texting messaging

POV – Point of View

TBH – To be honest

FTW – For the win

WTF – What the f***

Describing the reaction to something stupid, aggressive, hostile, unfair, etc.

SRSLY – Seriously

YGTR – You got that right

GMTA – Great minds think alike

AYMM – Are you my mother?

CWOT – Complete waste of time


AFAIK – As far as I know

AFAIR – As far as I remember

AFAIC – As far as I’m concerned

ASL – Age, sex, location

AAMOF – As a matter of fact

FWIW – For what it’s worth

YMMV – Your mileage may vary

IIRC – If I remember correctly

DM – Direct message

AFAICT – As far as I can tell

TL;DR – Too long; didn’t read

Attracting attention

EMBM – Early morning business meeting

J4F – Just for fun

JSYK – Just so you know

FAWC – For anyone who cares

IRL – In real life

TIL – Today I learned

RLRT – Real life retweet

OH – Overheard

WUZUP – What’s up?

CS – Career suicide

DWH – During work hours

Notifications, wishes, greetings, closings

B@U – Back at you

BBBG – Bye bye be good

BBIAS – Be back in a sec

RUOK – Are you OK?

CYT – See you tomorrow

DBMIB – Don’t bother me I’m busy

OMW – On my way

GRATZ – Congratulations

GL – Good luck

NFS – Not for sale

B4N – Bye for now

DM – Direct message

GFN – Gone for now

AFK – Away from keyboard

IDK – I don’t know

TTYL – Talk to you later

BRB – Be right back

W8 – Wait

Warning and recommendation

ICYMI – In case you missed it

JIC – Just in case

NAGI – Not a good idea

GOI – Get over it

RBTL – Read between the lines

AYOR – At your own risk

NSFW – Not safe for work

NSFL – Not safe for life

SFW – Safe for work

GRAS – Generally recognised as safe

NBD – Not big deal

OC – Original content

4AO – For adults only

OP – Original poster

PPL – People

DIY – Do it yourself

E123 – Easy as one, two, three

GAHOY – Get a hold of yourself

Asking for a favor or advice

PRT – Please retweet

PTB – Please text back

TIA – Thanks in advance

TMB – Tweet me back

WTPA – Where the party at?

DAE – Does anyone else?

BUMP – Bring up my post

You can easily locate an extensive compilation of internet abbreviations and truncated words online. Nevertheless, armed with these illustrations, you’ll have sufficient preparation to engage in a conversation in a public chat. Prior to incorporating any text abbreviations from our list, take a moment to review the chat history. If you observe that only response acronyms like “lol” or “omg,” or graphical symbols such as 🙂 and 🙁 dominate the conversation, it’s advisable to avoid excessive use of unfamiliar abbreviations.

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