More than 23 billion text messages are sent every day, and many of them likely include at least some form of a text shortcut, acronym, or Internet slang. Here are 38 slang terms and shortcuts you need to know – an Internet slang dictionary, if you will.
Popular Text Shortcuts/Acronyms and Definitions
1. AFK means Away From Keyboard
“Sorry about not messaging you back right away. I was AFK having lunch.”
2. ASL means Age, Sex, Location
You would ask “ASL” if you were meeting someone, for example, in an online chat room and did not know them in person.
3. BRB means Be Right Back
“BRB. I need to tend to my baby now.”
4. DW means Don’t Worry
“DW about it – you are going to do great tomorrow!”
5. FTFY means Fixed That For You
If someone were to say “House of Cards is the best political show of all time.” You could respond and say, “West Wing is the best political show of all time. FTFY.”
6. FWIW means For What It’s Worth
“FWIW, the PlayStation 5 has significantly better games than the Xbox Series X.”
7. GG means Good Game
“GG, you almost had me at the very end!”
8. GLHF means Good Luck, Have Fun
GLHF is traditional gamer lingo, typically used at the beginning of any sort of eSports or competitive game. “Let’s get the game started. Everyone GLHF.”
9. GOAT means Greatest Of All Time
“Michael Jordan is the best basketball player to ever step foot on the court. There is NO question he’s the GOAT.”
10. HBU means How About You
If someone were to ask how you are doing, you would respond: “I’m doing okay after leaving the hospital last week, HBU?”
11. HMU means Hit Me Up
“HMU when you get home if you want to hang out.”
12. HODL means Hold On For Dear Life
Popularized by cryptocurrency fans, it’s generally referred to as continued holding on, even when an asset is dropping in share price. “My crypto strategy is HODL.”
13. IDGI means I Don’t Get It
“IDGI, my mom said I cannot go out on Friday night because my aunt is coming over.”
14. LMK means Let Me Know
“LMK what you want to do this weekend. I’m thinking shopping and dinner.”
15. IMY means I Miss You
“Hey, IMY. We haven’t seen each other since last month.”
16. IYKYK means If You Know You Know
“Our first date was incredible; I can’t wait to see him again. IYKYK.”
17. NGL means Not Gonna Lie
“I’m NGL. I’m really nervous about tomorrow’s history test.”
18. NSFW means Not Safe For Work
“Hey dude, just sent you an email but open it later, as it’s definitely NSFW.”
19. RNG means Random Number Generator
RNG is usually something that is associated with giveaways. Using a random number generator ensures any giveaway or contest has a fairly chosen winner.
20. SMH means Shaking My Head
“I can’t believe you said that in class. I’m still SMH.”
21. TBH means To Be Honest
“I really don’t feel like studying tonight, TBH, how about tomorrow?”
22. TLDR means Too Long Didn’t Read
TLDR: This article is all about popular text shortcuts and Internet slang.
23. TFW means That Feeling When
“TFW you are about to take a test and forgot to study.”
24. WYD means What You Doing
“WYD, you want to hang out?”
25. YOLO means You Only Live Once
“Just ate a whole carton of ice cream because YOLO.”
Internet Slang and Meanings
26. Bae (Bay)
This is a term of endearment for a significant other. “Bae and I are off to Costa Rica on vacation!!”
27. Cheugy (Chew-Gee)
This Gen-Z term is largely a result of TikTok. It describes anyone who is not cool, trendy or trying too hard. “This person still wears a jeans jacket. How Cheugy.”
This compares to bragging about your accomplishments or valuables. “Michael just got a brand new Mercedes, and he’s posting it all over Instagram. He’s definitely flexing that new job.”
Generally refers to someone who never responds to any future texts or calls. “We went out last Saturday and he has ghosted me ever since.”
Said to describe someone who is intoxicated. “Sorry about what I said last night. I was lit and not thinking clearly.”
31. OP (Original Poster)
This is an acronym popularized by Reddit, which made it easy to refer to the person who originally posted a question. For example: “OP, please give us an update when you get home from your blind date.”
A term that means someone who is subservient to someone else. “That boy is a simp. He’s doing everything for her, and she won’t even give him the time of day.”
While not necessarily a new term, your “squad” is your close group of friends or family. “Me and the squad are heading downtown to grab something to eat.”
A “stan” is a devoted fan of a person/celebrity/musician, etc. If a musician came out with a new album and you loved it, you would say “The Weeknd’s new album is incredible. I’m a stan.”
35. SUS (Suspicious or Suspect)
Someone or something is acting or being suspicious. “That’s sus” or “You’re acting sus.”
Tea is all about exchanging gossip. “Did you hear the latest tea about tonight’s The Bachelor rose ceremony?”
This influential cultural term often relates to someone who is able to express an opinion on a politically charged topic like racial or social justice. “We need to stay ‘woke’ about what is happening around the country with Black Lives Matter.”
Yeet is generally used as an enthusiastic feeling, something more than just “YES!” For example: “I just passed my midterm with a 95 out of 100! YEET!”
Where to Find Definitions
Texting acronyms and Internet slang move fast, so it’s important that you know where to go to find what these words mean and how to properly use them.
- Urban Dictionary is arguably the best place to go if you have questions about Internet slang and acronyms. They include everything from definitions and how to use words properly to audio playback of how to pronounce.
- 7esl.com is a great resource to keep up with the latest Internet slang trends. The site focuses on lists for both slang and text abbreviations, but clicking on any such language will provide you with a solid level of detail, including origin, meaning, conversation examples, etc.
- Cyber Definitions is an urban dictionary-type site that focuses on “cyber speak” to help you up with the latest online slang. It will show you definitions, a summary, and who might use this term, as well as how to use it in a sentence.
- Online Slang Dictionary is a little more bare-bones than some of the other slang dictionaries, but it’s helpful all the same. New words are added frequently, and there’s a running list so that you can see new additions. You can find definitions and how to use slang in a sentence but not much else.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are these all of the slang terms I need to know?
Definitely not. There are thousands of slang terms and text abbreviations worth knowing. This represents a portion of some of today’s most popular acronyms and definitions. Tomorrow, something new could spread across the Internet like wildfire. A good way to keep up to date with these slangs and acronyms is to get on TikTok.
2. Do I need to use these acronyms in every text message?
Of course not. You should use the words you are familiar and comfortable with. At this point, it feels like “LOL” is just part of everyday conversation, so start with the basics and move on from there.
3. How do these words become popular and part of mainstream use?
Like any other trend, a few people start using the slang, and this spreads to more people, then a larger group of people and so on. It may sound easy for a word to start trending, but it’s really something people need to fill a gap. “Cheugy,” for example, doesn’t sound like a word that would quickly go viral, but it did because it’s unusual yet catchy at the same time.
Hopefully, having read this article, you feel more in touch with informal terms people are using today. While it feels like many new words are originating on TikTok, some of these slang terms have been around for much longer. Text abbreviations popped up as soon as the world moved from pagers to SMS, and that was great news for texting on phones long before they had full keyboards. T9 anyone? If you’re looking for more ways to speed up texting, read on to learn how to set up custom text shortcuts on Android.