Top 100 Text Abbreviations to Save Time [Updated 2023]

Do you know your LMK from your IDK or even your IDC? Texting abbreviations are so prevalent these days that they seem to be a language all of their own. There are probably enough of them in existence to fill a dictionary!

Although you'll be acquainted with some texting lingo, you're not alone if you've seen a few acronyms that baffle you.

In this article, we've listed the top 100 text abbreviations that are most commonly used, along with their meaning. Use these to save time talking to friends and family. There's also a specific list of texting abbreviations for business text messages. But first, here's an explainer of the basics...

What are texting abbreviations?

Text abbreviations are simply shortened versions of a word or phrase. They're often used in text messages where space for getting your message across is limited.

(You only have 160 characters to play with in a text message – any more and you'll end up sending multiple texts. And depending on your mobile texting plan, you may pay per text message. So going over the character limit even by a few words will cost you double.)

Depending on how old you are, you might remember the early days of texting, before predictive text became a thing. Finding a particular letter on a mobile phone keypad was somewhat tedious; you'd often have to tap a button numerous times to get to the correct letter to spell out a word. Hence, mobile phone users began to use text abbreviations.

Nowadays, it's much easier to type out a text message on a smartphone keyboard. But texting abbreviations are more widely used than ever before. And not just by younger generations that use text slang day in and day out. Two-thirds of adults use text abbreviations (and seven out of ten use acronyms in email as well).

Text abbreviations are helpful for anyone who needs to be succinct when communicating through text messages. Businesses should also be using them now and then, when appropriate, to stay relevant.

Using text abbreviations can help you fit more content into your text message and save you time, as you don't need to type every word out in full. At the very least, it's essential to know what some of the most popular text abbreviations mean so that you can respond in the right way.

Text abbreviations example

The most common texting abbreviations

You'll probably have come across many of these text abbreviations before... even if you're not quite sure what they mean. Once you get the hang of them, they can be quite the time saver when you're chatting to friends and family via text messaging.

1. LOL – laughing out loud

2. OMG – oh my god (or oh my gosh)

3. IMO – in my opinion

4. IMHO – in my humble opinion (or in my honest opinion)

5. BTW – by the way

6. IDK – I don't know

7. LMK – let me know

8. TBH – to be honest

9. TGIF – thank goodness it's Friday

10. ROFL – rolling on floor laughing

11. BRB – be right back

12. BBL – be back later

13. TTYL –talk to you later

14. THX – thanks

15. TY – thank you

16. YW – you're welcome

17. ASAP – as soon as possible

18. POV – point of view

19. NBD – no big deal

20. OMW – on my way

21. DIY – do it yourself

22. AKA – also known as

23. SMS – short message service

24. OATUS – on a totally unrelated subject

25. ICYMI – in case you missed it

26. STFU – shut the **** up

27. BF – boyfriend

28. GF – girlfriend

29. SO – significant other

30. ILY – I love you

31. YOLO – you only live once

32. B4 – before

33. IRL – in real life

34. TMI – too much information

35. ATM – at the moment

36. BFF – best friends forever

37. BYOB – bring your own beer

38. CU – see you

39. UR – you are

40. FYI – for your information

41. FOMO –fear of missing out

42. GR8 – great

43. SMH – shaking my head

44. L8R – later

45. JMO – just my opinion

46. NVM – never mind

47. GL – good luck

48. FWIW – for what it's worth

49. GBU – god bless you

50. IMNSHO – in my not so humble opinion

51. RN – right now

52. TLDR – too long, didn't read

53. QOTD – quote of the day

54. TBF – to be frank

55. DKDC – don't know, don't care

56. IDC – I don't care

57. K – okay

58. 2NITE – tonight

59. CWOT – complete waste of time

60. LMAO – laughing my a** off

61. MU – miss you

62. SSDD – same stuff, different day

63. XOXO – hugs and kisses

64. NE1 – anyone

65. OTT – over the top

66. PLZ – please

67. DM – direct message

68. RUOK – are you okay?

69. SPK – speak

70. SRY – sorry

71. SUP – what's up?

72. TTFN – ta ta for now

73. VN – very nice

74. WTF – what the ****

75. Y? – why?

76. JK – just kidding

77. BC – because

Texting abbreviations example

The top text abbreviations used in business text messages

These text abbreviations below are those you're more likely to use in a business setting when you're communicating with colleagues and customers. (There are a few in the above list too, such as DM, THX, TY, ASAP and POV).

78. TBC – to be confirmed

79. TBA – to be announced

80. TBD – to be determined

81. FAQ – frequently asked questions

82. N/A – not applicable

83. TIA – thanks in advance

84. OOO – out of office

85. T&C – terms and conditions

86. NP – no problem

87. EOD – end of day

88. ETA – estimated time of arrival

89. EMBM – early morning business meeting

90. CTA – call to action

91. ROI – return on investment

92. VFM – value for money

93. CTR – click-through rate

94. B2B – business to business

95. B2C – business to consumer

96. BOGOF – buy one get one free

97. FF – follow Friday

98. OTP – one time password

99. HTH – hope this helps

100. WFH – work from home 

Using text abbreviations in a business text message

It's perfectly acceptable to use certain text abbreviations in business and marketing messages, for brevity and relevance. Doing so can position your brand as one that's forward-thinking and modern. But bear in mind that too many texting abbreviations can make your text message content hard to read and look unprofessional.

The trick is to strike a balance. Use well-known text abbreviations wisely (and only a couple per text message), and you'll connect with your customers in a way they'll recognise and appreciate.

Text abbreviations can work brilliantly in the following situations:

  • If your brand identity and messaging are fun, quirky and modern.

  • If you know your audience is likely to understand your abbreviated text message content. (People age 34 and under are more likely to be familiar with most common text abbreviations, and an older audience may understand the mainstream ones, e.g., LOL, ASAP, FAQ and T&C.)

  • When you're sending out 'good news' promotional SMS messages, such as special offers, flash sales and product/service discounts. (Note: don't abbreviate gratitude in a business text message. It's important to say thank you the old fashioned way: plain and simple.)

  • When you have quite a bit to say in a text message and need to save on character space.

  • When communicating with co-workers and you're short on time.

Texting abbreviations for business

An education in texting abbreviations!

Hopefully, our list of the top 100 texting abbreviations will help you become a whizz in text slang and save time when texting. At the very least, you’ll have a rough idea of what people are talking about when you receive acronym-filled text messages!

Texting shouldn't be complicated, especially in business when you need to send out communications urgently and efficiently. If you're using SMS messages for business, browse the Messente blog for tons of helpful articles that'll help you get the best out of your SMS campaigns.

Taavi Rebane
2023-01-02 00:00:00 UTC