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.
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
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.
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.