Top 50 Twitter Acronyms, Abbreviations and Initialisms

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This past January,  I wrote up the “Top 15 Twitter acronyms” for @pistachio‘s Touchbase blog. As readers rightly pointed out, many were abbreviations or initialisms — hence the title for this post. I followed that up with a “Top 10 NSFW Twitter Abbreviations.” This list combines the two and includes some key additions, like HT, RE and FML. If you have others you think I missed, add ‘em in the comments.

@
Reply to [username]

AFAIK
As Far as I Know

b/c
Because

BFN
Bye For now

BR
Best Regards

BTW
By the Way

DM
Direct Message. d username sends one.

EM
Email

FB
Facebook

FF
Usually #FF for Follow Friday. #FollowFriday is supposed to work better than it does. If you #FF someone, take the characters to explain why.

FFS
For F–k’s Sake

FML
F–k My Life

FTF
Face To Face. Also, F2F. Or the Fair Trade Federation. Many other options.

FTL
For The Loss

FTW
For The Win

FWD
Forward

FWIW
For What It’s Worth

HT
Hat tip

HTH
Hope That Helps

IMHO
In My Humble Opinion

IMO
In My Opinion

IRL
In Real Life

JV
Joint Venture

J/K
Just Kidding

LI
LinkedIn

LMAO
Laughing My Ass Off

LMK
Let Me Know

LOL
Laughing Out Loud

MT
Modified Tweet

NSFW
Not Safe For Work

OH
Overheard

OMFG
Oh My F–king God

OMG
Oh My God

PRT
Partial Retweet (at the start of a tweet). Sometimes “Please Retweet” Old School: Party

RE
In reply to. As in, use RE for @replies on Twitter. Used in front of the @ to ensure all followers can see the conversation. Further ontext: “Community, @replies, #fixreplies and Change

RR
Re-Run

RT
Retweet

RTF
Read The FAQ. RTFF shows up too. RTF also stands for Rich Text File.

RTFM
Read The F-ing Manual

RTHX
Thanks For The ReTweet

SNAFU
Situation Normal All F–ked Up

SOB
Son Of a Bitch

STFU
Shut The F–k Up

TMB
Tweet Me Back

TMI
Too Much Information

via
My one cheat: “via” is not an abbreviation or acronym. It simply means that a tweet is from @username, though in some cases it may mean that it’s also an exact retweet. Tricky, this online user-defined lingo and twitribution is.

WTF
What The F–k

WTH
What The Hell

YMMV
Your Mileage May Vary

YW
You’re Welcome

BONUS:

Since this list was first published, some of these have become more popular and others have emerged. RT is still – by far – the most frequent acronym. New additions are added below, along with many suggestions in the comments.

TIL
Today I learned.

NB
Nota Bene. Make sure to read the comments, where there are many great additions.

ICYMI
In Case You Missed IT [HT @BrianStelter]

Update: Justin Kownacki thinks we should stop saying “in case you missed it” on Twitter. (That includes ICYMI, too.) I agree.

CX
Correction

RTQ
Read The Question or Retweet Question

STFW
Search The F —ing Web

TL
Timeline

TL;DR
Too long; Didn’t Read.

TT
Translated Tweet.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

RLRT: Real Life Retweet. To repeat on Twitter what someone said in person.

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131 Comments

Filed under blogging, social media, technology, Twitter

131 responses to “Top 50 Twitter Acronyms, Abbreviations and Initialisms

  1. katebull

    Well this is an interesting post. OMG, AFAIK FWIW I generally try and use ummmm words b/c I can & IMHO IRL, most people do like the fuller word versions. This post did make me LMAO tho.

    BFN,
    BR,
    Katie

    Oh & BTW, HTH. ;-)

  2. Michael

    You forgot a word in the explanation of RTFM…

    (As you might guess, I can’t say the word… But, under precedent established above, you’d write F–king in its place, no?)

    :-)

  3. Navre

    IIRC ~~If I remember correctly.

    I see that used fairly often.

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  6. DFitzgerald

    OMW – Oh, My word

  7. Another one that nobody has added is the use of the number 4 to mean “for”. :-)

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  9. Thanks for the information..nice collection :D

  10. TQ: as Thank you
    TQVM : Thank you very much
    TQRT : RT thanks
    CZ: cause
    BCZ: because

    great list by the way :)

  11. Very insightful and useful too

  12. This is not only works with Twitter. I also use some of them while SMS to my friend. Anyway, nice collection.

  13. Thanks!!! This definitely helps me out.

    I always used to hate acronyms when people would send them via text messages but it’s starting to become more mainstream…causing me to accept them. :-/

    Thanks for the resource!

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  15. Twitter is so inspiring it makes us think of new stuff all the time. Love live inspired Twitter abverbs.

  16. Just subing is that short for subscribing. LOL

  17. Tinwah

    great list! I just have two additions

    JFGI-Just F*%#ing Google It
    ORLY-oh really!

  18. Barry (heatfan96)

    SMH = Shaking My Head

  19. Someone said the other day in a tweet copied to me but the sentiment was directed chiefly to her; as an old-school Usenet buff I recognised it, but I wonder how many Tweeters would. “Grinning, ducking and running” (ie, I expect this comment to make you want to smack me, but in a light-hearted way).

  20. James Droegemeyer

    YGTR means you got that right

  21. tractorqueen

    I’ve got a whole lot that I use all the time. You know us kids… LOL

    4U2C- For you to see
    B4- Before
    BRB- Be Right Back
    GTG- Got To Go
    F-U (need not explain this)
    L8er- Later
    Ppl- People
    TTYL- Talk To You Later
    TTYS- Talk To You Soon
    Tmrw- Tomorrow
    W/ – With
    YT- YouTube

    I substitute ‘the’ with d, some ppl sub it w/ e.

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  23. Jeanette Marsh

    My current favourite as of yesterday is PMSL – Piss Myself Laughing. Thanks for the list – very useful :D

  24. You forgot IKR= I know right?, srsly= seriously. I’m so bookmarking this page. It’ll come in handy when my teenage nieces txt me.

  25. Awesome info! Thanks for compiling them in one spot.

  26. What in the heck does the # symbol mean in Twitter? I see this placed before keywords a lot. (I can’t find this answer online.)

    • The # is called a hashtag which confused me b/c that has always been a pound symbol. But anyway it is for trending topics or a trend u would like to start. The # makes it “searchable” so u can search 4 tweets that discuss various topics. Google “hashtag” for an even better explanation.

    • Basically, a hashtag is a way to make any word in a tweet a keyword or a channel. This idea was started by Twitterers and later incorporated into the Twitter code — they now automatically link to search results for any #hashtag in a tweet. It’s a great way to follow a conversation, conference, event, etc.

      Quora.com has some great threads re. hashtag usage. And here’s some info straight from the horse’s mouth:

      http://support.twitter.com/entries/49309-what-are-hashtags-symbols

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  28. im trying to find out what POW and LBS stand for

  29. Amazing, but TQ is Te Quiero (I love you) in spanish and TQM is Te Quiero Mucho (I love you so much). Be careful if your twitt is followed in hispanic communities. And whata a h. means #?

  30. mklprc

    You forgot a couple: RTFM can be stated as “read the fine manual.” A lot of fine work went into writing it so READ THE FINE MANUAL!

    MT – Modified Tweet (for when you must edit for space while retaining the meaning and credit). Created by @Shoq.

  31. storyclubgames

    FCO – For Crying Outloud…. One of my faves.

  32. Sylvia

    You forgot a treasured oldie that could easily still be used today.
    FUBAR
    F___ed Up Beyond All Repair.

  33. Jolynn

    I love your list here I think you should incorporate their abbreviations.
    I have some that I use

    bc = because
    w/o = without
    b/w = black and white, like in photo.
    FUBAR = Fraked Up Beyond All Recognition

    CAMEL BACK CODE TO SAVE SPACE LIKE
    (1st letter of every word a CAP)
    CamelBackCodeToSaveSpaceLike
    Thx = Thanks
    Pls = Please however others seem to use Plz.
    Abt = About
    thght = thought
    MB = maybe
    FFT = Food for thought
    FS = For Special
    RTFM = Read the fraking manual
    RTFP = Read the fine print
    w = with
    OTC = Over the counter drug or purchase.
    n giv = not given
    MOW = Meals on Wheels
    H2O = Water Element codes used here.
    AU = Gold
    AG = Silver

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  35. Ive seen pwn and ZOMG but I don’t know what they mean.

    • digiphile

      pwn is hacker slang for “own,” as in they’ve taken over a computer system. ZOMG is an alternate version of OMG, or oh my god.

      • The Prudent Patriot

        FTR / 4TR = For The Record…
        4COL/FCOL = For Cryin Out Loud
        F/U = Follow Up / F_cked Up
        S/U = Screwed Up / Shut Up!
        The last two depend on context, and detinitely different than FU! / SU! (Frick you! / Scr_w You!)

  36. comrade

    I have heard someone on TV say ROFL but I can’t find out what it means. HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

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  38. José

    Uh? And /cc ?
    Widely used in Twitter to “carbon copy” a tweet to another user

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  40. Michelle

    What does <3 mean?

  41. kelli

    SAHM stay at home mom

  42. Anonym

    <3 is a heart ;)

  43. Can anyone tell me what &gt mean used in a tweet?
    cheers!

  44. Great! Really helped me a lot! But what does }: mean? I’ve seen it a few times after a tweet.

    • mklprc

      }: is a variation of ):- which is a smiley meaning either a frown or a wry grin. :P is sticking out the tongue. =^_^= is a cat; some others work only in Twitter and apps where unicode is supported. There are tons of those. •^•

  45. nura

    what does smd stand for?

  46. Sunday Odubu

    Please, what’s the meaning of TGIF? Have always wanted the meaning to that.

  47. Theo lynn

    You missed OMLG – oh my lady ga ga

    As per urban dictionary http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=omlg

  48. ashwani

    what’s meant by :D :P

  49. =

    An equal sign declares that the author of the tweet has no vested interest in products or companies named in the tweet. It doesn’t require anyone with conflicting interest to disclose them (although they should) — they can simply leave the = off their tweet.

  50. ashley

    what does #NT mean?

  51. Karla

    what does tHnM stand for?

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  53. Antonio

    What does “>” mean at the end as in:

    John Doe singing on that commerial. >

    • Jacob

      It’s the greater than sign. As in “this > that” or in that case they are saying John Doe is just great, or greater than anything else

  54. Clinton

    What’s the meaning of mxm?

  55. Melinda Rooke

    TY for twitteri diction! May the birdies all fly and abound correctly!

  56. STE scroll to end
    STB scroll to bottom

  57. Linda

    What does pbst mean?

  58. WigglyWo

    FYI – for your information (probably fairly obvious these days)
    FYR – for your records
    FYA – for your action
    CYA – cover your a__$
    TBD – to be determined
    TBA – to be announced

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  62. Anil kumar

    Really ,really useful

  63. THBL…Throws Head Back Laughing
    FOCL…Falls Off Chair Laughing

  64. I prefer ILY===> I love you or IHY====> I hate you.

  65. Goonervin

    KOT~Kenyans on twitter

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  67. Oreo

    Ctfu = cracking the freak up
    Fwm = f*ck with me as in holla at me or chill with me sometime

  68. AR

    PNB Parents Near By

  69. scott

    twita..(thats what im talking about)……….gigo (got it going on )

  70. sohail

    mxm means Maximum

  71. yushy97

    My favorite one -> FISH – F-ck It, Sh-t Happens =D

  72. saw a tweet describing a Taurus as “&amp”. What does that mean

    • In some formats, when you put the “and” sign in as “&”… it converts to “&amp” automatically (and you say, WTF!?) So in those formats you can’t use the abbreviation, you do have to write out “and.”

  73. Reblogged this on EditorEtc LLC and commented:
    FWIW…

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  76. magaji

    Thanks I appreciate the post BR

  77. Sandy RN

    What does ;) mean? I saw a response “;);););)”
    “Q” ?
    an empty square?

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  79. Ms.Texas

    What the heck does & mean? I first saw it on instagram

    • Ms.Texas

      Hmm, I typed in an ampersand, which I know means “and”, followed by the letters amp and only the ampersand showed up in my comment. So I’m assuming it just means and and is some sport of glitch

      • Alex

        You figured it out. & — the ampersand – is a way of reducing “and” from 3 characters to 1. I use it all the time on Twitter.

  80. Mike

    How do you clear your throat on Twitter?

  81. mbstone

    Ack – Acknowledged
    AMPG – Above my pay grade
    BFM – Beats the F out of me
    BMT – Before my time
    BRG – Be ready to go in (number of minutes)
    Civ – Civilization
    FM – F’n Magic
    MFN – Middle of F’n nowhere (opposite of Civ)
    UTL – Unable to locate

  82. ksnair

    I learned some uses in tweets. Thanks

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  84. Spencer Jackson

    How did you quantify which we’re the most popular uses of acronyms and initialisms?

    • Alex

      Back in 2009, I did a search for each on Twitter and counted up the number of users over the course of a week. They’re not in any order.

  85. Great post! A little used new favorite of mine is: #news2share

  86. Oh thanks. I finally know what TL;DR means

  87. What should be my motto today: *JFDI* = Just F’ing Do It!

  88. John P Capizola Sr

    Thanks, I REALLY needed this! I’m 62 and just getting started on Twitter! LOL

  89. Pingback: Useful Info : Top 50 Twitter Acronyms, Abbreviations and Initialisms | Julia

  90. guest

    If you’re still saying lol in any communication at all, just stop it. It makes you look like an octogenarian trying to be “rad”. Irony intended.

  91. @Siboh_Nisoh

    Under twitter acronyms, what does OOMF and CO means?

    Please help

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  93. 100 Gleans from the list and replies above
    They both confirmed and added to those I knew before.
    Thank you all! I intended to use several of them in my activist/protest signs.

    Indiana’s Grim Reaper Persona
    greenenvscithr
    (It’s used to expose failure to extend ACA 2010 to ppl who make less than $11,490/year, an A.L.E.C. Agenda/KochBlock. GRP is also used to expose A.L.E.C. Judas Legislators who have turned IndieBama into a Koch-ALEC Plantation Con-Fed-A-Rat State.)

    About = Abt
    Above my pay grade = AMPG
    Acknowledge = Ack
    As Far As I’m Concerned = AFAIC
    Be Right Back = BRB
    Beats The F_ck Out Of Me = BFM
    Because = b/c
    Before = B4
    Bye the way = BTW
    Carbon Copy = CC
    Care Of = CO (context)
    Civilization = Civ
    Commanding Officer = CO (context)
    Cover Your Ass = CYA
    Cracking The Freak Up = CTFU, Ctfu
    F_ck It, Shit = FISH
    F_cked You = F-U
    F_cking Magic = FM
    Facebook, Frackbook, or FatBassTurd (who sits on my face) = FB
    Falls Off Chair Laughing = FOCL
    Follow Up = F/U
    Food For Thought = FFT
    For = 4
    For Crying Outloud = FCO, 4COL, FCOL
    For Fuck’s Sake = FFS
    For The Loss = FTL
    For The Record = FTR
    For The Win = Forward
    For What It’s Worth = FWIW
    For You To See = 4U2C
    For Your Action = FYA
    For Your Information = FYI
    For Your Records = FYR
    F_cked Up Beyond All Repair = FUBAR
    Got To Go = GTG
    Great! = Gr8
    I Hate You = IHY
    I know right? = IKR
    I Love You = ILY
    If I Do Say So Myself = IIDSSM
    In Case You Missed It = ICYMI
    In My Humble Opinion = IMO
    Information = INFO, Info
    Just F_cking Do It = JFDI
    Later = L8er
    Laughing But Serious = LBS
    Laughing My Ass Off = LMAO
    Maximum = mxm
    Maybe = MB
    Middle of Fucking Nowhere = MFN
    No Good = N/G
    Oh My F_cking God = OMFG
    Oh My God = OMG, ZOMG
    Oh My Lady Ga Ga = OMLG
    On My Way = OMW
    One Of My Friends = OOMF
    Over The Counter = OTC
    People = Ppl
    Piss Myself Laughing = PMSL
    Please = Pls or Plz
    Prisoner Of War = POW
    Read The F_cking Manual = RTFM
    Read The Fine Manual = RTFM
    Read The Fine Print = RTFP
    Retweet Love = RTL
    Rolling On The Floor Laughing = ROTFL
    Screw You = SU!
    Scroll To Bottom = STB
    Scroll To End = STE
    Search The F_cking Web = STFW
    See Ya = C ya
    Seriously = Srsly
    Shaking My Head = SMH
    Situation Normal All F_cked Up = SNAFU
    Son of a Bitch = SOB
    Stay At Home Mom = SAHM
    Symbol, Gold = AU
    Symbol, Greater = >
    Symbol, Heart/Love = < 3
    Symbol, Silver = AG
    Symbol, Smile =  = : – )
    Symbol, Water = H2O
    Talk To You Later = TTYL
    Talk To You Soon = TTYS
    Thank Ghod It’s Friday = TGIF
    Thank You Very Much = TYFM
    Thanks = TY, THNKS, Thx
    The = d
    Thought = Thght, Thgt
    Throws Head Back Laughing = THBL
    To Be Announced = TBA
    To Be Determined = TBD
    To or Too = 2
    Today I Learned = TIL
    Tomorrow = Tmrw
    Too Much Information = TMI
    What The F_ck = WTF
    What The Hell = WTH
    With = W/ or w
    Without = w/o
    You Are Very Welcome = YRVW
    You Got That Right! = YGTR
    YouTube = YT

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