Your Ultimate List of English Internet Slang on Social Media
Do you feel SUPER confused by what you read on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram sometimes? I do too!
Some common examples you might see include:
Do you know what those mean?
There’s an endless number of acronyms and abbreviations commonly used today. It’s challenging to know what they mean and how you can use them.
So that’s what we’re going to do today! We’re going to remove the mystery of the language used on social media in English.
This list below is a long one. You might know some of the expressions but many might be new. I recommend that you review this list often to understand and be able to use these acronyms easily.
But, this list doesn’t include ALL possibilities. In fact, you might know some acronyms that I’ve not included on this list. Please be sure to share your favorites (or any that you know) in the comments section below.
Curious about English slang and acronyms on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook?
Lesson by Annemarie
In this lesson below, you’ll find a list of common social media expressions. Any acronyms with a * next to it is explained in the video lesson.
AMA = ask me anything* (You might see this when someone announces a live webinar or lesson, for example: “Next Friday, at 12:30 p.m., I’m doing an AMA live class on Facebook. Join me!”)
Bc, b/c = because
B4 = before
BAE = before anyone else* (A common term of endearment, for example, My BAE and I are staying in for the weekend.)
BD = big deal* (Saying “big deal” is similar to saying, “Who cares?”)
BF = boyfriend
BFF = best friends forever
BRB = be right back (Similar to saying, “I’ll be back soon.”)
BTW = by the way (An expression often used to introduce a side note or to change topics suddenly.)
CU = see you
CYL = see you later
DFTBA = don’t forget to be awesome!
DM = direct message
“DFTBA (don’t forget to be awesome) is my favorite acronym for social media. What’s yours? Tell me in the comments.”
ELI5 = explain like I’m 5* (Do you have a question on a complex topic? Do you want another person to explain it simply? Ask them to explain it to you like you’re 5 years old.)
FB = Facebook
FBO = Facebook official* (This is related to the option of publicly displaying your relationship status on Facebook – single or in a relationship. If you’ve started dating someone and you change your status to ‘in a relationship’ then you might say you’re FBO. That means it’s official. Alternatively, you might see a text message conversation like this:
A: Hey, are Philip and Laure dating? I saw them out the other night.
B: I don’t know. They’re not FBO
This would mean the official (public) status of their relationships is unknown or secret.)
FOMO = fear of missing out* (This expresses the feeling of anxiety we feel when we’re afraid we’re missing a big opportunity or something great.)
FTFY = fixed this for you* (If you make an error on FB or Twitter and someone says, “No, the live lesson is at 12:30 p.m., not 1:30 p.m. FTFY.”)
FTW = for the win
FUTAB = feet up, take a break
FYA/FYE = for your entertainment/amusement
FYI = for your information
G2G/GTG = got to go* (An informal way of saying it’s time for you to leave or go home.)
GF = girlfriend
GR8 = great
GTR = got to run* (Similar to G2G)
HBD = happy birthday HT or H/T = hat tip* (A way to give thanks to someone else (see video for further explanation). For example, “HT @speakconfidentenglish for the great lesson on social media abbreviations!”) HTH = here to help, happy to help
IANAD = I’m not a doctor* (Example: “Sorry you’re so sick! Sounds like you have the flu! IANAD.”)
IANAL = I’m not a lawyer* (Similar to IANAD)
ICYMI = in case you missed it* (Example: “ICYMI, Germany won the Euro Cup!”)
IDC = I don’t care
IDK= I don’t know
IG = Instagram
IIRC = if I remember correctly
IKR = I know, right? (In more formal English, someone might say, “It is, isn’t it?” For example, if your friend sends you a message that says, “West World is the best! I can’t stop watching.” You might say, “IKR!!” as a way to show your agreement.)
IMO / IMHO = in my opinion, in my humble/honest opinion
IRL = in real life* (As opposed to life in social media or online.)
JK = just kidding* (This is similar to saying, “Just joking.”)
L8 = late
LMAO = laughing my ass off
LMK = let me know
LOL = laughing out loud
MCM = man crush Monday* (A crush means to have romantic feelings or a secret love for someone.)
MYOB = mind your own business* (This is a common expression that means to respect someone’s privacy.)
MTFBWY = may the force be with you* (A reference to Star Wars, for example: “Good luck on your big presentation this week! MTFBWY.”)
If you’ve enjoyed this lesson, be sure to check out my additional lessons on travel English:
NBD = no big deal* (This is a common expression used to say that something isn’t a problem or isn’t difficult.)
NM = not much* (Not much is a common answer to the question, “What’s up?”
NSFW = not safe for work* (If you send a video or something to a friend but it’s inappropriate for her to watch at work. For example, “Check out the new video by Beyonce! NSFW.”)
NTS = note to self
NVM = nevermind
OH = overheard* (To over hear something is to hear a conversation or to learn something from a conversation without the speaker knowing you heard it. For example: “OH. The boss is going to have a surprise meeting tomorrow.”)
OMG = oh my god
OMW = on my way
OOTD = outfit of the day
ORLY = oh, really???!!
PDA = public display of affection
POTD = photo of the day
POTUS = president of the United States
PM = private message
PPL = people
Q = question
QQ = quick question
QOTD = quote of the day* (Often used when someone shares a funny or motivational quote, for example: “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~ Harriet Tubman QOTD”)
ROFL = rolling on the floor laughing
ROFLMAO = rolling on the floor laughing my ass off
RT = retweet
SFW = safe for work* (The opposite of NSFW.)
SM = social media
SMH = shaking my head* (When we disagree or feel ashamed about something, we often shake our head.)
TBH = to be honest
TBT = throwback Thursday* (This has become a very popular hashtag (#) for posting old photos on Thursday. Throwback means something from an earlier time.)
TGIF = thank god it’s Friday
Thx = thanks
TIL = today I learned* (For example, “TIL all about social media acronyms from Speak Confident English.”)
TMI = too much information
TTYL = talk to you later
TTYN = talk to you never
TTYS = talk to you soon
Txt = text
W/ = with
WBU = what about you?
WCW = women crush Wednesday
WDYMBT = what do you mean by that?
WOM = word of mouth
WOTD = word of the day
YOLO = you only live once* (Used when you talk about something that is brave, risky, spontaneous or even foolish. For example: “Can’t take another day at work. I just quit!! YOLO.”)
YT = YouTube
YW = you’re welcome
Wow!! That’s a long list and a LOT of new expressions. I hope you found some new social media acronyms to use with your friends.
I’d love to know:
- What are your favorite, new acronyms from this list?
- Do you know of any other Internet slang that may be useful for the Confident English Community to know about? Please share in the comments below so others can learn from you!
- And finally, are there any expressions that are still strange or confusing for you? Feel free to leave a question in the comments below and I’ll be sure to clarify (hint: just use one of those questions from last week’s lesson!) 🙂
The best place to share with me is in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you and have a wonderful week!
Get the Confidence to Say What You Want in English
Download my free training on how to build the courage and confidence you need to say what you want in English.
You'll also get my Confident English lessons delivered by email every Wednesday and occasional information about available courses. You can unsubscribe any time.
Learn with me
Most Recent Lessons
Enjoy easy, relaxed social small talk in English with 4 questions types. Whether you want to get to know a new neighbor or someone in a book club, use these questions to help.
When ‘pretty’ is used as an adverb, the meaning changes. Not only that, but it can have opposite meanings. Sometimes ‘pretty’ can intensify; other times it weakens. Learn 4 ways to accurately use pretty as an adverb.
Using the English modal verb ‘might’ correctly can add layers of meaning to your sentence. Plus, it indicates an advanced level of knowledge and ability in your English grammar.