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:
5 Easy Small Talk Questions to Start a Conversation about Travel
Talking about Adventure Travel in English
Learn to Tell Your Travel Story in English with Advanced Vocabulary
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!
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My favorite acronyms are LOL, JK, Gr8 and CU.
I was recently called a TROOP what does it mean?
Thank you so much for this wonderful lesson.Got an opprtunity to learn to say thank you both in formal and informal way,i was usually using the short one thanks only now i have a lot of alternatives definity i gonna use these ones on my conversations with customer and chitchat with my family and friend.
Somebody says” don’t do NUFE” WHATS IT MEAN?
Hi Annemarie, Thx for this lesson, I’m faacinated with it. Bc I have NO FB, IG or twitter, I only have email; kinda old school, LOL. TIL about internet slang, these social media acronyms are really awesome. Though I’m not a social media person this somehow overcome my FOMO. B4 I’m seeing this BRB in the chatbox at work, now I know what it means. The acronyms I liked the most are: ELI5, GR8, FTW, HTH, MTFBWY, OMG, ROLF, TGIF and YOLO. These are acronyms that I can use in PM. Thx again… Though, not being social media active this… Read more »
I’m glad this lesson was interesting, even if you don’t use social media. Many of these acronyms are also used in emails these days.
I loved your use of the examples in your comment and wonderful job using “kinda old school.” Well done. 🙂
Thank you for the lesson. Really this is TMI. This helps us a lot, eventhough I have not been through these before much. ELI5,HTH,QOTD,SMH,POTD,TBH,WOM are kind of my favourite from this list.
Hi Chaitanya, Thank you for your comment. I’m thrilled to know you enjoyed the lesson and it’s fun to see which acronyms are your favorite. One note with TMI: Because we’re using “too much” it has the meaning that the information is more than you want or need… it has a slightly negative feeling to it. For example, if someone shares too much personal information with you, it may not be good. “My boss talked for me for 2 hours at work and told me all about her messy divorce. It was a little TMI since she’s my boss and… Read more »
Really a new world opened through this lesson. Hats off to you .Rally feel a BLAST.
I’m very glad to know you enjoy the lesson Shafeeque. Thank you for sharing. ~ Annemarie
Good morning Annemarie,
ROFLMAO – it is my new favorite acronym because I love fun and sometimes I enjoy looking funny pictures and laugh.
TBH I don’t know English abbreviation because I’m not advanced user of SM and thx for you Am 🙂 for this list. TGIW and TIL TMI with SCE. 😀
BTW I didn’t catch up this two acronyms: WCW and MCM. Could you ELI5?
Hi Paul, What a creative comments! I’m glad to know you enjoyed this lesson. And great use of the acronyms in your question. WCW (woman crush Wednesday) and MCM (man crush Monday) = a crush is when we have romantic feelings for someone. Usually we don’t share these feelings, we have them secretly. This word is most commonly used when we’re young – a teenager – and we have a crush on a celebrity or someone in our class. In social media, someone might post a picture of a celebrity or someone they think is amazing with the acronym WCW… Read more »
In my native language are mostly used by young people and especially on the internet. For me, comprehension of them is irrelevant and presumably it would be unable for me to learn most of them. For young people it is a fast and convinient way to communicate each other. I am compelled to use a little bit more formal language. Now and then, I handle comprehend some grammar structures, usually I guess what they mean but they seem to be unnatural for me. OAN, I found the expression ’embrace making mistakes’ which is related to ’embrace a sack.
Thanks for sharing your comments. Like in your country, slang is most often used by young people but these acronyms are becoming more and more common in everyday English. In more professional situations it is certainly more appropriate to use more formal language but you may find some of these helpful to you when using social media from time to time.
As always, I enjoy hearing from you! Best, Annemarie