Your Ultimate List of English Internet Slang on Social Media

Feb 22, 2017 | Advanced Vocabulary

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:

  • FOMO
  • LMAO
  • IMO
  • FBO
  • IRL
  • JK

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.”)

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:

  1. What are your favorite, new acronyms from this list?
  2. 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!
  3. 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!

~ Annemarie

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