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10 Commonly Used Internet Abbreviations

Updated on July 2, 2012

As the internet continues to grow and permeate our community (even more than it already has), a set form of internet lingo has grown incredibly popular with the crowd. These Acronyms/Abbreviations/Slang make texting, commenting, and digital communication easier. Here are 10(+) popular internet abbreviations (“slang”) to know these days. Acronyms do not need to be in caps but to keep format, I have capitalized them in this article for an easier read.

1. BRB or AFK: Be Right Back / Away From Keyboard

This one is older than time itself but still sees much use in gaming and various other social chat sites. When this is used, it generally means they will get back to you shortly or in a little while. Also old as dirt, AFK is a more extreme form of BRB. In the cases that AFK is used, the person has actually moved away from his computer and will be idle for an indefinite amount of time.

2. LOL: Laugh Out Loud

One of the originals along with BRB, AFK, and OMG. Laugh Out Loud is pretty much “Exactly What It Says On The Tin.” Any time you read this acronym/pseudo-onomatopoeia it implies that the writer had Laughed (Out Loud) because it was funny. Sometimes it may come with a statement of something that happens because how hard they LOL’d.

3. OMG: Oh My God/Gosh

Once again, reaching through the depths of time, OMG is used more of an expressive word to state how one feels about a topic/subject/status/whatever. OMG is potentially the most popular of the abbreviations… to the point of having several hashtags and TV/Internet shows revolving around the name.

4. TTYL: Talk To You Later

This is generally used as a conversation ender signifying that they are leaving and will get back to you at a different time. TTYL is a long standing acronym that still sees common everyday use in texting and instant messaging.

5. LMS: Leave Me Some… now Like My Status.

A once thought to be retired trio of letters in the form of “Leave Me Some” which was rarely used outside of food or object(s) that can be “split”… Now finds its reincarnation in Like My Status. Like My Status is usually done as Facebook Status Games similar to “LMS x amount of times for y to happen” or “LMS if you feel the same way” or “LMS if you like me.”

6. FTW/FTL: For The Win / For The Loss(Lose)

This is one usually used to describe something as being “Win”(Positive) or “Lose/Fail”(Negative). If someone says Homemade Hamburgers FTW, it means he is feeling great about his Homemade Hamburgers. Flooded Home FTL on the other hand is a negative statement towards his/her flooded home.

7. MFW: My Face When

A formerly popular abbreviation that did not last very long in the spotlight (mainly because it was continually used inappropriately), but it still finds regular use among internet communities and image hosting sites. This acronym is always used at the beginning of a sentence that described a situation that usually involves a facial/emotional reaction. One such example is “MFW the ice cream truck guy left me a large package of ice cream bars for my birthday!” This is usually followed by an image expressing the face. Unfortunately, this acronym is usually used with negative or shock statements that involve “OH NOOOOO”, Disappointment, anger, negative shock, or it’s spiritual “Successor” (Situational) Rage Face.

8. TBH or IMO: To Be Honest /In My Opinion

These is often used when someone is about to lay down an honest opinion. Due to the negative feel of the words, it is usually something that whomever they are texting/commenting to doesn’t want to hear, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. These statements tend to be neutral but there is no actual format in which to use them. TBH and IMO can successfully be used as a great starter to dark humor.

9. SMH: Shake My Head

Shake My Head is another newcomer that depicts the action of shaking one’s head in shame or disgust. SMH is always used in a negative light and usually used at the end of a statement describing what the writer/commenter/texter is disappointed on. In some rare cases it is appropriate to start with SMH to set the field but this is rare. An example for this would be “The person in front of me is asked to complain to the manager because he only got 2 ketchup packets when he asked for them. SMH.”

10. YOLO: You Only Live Once

Here is probably one of the newest ones that came out and in my opinion, one of the more dangerous/stupid ones out there. It originated from one of the lines of a Song by the musical artist Drake. The logical side of this acronym is to not be afraid of simple things because You Only Live Once. An example of this would be “Decided to go on a rollercoaster for the first time today. YOLO!” … Unfortunately, YOLO is most commonly used amongst teenagers as pseudo-reasoning for doing stupid things like “I’m going to drink till I hit the floor tonight! YOLO!”

Honorable Mention: DND: Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb is what some might consider a dead acronym and better off used as an acronym for Dungeons and Dragons. DND goes way back to BRB and AFK as some IIRC, Instant Messengers, and Chat Rooms would allow you to set your status as DND. Now we have “Invisible” profile statues that make you seem as if you are online, and the “Away” status. Both have rendered DND obsolete, but there has been a slow return using DND in office, work, and personal scenarios, but its still extremely rare.

And there you have it, 10(+) popular abbreviations/acronyms/internet slang for understanding what is written to you online. Being a child friendly article, there are quite a few that have been omitted due to their intentions, meanings, or words used to make it up. If I have missed a few or disagree with the list, please comment below. Take care everyone!


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    • GamerAinion profile image

      GamerAinion 5 years ago from Miami, FL

      Thank you kindly sir! :D

      So much fun to be had with the smileys! ^_^

    • Bob Zermop profile image

      Bob Zermop 5 years ago from California, USA

      Thank you for this list; I don't speak chat or computer :D Actually just recently learned about those smiley faces as well. As someone relatively new to doing things on the Internet besides email and Googling, this is invaluable for navigating forums and sometimes comments. Voted up and useful!

    • GamerAinion profile image

      GamerAinion 5 years ago from Miami, FL

      Thank you guys! #5 is quickly dying and #10 is pretty new but only seen amongst the younger crowd and seems to have died pretty quickly after the month it roamed the internet.

      Ill probably put up a 10 common Gaming Acronyms sometime soon.

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

      LOL! OMG! Thanks! Got more? IMO, you've really helped me out on this one. UP, USEFUL, AND INTERESTING.

    • Tonyx35 profile image

      J Antonio Marcelino 5 years ago from Illinois, USA

      I only use 2, 6, and 8 quite often. Never heard of 5 and 10 before this hub.

      Thanks, +1 Useful.