Everything You Need to Know about Internet Slang: Acronyms, Phrases and Idioms (2024)


Web Humor

The evolution of language in relation to internet culture

The rise of web-based technologies, online chatting, mobile texting, email and instant messaging have all helped shape the way we communicate. Short-form words, acronyms, phrases, and memes have almost helped contribute to the development of a whole new language that defines Internet culture.

Today, this so-called "Internet language" is as popular as ever and virtually second nature in use amongst Internet users.

Why Do People Use Internet Slang?

Everything You Need to Know about Internet Slang: Acronyms, Phrases and Idioms (1)

Unlike writing an A+ English essay on Shakespeare, Internet slang has two common goals, which often overthrow proper spelling and grammar:

To express emotion: It's obvious that expressing emotion through written text can be difficult. Internet slang words and acronyms help you tell people that we are happy, sad, amused, angry, confused or surprised. For example, "Wowzers" is a silly term used to convey surprise. The acronym,"LOL," which stands for "laugh out loud," is one of the most common acronyms used on the Internet. Often, users will incorporate textual emoticons like ":)" or ":(" to represent expressive human faces and emotions. GPOY is a sarcastic state of self-attention, "Gratuitous Pictures of Yourself." Playful, if self-aware.

To speed up communication: You live in a busy world, and you don't have time much time to waste typing out the message you'd like to send to your friends, family or colleagues. Typing a message usually takes longer than saying it verbally, which is why Internet slang and short-form words are used to get the message in writing as quickly as possible. It's a quick and convenient way to communicate on the web.

The Internet Slang Dictionary of Choice: Urban Dictionary

There are quite a few sites out there that list popular Internet words and phrases, but there's nothing that quite compares to the Urban Dictionary. The Urban Dictionary is literally an Internet slang dictionary, which can be accessed by anyone online.

Urban Dictionary contains over 10.5 million Internet slang definitions. Anybody can suggest and submit a word and definition, which are reviewed by editors to be published on the site. Once a word is published, visitors can view and rate them.

If you come across any slang words on the web, you can almost be certain that the definition can be found by searching for it on the Urban Dictionary website.

The Most Popular Internet Slang Words and Acronyms

The following lists the most well known and widely used Internet slang words. People all over the world use them on social media sites, email and SMS text messaging. (Please note that a few of these popular acronyms include profanity, which have been replaced with more appropriate wording.)

ASAP: As Soon As Possible

BBIAB: Be Back In A Bit

BBL/BBS: Be Back Later/Soon

BF: Boyfriend

BFF: Best Friends Forever

BFFL: Best Friends for Life

BRB: Be Right Back

CYA: See You

DS: Dear Son

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

FB: Facebook

FITBLR: Fitbit users who run fitness-related blogs

FLBP: Future Lower Back Problems

FML: "F-Word" My Life

FTFY: Fixed That For You

FTW: For the Win

FYI: For Your Information

G2G: Got to Go

GF: Girlfriend

GR8: Great

GTFO: Get the "F-Word" Out

HBIC: Head B**** in Charge

HML:Hit My Line, or Hate My Life

HRU: How are you?

HTH: Hope This Helps

IDK: I Don't Know

IGHT: Alright

IMO/IMHO: In My Opinion/In My Humble Opinion

IMY: I miss you.

IRL: In Real Life

ISTG:I Swear to God

JK: Just Kidding

JMHO: Just My Humble Opinion

KTHX: OK, Thanks

L8R: Later

LMAO: Laugh My "A-Word" Off

LMFAO: Laugh My "F-ing" "A-Word" Off

LMK: Let Me Know

LOL: Laugh Out Loud

MWF:Married White Female/Monday, Wednesday, Friday

NM: Nevermind

NOOB: Newbie/Newcomer/Amateur

NP: No Problem

NSFW: Not Safe for Work

OOAK: One of a Kind

OFC: Of course

OMG: Oh My God

ORLY: Oh Really?

OTOH: On the Other Hand

RN:Right Now

ROFL: Roll On the Floor Laughing

RUH:Are Your Horney

SFW: Safe for Work

SOML:Story of My Life

SOZ: Sorry

STFU: Shut the "F-Word" Up

TFTI: Thanks for the Invite

TIL: Today I Learned

TMI: Too Much Information

TTFN:Ta-ta for now

TTYL: Talk to You Later

TWSS: That's What She Said

U: You

W/: With

WB: Welcome Back (also can refer to World Boss)

W/O: Without

WYD: What You Doing

WTH: What the Hell?

WTF: What the "F-Word"

WYM:What You Mean?

WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get

Y: Why

YMMV: Your Mileage May vary

YW: You're Welcome

YWA:You're Welcome Anyway

Other common Internet abbreviations and symbols include:

  • “I’m @ the store.”
  • “I’m going 2 school.”

Taking the Blame for Bad Grammar and Spelling

Although short-form wording and acronyms help us get the job done faster and more conveniently, time spent communicating through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and texting on cell phones is being blamed for poor spelling and grammar skills with regards to today’s youth. For example, words like "shawty" (which is an alternative form of "shorty") are spelled more like they sound in casual conversation.

While the link between modern-day Internet lingo and deteriorating grammar skills has not been officially proven on a scientific basis, education institutions in Canada and the U.S. are seeing a sharp drop in proper English writing.

In an article published by the Globe and Mail, an English professor and associated dean at Simon Fraser University stated:

“Punctuation errors are huge, and apostrophe errors. Students seem to have absolutely no idea what an apostrophe is for. None. Absolutely none.”

Abbreviations, lowercase words that should be capitalized and neglectful proofreading are other common mistakes that are blamed on social media and SMS texting.

Everything You Need to Know about Internet Slang: Acronyms, Phrases and Idioms (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Last Updated:

Views: 6429

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Birthday: 1992-08-21

Address: Apt. 237 662 Haag Mills, East Verenaport, MO 57071-5493

Phone: +331850833384

Job: District Real-Estate Architect

Hobby: Skateboarding, Taxidermy, Air sports, Painting, Knife making, Letterboxing, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Saturnina Altenwerth DVM, I am a witty, perfect, combative, beautiful, determined, fancy, determined person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.