The 100 most important acronyms in English, Part 3: Internet slang

Texting

This series is for people learning English as a second language. We explain some of the most common English acronyms and how to use them.

  1. "LOL"

     Tweet This!

    (Laugh out loud)

    You can write "LOL" in a text message, a tweet, a chat room, etc. to react to something funny.

    > Yo my mom just said we should go to Disney World. I'm like mom, I'm 24 years old!
    >LOL

  2. "LMAO"

     Tweet This!

    (Laughing my ass off)

    "LMAO" is like "LOL" but you use it when something is really, really funny.

    > I just realized I'm wearing two completely different shoes.
    >LMAO!

  3. "OMG"

     Tweet This!

    (Oh my God)

    Write "OMG" when you're surprised by something.

    > Marco just told me that he's leaving his wife.
    >OMG. Are you serious?

    "OMG" is one of the few internet acronyms that people also use in spoken English as well as in writing.

  4. "WTF"

     Tweet This!

    (What the fuck)

    Use "WTF" when you're angry about something or when you come across something that's really confusing.

    > Sorry, I can't do it.
    > WTF! You promised that you would.

  5. "NSFW"

     Tweet This!

    (Not safe for work)

    When people share images or videos that have nudity or violence, they often label them as "NSFW". That lets people know to be careful before clicking on them.

    See what happened when this tourist got too close to a lion (NSFW)

  6. "TBH"

     Tweet This!

    (To be honest)

    When you want to share an opinion that someone might not like, you can add "TBH".

    TBH, I think you should work on this a little more before you submit it.

  7. "IMHO"

     Tweet This!

    (In my honest opinion)

    Use "IMHO" to introduce an opinion that you want to share, which you think that some people might disagree with.

    IMHO they're probably going to do even worse this year than last year.

  8. "BRB"

     Tweet This!

    (Be right back)

    Tell someone that you'll "BRB" if you need to leave your computer for a few minutes.

    Kate's calling me. BRB.

  9. "TTYL"

     Tweet This!

    (Talk to you later)

    "TTYL" is a way to end an online converation.

    > Gotta go.
    > OK TTYL

  10. "TMI"

     Tweet This!

    (Too much information)

    When someone tells you details about things like sex, medical issues, or bathroom activities, you can respond with "TMI". It means that you don't want to hear about those things.

    > I gotta poop!
    > Gross, TMI

  11. "IRL"

     Tweet This!

    (In real life)

    Meeting someone "IRL" means that you meet with them person-to-person rather than on the Internet.

    It was cool to finally meet you IRL.

  12. "BTW"

     Tweet This!

    (By the way)

    Use "BTW" to switch the topic of conversation suddenly.

    Oh BTW how was Philly?

  13. "ATM"

     Tweet This!

    (At the moment)

    Use "ATM" to write about what's happening right now.

    Sorry, can't talk ATM. About to head out.

  14. "BFF"

     Tweet This!

    (Best friends forever)

    Your "BFF" is your best friend, but people often use this acronym in a slightly negative way like this:

    What happened? I thought you guys were BFFs.

    People use "BFF" in both spoken and written English.

Next: Technology and medicine

  Print this List


Learn English faster! Get PhraseMix Premium