What Does ICYMI Mean? And Other Common Text Acronyms to Make You Crazy

text acronyms meanings
I’m not a lover of text acronyms. Here’s a true story. When I first began to use e-mail, people kept typing “LOL” in their responses. One day, I asked one of them what LOL actually meant, and they got back with “Laughs out loud!” I must have been feeling a bit grouchy that day because I responded: “No need to be sarcastic, pal, just TELL me!”

I kid you not. Since then, I have developed my own range of obscure text acronyms as a secret form of revenge. Try these if you like. Unless people have been writing to me, they will surely be baffled:

  • CHKL = chuckle
  • GGL = giggle
  • GFW = guffaw
  • TTR = titter
  • SNRT = snort

But we’re not here to discuss my off-the-wall, obscure text acronyms. Instead, we’ll talk about the other kind – the ones people use a whole lot.

  • AAAAA = American Association against Acronym Abuse. I’m joining! Where do I sign up?
  • B2B = business to business. There are various permutations: B2C (consumer), B2A (anyone), B2G (government)… you get the picture.
  • BF = best friend or boyfriend. Guys, be careful with this one unless you actually do have a boyfriend. If you do, that’s just fine. If you don’t… well, just saying.
  • BFF = best friends forever. Someone, please bring me a barf bag.
  • BRB = be right back. I’m always tempted to tell people who use this not to break wind in my presence without at least excusing themselves.
  • BTW = by the way. Sigh. Guilty. I use it. I hate myself, but I still use it.
  • FOMO = fear of missing out. And sadly, that’s why I try to keep up with these things. I seriously don’t want another “lol” incident!
  • FWIW = for what it’s worth. A lot like IMHO, see below.
  • FYI = for your information. Alternative interpretation: “waste of time, ignore it.”
  • GIGO = garbage in, garbage out. I think it may predate text speak, but I prefer the long form. Call me old-fashioned and see if I care.
  • ICYMI = in case you missed it. Yes. I missed it. If you had written that out in full, I wouldn’t have.
  • ILY = I love you. Please slap anyone who can’t be bothered to use the full form. Really!
  • IMO = in my opinion. At least it doesn’t even pretend to be humble.
  • IMHO = in my humble opinion, and believe me, it’s never humble. People who say “IMHO” are just plain opinionated.
  • IRL = in real life. You can just tell someone is going to say something annoyingly patronizing when they use that one.
  • MSG = message. I always thought it stood for “monosodium glutamate.” See how ignorant I am?
  • NP = no problem. Again, it’s infectious. The proper response would be LTT (Learn to type – another of my creations), but I’m afraid I’m one of the culprits.
  • OMG = oh my god. Guilty! I even say “OMG” sometimes. It’s invariably followed by a sense of self-loathing.
  • TMI = too much information. Well, if the phrase “too much information” is something you can’t get your head around, no bloody wonder.
  • TTYL = talk to you later. OMG if you are going to TTML in that tone of acronym, I’m not sure if I will handle it.
  • TX, THX or THKS = thanks. Now IMHO, if you’re going to use four of the six letters the word “thanks” consists of, you may as well LTT and include the two vowels. As for the ‘X’ let’s not even go there! #LTS = learn to spell!
  • TXT = text. I don’t think that saving one letter is worth it, but there it is.

Of course, this is just a broad sampling. Digits are (unfortunately) popular, particularly 4 (for) and 2 (to), so we have 2nite, 2day, 2morrow, 4U, B4, 4eva… the hair on the back of my neck is rising, my nails are growing longer, a deep-throated growl is rising up from my belly. Aha! H2O! A sure-fire way to cool down.

But just try telling me “ILY 4eva”, and I swear, I’ll have a hissy fit that’s second to none and go looking for someone with more poetry in their soul and the ability to spell. FWIW it’s entirely possible I’m the only one who doesn’t think these things are cute which is why I am patronizing you with this particular blog post. Then again, you’re actually reading it, so perhaps you are also mystified by text abbreviations.

You may notice that I didn’t include favorites such as “WTF,” but I dislike excessive use of asterisks almost as much as I dislike text acronyms, so most of the acronyms containing the letter F have been excluded. I will leave them up to your imagination.

(Photo courtesy of Jonas Bengtsson)

5 comments

  1. I’m just old. The whole text word acronym thing just confuses the hell out of me. I never know exactly what my kid are trying to say to me hen they use them. This list helps, b there are so many more they seem to use. It’ like learning a whole new language.

    1. You do sound old. if a twelve year old can do it and it confuses you, you must be really old. Everyone I know has no problem doing this. What are you, like 30 or something?

  2. For all of you who were looking for t meaning of ICYMI among all the acronyms listed above like I was

    ICYMI means “in case you missed it.”

  3. This is the easiest way to know how old the person is. If somebody doesn’t know how to text or the meanings of these text words, then you know there are over 30 years old. Anybody who is under 30 years old understands everything here perfectly. The generation gap.

  4. Thank you immensely for putting these in one place so I don’t have to look each one up. I’m 75, have 16 grandchildren and text a lot. They don’t read ems and they don’t call u back if u use the telephone.

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