Bob & LBF in the Morning

Bob & LBF in the Morning

Bob & LBF in the Morning

The 23 Most Popular Abbreviations Young People Use. Can You Figure Them Out?

The 23 Most Popular Abbreviations Young People Use. Can You Figure Them Out?

It seems like every other word these days is being chopped up into some kind of acronym or initialism.

I mean, seriously, how hard is it to type out “talk to you later” instead of using TTYL?

(That’s one of The 23 Most Popular Abbreviations Young People Use.)

Is saving a couple of seconds really worth sacrificing clear communication and proper language usage?

OK, maybe we sound old.

But I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen someone use LOL in response to a tragic news story or a serious message. It’s like they’re trying to express sympathy while also telling the other person that they’re not taking the situation seriously.

Plus, these abbreviations can lead to misunderstandings and confusion.

Not everyone knows what all these codes mean, and even those who do might misinterpret them. For example, “BRB” might be interpreted as “be right back,” but it could also be interpreted as “Bathroom break,” which might leave the other person wondering why you’re suddenly discussing your bodily functions.

But, IMHO, abbreviations are here to stay. So we are here to help.

Here are The 23 Most Popular Abbreviations Young People Use. Can You Figure Them Out?

  • 1. DM

    Direct Message.

    I always wonder if people who use DMs to flirt realize that it stands for “direct message,” not “dirty message.”

  • 2. JK

    Nothing says “I’m totally not joking” like ending every sentence with JK.  Also, JK is the perfect way to ruin a perfectly good apology. “I’m sorry, but you’re still an idiot. JK!” And whenever someone uses JK after a mean comment, I can’t help but think of it as “just kidding (but not really).”

  • 3. BRB

    Be Right Back.

    OK, the abbreviation BRB can be both funny and convenient, as it allows you to take a break without having to explain yourself. It’s also a great way to keep people on their toes, as they never know when you might suddenly disappear. Just don’t forget to come back, or they might start to worry where the heck you are. 

  • 4. TBH

    To Be Honest

    TBH, I only use TBH when I want to sound sincere without actually saying anything sincere. I always find it funny when people use TBH as a way to preface an insult. “TBH, you look terrible in that outfit.” TBH, I’m not even sure why we need abbreviations for three-word phrases. It’s not like we’re saving that much time.

  • 5. IRL

    In Real Life

    IRL, because sometimes it’s nice to remind people that you exist outside of the internet. Also, I always get a little nervous when someone suggests we meet up IRL. What if we don’t have anything in common without the safety of our screens?

  • 6. NSFW

    Not Safe For Work

    For example: THIS NETFLIX SHOW. OMG.

  • 7. TTYL

    Talk To You Later

    The modern day version of dismissing your butler. Just sayin’.

  • 8. NBD

    No Big Deal

    It’s kind of a big deal if you don’t know this. You’re welcome if I’ve enlightened you.

  • 9. IMO

    In My Opinion

    Best to leave the H for Humble out of it because we know you’re not humble and neither is your opinion. So why lie?

  • 10. FTW

    For The Win

    FTW, the abbreviation that stands for “for the win,” because nothing screams “I’m a cool gamer bro” like using outdated internet slang.

  • 11. SMH

    Shake My Head

    SMH, the abbreviation that stands for “shaking my head,” because it’s much easier to just use an acronym than to actually engage with the thing you’re disagreeing with.

  • 12. IYKYK

    If You Know You Know

    This is just mean. Because not only did I NOT know, I had to look up that anacronym.

  • 13. IDC

    I Don’t Care

    Lucky you. I care. I do!

  • 14. OMW

    On My Way

    Well, well, well. You must be in a hurry because you can’t type out the whole sentence!

  • 15. MSG


    If you don’t know this, give up. Start writing letters with a quill pen.

  • 16. G2G

    Got to Go
    G2G, the abbreviation that stands for “got to go,” because apparently we’re all too busy to use complete sentences anymore. But let’s be real, if you’re in such a hurry that you can’t even type out the words “got to go,” maybe you need to reevaluate your time management skills. And don’t even get me started on the fact that half the time, people use G2G as a cop-out when they don’t want to continue a conversation. It’s like they’re saying “sorry, I’m too important to talk to you right now.” So let’s just retire G2G and start using actual words to describe our intentions. Because if you can’t even be bothered to say goodbye properly, maybe you need to take a step back and reevaluate your priorities.

  • 17. TFW

    That Feeling When
    TFW, the abbreviation that stands for “that feeling when,” because apparently we can’t just use complete sentences anymore. But let’s be real, when was the last time you actually had a feeling that could be accurately described with TFW? It’s usually just some vague emotion that’s difficult to pin down, like “that feeling when you see a puppy” or “that feeling when you finally finish a project.” It’s like people are just trying to be relatable without actually having anything interesting to say. So let’s just retire TFW and start using actual words to describe our emotions. Because if you can’t articulate how you’re feeling without resorting to a poorly constructed abbreviation, maybe you need to take a step back and reevaluate your ability to connect with others on an emotional level.

  • 18. MFW

    My Face When

    MFW I have to look up an acronym when I read a message.

  • 19. ILY

    I Love You
    ILY, the three little letters that are supposed to represent the grandest expression of love. But let’s be real, if you’re using ILY as a substitute for actually telling someone you love them, you might want to reevaluate your priorities. Sure, it’s a cute little abbreviation to throw around, but when was the last time you actually said “I love you” to someone in person? And if you’re just casually tossing out ILY to everyone in your phone book, well, that’s just insulting. Love should be something special, not a meaningless abbreviation you send off in a text message. So let’s all agree to retire ILY and start actually expressing our emotions like grown-ups, okay?

  • 20. IMU

    I Miss You
    IMU, the abbreviation that’s meant to say “I miss you,” but really just sounds like someone is trying to squeeze more letters into a tweet. Is it really so hard to type out a few extra characters? Or is it just that you miss the days when Twitter only had a 140-character limit? Either way, using IMU is a surefire way to make someone feel like you’re not really that invested in the conversation. And let’s be real, if you really miss someone, you’d pick up the phone and give them a call instead of hiding behind a poorly abbreviated message.

  • 21. TLRD

    Too Long Didn’t Read

    1. TLDR: because why bother reading something when you can just complain about it instead?
    2. I always find it funny when people use TLDR to describe a two-sentence summary. I mean, come on, people.
    3. If you’re using TLDR to describe a tweet, you might need to reassess your attention span.
  • 22. BAE

    Before Anyone Else
    But wait, I thought it was short for baby?

    1. BAE: the most overused term of endearment since “baby.”
  • 23. SOML

    Story of My Life

    1. SOML: because nothing says “I’m totally not overreacting” like declaring that you’re about to die.
    2. I always roll my eyes when someone uses SOML after a minor inconvenience. “I spilled coffee on my shirt. SOML!”
    3. If you’re really experiencing “screaming out loud,” maybe you should see a doctor instead of tweeting about it. Just a thought.

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