English Abbreviations on the Internet

English Abbreviations on the Internet


Abbreviations and acronyms have been commonly used for years before the Internet came into being. Think AWOL- “absent without leave” or ASAP “as soon as possible.”

With the advent of chat rooms in gaming systems and on Facebook, people wanted a way to send information quickly. Over time, many abbreviations have become widely used. It is difficult to know all of the abbreviations, but this list of commonly used slang and chat abbreviations should help.


  • AFK- Away from keyboard
  • ASAP- As soon as possible
  • ATM- At the moment
  • B2W- Back to work
  • BBL- Be back later/soon
  • BRB- Be right back
  • BTDT- Been there, done that
  • BTW- By the way
  • CU or CU L8R- See you (later)
  • DD, DS, DH, DW- Dear daughter, dear son, dear husband, dear wife
  • DIY- Do it yourself
  • F2F- Face to face
  • FAQ- Frequently asked questions
  • FYI- For your information
  • GR8- Great
  • IDK- I don’t know
  • IMHO- In my humble opinion (Also IMNTBHO- In my never to be humble opinion)
  • IOW- In other words
  • IK- I know
  • J/K- Just kidding, joking
  • L8R- Later
  • LOL- Laugh out loud
  • OIC- Oh I see
  • OTW- On the way, also OMW- on my way
  • RUOK- Are you okay?
  • TGIF- Thank goodness it’s Friday
  • THX- Thanks, sometimes, you might see TY: thank you
  • TTFN- Ta ta for now (Good bye)
  • TTYL- Talk to you later
  • U- You
  • XO- Hugs and kisses


Often, if you say the letters out loud, it is easier to figure out these acronyms for yourself. Take “RUOK.” When you say the letter R, it brings to mind the word “are.” The number 8 takes the place of the sound “ate,” as in later, or great. Most people use all capital letters for acronyms, but you may see them in lower case letters as well.

If you do come across an acronym you do not understand, consider the context or ask the person who sent it to you. It may be something they specifically use in their own writing, and they do not realize you will not know it. It could also autocorrect editing the text that was written. You will not know unless you ask. If that is not an option, try entering the phrase into a search engine. If it is one of the commonly used English abbreviations on Internet, it will come up in the results.

Using English abbreviations on Internet will become easier as you use them in texting or chatting. It can be intimidating when you start using them, wondering if the person on the other side of the chat will understand you. Start small and gain confidence using them with a trusted friend who can tell you if you make a mistake.


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