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How to Use Text Message Abbreviations and Chat Acronyms

Text Message Abbreviations and Chat Acronyms

So, all your English language classes are paying off1 and you’re finally getting the hang of2 speaking English. Then you start sending text messages and having online chat conversations with your friends in English and you discover a whole new language – abbreviations and acronyms!

1 If something you have done pays off, it is successfultext abbreviations
2 to learn how to do something, especially if it is not obvious or simple

What is an abbreviation and an acronym?

An abbreviation is a short form of a word or phrase (e.g. TV is an abbreviation of television). An acronym is when you take the first letter of each word (or most words) in a phrase and put them together to make an abbreviation (e.g. TGIF is an acronym for Thank God It’s Friday).  

Why do people use abbreviations and acronyms?

Abbreviations and acronyms are used a lot in chat conversations and text messages as a way to speed up conversations, get points across quickly and type less when you’re in a rush. Now, with Twitter’s limited characters in every Tweet, abbreviations are becoming more popular than ever!

Why should you learn text message abbreviations?

I am a native English speaker and it is often difficult for me to understand some of the abbreviations my friends include in their messages (don’t tell anyone but I sometimes have to look up the meanings online!), so I can imagine that if you are an English language student, it must be impossible!

Sometimes it can be very embarrassing if you misunderstand an abbreviation or use one in the wrong way. Check out this mum’s embarrassing moment when she used LOL in the wrong way!!

text abbreviation gone wrong

Below are 40 of the most common abbreviations used – try to learn some of them so you can impress your friends (or at least understand the messages you receive!)

Top 40 text and chat abbreviations

LOL Laughing Out Loud
BRB Be Right Back
BBL Be Back Later
ASAP As Soon As Possible
B4 Before
B4N Bye For Now
BTW By The Way
B/C Because
C U L8R See You Later
Def Definitely
tmrw Tomorrow
ETA Estimated Time of Arrival
F2F Face To Face
GF Girlfriend
BF Boyfriend
BFF Best Friend Forever
AML All My Love
GTG / G2G Got To Go
GR8 Great
IDK I Don’t Know
IDC I Don’t Care
ILY / ILU I Love You
JK Just Kidding
LMK Let Me Know
THX Thanks
PLS Please
TTYL Talk To You Later
TMI Too Much Information
CYE Check Your Email
FYI For Your Information
IMHO In My Honest Opinion
ROFL Rolling On the Floor Laughing
BION Believe It Or Not
BRT Be Right There
Y Why?
PCM Please Call Me
IYKWIM If You Know What I Mean
WYSIWYG What You See Is What You Get
XOXO Hugs and Kisses

As you can see, some meanings are quite obvious but others are impossible to work out unless you’ve learnt them!

Good luck!

Have fun with English

Can you work out the meaning of this text message conversation between 2 friends?

Sam: Jen RU coming to the party tmrw?texting
Jen: Yeah. Y?

Sam: GR8. B/C I want U2B my GF
Jen: I thought you liked my BFF
Sam: No I like U
Jen: I have a BF
Sam: IDC. IMHO he’s an idiot
Jen: BION I like him
Sam: I want you. IYKWIM
Jen: TMI. Lets talk F2F tmrw
Sam: I’ve never felt like this B4. ILU
Jen: PCM now
Sam: Haha JK. U believed me? ROFL. I don’t like you!
Jen: UR def not funny!
Sam: LOL. K CU tmrw. ETA?
Jen: IDK. 9 I guess
Sam: LMK

Last week’s answers

Marathon wordsearch

marathon wordsearch answers

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