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16 Text Abbreviations You Really Should Know By Now

Anyone with a phone and web access needs to know these terms just to survive without constantly being in a state of confusion.

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If you see someone posting a funny image of a cat lounging with sunglasses and something like “TFW you’re off of work for a long weekend,” know that it’s one of the funny text acronyms that people are using these days. It translates to “that feel/feeling when,” and it’s most commonly used in association with visual images that represent how someone is feeling. Try using it with a smiling selfie like “TFW dinner came out even better than I imagined.” These selfie captions will make your friends LOL (that’s “laugh out loud”).

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You’ve definitely seen this one all over the Internet and via text, but what does it even mean? Quite literally, “no big deal.” It’s one of the most commonly used text abbreviations and fits just about everywhere. Next time someone says they can’t make it to your party, just text back “NBD”—even if you’re silently fuming.

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FOMO is the granddaddy of text abbreviations because it’s been around for years and means “fear of missing out.” Other text acronyms like “BFFs” might be used on social media posts from parties or nights out, but “FOMO” is what you feel when you see them, and weren’t invited. Use it when your best friend uploads a picture of herself on the greatest beach vacation of all time by just commenting, “Gorgeous, #FOMO!”

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This one might’ve confused you on Facebook or Instagram, but it’s a pretty useful text abbreviation to have handy as it just means “in case you missed it.” It’s great for uploading photos after the fact, like a photo from a relative’s wedding that you forgot to post the day of or a family photo from years ago. Try uploading a recent photo of a life event with the hashtag “#ICYMI.”

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Consider FWIW one of the most polite text abbreviations out there, because it’s a great opener, translating to “for what it’s worth.” It’s a kinder way of preambling a strong opinion and can be used in situations like “FWIW, I never liked your boyfriend anyway.” Still, we can’t guarantee that text abbreviations will soften the blow. Know the times texting is better than calling.

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This is the twin sister of FWIW, yet another way to politely excuse a strong or possibly offensive opinion because it means “to be honest.” Try using it when your mom posts a Facebook status update asking who wants to eat tuna casserole at her house tonight. “TBH, Mom, tuna casserole is not my fave.”

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FTW means “for the win,” and is a slangy, upbeat way of celebrating something via social media commentary. Imagine yourself taking your first SCUBA lesson and posting a photo of a successful dive with the caption, “I’m officially a diver, FTW!” Be grateful that you didn’t have to use other text acronyms, like ONAS (Oh no, a shark!)

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IDK is the theme of this article, because it literally means “I don’t know,” which is exactly how you felt about all these text abbreviations before you learned what they stood for. Next time you get a text from your boss asking if you can stay late at work, reply with “IDK, I have to check my schedule.” Texting your partner? Avoid disrespectful text abbreviations like “STFU”—these are the things you should never do when texting your significant other.

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SMH = shaking my head, which is what we’re all doing at least half the time we scroll through our Facebook newsfeeds and see crazy political rants from long-lost relatives. You’re a kind soul, though, so you won’t use it outwardly on these posts, but if you do get in the mood to use some heated text acronyms, you can definitely comment “You’re not supposed to put that much baking powder in the bowl—SMH” next time you see your cousin upload a muffin-baking video that ruins Grandma’s recipe.

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This one is relatively new in the text abbreviations world, but it’s popping up all over the place on lengthy social media posts. It means “too long, didn’t read,” and is commonly found on long-winded, rambling opinion pieces. Next time your co-worker uploads a six-paragraph status about the condition of her cold sores, try commenting “TLDR, but I hope you feel better soon!” TLDR can also be used at the end of an email, followed by a short summary for those who are too tired to read the whole thing. This the only one of our text abbreviations that indicates you’re about to abbreviate!

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IIRC = “if I recall correctly,” and is the social media equivalent of you bringing receipts. It’s a little argumentative, but useful when you need to say things like, “IIRC, you promised me so much more. Here’s a screenshot to prove it.” These are the 10 group texting etiquette rules everyone should follow.

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This is a great one because it’s often a relationship builder. It means “in real life,” and is great for saying things like “Would love to see you soon IRL!” Just be sure you’re not committing one of these annoying text habits when you reply with this.

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This one isn’t an abbreviation, but it’s common text slang that everyone under 40 is using routinely, so you need to get on board. Slaying may sound negative, but it’s used in a positive way now to denote killing or crushing a task in the best possible sense. “I slayed at spin class tonight,” would be an appropriate text to send your trainer.

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If you’ve ever seen someone post a ridiculous Facebook status like “Today is totally major for me,” without giving any specific details, that’s vaguebooking in action. It’s the act of alluding to something via social media status without pinpointing it, and it’s widely unpopular. Don’t be a vaguebooker, but politely call your friends out on Facebook with a comment like “#vaguebook” when they upload a weird, confusing, and overwhelmingly broad status. Here are more things you should never say over text, email, or social media.

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You need this one because it translates to “let me know,” and is super useful when you find your friends vaguebooking. Comment something like “LMK what the heck is going on because I don’t understand your vaguebooking at all.” Hopefully, your next conversation is positive and contains text acronyms like LOL, TYSM (thank you so much,) and XOXO.

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If you’re still blow-drying your hair but were supposed to be at dinner ten minutes ago, try texting your significant other something like “OMW, see you soon.” OMW means “on my way,” and is most commonly used when you’re not even really on your way because it’s one of the text acronyms commonly used by #kidsthesedays. Now that you know these text abbreviations, make sure to brush up on proper texting etiquette too.