30 Internet Acronyms and Texting Abbreviations You Must Know

Do you have a FOMO? Why don’t you RT it? Sound like Greek and Latin to you? Teen talk can be confusing for parents. But it’s never late to learn some common Internet acronyms to communicate better!

By Ashwin Dewan  • 7 min read

30 Internet Acronyms and Texting Abbreviations You Must Know
Kids and teens increasingly communicate using acronyms

Like every other teen his age, Lakshmi’s son, Ajay, spends a lot of time on his phone, watching videos or surfing the Internet or typing away messages. Last week, Lakshmi noticed her son typing LOL in response to one of his friend’s messages. Lakshmi did not want to interrupt Ajay and simply assumed it meant ‘lots of love’. One day her childhood friend Kalpana sent her an unexpected message — Kalpana's mother had passed away. Lakshmi promptly responded with her condolences and typed LOL at the end of the message. To her surprise, Kalpana was infuriated and responded harshly. A confused Lakshmi was taken aback until she realised to her horror, that LOL stood for something very different. It meant ‘laugh out loud’. Embarrassed, Lakshmi apologised profusely to Kalpana and the two patched up soon thereafter.

Like Lakshmi, there are many parents out there who are unsure what the different Internet acronyms mean. Do you also struggle to keep pace with this new lingo or even, to understand your child? Sometimes, a simple question to your child about her whereabouts will be answered in a mere one word, which makes no sense to the perplexed parent. So, how can you tell what a child is trying to say?

Worry not, this article looks at popular acronyms that children and teens alike use. This will help you understand their so-called ‘language’ better. Yes, gone are the days when grammatically correct sentences were the way of life. Today, in this age of Internet slang or acronyms or abbreviations, ‘short and sweet’ talk rules.

Why is that, you may wonder. Well, acronyms rule and is the language of choice today. No matter what you use to communicate, be it our ubiquitous mobile phone, to laptops, countless social sites to personal blogs, acronyms are making their presence felt in a big way. Gone are the days when we would respond politely with an ‘ask me anything’ if someone asks if we have time for a few questions. Now, it’s simply AMA! And oh…want to introduce yourself to someone on Twitter? Just send a DM — a direct message. While some may know what common Internet acronyms mean, there are many who cannot figure out what floats around in the big wide world of the Internet.

So, read on to be well-equipped with the latest lingo. Best thing is, next time around your child time your child describes something as OMG, you will know exactly what she means! What's more, you can respond in a similar fashion. It will leave your kiddo baffled, we bet!

So, let us look at some acronyms you must know. ICYMI.

Oh. Sorry! ICYMI — in case you missed it!

1. FOMO: Fear of missing out.

2. IMO/IMHO: In my humble opinion

3. TIL: Today I learned

4. YOLO: You only live once

5. SMH: Shaking my head

6. BAE: Before anything else

7. TTYL: Talk to you later

8. TBT: Throwback Thursday.

9. DAE: Does anyone else?

10. NOYB: None of your business

11. SCNR: Sorry, could not resist

12. IRL: In real life

13. JSYK: Just so you know

14. NSFW: Not safe for work

15. PAW: Parents are watching

16. GOAT: Greatest of all time

17. BRB: Be right back

18. BFF: Best friends forever

19. FBO: Facebook official

20. IANAD: I am not a doctor

21. WOM: Word of mouth

22. YMMV: Your mileage may vary

23. RT: Retweet

24. OOTD: Outfit of the day

25. NBD: No big deal

26. TIA: Thanks in advance

27. WFM: Works for me

28. TBA: To be announced

29. HTH: Hope this helps

30. ITT: In this thread

So, TYG…sorry, we meant there you go! You don’t have to be the odd one out whenever Internet acronyms are being used left, right and centre. Although, they seem fun and annoying at the same time, Internet acronyms are quite useful and save a lot of time whenever one wants to convey something quickly. And who knows, the next time you send an idea for a weekend getaway to your child, he may just respond with a simple ILT — I liked it! 

Happy conversing. 

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