PureTalk USA
September 4th, 2014 17:13

The 411 On Texting Lingo

Ah, textingMillennials natural way of communication and English teachers arch nemesis.

Mobile phones provide us with several easy ways to communicate, but perhaps the simplest method of all is the text message. Quick, short and convenient, texting is often the preferred method of communication for several mobile phone users.

The best part? Texting abbreviations of course. As if texting wasnt quick enough, mobile junkies have now created some lingo to save you even more time when constructing a message

But what do these terms & abbreviations really mean? Weve decoded 20 of the most common texting abbreviations. Are you text savvy? Read on to find out!



1. LOL- Laugh out loud

LOL is so common that you can now hear it used in every day verbal conversation. LOL signifies laughter, and is a quick, easy replacement for the longer, more complex ha ha ha.

2. TTYL- Talk to you later

Okay, so saying bye might be shorter, but its just too abrupt and final for texters. Everyone knows youre going to be back to your phone in the next hour (or five minutes). This isnt goodbye its just until later.

3. OMG- Oh my god

OMG can be used to show shock, surprise, or excitement. You just got a new car? OMG. Becky went on a date with Danny? OMG. Its snowing? OMG.

4. LMAO- Laughing my *ss off

LMAO is figurative, of course. Its often used when something is really, really funny. Were talking so funny that LOL just wont suffice.

5. BRB- Be right back

BRB originated in online chat forums (think way back, like AOL Instant Messenger back). It was used to convey you were leaving, but not long enough to sign off the computer. You wouldnt want someone to think you were ignoring a chat, would you? Today, BRB is used for much of the same. However, unlike your computer, your mobile phone travels with you everywhere, so now it reads- Im doing something that requires both hands.

6. BTW- By the way

BTW marks an information bomb. Its a substitute for a causal tonea softener if you will. Dont be fooled that info probably just rocked your world. Were moving to Alaska, BTW

7. WTF

Parents, dont be fooled. This does not mean, well thats fantastic, well thats fine, or whatever other clever acronym your child has told you. Wed tell you what it really means, but Pure TalkUSA is a family company try Google.

8. IDK- I don't know

IDK is a quick and effective way to either, A- convey you dont have an answer, or B- avoid a sticky subject. Some examples?
Whats the square root of 345,671?
IDK
Mom, who took my last slice of cake?
IDK

9. IDC- I don't care

IDC is every commitment-phobes best friend. No explanation is needed when you send IDC. Dont want to pick the restaurant? Say IDC. Dont want to pick the movie? IDC. Dont want to talk about how irritated you really are that Carla didnt invite you to her party? IDC.

10. JK- Just kidding

Sarcasm can be hard to decipher over a text message. But dont fretJK is here to make sure sarcasm lives on. If you happen to be making jokes via text, better play it safe and throw in a JK. Wouldnt want to not get a LOL back.

11. NM- Not much

NM is one of the most popular replies to the infamous whats up? text message. Sometimes extended to the always-convenient nmu? (not much, you?), nm is an easy, albeit somewhat mysterious answer to inquiries regarding your current activities.

12. WTH- What the hell

Shocked? Outraged? Confused? You dont have to use outright vulgarity to express these sentiments. Meet WTH, the milder cousin of WTF. Not as harsh or profane, yet still effective.

13. TMI- Too much information

You know those people that share too much via text? Kindly let them know by using TMI. Its an easy yet firm indicator that you really could live without knowing about their strange toe problem, and is shorter than saying Stop sending pics, please.

14. ROFL- Rolling on the floor laughing

ROFL marks hysterical laughter tears-rolling-down-your-face-cant-breathe laughter. If you get a ROFL text, congratulations! You are truly funny, my friend.

15. JW- Just wondering

So much is lost in a conversation when your tone isnt conveyed. This is often a huge problem for texters. JW is a perfect way to clarify your intentions. Youre not asking Billy if he really has to borrow your car this weekend because youre worried about his driving record. youre JW.

16. Obvi- Obviously

Obvi is another texting abbreviation making English teachers everywhere cringe. It has now infiltrated into the spoken word. Students, take note: if you use this abbreviation in class, you probably will be scolded. Obvi.

17. FYI- For your information

Familiarity is bliss, is it not? FYI, once a common email/workplace abbreviation, has now been passed along to the texting generation as a means of conveying information. However, sometimes FYI is used as a you should have known or thats obvious--- That was TMI, FYI.

18. TY- Thank you

Time is a precious thing. Thankfully, texters have discovered how to make enough time for gratitude. How? An abbreviation, of course. Take a few seconds and use TY for a simple way to say thanks. You wouldnt want to risk being rude by saying nothing at all

19. BC- Because

BC is a crucial abbreviation for texters who break the mold and send lengthy messages. An essential transition for detailed messages, BC makes sure you keep your texting time short even when the message is long.

20. ILY- I love you

How can we include abbreviations for the many words and phrases we use on a daily basis and not include the most important of them all? Texters have spoken-- or, um, texted--- and theyve decided romance will not be lost in the digital age. So, if you only have time to text three letters to someone today, make them ILY and spread the love!

More Terms to Know


Wouldnt life be easy if text-talk was limited to 20 terms? Unfortunately, digital lingo comes with a vast array of acronyms and abbreviations. But dont worry weve created the ultimate cheat sheet to help you out!

PureTalk-abbreviations_chart