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A Guide to Internet Acronyms

Understanding Internet Lingo

If ASL, BRB, LOL or ROFL seem 2 hard 4 U 2 underst&, don't worry. Adults and teens who visit chat rooms and communicate via instant messengers (IMs) can give U the 411, including children who seem 2 young 2 even know much about computers. Does that sound g%d 2 U? B4 U get 2 frustrated with this shorthand and say CUL8R to this article, read a little further and U 2 will become versed in the foreign language of cyber land.

This isn't an exhaustive list. New cyber slang comes out every day, and some of these terms will be outdated tomorrow. It's just an overview for parents, grandparents, teachers, babysitters, newbie computer users, adults interested in learning more about cyber dating or anyone with a curiosity or concern for today's Internet culture and phraseology:


AAK: Alive and kicking

AAR: At any rate

AAS: Alive and smiling

Addy: Abbreviation for e-mail address

ADN: Any day now

AFAIK: As far as I know

AFK: Away from the keyboard

AFN: All for now

AOTA: All of the above

ASL: Age/Sex/Location (used to ask a chatter their personal information)

AV: Avatar (a graphic or icon often used by chatters to express looks, personality or mood)


B4: Before

BAK: Back at keyboard (ex.: I'm back at the keyboard.)

BBL: Be back later

BBS: Be back soon

B/F: Boyfriend

BEG: Big evil grin

BFN: Bye for now

Boot: When chatters are kicked out of a chat room due to some technical problem, or have to restart their computers

BR: Best regards

BRB: Be right back

BRH: Be right here

BTA: But then again

BTW: By the way


Chat room: A Web page where people gather using software that allows them to type messages to each other in real time

CU or CYA: See you or see ya

CNP: Continued in next post

CP: Chat post

CUL8R: See you later

CUOL: See you on-line

CYA: See ya


DD, DS, DH: Darling (or Dear) – Dear Daughter, Dear Son, Dear Husband

DEGT: Don't even go there

DIKU: Do I know you?

DIS: Did I say

D/L, DL: Downloading or download it


EG: Evil grin

EM: E-mail

EMA: E-mail address

EOT: End of thread

EZ: Easy


F2F: Face to face

FAQ: Frequently Asked Question

FISH: First in still here

FUD: Fear, uncertainty and doubt

FWIW: For what it's worth

FYI: For your information


GA: Go ahead

GAL: Get a life

G/F or GF: Girlfriend

GFN: Gone for now

GGOH: Gotta get outta here

GMTA: Great minds think alike

GR: Gotta run

GR&D: Grinning, running and ducking

GTR: Got to run

GTRM: Going to read mail (leaving chat room to read e-mail)


HAGD: Have a good day

HAGO: Have a good one

HB: Hurry back

HTH: Hope that helps

Huggles: Hugs


IAC: In any case

IB: I'm back

IC: I see

ICQ: I seek you (a computer program used to instantly communicate over the Internet)

ILU or ILY: I love you

IM: Instant Message

IMHO: In my humble/honest opinion

IMO: In my opinion

IOH: I'm out of here

IOW: In other words

IRL: In real life

IYO: In your opinion


JAS: Just a second

JIC: Just in case

JK: Just kidding

JMO: Just my opinion

JW: Just wondering



KIT: Keep in touch


L8R: Later

LMAO: Laughing my ass off

LOL: Laughing out loud

LTNS: Long time no see

LTS: Laughing to self

LY: Love ya

LYL: Love you lots


Message Board: A web page where people type comments, leave messages and communicate, and those comments are posted online for others to read. Used to talk, request information and leave messages.


Newbie or NB1: A person new to computers or technology

NIMBY: Not in my back yard

NM: Never mind

NP: No problem

NRN: No response necessary or not right now

NT: No thanks


OBTW: Oh, by the way

OIC: Oh, I see

OJ or OK: Only joking or only kidding

OL: the Old Lady

OM: the Old Man

OMG: Oh my gosh or God

OT: Off topic

OTH: Off the hook (something really wild, hot or unusual)

OTR: Off the rack (saying that something is off the hook)

OTE: Over the edge (beyond reason or normalcy)

OTOH: On the other hand

OTOMH: Off the top of my head

OTW: On the way (when sending a file, meaning, "It's on the way.")


P911: Parents are in the room (P=Parents and 911=emergency, meaning stop talking or watch what you say)

PEBCAK: Problem exists between chair and keyboard

Peeps: People, friends, other chatters

Peep This: Listen to this or watch this

PLZ: Please

PMJI: Pardon me for jumping in (when a chatter jumps into a new conversation or thread)

Poof: When a chatter leaves a chat room, as in "Poof! They disappeared."

POS: Parents over shoulder (as in parents are looking over my shoulder to read the chat text)

POTS: Parents over the shoulder

POTS: Plain old telephone service

PPL: People


QT: Cutie


RL: Real life (as in life away from the computer)

RM: Ready made

ROFL: Rolling on floor laughing

RSN: Real soon now

RT: Real time

RU: Are you?


SH: Same here

SN: Screen name (nickname selected by chatter or for an IM)

SO: Significant other

SOTA: State of the art

SPST: Same place, same time

STR8: Straight (refers to sexual orientation or being free of alcohol or drugs at the moment, also used in "I'm OK" or "It's OK. I'm satisfied. I'm straight with it.")

STW: Search the Web

SY: Sincerely yours

SYL: See you later


TAFN: That's all for now

TC: Take care

THX: Thanks!

TIA: Thanks in advance

TM: Text message (communications with text over cell phones)

TMI: Too much information

TNT: 'Til next time

TPS: That's pretty stupid

TPTB: The powers that be

TRDMF : Tears running down my face (from laughter or sadness)

TTFN: Ta-ta for now

TTTT: These things take time

TTYL: Talk to you later

TY: Thank you

TYT: Take your time

TYVM: Thank you very much


UV: Unpleasant visual

UW: You're welcome

UY: Up yours


WB: Welcome back (said out of courtesy when a chatter returns to a chat room)

WC: Welcome

WEG: Wicked evil grin

WEU: What's eating you?

WFM: Works for me

WIIFM: What's in it for me?

WTG: Way to go

WT?: What the ...? or Who the ...?

WTGP?: Want to go private? (move to IM or private conversation)

WWJD: What would Jesus do?


YAA: Yet another acronym

YBS: You'll be sorry

YL: Young lady

YM: Young man

YMMV: Your mileage may vary

YR: Yeah, right (sarcastic)

YS: You stinker

YVW: You're very welcome

YW: You're welcome

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