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Texting 101

200 text abbreviations to know and best practices for using them

Alia Paavola
7
minute read
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Text abbreviations, a staple in communications worldwide, are shortened versions of words or phrases. They are used to save time and help limit character count when texting or sending messages. 

These text abbreviations and acronyms are convenient. But, there are some best practices to keep in mind. This will help you avoid sending texts that are hard to understand or unprofessional in a business context.

In our article, we share 200 texting abbreviations and their meanings. We also describe how abbreviations are useful, the best practices for using them in business texting, and examples of how to use them.

How are text abbreviations useful?

From “ASAP” to “LOL,” businesses and consumers use text abbreviations to save time and stay within the 160-character limit. But, there are other reasons learning about them can be beneficial. Specifically, staying on top of the ever-growing list will help you understand your peers, customers, or workplace lingo. Plus,  it will help you excel with the concise communication style of texting. 

Common Conversational Text Abbreviations

The following text abbreviations and acronyms are commonplace on social media and text chains between peers.

AKA — Also Known As

AMA — Ask Me Anything

ASAP — As Soon As Possible

BRB — Be Right Back

BBS — Be Back Soon

BTS — Behind The Scenes

BTW —  By The Way

BYOB — Bring Your Own Beverage

DIY — Do It Yourself

DL — Down Low or Download

DND — Do Not Disturb

ETA — Estimated Time (of) Arrival

FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

FOMO — Fear Of Missing Out

FML —  F*** My Life

FTW — For The Win

FWIW — For What It’s Worth

FYI — For Your Information

G2G — Good To Go

GOAT — Greatest Of All Time

HBD — Happy Birthday

HMU — Hit Me Up

HW — Homework

ICYMI — In Case You Missed It

IDC — I Don’t Care

IDK — I Don’t Know

IK — I Know

IKR — I Know Right

ILY — I Love You

ILYSM — I Love You So Much

IMHO — In My Honest Opinion

IMO — In My Opinion

IMU — I Miss You

IOU — I Owe You

IRL — In Real Life

ISO  — In Search Of

JK — Just Kidding

K — OK

LOL — Laugh Out Loud

LMAO — Laughing My A** Off

LMK — Let Me Know

LYLAS — Love You Like A Sister

MFW — My Face When

N/A — Not Applicable

NBD — No Big Deal

NGL — Not Gunna Lie

NP — No Problem

NVM — Never mind

NSFW — Not Safe For Work

OFC — Of Course

OG — Original Gangster

OH — Overheard

OMG — Oh My God (Gosh)

OMW — On My Way

OOTD — Outfit Of The Day

OT — Off Topic

PDA — Public Display (of) Affection

POV — Point Of View

PSA — Public Service Announcement

RIP — Rest In Peace

RN — Right Now

ROFL — Rolling On (the) Floor Laughing

RSVP — Répondez S'il Vous Plaît (Respond Please)

SFW — Safe For Work

SMH — Shake My Head

SUS — Suspicious 

TFW — That Feeling When

TBA — To Be Announced

TBD — To Be Determined (Decided)

TBH — To Be Honest

TGIF — Thank God It’s Friday

TL;DR — To Long; Didn’t Read

TMI — Too Much Information

TTYL — Talk To You Later

TTYS — Talk To You Soon

TY — Thank You

TYSM — Thank You So Much

VIP — Very Important Person

W/E — Whatever

W/O — Without

WTF — What The F***

WTH — What The H***

WYD — What (are) You Doing

YOLO — You Only Live Once

YSK — You Should Know

YW — You’re Welcome

Common Business Text Abbreviations

The following text abbreviations are commonly used in business settings to shorten words or phrases. 

ACCT — Account

ACK — Acknowledge 

AFK — Away From Computer

​​API — Application Program Interface

B2C — Business To Consumer

B2B — Business To Business

BCC — Blind Carbon Copy

BD — Business Development

CC — Carbon Copy

COB — Close Of Business

COGS — Cost Of Goods Sold

CSAT — Customer Satisfaction Score

CX — Customer Experience 

DSC — Dedicated Short Code

EPS — Earnings Per Share

F2F — Face To Face

FW — Forward

FTE — Full-Time Employee

FTP — File Transfer Protocol

GA — Google Analytics

EOB — End Of Business

EOD — End Of Day

EOM — End Of Month

EOT — End Of Thread

EOW — End Of Week

HR — Human Resources

HQ  — Headquarters

IAM — In A Meeting

IPO — Initial Public Offering

ISP — Internet Service Provider

JV — Joint Venture

KPI — Key Performance Indicator

LOI — Letter Of Intent

OOO — Out Of Office

M&A — Mergers & Acquisitions

MGMT — Management

MMS — Multimedia Messaging Service

MoM — Month Over Month

MRR — Monthly Recurring Revenue

MSG — Message

MTD — Month To Date

NDA —  Non-Disclosure Agreement

NFS — Not For Sale

NPS  — Net Promoter Score

OS — Operating System

PIN — Personal Identification Number

PIP —  Performance Improvement Plan

P2P — Peer To Peer

PC — Personal Computer

PTO — Paid Time Off

PTE — Part-Time Employee

POC — Point Of Contact; Proof Of Concept

QA — Quality Assurance

RFI — Request For Information

ROI — Return On Investment

RX — Prescription Drug

SaaS — Software As A Service

SLA — Service Level Agreement

SMB — Small and Midsized Businesses

SME — Subject Matter Expert

SMS — Short Messaging Service

SPAC — Special Purpose Acquisition Company

UX — User Experience

T&C — Terms & Conditions

TIA — Thanks In Advance

WFH — Work From Home

VPN — Virtual Private Network

YoY — Year Over Year

YTD — Year To Date

10DLC — 10-Digit Long Code

Common Marketing Text Abbreviations

The following text acronyms are used commonly by marketing teams in the U.S.

AOV — Average Order Value

BOGO — Buy One Get One

CLV — Customer Lifetime Value

CMS — Content Management System

CPA — Cost Per Acquisition

CPC  —  Cost Per Click

CPV — Cost Per View

CR  — Conversion Rate

CRM — Customer Relationship Management

CRO — Conversion Rate Optimization

CTA — Call To Action

CTR — Click Through Rate

ICP — Ideal Customer Profile

LTV — Lifetime Value

PPC — Pay Per Click

SEM — Search Engine Marketing

SEO — Search Engine Optimization

SERP — Search Engine Results Page

SOV — Share Of Voice

WOM — Word Of Mouth

Standard Social Media Abbreviations

Here’s a list of 15 common abbreviations used to describe specific items on social media. 

DM — Direct Message

FB — Facebook

FF — Follow Friday (Twitter)

FYP — For You Page (TikTok)

HT  — Hat Tip (Twitter)

IG — Instagram

IM — Instant Message

LI  — LinkedIn

MT — Modified Tweet

PM — Personal Message

RT — Retweet

SM — Social Media

TW — Twitter

UGC — User Generated Content

YT  — YouTube

Relational Text Abbreviations

Here are a few text abbreviations used to describe interpersonal relationships.

BAE — Before Anyone Else

BF — Boyfriend

BFF — Best Friend Forever

FWB — Friends With Benefits

GF — Girlfriend

LOML  — Love Of My Life

MCM — Man Crush Monday

SO — Significant Other

WCW — Woman Crush Wednesday

Text abbreviation best practices 

1. Don’t overuse abbreviations

Using too many abbreviations in a single message can hinder readability. Instead, stick to using one or two acronyms per text to ensure you don’t confuse your audience. 

Take the following examples, the first message looks like alphabet soup with five different texting acronyms. You risk losing your audience by using so many abbreviations. Instead, consider using the second message for enhanced readability.

🚫 TGIF! FYI our Summer Sale for our VIP SMS subscribers is this weekend only! Present this coupon for 25% off in stores. BTW our store hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

✅ TGIF! Our Summer Sale is this weekend only! Get 25% off in stores by presenting this exclusive coupon. BTW our store hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

If you’re trying to abbreviate because you are running out of characters in your message, instead consider sending a short link to a website that contains more information or an MMS with a photo that has more information. 

2. Keep it simple

Text abbreviations are only useful when your message recipient knows what they mean. As a result, when it comes to using texting acronyms, keep it simple by sticking to the classic abbreviations or spelling out what you mean if you are afraid the acronym isn’t widely used.

You don’t want to confuse your audience by using abbreviations that are unknown or give them the chore of deciphering a hard-to-understand acronym. 

Additionally, another key when it comes to simplicity is don’t makeup acronyms.

3. Understand your audience

Your use of text abbreviations should differ based on your key audience. Knowing your audience will help you decide which abbreviations to use and which ones to avoid.

For example, if you’re sending a text to your 75-year-old grandpa saying you’re about to head over to his house you’d likely want to type “on my way” versus “OMW.” 

Further, if you’re a marketing leader giving a presentation to a group of peers, you could definitely use acronyms like CTA, PPC, or SEO, without the message being lost in translation. But, say you’re giving a career day presentation to a group of soon-to-be high school graduates, you would likely want to hold off on the acronyms.

When it comes to SMS marketing, remember to use acronyms your target audience understands. If you have a customer base that spans several age groups, segment them and tailor messages to each group so your messaging is appropriate.

4. Keep message content in mind

Also, keep the message content in mind before using an abbreviation. For example, the use of common casual text acronyms like LOL, TTYL, FWIW, and IRL are often considered to be more informal. As a result, make sure you are keeping the message content and desired tone in mind before hitting send. 

For example, if you’re in customer service and working to resolve a customer issue, you would likely want to avoid using casual acronyms like LOL, FWIW, TTYL, or IRL, as it could appear as if you aren’t taking the issue seriously.

5. Proofread

Before you hit send on your next text message, make sure you proofread and double-check your acronyms are used correctly. Nothing screams unprofessional or out of touch like misspelling or misusing an acronym.

Keep in mind one of the most common mistakes people use while using acronyms: redundant acronyms. This occurs when a texter uses a phrase containing an acronym plus a word or phrase such that when it is expanded the phrase contains a redundancy.

For example:

🚫 VIP Person, Very Important Person Person

🚫 PIN Number, Personal Identification Number Number

Instead, you’d want to use:

✅ VIP, Very Important Person

✅ PIN, Personal Identification Number

One of the best ways to ensure you’re using the acronym appropriately is to understand what it stands for and to read it in its spelled-out form while proofreading. 

Examples of how to use text abbreviations

Here are five examples of how to use abbreviations in business texts:

1. Promotional SMS Message

ICYMI, we have 6 new menu items for the month of September! Show this message at any of our locations and get 15% off your dine-in meal. 

2. Appointment reminders

Hi John! Your plumbing repair is scheduled for tomorrow at 12 p.m. Reply “C” to confirm. Otherwise, LMK if you need to reschedule.

3. Customer service

Thanks for contacting our customer service line. Our hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. We will respond ASAP tomorrow.

4. Event promotion

Hi Tim! The Netflix Is A Joke Fest is returning next year. The full lineup is TBA. Stay tuned for more information.

5. Account management

Hi {{contact.name}}! I saw you’re interested in seeing YoY performance of our work with you. Let’s get a meeting on the books for next week!

Conversational text abbreviation examples

In addition to business texts, there are many ways you can use text abbreviations in conversations in a more casual setting. Here are just a few:

1. Let a coworker know you’re stepping out for a minute

I’m running to grab a coffee - BRB!

2. Let someone know you’re on your way

Hey Sarah! I’m OMW to the movie theater. My ETA is 6:10!

3. React to a message

Friend 1: That date was a nightmare! He was rude to the waiter AND left no tip on his half of the bill. 

Friend 2: SMH!

Friend 1: Luckily I slipped an extra $10 on the table after I saw that!

An example of a text conversation between friends.
An example of a text conversation between friends.

4. Express an opinion

A lot of people say Tom Brady is the best QB of all time. But, I think Aaron Rodgers is the GOAT.

5. Use it in a Facebook ad to sell a personal item 

I’m selling my Marin Alpine Trail mountain bike. DM me if you’re interested or want more photos.

The bottom line

Text abbreviations can help you get your message across in fewer words and save time. However, keep our best practices in mind when you’re choosing which abbreviations to use to ensure your text recipients understand your message.

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