BYOB, OMG, and FYI are just soooo yesterday. New abbreviations pop up on social media every second, so it's normal to feel lost and confused about the origin and correct usage of letters like “JIC” (just in case).
So we’re here to help you learn 33 acronyms floating around. Behold, the DoMA (Dictionary Of Modern Abbreviations):
Note: One major difference between the out-of-style acronyms of 10 years ago and the new, hip ones is that acronyms are no longer always used in place of the words they stand for. Instead, the acronym can become a name of the thing it is referencing, for example:
BAE: Before Anyone Else. Instead of saying, “My love comes BAE,” one might say, "My BAE and I are staying in tonight." The acronym stands as a complete symbol of what each letter actually stands for. I know, doesn’t make a lotta sense. Just go with it.
Now, on to the rest of the list:
FaTH: First and Truest Husband. But it doesn’t necessarily refer to one’s actual husband.
Ex. “This relationship has been so incredible, you’ll always be my FaTH.”
IRL: In Real Life. It's usually used to refer to someone you speak to over the Internet but haven’t actually met.
Ex. "Your blog post was so interesting, I would love to meet you IRL."
TBH: To Be Honest. This is often said after something controversial.
Ex. "I just don't really like cupcakes anymore, TBH."
OTP: One True Pairing. These are two characters that you feel are meant to be together.
Ex. “Sookie and Eric are my OTP.”
DFTBA: Don’t Forget To Be Awesome. Popularized by John Green and Brothers Hank, the meaning is self explanatory.
Ex. “See you later, DFTBA!”
RT: Retweet. This one's not so new but maybe confusing to non-twitter users. It means someone has essentially reposted your tweet for their followers to see.
Ex. “RT @personwhotweeted: I love acronyms!”
OAN: On Another Note. It's mostly used in informal emails.
Ex. “Hi Grandma! School’s been great, but OAN we’re getting a puppy!”
IMO or IMHO: In My (Humble) Opinion. This is used usually in the comments section on websites.
Ex. “I liked this article, but IMO, there should have been more emphasis on why he didn’t get the rose.”
DAE: Does Anyone Else. It's used to frame a question.
Ex. “DAE sometimes dip their pasta in ketchup?”
FTW: For The Win. This one is meant to emphasize the end of a comment, sometimes sarcastic.
Ex. “It’s pouring out today, wet socks FTW!”
YSK: You Should Know. Use this to provide context about something you’re posting.
Ex. “We had a family dinner, and YSK we rarely get together as a family.”
HMU: Hit Me Up. It's like saying contact me, but with a little flair.
Ex. “You’re kinda cute…feel free to HMU.”
IANAD: I Am Not A Doctor. It's almost like a disclaimer if you’re going to say something bordering on medical advice.
Ex. “IANAD, but wouldn’t doing a juice cleanse slow your metabolism?”
SMH: Shaking My Head. Said to express disappointment.
Ex. “You got another fedora?! SMH.”
WDYMBT: What Do You Mean By That? This ones cool ‘cause its actually a full sentence.
LMK: Let Me Know. A very relaxed way of asking for information.
Ex. “Alright if you find it LMK, no rush.”
BTAIM: Be That As It May. For very specific acronym users to make a formal argument in an informal context.
Ex. “BTAIM, I still need to have the shoes shined.”
ELI5: Explain Like I’m 5 (years old). This one is often seen on Reddit, and it's used to ask a question about a complex idea.
Ex. “ELI5, how does gravity work?”
ASL: Age/Sex/Location. Another oldie, typically used in an anonymous context, often starting an interaction.
Ex. “Hey. ASL?”
MTFBWY: May The Force Be With You. Borrowed from "Star Wars," it's another way of saying good luck.
Ex. “MTFBWY on your date tonight.”
GTR: Getting Ready. This one is counter-intuitive 'cause you wouldn’t think "get" and ‘ting’ would be two different words, but alas.
Ex. “I’ll be there soon, GTR now.”
FUTAB: Feet Up, Take A Break. So it’s not just a regular break, its like a really relaxed break.
Ex. “One more hour till the weekend, I think I deserve a FUTAB.”
FTFY: Fixed That For You. This is used in Internet comments to correct the grammar of a person that commented earlier, or can be used to be funny.
Ex. “‘Staying up all night will be a great idea!’ ‘Staying up all night will be a horrible idea! FTFY.’”
TL;DR: Too Long;Didn’t Read. Often written in a comment, if a person doesn't want to read an entire article but has something to say anyway.
Ex. “TL/DR but your assessment on which 1D member will launch a solo career first is all wrong.”
TIL: Today I Learned. It may start a post on Facebook or Reddit, and is used to introduce new information.
Ex. “TIL people use their whole brain, not just 10%.”
TIFU: Today I Fudged Up. Often seen on Reddit, it's used to explain that you messed up trying something.
Ex. “TIFU trying to flirt.”
NSFW: Not Safe For Work. This signifies that a post or article is typically inappropriate for the workplace.
Ex. “This video contains nudity, NSFW.”
NSFL: Not Safe For Life. Alternatively, some things are just gross in general so a post might let you know that before you click.
Ex. “This photo features dead bugs, NSFL.”
MCM: Man Crush Monday. Monday is a day to Instagram the man you have a crush on.
Ex. “Gotta love Leo. #MCM.”
WCW: Woman Crush Wednesday. Wednesday is a day to Instagram the woman you have a crush on.
Ex. “J.LAW BE MY FRIEND. #WCW.”
TBT: Throw Back Thursday. You probably know this one by now but it's worth clearing up just in case -- it’s when you Instagram a picture from a while ago on a Thursday.
Ex. “I’m gonna TBT this picture of myself holding a monkey at the zoo.”
FBF: Flash Back Friday. Did you forget to throwback on Thursday? Have no fear, you have another shot on friday.
Ex. “‘I know it’s not Thursday but can I insta this picture of me in kindergarten?’ ‘Sure, just do a #FBF instead!'"
Disclaimer: Many of these acronyms have alternate definitions, these are just some new ways they’re being used around the Internet.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the meaning of TL;DR.