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.
FaTH: First and Truest Husband. But it doesn’t necessarily refer to one’s actual husband.
Now, on to the rest of the list:
IRL: In Real Life. It's usually used to refer to someone you speak to over the Internet but haven’t actually met.
Ex. “This relationship has been so incredible, you’ll always be my FaTH.”
TBH: To Be Honest. This is often said after something controversial.
Ex. "Your blog post was so interesting, I would love to meet you IRL."
OTP: One True Pairing. These are two characters that you feel are meant to be together.
Ex. "I just don't really like cupcakes anymore, TBH."
DFTBA: Don’t Forget To Be Awesome. Popularized by John Green and Brothers Hank, the meaning is self explanatory.
Ex. “Sookie and Eric are my OTP.”
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. “See you later, DFTBA!”
OAN: On Another Note. It's mostly used in informal emails.
Ex. “RT @personwhotweeted: I love acronyms!”
IMO or IMHO: In My (Humble) Opinion. This is used usually in the comments section on websites.
Ex. “Hi Grandma! School’s been great, but OAN we’re getting a puppy!”
DAE: Does Anyone Else. It's used to frame a question.
Ex. “I liked this article, but IMO, there should have been more emphasis on why he didn’t get the rose.”
FTW: For The Win. This one is meant to emphasize the end of a comment, sometimes sarcastic.
Ex. “DAE sometimes dip their pasta in ketchup?”
YSK: You Should Know. Use this to provide context about something you’re posting.
Ex. “It’s pouring out today, wet socks FTW!”
HMU: Hit Me Up. It's like saying contact me, but with a little flair.
Ex. “We had a family dinner, and YSK we rarely get together as a family.”
IANAD: I Am Not A Doctor. It's almost like a disclaimer if you’re going to say something bordering on medical advice.
Ex. “You’re kinda cute…feel free to HMU.”
SMH: Shaking My Head. Said to express disappointment.
Ex. “IANAD, but wouldn’t doing a juice cleanse slow your metabolism?”
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. “You got another fedora?! SMH.”
BTAIM: Be That As It May. For very specific acronym users to make a formal argument in an informal context.
Ex. “Alright if you find it LMK, no rush.”
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. “BTAIM, I still need to have the shoes shined.”
ASL: Age/Sex/Location. Another oldie, typically used in an anonymous context, often starting an interaction.
MTFBWY: May The Force Be With You. Borrowed from "Star Wars," it's another way of saying good luck.
Ex. “ELI5, how does gravity work?”
GTR: Getting Ready. This one is counter-intuitive 'cause you wouldn’t think "get" and ‘ting’ would be two different words, but alas.
Ex. “MTFBWY on your date tonight.”
FUTAB: Feet Up, Take A Break. So it’s not just a regular break, its like a really relaxed break.
Ex. “I’ll be there soon, GTR now.”
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. “One more hour till the weekend, I think I deserve a FUTAB.”
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. “‘Staying up all night will be a great idea!’ ‘Staying up all night will be a horrible idea! FTFY.’”
TIL: Today I Learned. It may start a post on Facebook or Reddit, and is used to introduce new information.
Ex. “TL/DR but your assessment on which 1D member will launch a solo career first is all wrong.”
TIFU: Today I Fudged Up. Often seen on Reddit, it's used to explain that you messed up trying something.
Ex. “TIL people use their whole brain, not just 10%.”
NSFW: Not Safe For Work. This signifies that a post or article is typically inappropriate for the workplace.
Ex. “TIFU trying to flirt.”
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 video contains nudity, NSFW.”
MCM: Man Crush Monday. Monday is a day to Instagram the man you have a crush on.
Ex. “This photo features dead bugs, NSFL.”
WCW: Woman Crush Wednesday. Wednesday is a day to Instagram the woman you have a crush on.
Ex. “Gotta love Leo. #MCM.”
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. “J.LAW BE MY FRIEND. #WCW.”
FBF: Flash Back Friday. Did you forget to throwback on Thursday? Have no fear, you have another shot on friday.
Ex. “I’m gonna TBT this picture of myself holding a monkey at the zoo.”
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.