person-speech-bubbles-500pxNot so long along, there was a discussion about the number of Internet acronyms and how confusing we often found the language we were confronted with on a, now, daily basis. I thought it would be fun to have a look at some of the more common (and not so common) variations of our language.

The origins of the use of acryonyms really has it’s basis in the growth of Text & Instant Messaging. Shortening common phrases to acryonyms helps save fingers from typing and also allows a relatively detailed message to be sent within the character limits imposed by SMS services and Twitter.

I’ve chosen a few of the more common terms to share and thrown in a handful of not so common ones. One thing I did notice when reviewing the terms, is the number of the ‘business’ terms that I’ve been using for years that seem to be in common IM use…. Thanks to NetLingo for being a reference!


TIA – nope, TIA is not an Aunty or a Cousin. TIA mean Thanks In Advance… so when someone signs off an email or commminque as TIA, they’re really saying Thanks In Advance

IMO – Im My Opinion – this acryonm is often seen in a sentence structure that requires a person to present their own personal opinion

IMHO – In My Humble (perhaps Honest) Opinion – much like the example above, the author is trying to purview their own thoughts but make them a little more genuine by adding a level of humility to the statement

AFAIK – As Far As I Know ….. or perhap AFAIU – As Far As I Understand

AFAIUI – As Far As I Understand It

AFK – Away From Keyboard; used for online gaming and chat sessions, this acronym tells your discussion partner that you are not at your keyboard.

AUNT – And U Know It (this was a new one for me)

BBL – Be Back Later; Often used during a chat session to let your recipient know you’ll be AFK (away from keyboard…)

BEG – Big Evil Grin

CICO – a fave for me: Coffee In Coffee Out

F2F – Face To Face

FWIW – For What It’s Worth

FYA – For Your Amusement (but I don’t see why it couldn’t be Action either)

FYEO – For Your Eyes Only

FYI – For Your Information

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GLBT – Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender

HTH – Hope That Helps

IDK – I Don’t Know

IIRC – If I Recall Correctly

IM – Instant Messaging

IRL – In Real Life

LARP – Live Action Role Play

LMAO – Laughing My Ass Off

LOL – Laughing Out Loud (not Lot’s of Love)

NAK – Nursing At Keyboard

NBD – No Big Deal

NUFF – Enough

OMG – Oh My God

OMB – Oh My Buddha

ROFL – Rolling on the Floor Laughing

ROFLMAO – Rolling On the Floor Laughing My Ass Off

RPG – Role Playing Game

RTM (or RTFM) – Read The Manual, I’ll let you extrapolate the second one….

SAHM – Stay At Home Mum

TNX – Thanks

TTFN – Ta Ta For Now

W8 – Wait

WTH – polite version of WTF, What The Hell

WTF – more likely to be used by Aussie’s, What The F…. you can fill in the blanks


Family Acryonyms

DH – Dear Hubby
DD – Dear Daughter
DS – Dear Son
DW – Dear Wife
MIL – Mum In Law
FIL – Father In Law
SIL – Sister In Law
BIL – Brother In Law

What I really love about acronyms is that just seem to evolve based on the culture as well.  I know many a grandparent has taken to using LOL as Lot’s of Love, as opposed to the common Laugh Out Loud – it can make the communication a little awkward when the receiving party doesn’t get the ‘new usage’.

For a little bit of fun, I thought I would construct a sentence:

FWIW my DH said something that had me ROFLMAO. I said OMG, NUFF said and W8 for me to recover.

What are you fave acronyms (or abbreviations) that you use when communicating with people?  Share them below.



About the Author Charly Dwyer

Charly has more than 30 years experience in the IT industry ranging from hands-on technical, to high-level business management, Charly has installed and configured computing equipment and has managed business contracts in excess of $25 million dollars.

As a result, Charly identifies the best way to integrate solutions and technologies for the most cost effective way to achieve a businesses outcome.

  • THANK YOU…I mean, TNX! I have wondered for the longest time what most of these acronyms are. I always thought women were calling their husband something less favourable when they referred to him as “my DH”. Things are becoming much clearer now.

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