In Cyber Safety, Internet Glossary

Text Abbreviations for UK Teens

text abbreviations

 Text speak is officially a form of communication for email and SMS messaging. How it all began is quite ambiguous, but one thing is sure; texting is here to stay. Many people who own a mobile phone are already aware of many text symbols and text abbreviations, but do they know what all of them mean? And are these text abbreviations the same for every country?

|SEE ALSO: Inside the World of Bullying Texts|

The History

Before the dawn of texting and emailing there were other forms of quick writing letters and symbols that people used to communicate with one another. In ancient Egypt they had two types of short, symbolic writing methods to get messages transmitted quickly. They were called Hieratic and Demotic. In the 4th century BC the old Greeks used tachygraphy (swift writing). All of this gave us the swiftest form of quick writing today known as shorthand. Shorthand was invented by Sir Isaac Pitman (1813-1897) and was first introduced to the public in 1837. Down through the years it has evolved tremendously and was translated into 15 different languages. The mode of swift writing was popular in the UK and USA and was used by secretaries, reporters and writers, but became obsolete after the pocket tape recorder came into effect. In the following, we will share a list of the most modern text abbreviations our young men and women use today.

Common Text Abbreviations

S2R: Send to Receive

S4L: Spam for Life

SBIA: Stands Back in Amazement

SBTA: Sorry, Being Thick Again

SC: Stay Cool

SCNR: Sorry, Could Not Resist

SETE: Smiling Ear to Ear

SF: Surfer Friendly or Science Fiction

SMS: Short Message Service (Text Messages to Mobile & Cell Phones)

SNAFU: Situation Normal, All Fluffed Up

SNAG: Sensitive New Age Guy

SNERT: Snotty Nosed Egotistical Rotten Teenager

SO: Significant Other

SOHF: Sense of Humour Failure

SOL: Sooner or Later

SOP: Standard Operating Procedure

SOZ: Sorry

SRO: Standing Room Only


STYS: Speak to You Soon

SUM1: Someone

SUYF: Shut Up You Fool

SWAK: Sent with a Kiss or Sealed with a Kiss

SWALK: Sent with a Loving Kiss

SWDYT: So What Do You Think?

SWG: Scientific Wild Guess

SWTDRMZ: Sweet Dreams

SYS: See You Soon

A term such as IOTTMCO, intuitively obvious to the most casual observer, is, in a way, slightly contradictory. The effect would be much more persuasive if used it in natural spelling rather than text abbreviations. However, for teens, the mere choice of using text abbreviation is fun and the challenge of coming up with new words and phrases is always a treat.

Text Speak Abbreviations

121: One to one (private chat invitation)

2U2: To You, Too

411: All the information

420: Let’s get high/marijuana use

AAMOF: As a Matter of Fact

BAK: Back At Keyboard

BBIAS: Be back in a second

BOT: Back on Topic

BRB: Be Right Back

BTW: By the way

CD9/Code 9: ‘Parents are around’

CRS: Can’t Remember “Stuff”

CU: See You

CUL(8R): See You Later

CWOT: Complete Waste of Time

CYA: See Ya

DITYID: Did I Tell You I’m Distressed?

DIY: Do It Yourself

EOD: End of Discussion

EZ: Easy

F2F: Face To Face

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

FYI: For Your Information

/ga: Go Ahead

GAL: Get A Life

GBTW: Get Back To Work

GFETE: Grinning From Ear to Ear

GTR: Got to run

Many short terms that have been used as abbreviation for decades have now been included as texting abbreviations in the world and some real words have been converted into text speak. For example, SNAFU, traditionally meaning confused or chaotic, is now Situation Normal, All Fluffed Up. Have a nice day is HAND; SOL, the French word for sun is Smiling Out Loud. KISS is Keep It Simple Stupid; and PAW is Parents Are Watching.

HAND: Have a Nice Day

HHIS: Head hanging in shame

HHOK: Ha Ha Only Kidding

HTH: Hope This Helps

IAE: In Any Event

IC: I See

ILBL8: I’ll be late

IMHO: In My Humble Opinion

IOTTMCO: Intuitively Obvious To The Most Casual Observer

IRL: In Real Life

ISP: Internet Service Provider

JIC: Just In Case

J/K: Just kidding

KK: Okay, okay (I understand what you are saying)

KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid

L8TR: Later

LOL: Laughing Out Loud

LTHTT: Laughing too hard to type

Texting short messages and using text slang abbreviations are a norm for teens. In fact, many of the short-hand, text language we see today originated from teens who translated, abridged, improvised and ‘created’ their own abbreviations for texting. Some of the lingo is truly ingenious and just goes to show what intellectual ideas the world of technology can spawn in today’s generation.

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Looking at the list below you will notice that numerals have been substituted for words. At first sight, this is very confusing for a lot of people until they have it explained. For instance, a short text conversation can say:

Gonna go grab some chips and a drink. Want me get something for u 2?

Translated, this means: do you want me to get something for you too?

Text speak also uses a series of consonants without vowels. For instance, txtng means texting; b4 means before; icu is short for I see you. When used in sentences, it’s easier to understand.

LTNS: Long Time No See

LYLAB: Love you like a brother

LYLAS: Love you like a sister

MorF: Male or Female, or person who asks that question

MTCW: My Two Cents Worth

NP: No problem or Nosy parents

NRN: No Reply Necessary

OMG: Oh my God!

OTF: On the Floor

OLL: Online Love

P911: Parents coming into room (alert)

PAW or 9: Parents are watching

PCMCIA: People Can’t Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms

PIR: Parents in room

PLS: Please

POV: Point of View or Parent over shoulder (if used by teenagers)

PSOS: Parents standing over shoulder

PU: That Stinks!

This one – PU – is really interesting. Back in the day people simply spelled it phew. Short speaking has brought us into an entirely different dimension. Judging from the amount of short message systems, we are sure that this method of communication is not only preferable to actual long language, but it is also convenient for those who need to send a message very quickly. If there was ever a need to send an emergency message or SOS – save our souls, a message sent via morse code or semaphore (sending messages via flags) – short texting enables you to do this.

REHI: Hello Again (re-Hi!)

ROFL: Rolling on Floor Laughing

RTDox: Read the Documentation/Directions

RUOK: Are You OK?

SNAFU: Situation Normal; All Fouled Up

SO: Significant Other

SOL: Smiling Out Loud (or You’re Out of Luck)

TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

TAFN: That’s All For Now

TSWC: Tell Someone Who Cares

TTBOMK: To The Best Of My Knowledge

TTFN: Ta-Ta For Now

TTYL(8R): Talk To You Later

Txs: Thanks

UOK: Are you OK?

URL: Web Page Address

w/b: Welcome Back

WU?: What’s Up?

WWW: World Wide Web

WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get

Y2K: Year 2000

ZZZ: Sleeping

The text abbreviation “fml” has more than one meaning. It is a term of over exaggerated woe used by teens who feel their world is coming to an end, usually because of something they did, but it isn’t as dramatic as they depict. Certain people have tried to pass the meaning off as ‘Forgive Me Lord’ as a less crude meaning than the original, which is a crude term using expletives to describe one’s miserable life. It’s used among friends only and not appropriate for business messages.

Text Abbreviations and Emoticons

Emoticons are a mixture of punctuation marks and numerals combined to create human facial expressions. This is one of the more creative and artistic forms of text speaking. Even though this method does not transmit any messages exactly, it does portray to the receiver how the sender feels at the time. A few social media networks allow members to use emoticons to display how they feel. The most commonly used keyboard punctuation marks are the brackets, colon and inverted triangles. 😉 We have just placed a colon, a dash, and a bracket in order to form a face winking. It is really fun once you learn how to do it.

02: Your (or my) two cents worth

2MI: Too much information

2U2: To You Too

4COL: For Crying Out Loud

<chuckle>: The speaker chuckles

<frown>: The speaker is frowning

<g>: Grin

<grin>: The speaker is grinning

<smile>: The one writing the message is smiling

[$X$]: No spam !!

JK: Just Kidding

?: I have a question

!: I have a comment

Certain short expressions like DIY and @ are now being used in standard messages other than texting and email. In fact, DIY has been a part of the urban language for several years now. There are a recorded total of 9090 abbreviations for texting and slang words to date. The use of short language is a psychological depiction of the speed modern times has brought us to. We rush breakfast, rush to work, rush to get homework assignments done – in short, we are at constant high-speed level.

Cyber-bullying texts? Learn if you should be worried.

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