Text Slang Explained: What does...Mean? - Texting Guide (2024)

Technology is a wonder, and with it has come SMS (Short Message Service), text slang, and text language. It enables people to send quicker and more concise messages, and it’s a type of abbreviated language.

If ‘LOL’ or ‘DED’ have you confused and you're forever thinking, what does…mean? Check out our text slang word list to help you decipher your messages!

Text Slang Historical Context

Text slang hasn’t always been around; it's risen in popularity in the last two decades. Texting in its basic form involves sending an instant message from your phone to someone else, and now text language is also seen on social media and information boards.

Texting slang started because people wanted a straightforward way to message, as early versions of SMS only allowed users to send about 160 characters per message and phones had smaller and less efficient keyboards.

Though it’s a reasonably new phenomenon, similar elliptical languages date back almost 120 years, when telegraph operators used abbreviations to chat. You could even describe morse code as the first type of abbreviated communicative language, where symbols and letters are given meaning.

The history of texting slang is fascinating, and though it’s not officially an English language dialect, some argue it’s significantly changed how we use language in our everyday lexicon.


Texting slang is way more interesting than just abbreviations. In fact, before emojis, emoticons were the typical way people set the tone and emotion of their messages.

Emoticons are made up of mixed keyboard characters that become human faces when they're combined. Let's look at some typical example meanings.

  • =) - happy face
  • :) - smile
  • :( - sad
  • =( - sad face
  • ;) - wink
  • :O, :-O - shock

Press the "next -> / <- previous" arrows to learn more

Text Slang Explained: What does...Mean? - Texting Guide (2)

What Does <3 Mean?

You can send this emoticon to someone when you want to give them a hug or a little love. It could mean you care about them or wish them well.

Text Slang Explained: What does...Mean? - Texting Guide (3)

What Does :') Mean?

This emoticon means happy crying. Mabye you think something is hilarious and it has you crying with happy tears.


Emojis are the evolution of emoticons, making it easier for users to set the mood for their messages. Nowadays, emojis are pre-set on your phone, but they've evolved from simply meaning happy or sad. Emojis have slang meanings that mean way more than you might think, and you can even construct complete sentences with them!

  • Ghost - to be ghosted or ignored by someone
  • Clown - stupid, silly
  • Popcorn, video camera, and snowflake - Netflix and chill
  • Frog - ugly
  • Drool face - yummy, delicious
  • Avocado - describing someone as basic (someone that always follows popular culture)
  • Octopus - a virtual hug

Common Text Slang

Before we get into the word list of text slang examples, let's look at some commonly used text slang you may have seen before.

  • BRB - be right back
  • BTW - by the way
  • HMU - hit me up
  • IDC - I don't care
  • IDK - I don't know
  • IKR - I know, right
  • IMHO - in my humble opinion
  • IMO - in my opinion
  • LMK - let me know
  • LOL - laugh out loud
  • NVM - nevermind
  • OFC - of course
  • OMG - oh my God!
  • ROFL - rolling on the floor, laughing
  • TBH - to be honest
  • TGIF - thank goodness it's Friday! Thank God it's Friday!
  • TL/DR - too long; I didn't read
  • TTYL - talk to you later
  • TXT - abbreviation for text
  • WTF - what the f***
  • WUU2 - what are you up to? What are you doing?

Click each card to learn more

Texting Slang Deciphering Guide with Examples

Text slang combines symbols and unique abbreviations with specific meanings. Here's a categorized list of text slang phrases and words.

…Meaning: Actions & Questions

  • Aight - alright?
  • AYT? - are you there?
  • CM - call me
  • CMB - call me back
  • CTC? - care to chat?
  • HBU? - how about you? How 'bout you?
  • HRU? - how are you?
  • MYOB - mind your own business
  • NOYB - not your own business
  • OTL - over the line or one true love
  • PLMK - please let me know
  • PTB - please text back
  • RU? - are you?
  • SWYP - what's your problem? What's your point?
  • TTYL or TTUL - talk to you later
  • W8? - what?
  • WBU? - what about you? What 'bout you?
  • WRU@? - where are you at? Where are you?
  • WTPA - where's the party at?
  • WUF? - where are you from?
  • WYD? - what are you doing?
  • WYCM - will you call me?
  • YARLY? - yeah, really
  • ZUP? - what’s up?

…Meaning: Business

Though we wouldn’t suggest sending your boss or teacher a message full of text slang, it’s worth knowing them, JIC! (Just in case)

  • ABD - already been done
  • AEAP - as early as possible
  • ASAP - as soon as possible
  • CTR - click-through rate
  • DM - direct message
  • KIT - keep in touch
  • NRN - not right now
  • OOO - out of office
  • P2P - peer to peer
  • PM - private message
  • ROI - return on investment
  • RX - regards
  • SOL - sooner or later
  • SPOC - a single point of contact
  • TBA - to be announced
  • TBC - to be confirmed, to be continued
  • UL - upload
  • URW - you're welcome
  • UW - you're welcome
  • VIP - very important person
  • W/END - weekend
  • WAH - working at home
  • WB - write back
  • WFH - working from home
  • WIU - wrap it up
  • WKD - weekend
  • WRK - work
  • YAM - yet another meeting

Checkpoint ✔️
Drag the meaning to the corresponding text slang.

Working At Home

Yet Another Meeting

You Are Welcome

What About You?


drop one card here

Working At Home

You Are Welcome

What About You?


drop one card here

Working At Home

Yet Another Meeting

You Are Welcome

What About You?


drop one card here

Working At Home

Yet Another Meeting

You Are Welcome

What About You?


drop one card here

Working At Home

Yet Another Meeting

You Are Welcome

What About You?

…Meaning: Emotions & Feelings

There are so many ways to express your feelings with texting slang. Here’s a few examples:

  • AAK - alive and kicking or asleep at the keyboard
  • AAS - alive and smiling
  • DED - responding to something hilarious, dead
  • FFS - for f*** sake
  • MFW - my face when...
  • STBY - sucks to be you; sorry to bother you
  • STFU - shut the f*** up!
  • SUX - sucks, it sucks
  • TOJ - tears of joy
  • UFB - un-f***ing believable
  • Uff - disappointed, fed up, exhausted
  • YBS - You'll be sorry
  • ZZZZ - asleep or bored

…Meaning: Popular Culture

The more text slang evolves, the more it seeps into popular culture. Here are some examples you’ll find all over social media.

  • FOMO - fear of missing out
  • GAL - get a life
  • GOAT - greatest of all time
  • GTG - got to go, gotta go
  • IRL - in real life
  • IYKWIM - if you know what I mean
  • JK - a joke, joking
  • OIC - I see; I understand
  • OOTD - outfit of the day
  • P911 - parents are here
  • PAW - parents watching
  • PLS or PLZ - please
  • POS - parents over my shoulder
  • POV - point of view
  • RUOK? - are you okay?
  • SMH - shaking my head, disappointed, ashamed
  • SSDD - same stuff, different day. Same sh*t, different day
  • SYS - see you soon
  • TFW - that feeling when
  • TIME - tears in my eyes
  • UFL - ugly, fat, lazy
  • VSV - very sad face
  • YOLO - you only live once

…Meaning: Replies & Responses

So, someone’s sent you a message, and you have no idea how to respond; see if any of these might fit.

  • NP - no problem
  • SCNR - sorry, I couldn't resist
  • SS - speak soon
  • U-L - you will
  • VN - very nice
  • W/E - whatever
  • WAM - wait a minute
  • WC - who cares
  • WTG - way to go
  • XLNT - excellent
  • Y2K - you're too kind
  • YGG - you go, girl!
  • YW - you're welcome

…Meaning: Romance

Use these text slang examples if you’re after a short and sweet way to message someone!

  • 88 - hugs and kisses
  • 831 - I love you
  • IMU - I miss you
  • LOML - love of my life
  • LY - love you
  • LYL - love you lots
  • MCM - man crush Monday
  • MU - miss you
  • O4U - only for you
  • OH - other half
  • WCW - woman crush Wednesday
  • X - kiss
  • XOXOXO - kiss and hugs

❤️ Try The Romance Quiz! ❤️

What does 88 mean?

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What does 831 mean?

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Knowing how to read and write text slang can be super valuable across many platforms and for people of different ages. We’ve given you a basic understanding of text language; now go forth and DIY! (Do it yourself)

Related Topics:

  • hom*ophones
  • American Slang
  • Suffixes
  • Rhetorical Question Examples
Text Slang Explained: What does...Mean? - Texting Guide (2024)


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