How to Decode English Text Lingo


Text lingo = text speak = net lingo

No matter what you call it, it’s in emails, text messages, Tweets, online chatting… everywhere. The there are two main ways people write in text speak:

#1. Typing in shorthand: Abbreviations (Acronyms and Initialisms)

You can abbreviate phrases and expressions by using the FIRST letter of each word. These are often written in CAPITAL letters. All of these are abbreviations, which means that the word has been shortened.

Some of these abbreviations are acronyms (you pronounce the abbreviation like a word) like YOLO (sounds like “yo-low”).

Others are initialisms (you say the letters when you speak the word) like BFF (be eff eff) or TGIF (tee gee eye eff) .

How many of these do you already know? Read through them and take the short quiz to check.

TGIF = Thank God it’s Friday

BFF = Best friend forever

FYI = for your information

OMG = Oh my God

YOLO = You only live once

LOL = laughing out loud

ROFL = Rolling on the floor laughing

LMAO = laughing my a** (arse) off

PLS = please

Thx = thanks

SMH = shaking my head (this means you are shaking your head from side to side. It’s a way to be sarcastic or express your disbelief that someone is acting a certain way)

IDK = I don’t know

IMHO = In my humble opinion / in my honest opinion

TTYL = talk to you later

WRUD = What are you doing?

HAND = Have a nice day

SWDUT = So what do you think?

WDUM = What do you mean?

NSFW = Not safe for work (this message is usually written by someone who is sending something that has a video or photo that is not appropriate for opening at work)


#2. Abbreviations: Condense words & use numbers

To type in short hand, drop the vowels in words (a, e, i, o, u), replace words with numbers and individual letters of the alphabet that make the same sound.

text message = txt msg

b = be

c = see

r = are

u = you

ur = your, you’re

1 = one

2 = to / too (and of course two)

4 = for

I luv u = I love you

I luv u 2 = I love you too

CU l8tr = see you later

‘cuz = because

B/C = because

B4 = before

thx = thanks

gr8 = great

w8 = wait

I <3 u = I love you  (the <3 represents a heart)

I h8 u = I hate you

ne1 = anyone

c@ = cat

Ug2bk = you’ve got to be kidding

^5 = high five (A gesture that is used to celebrate, where two people slap each other’s open palm with their arms raised. “high because the hand is raised high in the air, and “five’ for the 5 fingers on the hand.)

The quiz is coming soon…….

If you liked this lesson, click here to learn some text speak slang.

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