35 Short Forms in Chat Which You Must Know As A Citizen of The Internet

The buzz around digital communication.

FT Crew

FT Crew

Dec 20, 2020|5 min read


In a world that is dominated by technology, a new iPhone popping up every other day and auto-correct being the new grammar Nazi, it’s safe to say that digital communication has triumphed over the traditional, good old letters. 

The ever-dynamic English language has not failed to keep up with the changing times. It seems like we’ve kissed formal, punctuated, long texts goodbye and welcomed in a new generation of abbreviations. 

Some have embraced this change with open arms while some still seem a little sceptical. However, there’s no escaping the OMG’s and LOL’S, whether you use it or not you’re bound to be familiar with it. 

Listed below are some of the most common short forms used in chats to make sure you’re all caught up with the latest abbreviations!

1. LOL

Probably one of the most frequently used short form, LOL is short for ‘Laughing out loud’ not ‘Loads of Love’, it’s a quick and easy response to a funny meme or an amusing WhatsApp forward.


This one is an abbreviation for ‘Rolling on the floor laughing’. Use this when you really find something funny and don’t want to use LOL!

3. BTW

This stands for ‘By the way’, its great way to change the topic of a boring conversation or when you want to spill the tea! (spill the tea=gossip time)

4. BRB

‘Be right Back’ another very popular short form, include the handy BRB in you text dictionary for when your presence is required in the real world, and you need to notify the virtual world of your momentary absence.


More of a general mood than a verb LMAO is short for ‘Laughing my ass off’. Honestly, this one is a bit tricky because it can be used at the end of a sentence just to make the conversation more colloquial and not very formal, so chances are if you see this pop up on your screen someone is just trying to be friendly LMAO.

6. OMG

Unless you live under a rock, you will have come across one of the most used short forms in chats, The OMG. OMG simply stands for ‘Oh My God’. Use this to indicate surprise or shock.


Short and simple LQTM’s full form is ‘laughing quietly to myself’

8. BFF

BFF stands for the most important person in your life; AKA (drum roll please) you ‘best friend forever!’ The internet is flooded with BFF related content, so this abbreviation is a must know for you to navigate the murky waters of social media.

9. EOD

Clear and Crisp, this is the short form for ‘end of discussion’. In the language of the teens, EOD periods.

10. TW

A very useful and commonly used short form in chats and social media posts, TW is ‘trigger warning’. You will find this abbreviation used before any sensitive or triggering content.

11. GTG

GTG or ‘got to go’ is another great way to signal your exit from the virtual world and join your friends or family in the real one!

12. TL;DR

The full form of TL;DR is ‘too long don’t read’, honestly this is a lifesaver. Make sure to scroll down on a long post to see if there is a TL;DR- trust me it will save you heaps of time; you can thank me later!

13. IKR

IKR stands for ‘I know right’. Throw in the occasional IKR in your chats when you agree with someone, it will make you seem relatable and approachable.  

14. IDK

You must have seen this short form in your chats quite often, the full form of IDK is ‘I don’t know’.

15. DIY

DIY or ‘do it yourself’ is strewn across social media. This acronym is incredibly popular and used in many craft and hack videos.


‘As far as I know’ is not very popular but is definitely a good short form to know!

17. ASAP

I’m sure that you’re familiar with this one, but if you’re not do not fret, it simply stands for ‘as soon as possible’. Feel free to use this one when you want things done urgently!

18. NP

The short form for ‘no problem’.

19. TY

This rather simple one is ‘thank you’. It’s a great short form to use when you have a billion birthday or anniversary wishes to reply to! A quick TY goes a long way.


This stands for ‘in case you missed it’, this works like a charm when you want to bring someone up to speed and not make them feel left out. ICYMI you’re going to be a professional at texting after you get through this article lmao.

21. TGIF

Albeit in 2020 no one really knows what day it is, when things (hopefully) get back to normal using TGIF is an appropriate way to showcase your enthusiasm for the weekend. ‘thank god it’s Friday’, GTG.

22. OOTD

For all you fashion enthusiasts, is your day even complete without a picture of you #OOTD AKA your ‘outfit of the day’. Honestly, you look great, might as well post that OOTD!

23. TTYL

The text form of seeing you later, TTYL’s full form is ‘talk to you later’.

24. IMO

This is the short form of ‘in my opinion’. Start a sentence with an IMO and make sure that your voice is heard!

25. TBD

TBD or ‘to be discussed’ is used more commonly in workspaces and between colleagues, so when this pops up on your chat make sure you’re ready with some fabulous points for the upcoming discussion.

26. SMH

‘Shaking my head’ is used to illustrate disappointment or frustration, let’s hope you don’t get to see this one anytime soon.

27. NVM

A simple one, NVM is the short form for ‘never mind’.

28. ILY

The abbreviation that will make your heart flutter, ILY is ‘I love you’! Check up on your loved ones and drop them an ILY ever so often.

29. TBH

A very common one TBH stands for ‘to be honest’. Brace yourself for a serious conversation when you see a TBH come your way.

30. FAQ

Most commonly found on websites, the FAQ section is the ‘frequently asked questions’ section.

31. ATM

In the digital world the full form of ATM is ‘at the moment’. Use this one to give your BFF hourly updates on your life.

32. LMK

LMK is a short and cute way of saying ‘let me know’.

33. OFC

Another useful one, OFC is the short form of ‘Of course’

34. AMA

A rather new one, AMA is the abbreviation of ‘ask me anything’. You can see this used most often by influencers on their Instagram stories.

35. DM

You must have heard the phrase ‘sliding into their DM’s’, this basically means ‘direct messaging’ someone on their social media. So, don’t be shy, go ahead and DM someone!

English is in a constant state of change and these abbreviations are the newest page of a very long book. I’m sure that a lot more changes will be seen as time passes and it’s great to see how each generation make this language their own by adding something new and quirky. 

I hope that this list has armed you to take on the digital world with newfound confidence. Until next time, GTG, TTYL!

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