More Blog Posts

Common Text Abbreviations and How to Use Them

Abbreviations, acronyms and slang are common place in SMS messages, even those sent out by businesses. Use this quick guide to decide when and how to use SMS abbreviations.

Featured image for the article

As advocates of SMS marketing best practices, we would be remiss if we don’t acknowledge the rise of text slang and abbreviations.

What Are Abbreviations for Texting?

Text abbreviations are shortened versions of a word or phrase used to save time. They’re also helpful when you have to stay within a limited character count.

In the past, deciphering text-speak was for cool moms and dads who wanted to fit in with their teens. 

Today, businesses of every size are starting to recognize the value of incorporating text abbreviations into their campaigns to attract, engage, and foster relationships with their customers.

Learning text abbreviations is a must for any marketer who wants to keep up with the speed and brevity of today’s bite-sized communication style. 

The challenge is to adapt to text-ese (an evolving language by itself) while maintaining proper texting etiquette and providing value at the same time.

If you’re still baffled every time you read IIRC, BRB, and IDK, this cheat sheet of SMS abbreviations and internet acronyms commonly used is for you. 

Let’s walk through some of the slang abbreviations for texting you’re likely to come across.

The Most Popular SMS Abbreviations

  1. BRB – Be Right Back
    Sorry, just grabbing a coffee – BRB!
  2. BTW – By the Way
    I’m on the way, BTW should I bring anything?
  3. OMG – Oh my God/Goodness
    OMG I can’t believe that happened!
  4. IDK – I Don’t Know
    The traffic’s delayed me, IDK what time I’ll get there!
  5. TTYL – Talk to You Later
    I’ve got to run, TTYL.
  6. OMW – On My Way
    I’ve just left, OMW now!
  7. SMH – Shaking My Head
    I can’t believe you just said that, SMH.
  8. LOL – Laugh Out Loud
    That’s so funny, LOL!
  9. TBD – To be Determined
    The time and place is TBD!
  10. IMHO/IMO – In My Humble Opinion/In My Opinion
    IMHO, coffee is way better than tea.
  11. HMU – Hit Me Up
    If you need anything just HMU!
  12. LMK – Let Me Know
    LMK if you need anything from the grocery store.
  13. OG – Original Gangsters (used for old friends)
    You’ll love her, she’s one of my OGs!
  14. FTW – For The Win
    Did you see the match last night? Bills FTW!
  15. NVM – Nevermind
    NVM about grabbing the chips, I found some at home!
  16. OOTD – Outfit of the Day
    What’s your OOTD? I don’t know which shoes to wear!
  17. FWIW – For What It’s Worth
    FWIW, I think it’s going to rain anyway.

Romantic Text Abbreviations

Texting abbreviations can be casual, but you’ll also need quick and easy ways to tell that special someone you’re thinking about them.

  1. BF – Boyfriend
  2. GF – Girlfriend
  3. ILY – I Love You
  4. MCM – Man Crush Monday
  5. WCW – Woman Crush Wednesday

Other Common Text Abbreviations and Acronyms

This list of SMS abbreviations and Internet acronyms is far from complete. Like culture, text-ese evolves over time. As a result, new acronyms and SMS abbreviations are introduced and used every day.

There are a few of our favorites that you can be confident most people will know. Give one a try today!




Also Known As


As Soon As Possible


Call To Action


Do It Yourself


Do Not Disturb


End of Day


No Problem


Not Available




Thank You




Thank God It’s Friday


To Be Honest


User Generated Content


Terms And Conditions


Right Now


Quote of the Day


Out Of Office

Common Texting Slang

Like text abbreviations, texting slang can be confusing if you’ve never encountered them before. Take a look at the most common slang examples below.

  1. No cap – No lie; I’m not lying. Ex. “Did you get tickets to the concert for real?” “No cap.”
  2. Gucci – Good, cool. Ex. “I got us tickets to the concert.” “Gucci.”
  3. Sus – Suspicious or suspect. Ex. “I got us tickets to the concert that’s sold out.” “That’s sus.”
  4. Sending me – Used to describe something that excites or humors you. Ex. “This new song is sending me!”
  5. Lowkey – Moderately; kind of. Ex. “This new song is lowkey my favorite.

Business Abbreviations For Texting

Texting is also common among coworkers and customers. These abbreviations will help you navigate the world of professional texting.

  1. B2C – Business to Consumer
    We serve all kinds of B2C companies, from ecommerce to tech support.
  2. DSC – Dedicated Short Code
    A unique 5- to 6-digit number that your business can use to send SMS or MMS messages (this article provides more information on all our number types).
  3. EOD – End of Day
    Good morning! Our year-end sale is only until EOD. See you at our store!
  4. FTFY – Fixed That For You
    Thank you for calling customer support! We’ve addressed your concern as of 9 PM today. FTFY!
  5. ICYMI – In Case You Missed It
    ICYMI, The Expanse Season 3 is now on our archives. Upgrade your account today to get access!
  6. MMS – Multimedia Messaging Service
    MMS messaging allows you to add media like audio, video, and GIFs to your texts.
  7. SMS – Short Message Service
    SMS is a message type you can use to send and receive texts over a cell network.
  8. TL;DR – Too Long; Didn’t Read
    Good day! You will be receiving an in-depth explanation on how to file your claim with us in your email today. For a TL;DR version, call us at 555-123-4567 between 9 am- 5 pm Mon-Fri.
  9. TYVM- Thank You Very Much
    TYVM for your purchase! See you at our next sale in the fall.
  10. WIP – Work in Progress
    If you’re having trouble exporting files, contact customer support at [email protected]. Bug fixes are a WIP by the dev team.

Incorporating Texting Abbreviations in a Business Setting

Now that you’re an expert in business text abbreviations, your next step is to familiarize yourself with the do’s and don’ts of using them.

Our lists are a great way to keep on top of the must-know text speak for your professional and personal life.

  1. Don’t cram too many texting abbreviations in one text.
    What would it feel like if you receive a text from your insurance company saying: Sup! ICYMI, CYE for instrux on policy renewal. SSIA. Sounds rude, right?
  2. Be creative, but not unprofessional. When appropriate, add images and GIFs using MMS marketing.
    Your words and acronyms don’t have to do all of the talking. It’s easy to attach images and graphics to your messages as well. Use these to make your messages more engaging.
  3. Text like an adult. Don’t use shorthand like “2” for “to” or “U” for “you.”
    Texting like this does save precious characters—but it also looks unprofessional. Compare these two texts:

    “Go2 Meg’s 2day asap 4 a gr8 deal! 20% off ne slice wen u sho dis text.”

    “Visit Meg’s ASAP for a great deal! 20% off any slice when you show this text.”

    Which text looks like it’s from a respectable business?
  4. Only use text abbreviations your audience will understand.
    Knowing your audience helps you decide which abbreviations are appropriate and which ones aren’t.

    For instance, you wouldn’t want to text “Hello, this is Joe, tech support for X Cable. Responding to your query, FTFY!” to a 70-year old needing help with his cable. In this instance it would be better to write out, “Be seeing you.”

Text Abbreviation Mistakes to Avoid

There are hundreds of word abbreviations out there, so any fear of using slang abbreviations for texting is warranted. The best thing to do is play it safe. Nobody’s going to be on your case if you type out the full phrase. 

However, if you do want to start incorporating more abbreviation in your text messages these are two key things to avoid:

Avoid Using Dated Slang or Abbreviations When Texting

In a communication method that’s only a decade old, it’s hard to imagine text abbreviations going out of date. 

But meanings change, just as they do in our everyday language. Keep an eye out for what others around you are using. Not only to gauge appropriateness, but also to keep on top of what phrases are still commonly used.

Avoid Overusing Text Abbreviations to Communicate

Sure, most young people can understand text abbreviations just fine. But nobody wants to read a full message written in them. Avoid:

Hi, WUU2? LMK if u want to TLK TMRW!

As mentioned previously, when in doubt simply take your time to type out the full word. It’s the fail-safe way of making sure your text messaging is read in the correct context. 

Recognizing Your Audience

Just like addressing different people in day to day life, SMS requires you to adapt your speech based on who you’re talking to. Some of the popular SMS abbreviations you use on your friends might not be appropriate for your boss or a client.

Alfredo Salkeld
Alfredo Salkeld

Alfredo leads the marketing team at SimpleTexting. In addition to writing about SMS, he also talks about it—literally. He narrates our how-to videos.

More Posts from Alfredo Salkeld

Send Your First Message in Minutes

Start a text marketing campaign or have a 1-on-1 conversation today. It's risk free. Sign up for a free 14-day trial today to see SimpleTexting in action.

Try Us Free

No credit card required

Not sure which text marketing tactics will work for YOUR business? Take Quiz.