english texting abbreviations guide

36 texting abbreviations and how to use them (with examples)

Learn the most common texting abbreviations in English. YOLO!

English speakers use texting abbreviations to communicate informally, to make jokes, and to save time. But when English is your second language, words like IKR and HMU probably don’t make much sense.

If you want to sound like a native English speaker when you send messages to your friends, learn how to use the most common texting abbreviations with our examples below.

The most common texting abbreviations in English


The abbreviation 2nite means “tonight.”

In written English slang, “nite” is the informal spelling of “night.”

And the number “2” is often substituted for “to” or “too” when texting, so you’ll also see it used in other texting abbreviations like G2G (“got to go”) and 2moro nite (“tomorrow night”).

How to use 2nite in a sentence (examples):

  • Want to hang out 2nite?
  • What are you up to 2nite?
  • Let’s go see a movie 2nite.


The abbreviation B4N means “bye for now.”

In English, the number 4 is used to replace the word “for”. So you might see it appear in other texting abbreviations like 

How to use B4N in a sentence (examples):

  • I’m heading out for the day. B4N.
  • Just got 2 work. TTYL.


The abbreviation BC means “because.”

How to use BC in a sentence (examples):

  • I can’t come on Sunday bc I’m having dinner with my parents.
  • I love you bc you’re beautiful.


The abbreviation BTW means “by the way.”

How to use 2nite in a sentence (examples):

  • BTW I’m bringing takeout food home tonight! 
  • Kevin’s coming over tomorrow btw.


The abbreviation CYA means “See ya”.

In written English slang, the letter C is often used to replace the word “see”. So it appears in other texting acronyms and abbreviations (e.g. CYT for “see you tomorrow,” or CU for “see you!”).

How to use CYA in a sentence (examples):

  • cya tomorrow
  • Good chatting with you! cya later x


The abbreviation DM means “Direct Message.”

If you’ve ever heard someone say “send me a DM” or “Slide into my DMs” on Instagram, Twitter, or another social platform, you might be familiar with this phrase.

A direct message is a private message that only the recipient can access.

How to use DM in a sentence (examples):

  • I’m selling my car! DM me for pics and more info.
  • Does anyone know where I can buy great mexican food in this city? Send me a DM.
  • I’m single again. Other single people, slide into my DMs 😏


The abbreviation FTW means “For the win.”

FTW can be used as a rallying cry, to express celebration, and as a way to punctuate your support for something (sometimes ironically or sarcastically).

How to use FTW in a sentence (examples):

  • Let’s get Thai for dinner tonight. Red curry and Pad Thai FTW!
  • I’m burnt out this week. Working 60+ hours a week FTW!


The abbreviation FWIW means “For what it’s worth.”

How to use FWIW in a sentence (examples):

  • FWIW, I’m not a huge fan of Sam.
  • This class is much cheaper, FWIW.


The abbreviation HBU means “How about you?”

How to use HBU in a sentence (examples):

  • I’m going to the concert. Hbu?
  • I don’t really like our assignment. Hbu?


The abbreviation HMU means “Hit me up.” It means “get in touch” or “reach out to me.”

How to use FWIW in a sentence (examples):

  • FWIW, I’m not a huge fan of Sam.
  • This class is much cheaper, FWIW.


The abbreviation IDC means “I don’t know.”

How to use IDC in a sentence (examples):

  • IDC, do you?
  • IDC which option we go for. Which one do you want?


The abbreviation IDK means “I don’t know.”

How to use IDK in a sentence (examples):

  • I think it’s going to be sunny this weekend but IDK.
  • IDK. I think Sam said he was going to be out of town tomorrow.


The abbreviation IKR means “I don’t know.” English speakers use this phrase to express agreement.

How to use IKR in a sentence (examples):

  • Omg, ikr?


The abbreviation ILY means “I love you.”

How to use ILY in a sentence (examples):

  • Happy Valentine’s Day, babe. ILY!
  • Thanks again for cooking dinner yesterday. ILY!
  • Can’t wait to see you tomorrow. ily x


The abbreviation IMO means “In my opinion.”

How to use IMO in a sentence:

  • Pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza IMO.
  • The red car is a better choice IMO.


The abbreviation IMHO means “In my honest opinion” or “In my humble opinion.”

How to use IMO in a sentence:

  • Pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza IMO.
  • The red car is a better choice IMO.


The abbreviation IRL means “in real life.”

English speakers use this phrase to highlight the difference between expectation and reality, or the difference between fantasy and the real world.

How to use IRL in a sentence:

  • Those two actors are married IRL.
  • The Eiffel Tower is massive IRL.


The abbreviation JK means “just kidding.” English speakers use the abbreviation to indicate sarcasm, or simply to clarify that what they’re saying is a joke.

How to use JK in a sentence:

  • I’ve decided to stop eating sugar forever! (jk. I’m eating candy right now 😉
  • I won the lottery and I’m retiring tomorrow. (jk but I wish…)


The abbreviation LMK means “let me know.”

How to use LMK in a sentence:

  • Lmk if you want to go to the movies tomorrow.
  • Hey, can you lmk if we have milk in the fridge?


The abbreviation LOL means “laugh out loud.” It does NOT mean “lots of love” (a mistake that many English speakers make!).

How to use LOL in a sentence (examples):

  • I decided to walk home today and it started raining. LOL.
  • LOL!


The abbreviation NBD means “no big deal.” You can use it sarcastically, to highlight that something IS a big deal. Or you can use it to downplay a brag.

How to use NBD in a sentence (examples):

  • Just had lunch with the Obamas. Nbd.
  • Nbd if they don’t have any butter at the store. Just grab coconut oil instead.


The abbreviation NP means “No Problem.” 

How to use NP in a sentence (examples):

  • The cafe is full? Np. Let’s go to the other one down the road.
  • Np if you can’t make it tomorrow night.


The acronym NSFW means “Not Safe For Work.” Use it to indicate when something is not safe to read/watch/open in public.

  • Have you seen Lady Gaga’s new short film? Totally NSFW.
  • Check out this NSFW story on Reddit.


The abbreviation “NVM” means “Nevermind.” 

How to use NVM in a sentence (examples):

  • Nvm I’ll grab some flour on the way home.
  • Jane just told me they’ve cancelled indoor sports during the lockdowns. Nvm, let’s go ice skating instead.


The abbreviation “OMG” means “oh my god.” Given that its origins have been traced back to the early 1900s, It’s probably one of the oldest abbreviations on this list.

How to use OMG in a sentence (examples):

  • OMG Zara is having a sale!
  • They finally freed Britney Spears! OMG!!


The acronym OTOH means “on the other hand.” It’s used to highlight the other side of a debate, perspective, or argument.

How to use OTOH in a sentence (examples):

  • I should eat salad for lunch. OTOH, a bowl of candy would be amazing right now.


The abbreviation “OMW” means “on my way.”

How to use OMW in a sentence (examples):

  • I’m omw!
  • Okay, omw!


The abbreviation “ROFL” means “rolling on the floor laughing.” It’s kind of like an upgrade to LOL; use it when something is especially funny.

How to use ROFL in a sentence (examples):

  • Karen thinks that traveling during a pandemic is a good idea. ROFL.
  • Did you see Stephen Colbert’s latest speech? ROFL!


The abbreviation SRSLY means “seriously”. English speakers use it to indicate discontent or contempt.

How to use SRSLY in a sentence (examples):

  • They wouldn’t let me into the club. Like, SRSLY?
  • Sharon just told me that she was an anti-masker. SRSLY?


The abbreviation SO means “significant other”.

How to use SO in a sentence (examples):

  • Let’s hang out tomorrow. Bring your SO!
  • Is your SO coming to the work event next week?


The abbreviation TBH means “To be honest”. English speakers typically use this abbreviation when they are expressing their own opinion.

How to use TBH in a sentence (examples):

  • I didn’t really like the movie tbh.
  • Tbh I’m not a huge fan of cabbage.


The abbreviation THX means “thanks.”

How to use THX in a sentence (examples):

  • THX for sending me those documents
  • Can you tell me your buzzer number again? Thx 


The abbreviation TMI means “Too much information.” You can use it when someone shares shocking or unpleasant information that you didn’t really need or want to hear.

How to use TMI in a sentence (examples):

  • I just heard what you did last night. TMI.
  • Oof. TMI.
  • That story was TMI.


In English texting slang, TTYL means “Talk to you later.” Variations of this sign-off include “TTFN” (“ta-ta for now!”) and “TTYT” (“talk to you tomorrow”).

How to use TTYL in a sentence (examples):

  • I’m heading out. TTYL.
  • Gotta dash. TTYL.
  • I’m going to sleep. TTYT.


The abbreviation UR means “Your.” And “u” on its own is a common replacement for the word “you”.

How to use “ur” in a sentence (examples):

  • Are u going to take ur car 2moro?
  • Can I borrow ur pencil? I need one for class.


The abbreviation “YOLO” means “you only live once.” It’s used to remind people to seize the day, take a risk, or take a big step outside of their comfort zone.

How to use YOLO in a sentence (examples):

  • I invested in stocks today. YOLO!
  • Follow your dreams and move to Australia. YOLO!

What other texting abbreviations do you want to learn? 

Let me know in the comments below!

Cameron Smith

I'm an English Communication Coach based in Vancouver, Canada. I'm on a mission to help millions of people speak English with confidence. Thanks for visiting this site! If you want longer video content, please follow me on YouTube for fun English lessons and helpful learning resources!

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