text message abbreviations and acronyms for gen z and millennials
How-Tos & Tutorials

Text Talk 101: Essential Abbreviations and Acronyms For Gen Z and Millennials


In the past, texting was all about squeezing words onto tiny keypads. Fast forward to today, and our kids use a new language in their texts. It’s like a secret code; as parents, it’s time we cracked it. 

Thanks to budget-friendly plans such as Talk Home Mobile’s monthly gold plus bundles, providing unlimited texts and calls, our kids have transformed the texting lingo to a new level. However, deciphering their messages can sometimes feel like solving a puzzle for millennials. 

Remember when we used to say “cu l8r” instead of “see you later”? Well, things have gotten a lot more complex. With the widespread usage of social media, chat apps like WhatsApp and Messenger, and gaming, Gen Z has introduced various Abbreviations and Acronyms that may seem perplexing at times.  

Take, for instance, a message from a 10-year-old to their mom: “Ngl that song is so sus no cap smh.” Translation? “Not gonna lie, that song is so suspicious, no lie, shaking my head.” Confusing, right? The language of the digital world is evolving fast, and we need a guide. 

While we might not grasp every detail of what our kids say, there’s hope. Many abbreviations and acronyms are now part of everyday talk, and we can catch up.  

This article will help you make sense of the shorthand your kids use online. 

Hence, parents should save this page and share it with others. It lists common social media and texting shortcuts your kids might be using in 2024. Understanding this digital lingo will give you a leg up in navigating the world of online communication with your children. 

Recommended Read: Why Can’t I Send Message? 

Abbreviations Vs Acronyms 

An abbreviation is a short or contracted form of any word or phrase. So, things like “rly” on social media, where we skip the vowels, are abbreviations. 

On the other hand, an acronym is a specific kind of abbreviation. It’s formed from the first letters of a multi-word term, like OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), and we say it like one word, like “oh-pek.” So, all acronyms are abbreviations, but not all abbreviations are acronyms! 

Casual Conversations and Everyday Phrases We Use in Text Messages

Our digital conversations are frequently sprinkled with abbreviations and acronyms in everyday exchanges and casual communications.  

These concise expressions contribute to casual communication’s easygoing and laid-back nature, adding a layer of efficiency to our everyday chats.  

Simplify your understanding of the abbreviations and acronyms below. 

Acronyms/Abbreviations  Meaning 
121  One to one 
2  To (in texting) 
2EZ  Too easy 
2F4U  Too fast for you 
2G2BT  Too good to be true 
2M2H  Too much to handle 
2MORO  Tomorrow 
2NITE  Tonight 
4  For (in texting) 
ADDY  Address 
APP  Application 
ASAP  As soon as possible 
A/S/L  Age/sex/location 
ATB  All the best 
AYDY  Are you done yet? 
AYS  Are you serious? 
AYT  Are you there? 

Affection and Romantic Rejection 

A unique set of abbreviations and acronyms often comes into play when expressing affection and navigating romantic situations.  

These shorthand expressions capture sentiments ranging from love and admiration to subtle romantic rejection.  

Below, you’ll find a list of these affectionate and romantically nuanced abbreviations and acronyms, each with distinct meanings. 

Acronyms/Abbreviations   Meaning 
11:11  Make a wish 
143  I love you (number of letters used to spell each word) 
bae  Before anyone else (refers to a favorite person), also a shortened form of babe or baby 
bff  Best friends forever 
imu  I miss you 
ily  I love you 
wywh  Wish you were here 


Slang  Meaning 
ghost  Disappear, stop calling, stop texting 
curve  Reject someone’s romantic interest or advances in a subtle or kind way 

Laughter Text Message Abbreviations and Acronyms

When sharing moments of laughter and amusement in our digital conversations, a delightful collection of abbreviations and acronyms emerges.  

These expressions capture various levels of humour, from light jests to outright hilarity.  

You will find a list of these laughter-inducing abbreviations and acronyms, each designed to add a touch of fun to your messages. 

Acronym /Abbreviations  Meaning 
jk  Just kidding 
lol  Laughing out loud 
rofl  Rolling on the floor laughing 
tntl  Trying not to laugh 

Opinions, Warnings, Disclaimers 

A unique set of abbreviations and acronyms is used in digital interactions to convey opinions, issue warnings, and add disclaimers.  

These concise expressions help communicate perspectives, cautionary notes, and qualifying statements.  

Here is a list of these opinionated, cautionary, and clarifying abbreviations and acronyms, each serving its distinct purpose.

Acronyms/Abbreviations  Meaning 
afaik  As far as I know 
DIY  Do it yourself 
dm  Direct message 
FWIW  For what it’s worth 
FYI  For your information 
ICYMI  In case you missed it 
I don’t know  I don’t know 
imho  In my humble opinion 
imo  In my opinion 
JSYK  Just so you know 
nbd  No big deal 
ngl  Not gonna lie 
pov  Point of view 
tbh  To be honest 
tldr  Too long (lazy) didn’t read 
TW  Trigger warning (indicates content that can cause emotional harm) 
ygtr  You got that right 
ymmv  Your mileage (experience) may vary 
rbtl  Read between the lines 

Read this article to understand the difference between SMS vs. MMS

Warnings about Parents Nearby 

Specific abbreviations and acronyms are commonly employed to warn about the parental presence and ensure discreet communication.  

These shorthand expressions serve as discreet signals for when parents are nearby.  

Below, you’ll find a list of these warnings tailored for parental awareness, each with its specific meaning. 

Acronyms/Abbreviations Meaning 
3o3  Mom 
9  Parent around 
99  Parent gone 
Aitr  Adult in the room 
cd9  Parents around (code 9) 
Kpc  Keeping parents clueless 
m/pos  Mother/parent over shoulder 
pa / pa911  Parent alert 
Pah  Parent at home 
Pal  Parents are listening 
Paw  Parents are watching 
PBB  Parent behind back 
PIR  Parent in the room 

Notifications, Wishes, Greetings, Closings 

A specialised set of abbreviations and acronyms is often utilised when sending notifications, conveying wishes, exchanging greetings, and signing off in our digital conversations.  

These shorthand expressions add efficiency and a touch of informality to our messages.  

Here’s a list of these notification, greeting, and closing abbreviations and acronyms, each carrying its distinct meaning. 

Acronym/Abbreviations Meaning 
AFK  Away from keyboard 
Atm  At the moment 
Brb  Be right back 
g2g or gtg  Got to go 
Gl  Good luck 
Irl  In real life 
Lmk  Let me know 
Omw  On my way 
Ttyl  Talk to you later 
wyd  What you doing? 

Signaling Humor or Sarcasm 

A specific set of abbreviations and acronyms signal humour and convey sarcasm in digital conversations.  

These expressions are crafted to infuse messages with wit and sarcasm.  

Below is a collection of humour-infused abbreviations and acronyms designed to add a touch of jest or sarcasm to your digital interactions. 

Acronym/Abbreviations Meaning 
Hifw  How I feel when 
mfw  My face when 
mrw  My reaction when 
tfw  That feeling when 
til  Today I learned 

Love and Friendship Text Message Abbreviations and Acronyms

Digital expressions often take the form of abbreviations, adding a touch of spontaneity to our messages.  

From conveying love and affection to planning future conversations, these acronyms uniquely capture the essence of modern-day friendships and romances.  

A collection of commonly used abbreviations in the context of love and companionship is listed below. 

Acronym  Meaning 
ILY/ILU  I love you 
IMU  I miss you 
L8R  Later 
LMK  Let me know 
LOL  Laughing out loud 
ROFL  Rolling on the floor laughing 
TTYL  Talk to you later 
XOXO  Hugs and kisses 
Y  Why (?) 
AFAIK  As far as I know 
AKA  Also known as 
BAE  Before anyone else/slang for “baby” 
BFF  Best friends forever 
BOL  Best of luck 
BRB  Be right back 
BRT  Be right there 
BTW  By the way 
FB  Facebook 
FBF  Fine by me 
FIMH  Forever in my heart 
FTBOMH  From the bottom of my heart 
FYEO/4YEO  For your eyes only 
ILY/ILU  I love you 
IMU  I miss you 
L8R  Later 
LMK  Let me know 
LOL  Laughing out loud 
LUV  Love 
LYSM  Love you so much 
OYO  On your own 
ROFL  Rolling on the floor laughing 
TTYL  Talk to you later 
WYWH  Wish you were here 

Positivity and Well-Wishing Text Message Abbreviations and Acronyms

A collection of abbreviations and acronyms serves as concise expressions of good intentions in spreading positivity and offering well wishes through digital communication.  

These brief yet impactful phrases are often used to convey encouragement, congratulations, and optimistic sentiments.  

Here is a list of acronyms that foster positive connections and share good vibes. 

Acronyms/Abbreviations Meaning 
AIGHT  Alright 
ATB  All the best 
BR  Best regards 
COB  Close of business 
CRAY  Crazy 
CRE8  Create 
F2F  Face to face 
FAQ  Frequently asked questions 
GB  Goodbye 
GD  Good 
GL  Good luck 
GR8  Great 
GRATZ  Congratulations 
HAK/H&K  Hug(s) and kiss(es) 
HAND  Have a nice day 
H-BDAY  Happy birthday 
HRU  How are you? 
IAE  In any event 
IC  I see 
IYSS  If you say so 
KEWL  Cool 
LMK  Let me know 
LOL  Laughing out loud 
LUV  Love 
MYOB  Mind your own business 
NBD  No big deal 
NP  No problem 
NSFW  Not safe for work (signals nudity, violence or other potentially offensive material) 
OMG  Oh my God 
OTFL  On the floor laughing 
PRT  Please Retweet (Twitter) 
PTL  Praise the Lord 
PTMM  Please tell me more 
RT  Retweet (Twitter) 
SMH  Shaking my head 
SOL  Sooner or later 
SRSLY  Seriously 
SRY  Sorry 
STBY  Sucks to be you 
SUP  What’s up? 
SYS  See you soon 
TBC  To be continued 
TBR  To be read 
TBT  Throwback Thursday (Twitter/other social media sites) 
TGIF  Thank God it’s Friday 
THX  Thanks 
TIL  Today I learned 
TTYL  Talk to you later 
TYT  Take your time 
TYSO  Thank you so much 
VRY  Very 
W  What 
WAYF  Where are you from? 
WB  Welcome back 
WBU  What about you? 
WCW  Woman Crush Wednesday (Twitter/Instagram) 
WD  Well done 
WDYK  What do you know? 
WDYT  What do you think? 
WTG  Way to go 
WYGAM  When you get a minute 
Y  Why (?) 

Miscellaneous Reactions 

Our digital conversations often have diverse abbreviations and acronyms to express reactions and opinions.  

These expressions convey a range of sentiments, from agreement and amusement to scepticism and disbelief. Below is a list of these miscellaneous reactions, each with its specific meaning. 

Abbreviation/Slang Meaning 
awks  Awkward 
bet  Sure, yes 
bop  Good song 
cap  Lie 
dead  I think this is hilarious 
facts  I agree 
flex  Show off 
omg  Oh my God! 
slaps  Excellent 
smh  Shaking my head (meaning, that’s so dumb) 
srsly  Seriously 
sus  Suspicious / suspect / questionable / dishonest 

Bottom Line 

While your text messages to your children might occasionally make you cringe, they must recognise your curiosity about their interests and your genuine effort to understand them.  

Above all, remember that deciphering your kids’ messages can be challenging when you’re engrossed in your screen.  

Therefore, regular check-ins and ongoing conversations are crucial. While texting provides entertainment, nothing beats the joy of spending time with your children in real life. 


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