30 Trendy Internet Slang Words and Acronyms You Need to Know to Fit In
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The language of the internet evolves on a daily basis. Which means the internet can be a confusing place, even for someone who is using it every day. In fact, internet slang words have transformed language, so it’s crucial to learn the common phrases.

Sure, you could refer to online slang dictionaries, but it’s difficult to stay clued in that way. Instead, we whipped up a quick crash course of trendy internet acronyms and phrases.

1. AMA: Ask Me Anything

What It Means: Ask Me Anything is a series started on Reddit, where an authority on a subject fields open questions. It is now used more widely on the internet, with any sort of public Q&A being termed an AMA. For example:

“Hi, I am Adam Savage, co-host of Mythbusters, AMA!”

Incidentally, Savage’s AMAs have earned him a spot on our list of the best Reddit AMAs of all time The Best Reddit AMAs Of All Time [Weird & Wonderful Web] The Best Reddit AMAs Of All Time [Weird & Wonderful Web] Under the IAmA subreddit, you'll find informal interviews with all sorts of interesting people. These are some of the best AMAs online. Read More .

2. Bae: Babe / Before Anyone Else

What It Means: Urban Dictionary says Bae is a Danish word for poop.

Unfortunately, the internet thinks it’s a term of endearment: either an acronym for “before anyone else” or a shortening of “babe”. Soon enough, pop stars Pharrell and Miley Cyrus turned it into a song, “Come get it, bae.” Sorry Danes, this is what the word means, now and forever. The good news is that most of the internet also treats it as a term of mockery in memes and captions for images, so you can feel free to use it to be sassy.

3. DAE: Does Anyone Else?

What It Means: DAE is generally a prefix for a question, where the person asking wants to know if they are not alone in whatever they are experiencing. It’s huge on Reddit, niche forums, and discussion groups, but is not used as regularly elsewhere on the internet. For example:

“DAE use the condensation from their fast food beverage container to clean their hands when a sink is not readily available?”

4. Dafuq: (What) the F***?

What It Means: The first time you see “dafuq” on the internet, you might think it’s a legitimate word. It’s not. Pronounce it, preferably while no kids are around. Dafuq is the internet’s way of saying WTF because the internet-made WTF was not already short enough.

5. DM: Direct Message

What It Means: Twitter’s Direct Message feature lets you send private messages to your friends, or receive private messages from anyone. It’s especially useful for sharing information you don’t want to post in public, like your phone number or address. “DM” is slowly becoming the default way of telling someone to message you privately, much like “PM” in the past for personal message/private message. For example:

“DM me your contact number plz!”

6. ELI5: Explain Like I’m 5

ELI5 or Explain Like I'm Five (years old)

What It Means: When someone gives a complex explanation for an event and you need them to dumb it down for you, ask them to “explain it like I’m 5 years old”, or ELI5. Most often, it’s used to explain science or technology in layman’s terms. This is big on Reddit, but not so big on other forums. Here’s an example from Hacker News.

7. FML: F*** My Life

fml

What It Means: As old as this is, it’s still used a lot. The idea is that when you go through an unfortunate event, share it with the world by tagging it with “FML”. Simple. It’s actually pretty therapeutic, especially if you want to confess your misfortunes anonymously at a place like FMyLife, which is one of the best sites to read true stories from real people 7 Best Sites, Forums, and Sub-Reddits for True Stories from Real People 7 Best Sites, Forums, and Sub-Reddits for True Stories from Real People Everyone loves a good story. And the best stories, more often than not, are true stories. Some websites are aimed at being a platform for people to tell their honest tale. Here are seven. Read More .

8. FTFY: Fixed That For You

What It Means: This particular phrase is used in two ways. The first is literal, where if you say something that has an obvious unintentional mistake, another person on the internet corrects it for you, adding, “FTFY.” The other way is sarcastic. For example:

Mike says, “Android is far better than iOS”.

Stuart replies, “iOS is far better than Android #FTFY.”

9. Facepalm: “You Can’t Be That Dumb”

What It Means: When someone does something stupid, instinctively, your palm hits your own face or forehead. That entire series of action is now reduced to a single word: facepalm. It can be used to convey dismay, disappointment, ridicule, or disapproval.

10. Headdesk: Supreme Frustration

What It Means: Headdesk is the extreme facepalm. When someone says or does something monumentally idiotic, you hit your head on the desk to convey your utter loss of faith in humanity. As you flail for hope, take solace in the knowledge that at least you can express your feelings in one succinct word.

11. HIFW: How I Feel/Felt When

What It Means: This is another acronym that reduces the number of characters you type, giving you more space to say what you want in the 140-character limitation of Twitter. Typically, HIFW is paired with an image, video, or reaction GIF when words aren’t enough.

12. ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

What It Means: One of the few times the internet tries to be polite, ICYMI is just a precaution when you aren’t sure if other people already know about something, or when you are repeating something you have said before. It’s a way of saying, “You might have already seen this, but if not, here you go.”

13. IDGAF: I Don’t Give A F***

What It Means: A crass, emphatic way of saying that you don’t care.

14. IMO / IMHO: In My Opinion / In My Humble Opinion

What It Means: Another internet classic, IMO is the safe way to express your opinions without making it sound like you are proclaiming a universal truth. IMHO is the way to do that while seeming humble, or at least pretending to. For example:

IMHO, cursive writing is obsolete Cursive Writing Is Obsolete; Schools Should Teach Programming Instead [Opinion] Cursive Writing Is Obsolete; Schools Should Teach Programming Instead [Opinion] Cursive writing is an anachronism. Spending any classroom time on it is a waste because as a day-to-day skill, it is not at all practical in the modern, connected world. Read More .

15. IRL: In Real Life

What It Means: The internet is the virtual life. People often have a whole second persona online, or keep their real life neatly separated from their online life. If you want to talk about something in your real life, the qualifier “IRL” is enough to let people know.

16. JSYK: Just So You Know

What It Means: FYI, if you still use “FYI” to be sassy when schooling someone, you’re old. JSYK is the new FYI, so get with it. End of.

17. Lulz: Laughs (“Just for Laughs”)

What It Means: Lulz is an off-shoot of LOLs*. Lulz is usually used in the form of “For the lulz”, which would be just like saying “for the kicks” or “for the laughs”. It’s a justification for whatever you’re doing or saying; the justification being that it’s for a few laughs.

*If you need to know what LOL is, then you should seek out a more basic “internet for Dummies 101” guide than this article.

18. MFW: My Face When | MRW: My Reaction When

What It Means: Like HIFW, these are mainly intended as reactions coupled with photos or GIFs. They are also often used to provide a funny caption to an image of a trending topic.

Of course, in the case of MFW, the image has to feature someone’s face.

19. MIRL: Me In Real Life

What It Means: MIRL is usually used as self-deprecating humor, especially when you see something online that you identify with. Otherwise, with something like a reaction GIF or a photo/video, you’d add a funny caption to it stating that’s how you are in real life.

20. NSFW: Not Safe For Work

What It Means: If you’re at the office, you don’t want to open a link that has nudity, graphic language, or anything offensive. If the link says “NSFW”, then it’s not safe to open in an environment where someone might see it and be offended.

21. NSFL: Not Safe For Life

What It Means: In internet lingo, NSFW is now used more for something that would be offensive in a formal environment, but would be fine if you’re around friends. NSFL usually has images, videos, or content so graphic that it could leave a mental scar, whether around others or not.

22. PAW: Parents Are Watching

What It Means: Literally that. If kids want to avoid saying or doing something while their parents are around, PAW is a warning to the recipient. In recent times, Code 9 has been also been used instead of PAW, although it hasn’t caught on that much yet. For example:

Her: You want to send me that Snapchat?

Him:PAW, later.

23. QFT: Quoted For Truth

What It Means: There are two ways this is used. First, when someone says something you agree with so vehemently that you couldn’t have said it better yourself. Second, when someone says something and you want to hold them to it in the future, as proof. For example:

A: “I gotta say, Bieber is pretty good sometimes.”

B: “QFT, I’ll remind you about this when you aren’t drunk.”

24. SMH: Shakes/Shaking My Head

What It Means: Like headdesk and facepalm, SMH is used to convey your disappointment at someone doing or saying something utterly stupid.

25. Squad Goals: The Friends/Group You Want

What It Means: Squad Goals is when you see a group you like, and either wish they were your group of friends, or wish your friends could rise up to their level.

26. TBT: Throwback Thursday

What It Means: When you want to post an old photo, hold off until Thursday and tag it with #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT. It’s a sure-fire way to get more likes and comments on Instagram 8 Tricks to Get More Real Instagram Followers 8 Tricks to Get More Real Instagram Followers There are plenty of tips and tricks for getting noticed on Instagram. Here are some of the best. Read More . While TBT is used more on Instagram than anywhere else, it has become a central part of the internet’s lexicon.

27. TIL: Today I Learned

TIL stands for Today I Learned

What It Means: When you learn about information that isn’t new but is novel for you, share it with the world by adding a “TIL”. This is used almost everywhere on the internet, but originated on Reddit. In fact, the TIL subreddit is one of the best places to learn cool stuff. For example:

TIL Leonard Nimoy once gave a cab ride to JFK. The future president told the aspiring actor, “Lots of competition in your business, just like in mine. Just remember there’s always room for one more good one”.

28. TL;DR: Too Long; Didn’t Read

What It Means: The internet is a treasure trove of detailed information, but sometimes, you haven’t got time to read the whole thing. TL;DR was invented to give a quick summary of the content.

 

29. YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary

What It Means: In a similar situation or with a product, your experience might not be the same as someone else’s experience. The internet has decided to make it easy to say that with “YMMV”.

30. YOLO: You Only Live Once

What It Means: YOLO is a justification for doing something that you probably shouldn’t be doing, but want to do anyway. It’s also used ironically as commentary on someone else doing something idiotic.

More Internet Slang Words to Learn

This isn’t an exhaustive list of the trendiest internet slang by any means, and more words are constantly being added to the lexicon. And that’s not even counting the hundreds of internet memes out there.

As technology evolves, so does the language we use on it. Which is why we already have more internet slang words you need to know 30 More Internet Slang Words and Acronyms You Need to Know 30 More Internet Slang Words and Acronyms You Need to Know These are just some of the slang words and acronyms today's youth is speaking online or in the real world. Add them to your street speak. Read More . TBH, IDK many of these, HBU?

Image Credit: gualtiero boffi/Shutterstock

Explore more about: Dictionary, Jargon.

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  1. Animal
    October 31, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    My two favorites.

    RTFM - Read The F’n Manual
    PITA - Pain In The A$$

  2. wollo
    October 25, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Really? What age is this? Are these slang words that dads need to know?
    What about NPC, goatsee, SJW,

  3. dragonmouth
    October 24, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    IDGAF about being trendy and fitting into a culture with a collective attention span of a May fly. I definitely agree with the sentiments of BenFrankilin-pre-death. If this trendy crap continues, we will be reduced to communicating in grunts and groans. We will become Neanderthals using electronic devices.

  4. Robbyteee
    August 23, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    No. The worst is RN = right now

    "lolz im so drunk rn"

  5. Duane
    July 14, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    What does “Brwcin” mean?

    • CG
      August 23, 2018 at 8:18 pm

      Big red wave coming in November.

  6. Mrs.Anita Gautam
    June 27, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    It's nice .Please keep in touch with me for this more & more.

  7. Unknown
    May 27, 2018 at 11:46 am

    U missed these other ones
    Sb-snap back
    Tbh-to be honest
    Wud-what you doing
    Nm-nothing much
    r-are
    y-why
    And way morrre:).

  8. DankLotus
    April 27, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    JSUK, and some of you may already:
    YARK= YOU ALREADY KNOW
    JSUK= JUST SO YOU KNOW
    YMAH= YA MOMS A HOE
    JS= JUS' SAYIN'
    I've also been encountering these sentences/ phrases phonetically condensed into a work. And I must say (except example 1.) I find them rather infectious and amusing
    HOWBOWDA= HOW ABOU THAT
    SUHDOOD= WHATS UP DUDE
    SKODEN= LETS GO THEN
    ESSHKITIT= LETS GET IT
    AINAIDEN= I AINT HIDING

  9. notyour average
    March 25, 2018 at 8:51 am

    TFW - That Feeling When

  10. notyour average
    March 25, 2018 at 8:51 am

    MCM - Man Crush Monday
    WCW - Woman Crush Wednesday
    FYI - For Your Informatiob
    JK - Just Kidding

  11. Healy Boe
    February 21, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    You missed the LOL for Lots Of Love REALLY

  12. Poof
    January 29, 2018 at 3:03 am

    THOT

    • PAYAL
      April 23, 2018 at 7:34 am

      what does it mean?

      • poof
        April 23, 2018 at 11:54 pm

        that hoe over there

  13. Rose
    November 19, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Omg thanks so much! I knew 65% of these... the other 35% is probably half never knowing that existed! And the other half been wondering! Again thank you so much!!!!

  14. JMS
    October 3, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Mhoty= my hats off to you

  15. Ronan
    August 23, 2017 at 5:32 am

    TT is crying

  16. Kaylan
    July 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Lol; lots of love/ laugh out loud

  17. Ella p
    July 20, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Lmao- laughed my ass off
    Brb-be right back
    Ikr-i know right
    Idek-i don't even know
    Ideca-i don't even care anymore
    Pos- parents over shoulder
    Ngl- not gonna lie
    Ob-oh boy
    Lig- life is good now
    Mlis- my life it shit
    Tourp-take off your pants
    Twn-talk whilst naked
    Iwsun- I wanna see you naked
    Vcn- videochat whilst naked

    • Rose
      November 19, 2017 at 7:45 pm

      Wow just wow.

  18. Gracie
    June 8, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Life is good= LIG
    Oh Boy= OB

    I have to get all of these suck in my head!

  19. Gracie
    June 8, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    WUD= what u doing
    HBU= how about u
    ILY= I love you
    CIC?= can I call?

    • Names
      October 2, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      Actually it's
      Wyd: What you doing

    • Names
      October 2, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      Wyd: What you doing

      • Gracie
        October 3, 2017 at 6:29 am

        It makes more sense if it is WUD not WYD

  20. Cheryl
    June 2, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Dang only know 9 of these. Smh

  21. Bella
    April 17, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    What does n'r mean

    • :)
      January 25, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      No replies

  22. Lucius
    April 10, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    OKAY WE NEED TO STOP THIS NOW!
    I'm 22 and I feel this has a gone a li'l too far.
    Now I need to mug up these along with my books?!
    JUST STOP.

    • David
      April 22, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      mug up? ha!

  23. Suraj Uttam
    March 23, 2017 at 9:47 am

    AF - As F*ck
    LOL - Laughing Out Loud
    ROFL - Rolling On Floor Laughing
    DIY - Do It Yourself
    LMAO - Laughing My Ass Off

  24. adeel abbasi
    March 1, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    this blog was such wonderful help for me,head offs to the writer.

  25. Ally
    January 9, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    You missed
    Lmao- laugh my *ss of

  26. Adrian Howley
    December 22, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Lately been seeing 'trash' a lot. Not sure if a compliment/put-down. Help!

    • Nyla
      December 26, 2016 at 8:24 am

      It's a put-down.

  27. Stacianne
    November 30, 2016 at 5:36 am

    I sent a pic to someone and they replied Daweeee!! What the heck does that mean??anyone know??

    • Jules albert
      July 3, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      I think it's another word for 'awwww'

    • Unknown
      May 27, 2018 at 11:47 am

      Yea it means aww :/

  28. Unicorn
    November 26, 2016 at 6:39 am

    You forgot LOL:laugh out loud, WCW:women crush Wednesday, FBF:flashback Friday, MCM:man crush monday

  29. John Harwood
    November 6, 2016 at 10:57 am

    In messages to good friends I usually finish with TCSS meaning Take care, stay safe

  30. reloading._.xoxo, follow my instagram
    October 20, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    IDK: i don't know
    TBH: to be honest
    TBR: to be rude
    LOLZ: it doesn't stand for anything but it means that something is funny or amusement.

  31. Pizza Cat300
    October 19, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    LSHMSFOAMTF

    • Tonya Wilhite
      August 3, 2018 at 8:55 am

      What??

  32. Daddy Dadddy Dab
    October 10, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    MILF- Moms I love forever
    DILF- Dads I love forever

    • Jim
      January 26, 2017 at 11:47 am

      I'm at least 90% sure that's not what those mean...

      • David
        April 22, 2017 at 5:52 pm

        ha!

    • Tonya Wilhite
      August 3, 2018 at 8:54 am

      Bahaha way off

  33. Eagle
    September 28, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    You have do do LMAO

  34. Adbos
    August 18, 2016 at 4:00 am

    What does YADFF mean

  35. Mary
    July 20, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    can anyone tell me what "zbb" means please

    • Anonymous
      August 21, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      zero boobs

    • lily
      August 31, 2016 at 9:57 am

      zero based budgeting

  36. Lo
    July 20, 2016 at 5:32 am

    G4B- God forbid

  37. isaiah6663@gmail.com
    March 7, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Yolo! Have u read Lord of the Rings? I didn't because it was TL;DR. by the way Donald Trump sucks! IDGAS! xD roflmao!

  38. BenFranklin-pre-death
    March 4, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    "Trendy" internet speak is nothing more than social media-spread valley girl talk. This throw-away culture has taken to altering large swathes of its language every 2-3 years. It makes you sound absolutely fucking stupid if not totally trashy. The internet has allowed language to become a part of the same throw-away garbage culture that pop music has become. In fact, it seems like everything the masses of internet users touch turns to pure throw away trash within a couple years. Since the blooming of the internet, trash culture has blasted off, celebrities have become exponentially more trashy, and social standards have gone down the toilet. It seems like people love to exercise their freedom... freedom to act like trashy assholes and really nothing more than that. Anti-war protests and groups are at all time lows, union busting is at an all time high, militarized police now patrol our streets, and total widespread surveillance has become common place even though crime and actual dangers to everyday life had already been at all-time lows before. Yet we don't give as hit. We love swimming in our mountainous landscapes of garbage / trash culture. The language has simply reflected the reality of our society. Garbage in, garbage out.

    "So, like OMG, dafuq? YOLO so WTF? Like, ummm, why read that paragraph? It's like tots TL;DR! Just chillax, bae. IRL IDGAF." Facepalm. No wonder Drumpf is going to be our next president... headdesk.

    • Anonymous
      March 21, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      IKR?

      • Anonymous
        March 21, 2016 at 10:06 pm

        Meaning: I know, right?

    • Tatkret
      May 18, 2016 at 11:03 am

      You must be fun at parties.

      • Ageofreason
        December 27, 2016 at 9:17 pm

        Life isn't only about parties and having fun.

    • Ageofreason
      December 27, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      Couldn't agree with you more. Thank you for stating what is obvious to mature, intelligent people, yet oblivious to those who have grown up knowing nothing different. So sad to see an entire generation live with no appreciation for anything which takes more than 10 seconds to accomplish.

    • ZP
      May 21, 2017 at 3:17 am

      TL;DR

  39. Kai
    February 23, 2016 at 5:49 am

    OMG words can me different things in different languages ???? Bae and Bæ are not the same thing. Plus the term Bae doesn't mean "before anyone else" it was just a shortened way of saying baby that has been used by black people since the early '90s

    • Mark Harrison
      September 14, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      Yup, it's been used for babe/baby for about 20 years or so for sure.

  40. MizFurbaall
    February 2, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    I have been coming across the term "DOLORES" (all caps) frequently. I have not been able to find out its meaning.

    • Lola
      July 2, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      Thats spanish for a lot of pain

  41. Jim
    February 2, 2016 at 10:48 am

    PMHT or #PMHT short for Pardon My Hashtag is going around a lot now. It's a way of saying, here's my hashtags.....Sorry for dumping them on you like this!

  42. Anonymous
    July 31, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    There's a very important one IMO, which is
    INB4 = an expression commonly used on discussion forums and imageboards to forecast an anticipated response or a predictable outcome within a given thread.
    Example: someone asks for help in a post full of spelling mistakes. You know there will be people more keen into pointing the mistakes (which are not what's being discussed) instead of actually answering the OP. So, before they do, you can post "inb4: grammar nazis", meaning "yeah, yeah, everyone noticed the mistakes, there's no need to play smart. now let's get to the real point of the discussion here."

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 3, 2015 at 8:57 am

      That's a good one, Luiz, thanks! You're right, I've seen it often on Reddit.

    • ENZO
      November 12, 2015 at 3:00 am

      NSS !!!

    • ZP
      May 21, 2017 at 3:18 am

      TL;DR

  43. Anonymous
    July 17, 2015 at 7:53 am

    NSS = No Shit Sherlock?! seems to be pretty much the same as Facepalm. Widely used in our family, but not sure where it comes from.

    • Mihir Patkar
      July 30, 2015 at 6:23 am

      Hahahaha I love this!

    • gary reid
      January 23, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      Actually other than the obvious which is that its referring to Sherlock Holmes and his power of deduction (possibly a phrase Dr. Watson might have exclaimed), one might offer the following; You see there were these two brothers from the "Lott" family who owned a farm together. One day the older brother named Sherm noted that their garden was not performing well. He told his younger brother to go to the pasture to get some manure to spread in the garden. After several hours when his brother didn't return he sent a neighbor to search out his brother. The neighbor return to pass a message from the young brother. which was your brother says "No Sh*t", Mr. Shem Lott! Well through the years that phrase has been shortened to NSS = No Shit Sherlock. There you have it.

  44. Anonymous
    July 16, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    The one thing I'd have to mention is: it's not called a 'shruggie.' It's called "'sup son." Originating from StarCraft II eSports fans.

    • Mihir Patkar
      July 30, 2015 at 6:24 am

      Oh really? Interesting! I've only heard it referred to as the shruggie, shrug, or smugshrug.

  45. Anonymous
    July 16, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Quite a few of these have been in use for a long time; so not very "trendy". Although a few examples are pretty recent.

    I never believed that PAW was used much IRL. Maybe back in the days of BBS and dial up modems, when just getting on line was a hassle and your only screen was a big monitor. How many parents have you seen hovering over a kid while they are texting?

    • Mihir Patkar
      July 30, 2015 at 6:25 am

      By trendy, I meant phrases/acronyms that are used regularly right now. I'm not debating their age, just saying that it's likely you might see one of these.

  46. Anonymous
    July 16, 2015 at 1:19 am

    Really want to know what you missed?? You missed WDWM: What Did We Miss.

    • Mihir Patkar
      July 30, 2015 at 6:25 am

      ILY

  47. Anonymous
    July 15, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    -\('J) OK I give up- How do you make a "shruggie"??

    • Mihir Patkar
      July 30, 2015 at 6:26 am

      Hello and welcome to the fan club of copyshrug.com

      • Stacy
        January 20, 2017 at 4:58 pm

        ??

      • Stacy
        January 20, 2017 at 4:59 pm

        ??

      • Stacy
        January 20, 2017 at 5:00 pm

        ??