119 Most Popular Text Abbreviations & How to Use Them

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March 23, 2022
Chloe Mulliner
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These days, we’re all on the go. We’re multitasking—listening to podcasts, scrolling social media, sending emails, and answering text messages all at the same time. Considering this, it’s pretty safe to say that no one has time to write long-winded, wordy text messages—or even read them, for that matter.

That’s why it’s so important to be up to date on the latest text abbreviations and acronyms. And, if you’re part of a business sending out SMS (short message service) messages, it’s even more crucial to be in the know.

Text acronyms (think ASAP or FOMO) and abbreviations (think TGIF or TBH) help keep your SMS messages short and sweet—not to mention engaging and consumable, too. Not only that, using these shortened words and phrases will help lower your character count. And, as many of you already know, when you’re limited to 160 characters, every word and character counts. If you go over that character limit, you may face extra charges.

BTW, using any type of established shortened word or phrase, whether abbreviation or acronym, can save you time, previous character counts, and money. So, it’s a good idea to learn how to incorporate these space savers into your SMS campaigns.

To help make this easier, we’ve compiled the following lists of established text abbreviations and acronyms. These lists include the most common business, business marketing, and conversational terms. It will help get you up to speed if you are new to incorporating shortened words and phrases into your texts. If you are already familiar with text abbreviations you can use this list as a reference to help inspire your next message.Then, check out our 5 top tips for using them correctly.

Most Common Business Text Abbreviations & Acronyms
 

Help us change the course


Let’s face it; the business world is fast-paced. You want to get your messages out there quickly and efficiently, and your readers want to engage with them at record speeds. To help save everyone some time, turn to these well-known business text abbreviations and acronyms.
 

  
AFAIK: As far as I knowNSFW: Not safe for work
AKA: Also known asOOO: Out of office
AMA: Ask me anythingOOTO: Out of the office
ASAP: As soon as possibleOS: Operating system
ATM: At the momentPLMK: Please let me know
ATTN: AttentionPOC: Point of contact
BTW: By the wayPOV: Point of view
COB: Close of businessPTE: Part-time employee
DIY: Do it yourselfPTO: Paid time off
EOD: End of dayQA: Quality assurance
EOW: End of weekRe: Referring to
ETA: Estimated time of arrivalROI: Return on investment
FAQ: Frequently asked questionSME: Subject matter expert
FTE: Full-time employeeTBD: To be decided
FWIW: For what it’s worthTIA: Thanks in advance
FYI: For your informationTL;DR: Too long; didn’t read
ICYMI: In case you missed itTOS: Terms of service
IMHO: In my humble opinionUI: User interface
IMO: In my opinionUX: User experience
JLMK: Just let me knowVPN: Virtual private network
LMK: Let me knowWFH: Work from home
MoM: Month over monthWYSIWYG: What you see is what you get
MTD: Month to dateYOY: Year over year
N/A: Not applicable or not availableYTD: Year to date
NP: No problem 
Sample Text Message

Most Common Business Marketing Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

The business marketing environment is full of abbreviations. In fact, you might even hear some of these used during conference calls and presentations, like CTR and RFI. But what do they mean? Check out this business marketing cheat sheet for answers.

 

API: Application program interfaceKPI: Key performance indicator
CLV: Customer lifetime valueLTV: Lifetime value
CMS: Content Management SystemPPC: Pay per click
CPA: Cost per acquisition/actionPPL: Pay per lead
CPC: Cost per clickPPV: Pay per view
CPL: Cost per leadPR: Page rank
CPM: Cost per thousand or Cost per milePV: Pageviews
CPV: Cost per viewRFI: Request for information
CR: Conversion rateRT: Retweet
CRM: Customer relationship managementSEM: Search engine marketing
CRO: Conversion rate optimizationSEO: Search engine optimization
CSS: Cascading Style SheetsSERP: Search engine results page
CTA: Call to actionSM: Social media
CTR: Click-through rateSMS: Short message service
CX: Customer experienceSOV: Share of voice
DM: Direct mail (or ‘direct message’ in Twitter and Instagram circles)T&C: Terms & Conditions
FB: FacebookUI: User interface
FTP: File transfer protocolUGC: User-generated content
GA: Google AnalyticsUX: User experience
IM: Instant MessagingRCS: Rich communication services
ISP: Internet service providerMMS: Multimedia messaging service

Most Common Conversational Text Abbreviations & Acronyms
 

Conversation Bubbles

Not every message you send to your readers has to be serious and straight-laced, especially if you’re looking to create a more friendly, conversational relationship. Depending on your product, market, and those you’re targeting, sometimes it’s OK to let down your hair and be a little more laidback. Incorporate some of these popular text abbreviations into your messages for a more casual approach.
 

ROFL: Rolling on the floor laughingIRL: In Real Life
ICYMI: In case you missed itTBA: To be announced
NVM: NevermindFOMO: Fear of missing out
TGIF: Thank goodness it’s FridayFTW: For the win
TBH: To be honestG2G: Got to go
TBF: To be frankIYKYK: If you know, you know
RN: Right nowNBD: No big deal
QOTD: Quote of the dayNGL: Not gonna lie
OOTD: Outfit of the dayOFC: Of course
BRB: Be right backOMG: Oh my god/gosh
BTW: By the wayOMW: On my way
LOL: Laugh out loudSMH: Shaking my head
TTYL: Talk to you laterSRSLY: Seriously
HMU: Hit me upSUS: Suspicious
IDK: I don’t know 

5 Top Tips for Using Abbreviations & Acronyms in Text Messages

These abbreviations can help your SMS messages, but they can also hinder them if you don’t follow some basic guidelines. Follow the following 6 tips to help guide you as you begin to employ shortened words and phrases when texting.

 

1. Reign It In

Sample Text Message

You’ll want to strike a balance when using text abbreviations in SMS messages so your readers aren’t left trying to decode your content. Use them for ease and convenience, but don’t overdo it. If your message looks like alphabet soup, it might be time to ease off the abbreviations and acronyms.

An overstuffed message might look like this:

Meanwhile, this text conveys the same message, using only one abbreviation: Our sale ends today! DM us for your 10% off code.

When in doubt, less is more.

2. Consider Your Audience

While some of these abbreviations may have gotten their start in the early days of AOL Instant Messenger and text messaging, many of them have since become mainstream. That said, there is a time and a place for using them.

Empty Audience Seating

If you’re appealing to a professional or more mature audience, your best bet is to skip the conversational slang like OMG, ROFL, SUS, and HMU. And in the same vein, if you’re dealing with a younger or more casual crowd, stuffing your messages with business abbreviations like CRO, CSS, and LTV may make their eyes gloss over.

A good rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t use those phrases or acronyms in normal conversations with them, don’t include them in your SMS messages.

3. Remember to Proofread

Of course, you should always proofread and edit your SMS messages before clicking send, but it’s especially necessary to double-check your abbreviations because it’s easier to not notice when there is an error. For instance, your readers will understand BTW means “by the way,” but if you accidentally type BYW or BTE, your garbled message will likely leave them scratching their heads.

Desktop/Work Area

Keep a close eye on those abbreviations, and don’t blindly rely on your spell checker to catch your mistakes for you.

4. Don’t Force It

Text abbreviations are meant to make everyone’s lives easier. If there’s a good natural fit for using one, go for it, but don’t try to cram one in just for the sake of it.

Jamming in a text abbreviation when it does not make sense, or “just because” can convolute your message or make it seem like you’re trying too hard. For example, abbreviations like FYI, TBD, DIY, and ASAP likely have a better chance of finding their way into your messages over lesser-used ones like AFAIK, TBF, and JLMK.

5. Stick to the List

We hate to break it to you, but it’s taken years for many of these abbreviations to take off and become easily recognizable. This means if you’re looking to create a new, trendy abbreviation, it’s probably not going to fly (just yet). Making up your own slang will likely only confuse and potentially frustrate your readers. For now, get the hang of using these familiar abbreviations before going rogue with your own.

Desktop/Work Area

TL;DR: When used correctly, text abbreviations can help make your SMS messages more concise and engaging. And BTW, they can save you time and money, too.

Now that you’re all caught up on how to send SMS messages with text abbreviations, it’s time to get set up with an all-in-one text messaging solution with EZ Texting. Contact us today, and be sure to check out our additional SMS resources for more information.

Text Marketing Terms Worth Mentioning

Although the following phrases are not abbreviations or acronyms, they are often used in conversations around text marketing. Since you will likely encounter at least one of these in your texting lifetime, we thought it would be helpful to include them here.

Text List: The list of numbers you have legally obtained permission to text

Text to Join: A method people can use to opt into your text list

Text to Win: A contest you run through text message

Text to Landline: When you send or receive text messages over a landline number

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