Texting Dictionary of Common Phrases

Consult this texting dictionary to get up to speed on the most recent texting shorthand words and phrases. Because texting is a somewhat laborious process, a shorthand has developed for commonly used phrases and words to save time and space.

Most technological devices that support texting also only display a handful of characters at a time, so brevity is important. Here are some easy ways to get the message across in as few words and characters as possible:

  • Consider incorporating numerals to shorten words: Great/gr8; for/4; to, too, two/2; anyone/ne1; to you/2U.
  • Abbreviate words when possible: extra/xtra; enough/enuf; though/tho; you/u.
  • Use initials for people you know: boyfriend/BF; girlfriend/GF; best friend forever/BFF; DD/darling daughter; DS/darling son.

Hundreds of texting shorthand codes take the first letter of popular phrases and condense them to strings of characters. Most people understand LOL means "lots of laughs" or the person thinks something is funny, but you can incorporate a range of texting shorthand and abbreviations into your messages:

  • Inquire how someone is doing or what their status is: What's up/SUP; How are you/HRU; Where are you at/WRU@; what are you doing/WRUD.
  • Let someone know how you are feeling: I love you/ILU or I <3 U; I miss you/IMU; you've got to be kidding me/YGTBKM; head hanging in shame/HHIS; who cares/WC; falling off my chair laughing/FOMCL.
  • Ask a question: Why/Y?; what do you think/WDYT; are you done yet/AYDY; oh, really/ORLY; are you serious/RYS; who, what, where, when, why/WH5.
  • Let them know you're being interrupted: Be right back/BRB; be back/BB; be seeing you/BCNU; chat with you later/CWYL; sorry I've got to run/SIG2R.

Communicate about locations, food and other things that appear in everyday conversations using texting shorthand.

  • Refer to food: Pizza/PZA; bring your own beer/BYOB; I already ate/IA8; coffee break/CB.
  • Ask or reveal location: Where are you/20 (taken from CB code where 20 meant location); address/ADDY; away from computer/AFC; on the phone/OP; out to lunch/OTL; off to work/OTW.

Many shorthand alternatives have emerged as substitutes for regular words when texting. While some may look like a foreign language, once you can interpret the shorthand, it makes sending and receiving messages much faster and more efficient.

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