Internet Slang and Abbreviations


The popularity of virtual communication through chat rooms and instant messaging came with a new set of Internet slang and abbreviations. "Internet-speak" is common online and is even adopted into our mainstream culture. While some abbreviations are more obvious and well-known than others, a few may be tricky or confusing to a novice Internet user.


  • "LOL," or "laughing out loud," is one of the most popular slang abbreviations. "LOL" is used when you find something funny enough to laugh out loud at your computer. It is also used as a "filler" in online communication when you do not have anything else to say.


  • "ROFL" means "rolling on the floor laughing." This is used interchangeably with "LOL," but "ROFL" is not quite as common. Since "LOL" is an overused phrase, some chatters use "ROFL" to make the distinction that something is extremely funny. A user may add "IRL," or "in real life," to emphasis he or she is genuinely laughing out loud.


  • "BRB" means "be right back." This lets the person you're chatting with know you need to do something offline and you will return shortly. Another variation of this is "BBL," or "be back later," which implies a longer break from the computer.


  • "AFK" means "away from keyboard." Similar to "BRB," this term is frequently used by online gamers. In fact, most online games display your character as "AFK" when you are idle. This implies you need to "BRB," or you are around the computer and able to see what is said but unable to respond.


  • "TBH" simply means "to be honest." This is used in forum conversation. Use it whenever saying "to be honest" is appropriate. Another variation of this slang is "IMO" or "IMHO," which means "in my (humble) opinion."


  • Some of the most common ways to say "goodbye" are "g2g" (got to go) and "TTYL," or "talk to you later." Other common ways to say goodbye is "c ya l8tr," which is slang for "see you later." "TTFN" means "ta ta for now."

For Teenagers

  • Some abbreviations are targeted toward younger Internet users. "AITR" means "adult in the room," and is used to let someone know an adult can see the computer screen. Another variation of this abbreviation is "PITR," which means "parent in the room." "BFF," or "best friend forever," is another slang word most often used as a noun.

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