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Internet slang

Internet users have developed many slang terms over the years. Most of these are not actually acronyms as they cannot be pronounced, but that is what they are called nonetheless. Many of these terms originated for saving keystrokes and are often written in lower case:

  • AFAIC --- as far as I'm concerned.
  • AFAIK --- as far as I know.
  • AFAIR --- as far as I recall
  • AFK --- away from keyboard. We assume you'll brb.
  • BBL --- be back later
  • BFD --- big fucking deal
  • BRB --- be right back (usually used in chats and on an instant messenger service).
  • BTW --- by the way.
  • C|N>K --- a Unix-ism meaning coffee through nose into keyboard
  • FAQ --- Frequently Asked Question
  • FFS --- "for fuck's sake!"
  • FYI --- for your information.
  • G2G --- Got to go. Used in chatrooms.
  • GFY --- "good for you" or "go fuck yourself". The use of this acronym is ambigious and not recommended.
  • GG --- "Good going." or good game. Used sincerely in online games such as trivia, but more often used sarcastically when someone has done something foolish.
  • HAND --- have a nice day.
  • HTH --- hope this helps.
  • IANAL --- I am not a lawyer. Usually used before a non-lawyer gives legal advice, as a humorous disclaimer.
  • IANARS --- "I am not a rocket scientist"
  • IC --- I see. Also, "in character" in MUDs and role-playing games.
  • IIRC --- if I recall correctly.
  • IMHO --- in my humble opinion / in my honest opinion.
  • IMO --- "in my opinion"
  • IMNSHO --- in my not-so-humble opinion.
  • IRC --- Internet Relay Client
  • IYDMMA --- "if you don't mind me asking", for ex., "IYDMMA, are you a virgin?"
  • JJ or JK --- Just joking, just kidding
  • Joo --- Synonym of You. Also spelled j00 with a lower case j and two zeroes rather than two O's.
  • JOOC --- "just out of curiosity"
  • LIEK --- Synonym of like, as in "I liek that website".
  • LMAO --- laughing my ass off
  • LOL --- laughing out loud, or lots of laughs (a reply to something amusing)
  • MYOB --- mind your own business
  • NM --- never mind
  • OIC --- oh, I see
  • OMG --- Exclamation, "Oh my God!!"
  • OMFG --- Exclamation, "Oh my fucking God!!"
  • OOC --- out-of-character. Used on MUDs and other role-playing games. Also, "out of curiosity."
  • PFO --- please fuck off
  • PITA --- pain in the ass.
  • Pwn --- Step up of the word Own. To "Pwn something" means to have complete control over it, and to be "Pwned by something" means to by dominated by it.
  • RL --- real life, also IRL - in real life. Used in MUD settings.
  • ROTFL or ROFL --- rolling on the floor laughing (a reply to something extremely amusing).
  • ROTFLMAO or ROFLMAO --- rolling on the floor laughing my ass off.
  • RTFM --- read the fucking manual (often sanitized to "read the fine manual"). The frequent reply to a request for basic help from newbies who have not attempted to find the answer for themselves.
  • STFU --- shut the fuck up.
  • TIA --- thanks in advance.
  • TTYL --- "talk to you later"
  • WTF --- What the fuck?
  • YMMV --- Your mileage may vary (you may see different results)

Others express concepts peculiar to the Net:

  • newbie --- a new user. Not a pejorative term (but see RTFM, preceding).
  • noob --- a new user! Also spelled n00b, with two zeroes rather than two O's.
  • cluebie --- a newbie with a clue, but not close to a guru.
  • guru --- an expert in some technical topic, such as as C programming or Unix system administration
  • FAQ --- frequently asked question, or a list of frequently asked questions with answers. Never seems to be written in small letters.
  • troll --- a person who deliberately stirs up trouble (see article).
  • lurker --- one who reads an email list or a message board but does not participate in the discussion.
  • flamer --- one who 'flames'; To rant on about some relatively uninteresting subject or with a patently ridiculous attitude or with hostility towards a particular person or group of people. "Flame" is used as a verb ("Don't flame me for this"), a flame is a single flaming message. Also is likely to relate to the term lamer.

The peculiar thing about internet abbreviations is that many people make them up on the fly, therefore these abbreviations can often be confusing, and impossible to completly cover without being impossibly meticulate. This type of on-the-spot abbreviating leads to doldrums of such things as; OTP (on the phone), PO (pissed off), or the more common, OPTD (outside petting the dog). Another thing common to internet communication is the truncation and morphing of words to more typing-friendly forms. These may one day creep into common usage and end up in the dictionary. Some examples of this are:

  • addy for address (addys is the plural)
  • pix for picture (pix is both the singuar and plural form)
  • prolly for probably

A special case of this last form is 'teh'. This is the corruption of 'the', and often pops up spontaneously when typing fast. So common is it, in fact, that it has made the jump to purposeful usage. Typically it is used in situations where one is being self-consciously enthusiastic, mimicking the less-grammatical Internet newbie: "That movie was teh suck!!", "The fight scene with all the Agent Smiths was TEH AWESOME", etc.

Internet writing is, by its nature, difficult to interpret, especially in chatrooms or on instant messaging, because much of it is quickly input, and many assume, falsely, their audience knows their body language. For instance; a LOL may be taken as genuine laughter or sarcasm, or as "whatever, stay away from me." So, for the sake of accurate and easily understandable communication, it is best to be as explicit as possible and make an effort to get your point across. Smilies such as :) can also be used to clarify emotional intent in internet messages.

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