Common English Abbreviations And Their Meanings (2023)

Because English abbreviations and acronyms are common in everyday conversation, knowing them is extremely beneficial while learning the language. They can be used by English speakers when talking, playing games,

sending emails, and occasionally in conversation. They are typically used to save time and speed up communication.

Studio English likes to introduce you to standard English word abbreviations that will help you understand English better.

Read on to know more.

What Is An Abbreviation In English?

In English, an abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or phrase.

We shorten a word or phrase when we abbreviate it.

Abbreviations can be created by combining the first letters of a word or phrase.

When writing or speaking, it takes less time to pronounce or write the first initial of each word,

or a shortened form than it does to spell out every single word.

Using acronyms and abbreviations in everyday speech, therefore, enhances and speeds communication.

How Do You Abbreviate English?

Initials and acronyms are two frequent ways to abbreviate for English language. An initial is the first letter of a word.

Initials are commonly used to refer to country and organization names.

  • USA United States of America
  • BBC British Broadcasting Corporation

Initials are also the first letters of people’s names. When filling out official forms,

we are sometimes asked to provide our surname and initials, which are essentially English name abbreviations.

  • J. K. Rowling (formal
  • Joanne Kathleen Rowling (informal)

We may also use acronyms to abbreviate English.

Acronyms are words made out of the first letters of other words that are spoken as full words:

  • NATO /ˈneɪtəʊ/ North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
  • SATs /sæts/ standard attainment tests
  • CD-ROM /si: di: ˈrɒm/ compact disc read-only memory
  • radar /ˈreɪdɑ(r)/ radio detection and ranging

One of the most significant English grammar abbreviations lists is that,

if you need to use an indefinite article, before an acronym or initialism,

consider the word’s initial sound (rather than the initial letter) to guide your decision.

How To Abbreviate “Number” In English

One of the English common abbreviations that can be a little confusing is the abbreviation of “number”.

“Number” is abbreviated “no.” and “numbers” is abbreviated “nos.” which is not related to the actual word except for the first letter.

In fact, this abbreviation is actually a symbol that is called the numero sign.

(Video) Learn English: 10 abbreviations you should know

The numero sign or numero symbol “№” is a typographic abbreviation of the word number(s) indicating ordinal numeration,

especially in names and titles.

  • Customer no. 7, please check your account.
  • What are the cards nos.?

How To Pronounce Abbreviations In English?

As a part of your best online platform to learn English, you may come across some abbreviations in your speaking assignments.

How do we pronounce abbreviations in English? Well, it depends on the abbreviation or its type.

Acronyms, for example, are pronounced as a single word.

The word radar is abbreviated for radio detection and ranging and it’s pronounced as a single word: radar /ˈreɪdɑ(r)/.

Abbreviations that are intended to shorten the word are frequently pronounced as the full word.

Dr is pronounced doctor, and oz is pronounced ounce.

Other abbreviationssuch as initials are pronounced letter by letter.

For example, we say ATM letter by letter which is an abbreviation for automated teller machine.

What Are Some Popular Abbreviations?

Here is an English abbreviation list of the most popular various abbreviations that you may come across:

English Phrases Abbreviations

  • Aka – ‘Also Known As’

When someone or something has a different name, this abbreviation is used.

For example:

He thinks that “he-who-must-not-be-named”, aka Voldemort, is actually a good person. Can you believe that!

  • ASAP – ‘As Soon As possible’

This acronym is often used in emails to refer to something that must be done soon.

It is also used in speech and in writing.

For example:

Please sent me this report ASAP.

  • FYI – ‘For Your Information

FYI stands for ‘for your information. This is used when you want someone to know something you know.

For example:

FYI, the coffee machine got broken this morning.

  • TBH – ‘To Be Honest’

This is a great statement to say when you want others to know you’re being honest about something.

(Video) 20 COMMON ABBREVIATIONS & ACRONYMS | Learn with examples | English vocabulary

TBH is an acronym used in chat-based interactions, whereas ‘To be honest’ is used in both spoken and written English.

For example:

I didn’t really like the party he threw for his daughter TBH.

  • R.S.V.P. – Répondez s’il vous plaît

Although it’s one of the English common abbreviations, it actually stands for a French phrase.

It stands for ‘Répondez s’il vous plaît’.

This phrase means “please respond” and is used when you need someone to confirm their participation in an event,

such as a party or a social gathering.

For example:

We are going to have to reprint the wedding invitations because they forgot to write R.S.V.P at the end,

and I won’t take it!

  • ETA – ‘Estimated Time of Arrival’

When discussing a journey, this is used to let someone know what time you expect to arrive at your destination.

You probably saw it multiple times displayed on your GPS device.

For example:

Hey, we’ll be there on time! The conference starts at 11 a.m. and the ETA says 10:50 a.m.

  • BTW – ‘By the way

During a conversation, the phrase ‘By the way’ is used in both written and spoken English to introduce a new,

less significant but still relevant topic. BTW is a pretty casual method of abbreviating the phrase.

For example:

You can order from this restaurant. The chef, whom I know personally BTW, makes the best pizza you can ever taste.

  • DIY – ‘Do It Yourself

This phrase refers to doing something yourself rather than hiring someone else to do it for you.

It is usually used to refer to house maintenance tasks such as constructing or decorating.

For example:

Sorry for the mess, my husband is newly obsessing over those DIY videos and trying everything he sees.

(Video) Abbreviations for Kids | Learn some common abbreviations and why we shorten words

English Words abbreviations

  1. NVM – Nevermind
  2. advert; ad – Advertisement
  3. Decaf – decaffeinated
  4. Exam – examination
  5. Memo – memorandum
  6. Photo – photograph
  7. Mister – Mr
  8. Ounces – oz
  9. Street – St
  10. Kilometers – km
  11. Pounds – lb.
  12. Inches – in.
  13. Centimeters – cm
  14. Limited – Ltd (company).
  15. Am. and Amer. – American

English Academic Abbreviations

  1. B.S. – Bachelor of science
  2. B.A. – Bachelor of Arts
  3. M.A. – Master of Arts
  4. M.B.A. – Master of Business Administration
  5. Ph.D. – Doctor of Philosophy

English Country Abbreviations

Here are twenty of the most common country abbreviations in English.

You can check out more English country abbreviations from Sustainable Sourced LLC.

  1. At: Austria
  2. Au: Australia
  3. Be: Belgium
  4. Br: Brazil
  5. Ca: Canada
  6. Ch: Switzerland
  7. Co: Colombia
  8. De: Germany
  9. Es: Spain
  10. Eg: Egypt
  11. Fi: Finland
  12. Fr: France
  13. Gb/ UK: United Kingdom
  14. Ie: Ireland
  15. Iq: Iraq
  16. Lb: Lebanon
  17. Ml: Mali
  18. No: Norway
  19. Ps: Palestine
  20. Sa: Saudi Arabia

What Are Some Slang Abbreviations?

Slang abbreviations often stem from the internet. How teenagers use the English language in their posts, stories,

and tweets produce new abbreviations every day.

Here are some English abbreviations slang that you can come across on the internet:

  • SMH – Shaking My Head

This can be used to express irritation or any other emotion that a shake of the head might convey.

For example:

The lecture has been going on for 2 hours and we still have more! SMH.

  • IKR – I Know, Right?

IKR shows agreement with whatever has been said in front of you.

For example:

  • I can’t believe they’re closing this cafe, it was amazing!
  • IKR!
  • IMMD – “It Made My Day”

Used to show happiness or joy, This is usually used after mentioning something that was the highlight of your day.

For example:

When you sent me those date selfies last night IMMD, hope you had a great night!

  • SNH – Sarcasm Noted Here

When you say something sarcastic and want the other person to note your tone, you say SNH.

For example:

You should feel bad you missed that baby shower last night, it was … delightful. SNH.

  • MFW – My Face When

This usually follows an emoji or a meme of a facial expression that imitates what you’re feeling.


For example:

*heart eyes emojis* MFW he said he bought me that new Louis Vuitton bag!

  • TL;DR – Too Long; Didn’t Read

You’ll probably see those in the comment sections when the post is too long.

It can’t also be used in a group chat when you open the group chat after 2 hours of your friends chatting about different things and it’s hard to read the 5421 messages they sent.

(Video) (ENGLISH) What is an Abbreviation? | #iQuestionPH

For example:

Sorry guys I was asleep when you were agreeing on that game night. TL;DR though, can someone tell me where are we meeting?

What Are Popular Texting Abbreviations?

Texting can be the fastest form of communication nowadays, even faster than phone calls.

That’s why people created abbreviations to save time and effort when you’re communicating.

Here are some popular text abbreviations you can use the next time you chat with your friends:

  1. ROFL: Rolling on the floor laughing
  2. LOL: Laugh out loud
  3. ICYMI: In case you missed it
  4. NVM: Nevermind
  5. HMU: Hit me up
  6. TL;DR: Too long, didn’t read
  7. LMK: Let me know
  8. TBH: To be honest
  9. TBF: To be frank
  10. TGIF: Thank goodness it’s Friday
  11. RN: Right now
  12. IDK: I don’t know
  13. FWIW: For what it’s worth
  14. IMO: In my opinion
  15. BRB: Be right back
  16. BTW: By the way
  17. TTYL: Talk to you later

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(Video) How to Say & Use English Abbreviations | ASAP * FOMO * BTW * FYI


What are some popular abbreviations? ›

27 Texting Abbreviations: What They Are, Why They Exist, and How to Use Them
  • BTW: By the way.
  • CYA: See ya.
  • DM: Direct message.
  • FTW: For the win.
  • FWIW: For what it's worth.
  • ILY: I love you.
  • IMO: in my opinion.
  • JK: Just kidding.
Jul 24, 2019

What are the top 20 abbreviations? ›

25 must-know internet acronyms and abbreviations
  • SMH: Shaking my head. ...
  • TFW: That feeling when. ...
  • TIA: Thanks in advance. ...
  • TL;DR: Too long, didn't read. ...
  • TTYL: Talk to you later. ...
  • WDYT/WDYM: What do you think/What do you mean. ...
  • WFH: Work from home. ...
  • YNK: You never know.
Jul 30, 2020

Is KFC an acronym? ›

KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is an American fast food restaurant chain headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, that specializes in fried chicken. It is the world's second-largest restaurant chain (as measured by sales) after McDonald's, with 22,621 locations globally in 150 countries as of December 2019.

What does TFW mean? ›

TFW or tfw is an abbreviation on social media and the internet that usually means "that feel when," "that feeling when," or "that face when."

What does 143 mean? ›

143 means I love you. 143 is an internet slang numerical expression that conveys a message of love. Home.

What does KK mean in text? ›

(Internet slang) Reduplication of k (“okay”) (indicates that no further explanation is necessary for a subject, or that the message was understood and will be acted upon without further confirmation). (Internet slang) okay cool (a shortened response usually used at the end of a conversation).

What does OFC mean? ›

ofc (not comparable) (Internet slang, text messaging) Abbreviation of of course.

What does SM mean in text? ›

What does "sm" mean? Definition of "sm" "sm" is an abbreviation (shortened version) for the phrase "so much". It is used in text to express the magnitude (how many or how large) of something. "sm" is often used after the phrase "I love you".

What are modern English abbreviations? ›

The most popular abbreviations are such as: TTY (talk to you later), BTW (by the way), IMHO (in my humble opinion), FYI (for your information), HAND (have a nice day) and, finally, LOL (laugh out loud). The latter form is used more often as an word – acronym, we can hear it in the oral speech.

What is an OG? ›

plural OGs also OG's or O.G.s or O.G.'s. slang. : someone or something that is an original or originator and especially one that is highly respected or regarded.

What does TBH mean in text? ›

"TBH" is an informal abbreviation for "to be honest," according to Merriam-Webster. The term, often spelled out in lowercase, is one of many acronyms used in texting, social media and among other parts of digital culture. It can be used in many ways, such as to admit something, express an opinion or to make a comment.

What does C mean in texting? ›

Hopefully, it's pretty easy to c why c can stand for "see." In addition to being used on its own, c is used to mean "see" in other chat and text acronyms, such as IC and cya. While s can also stand for "see," such as in the acronyms SYS and IYSWIM, s never means "see" when used on its own.

How do you say I love you in abbreviation? ›

Ily is an abbreviation of the phrase I love you. It's mostly used when texting or instant messaging.

What is the acronym for Amazon? ›

AMZ. Amazon. More specifically, Amazon's stock abbreviation.

Is Elmo an acronym? ›

The red Muppet named ELMO has a seat at board and committee meetings. ELMO's name doubles as an acronym for the phrase, “Enough, Let's Move On.”

What does the ALC mean? ›

The term alternate level of care (ALC) is a clinical designation that identifies patients who no longer require the intensity of resources or services provided in their current settings and who are waiting for ALC. Provincial ALC Definition.

What does BF mean in text? ›

(Internet slang) Initialism of boyfriend. (Internet slang) Initialism of best friend.

What does TFK mean in text? ›

(Internet slang, text messaging) what're you doing.

What does SMH stand for? ›

SMH stands for "shaking my head."

What's the meaning of 831 😂 💕? ›

The number 831 is a cyber term used to mean "I Love You." Each individual number in 831 has a specific definition: 8 = The total number of letters in the phrase "I Love You." 3 = The total number of words in the phrase "I Love You."

What does 444 mean? ›

Numerology regards 444 as an assurance that one is on the right path in life. It helps clear doubts and encourages perseverance with the current approach or plan. The number 4 pertains to wealth, and when repeated thrice, it is a strong signal of an upturn in financial fortunes, according to Royal Numerology.

What's 1111? ›

What does angel number 1111 mean? The ones signify new beginnings. Whether you're about to embark on a brand-new passage or you're already on the right path, seeing 1111 coincides with that. And when you see it, experts say you should focus and use it as an indicator that you're on the right track.

What does 639 mean in chat? ›

the ISO 639-3 code of the Wathawurrung language. an internet slang abbreviation for "What the hell" or "what the heck"

What does it mean to YEET? ›

Yeet is a slang word that functions broadly with the meaning “to throw,” but is especially used to emphasize forcefulness and a lack of concern for the thing being thrown. (You don't yeet something if you're worried that it might break.)

What is mm in chat? ›

Make me. During chat and text conversations, MM sometimes stands for "make me." If someone asks you to do something that you really don't want to do, you can respond with MM to tell that person off. If the person is asking you to do something they'd be better off doing themselves, you can tell them to DIY.

Whats does NM mean? ›

Nm, for “not much,” is usually written in the lowercase nm and is used in response to greetings like “What's up?” or “What are you up to?” in texts or social media. NM, also as nm, can be short for nevermind online, too. Also expect to see NM for all things New Mexico. Greetings from #SantaFe!

What does it mean when a girl says CYA? ›

CYA is the written abbreviation for `see you,' mainly used in text messages and e-mails.

What does BBY mean on Snapchat? ›

Noun. bby. (Internet slang, text messaging) Alternative form of baby (term of endearment) quotations ▼

What are some trendy abbreviations? ›

Here is a selection of the most popular and widely used internet abbreviations in 2022:
  • LOL: Laughing out loud.
  • ASAP: As soon as possible.
  • FYI: For your information.
  • G2G: Got to go.
  • FB: Facebook.
  • MSG: Message.
  • TTYL: Talk to you later.
  • IMO: In my opinion.
May 7, 2020

What does SNM mean in UK? ›

SNM is an acronym that means say no more, meaning it would be pointless or unnecessary to say anything more.

What are some good 3 letter abbreviations? ›

English abbreviations composed of exactly three letters.
Category:English three-letter abbreviations
  • BBC.
  • FBI.
  • OED.
  • CLI.
  • BSD.
  • USA.
  • FFA.
  • CCA.

What are the abbreviations for all 50 states? ›

46 more rows

What are the four main types of abbreviation? ›

There are four different types of abbreviations in English:
  • Initialism.
  • Acronym.
  • Shortening.
  • Contraction.
May 14, 2017

What is the abbreviation WWWW? ›

What does wwww mean? Wwww is the Japanese equivalent of the English hahahaha, used to express laughter online and in text message. The more w's, the more enthusiastic the laughter. Like haha, wwww can be shortened to w(ww) and can have an ironic tone.

What is the most used acronym? ›

Popular acronyms and initialisms
  • ASAP (As Soon As Possible) ASAP is up there with the widely used acronyms. ...
  • TGIF (Thank God It's Friday) ...
  • TIA (Thanks In Advance) ...
  • LOL (Laugh Out Loud) ...
  • OMG (Oh My God) ...
  • WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)

What does BO3 mean in texting? ›

BO3 means best of three.

What does BBS mean in a relationship? ›

BBS is similar to the BRB, BBL, and BBIAB acronyms, which are all used to tell a person that you are leaving but will be back soon.

What does Ttyl 3 mean in text? ›

TTYL stands for “talk to you later.” Effectively, it's the same as “goodbye,” or “see you later.” It's used in texting or chatting to denote the fact that the sender is leaving the conversation, but you'll talk to them again soon.


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