List of Common Acronyms (2023)

List of Common Acronyms (1)

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Acronyms, abbreviations and initialisms, oh my! From text messages to in-person convos, we all use shorthand every day. But is your shortened way of expressing an idea an acronym? It depends on how you say it. Acronyms are formed by using the first letter of each word in a phrase to form a new word. For example, “you only live once” is shortened to the acronym YOLO, which you’d say as “yoh-loh.”

Common Acronyms in Pop Culture

You may not even realize that your favorite TV show, movie character or musician is using an acronym as their name!

  • ABBA (musical group) - Agnetha, Björn, Benny, Anni-Frid (first names of the band’s members)

  • BUMP (slang) - Bring Up My Post

  • HER (musician) - Having Everything Revealed

  • NERD (musical group) - No one Ever Really Dies

  • SHIELD (TV show) - Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division

  • WALL-E (animated character) - Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class

  • YAHOO (search engine) - Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle


Common Acronyms in Chat

Whether you’re DMing, texting or chatting in your favorite video game, acronyms are the key to keeping these messages quick and concise. These are the acronyms you probably use or read on the daily.

  • ASAP - As Soon As Possible

  • BAE - Before Anyone Else

  • BOLO - Be On the LookOut

  • FISH - First In, Still Here

  • FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out

  • GIF - Graphics Interchange Format (but is it “jif” or “gif”?)

  • LOL - Laughing Out Loud (some people pronounce this as “lahl”)

  • YOLO - You Only Live Once

Common Initialisms in Chat

There is a bit of debate about whether initialisms are acronyms or if acronyms and initialisms are both just types of abbreviations. An initialism is an abbreviation that uses the first letter of each word in the phrase it’s describing (like an acronym), but you still say each letter of the initialism individually (unlike an acronym). For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigations is shortened to FBI, but you say it as “eff-bee-eye,” not “fbi.”

If you’re on the team that considers initialisms as a type of acronym, these are some common initialism examples:

  • AFK - Away From Keyboard

  • BBL - Be Back Later


  • BBS - Be Back Soon

  • BEG - Big Evil Grin

  • BRB - Be Right Back

  • BTW - By The Way

  • EG - Evil Grin

  • IDK - I Don't Know

  • IMO - In My Opinion

  • IRL - In Real Life

  • LMK - Let Me Know

  • NOYB - None of Your Business

  • OMG - Oh My God

  • POS - Parents Over Shoulder

  • ROFL - Rolling On the Floor Laughing

  • SMH - Shaking My Head

  • TTYL - Talk To You Later

  • WTH - What The Heck (or Hell)


Common Acronyms in the Military and Government

Listening to conversations in a government or official settings can be a bit like hearing a new language for the first time. Get in-the-know with common acronyms used in government and military settings.

  • AWOL - Absent WithOut Leave

  • FUBAR - F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition

  • OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Administration

  • NAFTA - North American Free Trade Agreement

  • NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  • Navy SEALs - Navy Sea Air Land forces

  • POTUS - President of the United States

  • SCOTUS - Supreme Court of the United States

  • SWAT - Special Weapons And Tactics

Common Initialisms in the Military and Government

You won’t often hear these initialisms spoken as new words, even if some appear to spell out a new word.

  • CIA - Central Intelligence Agency

  • CPS - Child Protective Services

  • CSI - Crime Scene Investigation

  • DMV - Division of Motor Vehicles

  • DNC - Democratic National Committee

  • DOD - Department of Defense

    (Video) 25 of the Most Common Acronyms and their Meanings | Learn English

  • DON - Department of the Navy

  • DZ - Drop Zone

  • FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • GIB - GI Bill

  • MIA - Missing In Action

  • POW - Prisoner Of War

  • RNC - Republican National Committee

  • REAP - Reserve Education Assistance Program

  • UN - United Nations

  • USAF - United States Air Force


Common Informative Acronyms

Acronyms are a useful way to convey essential information quickly, but only if you know what they mean. Informative acronyms are commonly used in the medical field but have also crossed over from industries into daily life.

  • AIDS - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

  • DARE - Drug Abuse Resistance Education

  • PEMDAS - Parentheses, Exponent, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction (math order of operations)

  • RADAR - Radio Detection And Ranging

  • SONAR - Sound Navigation And Ranging

  • ZIP code - Zone Improvement Plan code

Common Informative Initialisms

These abbreviations help quickly describe useful groups, items and actions.

  • ABS - Anti-lock Braking System

  • ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder

  • ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

  • AMA - Against Medical Advice

  • CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • DOA - Dead On Arrival

  • DOB - Date Of Birth

  • DIY - Do It Yourself

  • ESL - English As A Second Language

  • FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

  • HIV - Human Immunodeficiency Virus

  • IQ - Intelligence Quotient

  • MD - Medical Doctor

  • OTC - Over The Counter

  • PPV - Pay Per View

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

  • PS - Post Script

  • SUV - Sports Utility Vehicle

  • UFO - Unidentified Flying Object


Common Acronyms in Business

Acronyms are often used in the business world to identify a business or to create shorthand communication between co-workers.

  • CAPTCHA - Completely Automated Public Turing Test (to tell Computers and Humans Apart)

  • DAEMON - Disk And Execution Monitor

  • KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid

  • NASDAQ - National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations

  • SWOT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

  • SMART Goals - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound Goals

  • TED - Tell me, Explain to me, Describe to me

Common Initialisms in Business

Business people often speak in initialisms once they’re comfortable with the industry lingo.

  • ADP - Automated Data Processing

  • AKA - Also Known As

  • CDT - Central Daylight Time

  • CST - Central Standard Time

  • DBA - Doing Business As

  • DND - Do Not Disturb

  • EDS - Electronic Data Systems

  • EOD - End of Day

  • EOW - End of Week

  • EDT - Eastern Daylight Time

  • EST - Eastern Standard Time

  • ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival

  • FYI - For Your Information

  • HR - Human Resources

  • MBA - Masters of Business Administration

  • MDT - Mountain Daylight Time

  • MST - Mountain Standard Time

  • POS - Point Of Service

  • PR - Public Relations

  • PDT - Pacific Daylight Time

  • PST - Pacific Standard Time

    (Video) 13 Common ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS in English

  • TBA - To Be Announced

  • TBD - To Be Determined


Common Acronyms as Identifiers

Some acronyms identify an organization or person by shortening a long name into a pronounced acronym. Explore these common identifiers for organizations and dating.

  • FLAG – Foreign Language Association of Georgia

  • MADD – Mothers Against Drunk Driving

  • PAWS – Progressive Animal Welfare Society

  • PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Common Initialisms and Identifiers

Although it’s not unheard of for people to pronounce AARP as “arp” these days, these initialisms aren’t true acronyms — yet.

  • AA – Alcoholics Anonymous

  • AARP – American Association of Retired Persons

  • ADA – American Dental Association

  • AFL – American Football League

  • AMA – American Medical Association

  • APA – American Psychological Association

  • ESPN – Entertainment and Sports Programming Network

  • LDR - Long Distance Relationship

  • MLA – Modern Language Association

  • MOTOS - Member Of The Opposite Sex

  • MOTSS - Member Of The Same Sex

  • NBA – National Basketball Association

  • NFL – National Football League

  • NHL – National Hockey League

  • PGA – Professional Golfer’s Association

  • SPCA – Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

  • SO - Significant Other

  • SWF – Single White Female

  • SWM – Single White Male

  • WWE – World Wrestling Entertainment

Speak in Shorthand

Abbreviations, acronyms and initialisms are all fair game for becoming new words thanks to the anything-goes attitude of today’s wordsmiths. Who knows — you might even invent an acronym that becomes commonplace years from now.

  • Funny Acronyms

  • What Do POTUS, FLOTUS and SCOTUS Mean?

  • What Is PEMDAS? Order of Operations Rules in Simple Terms

    (Video) 20 most common acronyms in just 5 minutes


What are some frequently used acronyms? ›

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)

Can you give me a list of acronyms? ›

These are the acronyms you probably use or read on the daily.
  • ASAP - As Soon As Possible.
  • BAE - Before Anyone Else.
  • BOLO - Be On the LookOut.
  • FISH - First In, Still Here.
  • FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out.
  • GIF - Graphics Interchange Format (but is it “jif” or “gif”?)
  • LOL - Laughing Out Loud (some people pronounce this as “lahl”)

What does 143 mean? ›

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

Is FBI an acronym? ›

The FBI stands for Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Federal” refers to the national government of the United States. “Bureau” is another word for department or division of government.

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

What is the biggest acronym? ›

The longest acronym is NIIOMTPLABOPARMBETZHELBETRABSBOMONIMONKONOTDTEKHSTROMONT with 56 letters (54 in Cyrillic) in the Concise Dictionary of Soviet Terminology, Institutions and Abbreviations (1969), meaning: the laboratory for reinforcement, concrete and ferroconcrete operations, for composite-monolithic and ...

What is the oldest known acronym? ›

In English, the first known acronyms (as opposed to plain old initialisms) cropped up in the telegraphic code developed by Walter P. Phillips for the United Press Association in 1879. The code abbreviated “Supreme Court of the United States” as SCOTUS and “President of the...” as POT, giving way to POTUS by 1895.

What is the acronym for health? ›

There is no acronym for 'health'. Hello, Health is not an acronym rather it is a noun. The word health means the state of being free from illness or injury.

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'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 459 mean in texting? ›

Text message code for I love you, 459 corresponds to each of the first letters in "I love you," I=4, L=5, and Y=9 on a cell phone dial pad.

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 BBC stand for? ›

The British Broadcasting Corporation.

Is FedEx an acronym? ›

The name "FedEx" is a syllabic abbreviation of the name of the company's original air division, Federal Express, which was used from 1973 until 2000.

What are basic acronyms? ›

hello, the acronym of basic stands for Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.

What is the acronym of birthday? ›

HBD is an acronym for Happy Birthday. It's often seen as a lazy way of messaging someone on their birthday.

What is the acronym for Bible? ›

Hi, the word "Bible" itself is not an acronym. It comes from the latin word "biblia", which means "book". However, there is a joke among Christians saying "Best Instructions Before Leaving Earth" as an acronym for BIBLE.

What is the acronym for life? ›

Hello, The acronym for life is: Living Intentionally for Excellence. Please also note that "life" is a noun that refers to the existance of human beings or animals.

Why is fbi not an acronym? ›

FBI and CIA are examples of initialisms because they're made up of the first letters of Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency, respectively, but they can't be pronounced as words.

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 AFK stand for? ›

Afk means away from keyboard, a phrase that lets others know that you won't be at your computer for a while. It's commonly used with another abbreviation—brb (be right back)—to indicate that you're taking a short break.

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.

Is ADHD an acronym? ›

What does GIF stand for? ›

GIF is an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format, a file format that supports both static and animated images. GIFs rose to popularity as a way to react on social media without words. Facebook and Twitter both support animated GIFs.

What is the apple acronym? ›

And we can do this, using the acronym: APPLE. Tolerating Uncertainty with APPLE: A for AWARE – Notice the need for certainty as it comes up in your mind. P for PAUSE – Don't react as you normally do. Don't react at all.

What is the acronym for Tylenol? ›

As expected, given that it is an established abbreviation for “acetaminophen”, APAP was fairly consistently identified as acetaminophen, whether hydrocodone was mentioned or not (Table 3).

What is the acronym for infection? ›

You can remember the signs of infection by the acronym SHARP: S welling around the wound. H eat or pulsing from the area. A ches and pains at the site. R edness of surrounding skin.

What is an acronym for nursing? ›

Professional Nursing Credentials

APRN - Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. LPN - Licensed Practical Nurse. LVN - Licensed Vocational Nurse. NP - Nurse Practitioner. RN - Registered Nurse.

What does 182 mean? ›

Code for I hate you, 182 is used in text messages and other text communication because "I" is one character, "hate" sounds like 8, and "you" sounds like 2.

Why does 14344 mean I love? ›

14344 meaning

Well, the number 143 is the code for saying "I love you". The number 14344 is a numeronym representing the number of letters in each word of the phrase "I love you very much." "I love you very much" is also abbreviated as ILYVM.

What does 1437 mean? ›

The internet slang "1437" means "I love you forever" on TikTok. Each numeral reflects the number of letters in the corresponding word. 1 = I. 4 = L-O-V-E. 3 = Y-O-U.

What does 333 mean? ›

Whether it be spiritual, personal or financial growth, seeing the angel number 333 means this is your time to expand. "Three encourages you to put energy into your own growth and expansion and your own journey, and where you want to be and where you'd like to be, and then encourages you to dream big," said King.

What does 777 mean? ›

Strengths. Peace of mind and contentment are two positives associated with the angel number 777, said Summers. It also has an intuitive energy. The number is associated with spirituality, more related to getting in touch with your inner self; to raise your own consciousness about what you want and need on your journey.

What does 222 mean? ›

The appearance of 222 can signal a time of reflection, focusing on duality of situations or scenarios. Two energy is also associated with the moon, and if you are seeing lots of 222, this may be a call to be more open, expressive and vulnerable. "There's the two sides to everything," said King.

What does 012 mean? ›

012: Pretoria and surrounding towns (also includes Brits) 013: Eastern Gauteng (Bronkhorstspruit) and Western and northern Mpumalanga: Middelburg, Witbank and Nelspruit.

What does 1174 mean in texting? ›

12 internet, texting acronyms every parent should know

Here's a good example: "1174." Do you know what "1174" stands for? Neither did I. It apparently means "party location" (yeah, I don't know why either).

What does 5201314 mean? ›

520 is not the only way to communicate in Mandarin, you can also take note of another expression 5201314! 520 means love, whereas 1314 represents 一生一世 yīshēng yīshì (for a lifetime). So, if you say 5201314, you are saying “I love you for a lifetime”.

What is the acronym for Amazon? ›

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

Is USPS an acronym? ›

The acronym used for our organization itself, USPS, may not bring instant recognition for what it represents — United States Postal Service®. While some still use the “Post Office Department”, which was the official name until 1971 when it was reorganized, many just refer to the organization as “the Post Office.”

What is the acronym panda? ›

PANDAS is short for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections. A child may be diagnosed with PANDAS when: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), tic disorder, or both suddenly appear following a streptococcal (strep) infection, such as strep throat or scarlet fever.

What does BBB mean in texting? ›

"Bored Beyond Belief" is the most common definition for BBB on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

What does DTB mean on TikTok? ›

In many cases on TikTok, DTB appears to stand either for 'Don't Trust Boys' or 'Don't Trust B*tches. ' This term is often used when people are recounting their negative experiences in the dating world, or showing their reactions to being let down by someone they were involved with.

What does CNN stand for? ›

Is BTC an acronym? ›

BTC — This acronym has two meanings. One stands for Bitcoin, as players can “mine” for Bitcoin in a game called Roblox Bitcoin Miner. The other meaning is simply “because they can.”

Is JBL an acronym? ›

JBL was founded by James Bullough Lansing (1902–1949), an American audio engineer and loudspeaker designer best known for establishing two audio companies that bear his name, Altec Lansing and JBL, the latter taken from his initials.

Is Google an acronym? ›

GOOGLE: Global Organization of Oriented Group Language of Earth. There is a lot of confusion about if Google has a full form or it is just a word created by the founder of Google. Officially Google has not a full form. It is generated from a word "googol" which means a huge number.

What is the most used acronym in texting? ›

LOL: Laughing out loud. Occasionally mistaken for “Lots Of Love,” LOL is one of the most widely known texting abbreviations and has been around for almost 30 years.

How many 3 letter acronyms are there? ›

The number of possible three-letter abbreviations using the 26 letters of the alphabet from A to Z (AAA, AAB ... to ZZY, ZZZ) is 26 × 26 × 26 = 17,576.

What is a good example of acronym? ›

Common examples of acronyms include NASA (an acronym for National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and FOMO (a slang acronym for fear of missing out). The word scuba comes from an acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

What is the acronym for success? ›

The word success is a noun; therefore, there is no acronym for “success”.

What does 77 mean in texting? ›

According to Sex expert Cynthia Gentry, author of The Bedside Orgasm Book,"The name 77 refers to the way you and your partner's bodies look when they meld together in this side entry position" Apparently it's like spooning but with one little added bonus- it hits the elusive love button the G-SPOT!!

What does 53 mean in chat? ›

Sometimes teens use coded language to keep their parents in the dark, say by using sneaky texting acronyms teens to hide communication from adults such as 53X for “sex,” or CD9 for “code 9, parents around.”

What does 63 mean in texting? ›

Rule 63 is often used as a shorthand to refer to gender-swapped characters.


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