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Text Slang Terms Decoded: What 16 Common Social Media Abbreviations Actually Mean

Come across an abbreviation on social media that's left you scratching your head? Here's some of the most common text slang, decoded.

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TFW

If you see someone posting a funny image of a cat lounging with sunglasses and some funny text like “TFW you’re off of work for a long weekend,” know that it’s translating to “that feel/feeling when.” It’s most commonly used in association with visual images that represent how someone is feeling. Try using it with a smiling selfie like “TFW dinner came out even better than I imagined.”

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NBD

You’ve definitely seen this text slang all over the Internet, but what does it even mean? Quite literally, “no big deal.” It’s one of the most commonly used social media abbreviations, and fits just about everywhere. Next time someone says they can’t make it to your party, just text back “NBD”—even if you’re silently fuming.

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FOMO

FOMO is the granddaddy of text slang because it’s been around for years and means “fear of missing out.” Use it when your best friend uploads a picture of herself on the greatest beach vacation of all time by just commenting, “Gorgeous, #FOMO!”

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ICYMI

This text slang might’ve confused you on Facebook or Instagram, but it’s a pretty useful abbreviation to have handy as it just means “in case you missed it.” It’s great for uploading photos after the fact, like a photo from a relative’s wedding that you forgot to post the day of or a family photo from years ago. Try uploading a recent photo of a life event with the hashtag “#ICYMI.”

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FWIW

Consider FWIW one of the most polite text abbreviations out there, because it’s a great opener, translating to “for what it’s worth.” It’s a kinder way of preambling a strong opinion, and can be used in situations like “FWIW, I never liked your boyfriend anyway.”

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TBH

This is the twin sister of FWIW, yet another way to politely excuse a strong or possibly offensive opinion because it means “to be honest.” Try using it when your mom posts a Facebook status update asking who wants to eat tuna casserole at her house tonight. “TBH, Mom, tuna casserole is not my fave.”

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FTW

FTW means “for the win,” and is a slangy, upbeat way of celebrating something via social media commentary. Imagine yourself taking your first SCUBA lesson and posting a photo of a successful dive with the caption, “I’m officially a diver, FTW!”

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IDK

IDK is your theme slang, because it literally means “I don’t know,” which is exactly how you felt about all these abbreviations before reading this article. Next time you get a text from your boss asking if you can stay late at work, reply with “IDK, I have to check my schedule.” On the other hand, here are the things you should never say to your boss.

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SMH

SMH = shaking my head, which is what we’re all doing at least half the time we scroll through our Facebook news feeds and see crazy political rants from long-lost relatives. You’re a kind soul, though, so you won’t use it outwardly on these posts, but you can definitely comment, “You’re not supposed to put that much baking powder in the bowl—SMH” next time you see your cousin upload a muffin-baking video that ruins Grandma’s recipe.

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TLDR

This one is relatively new in the text slang world, but it’s popping up all over the place on lengthy social media posts. It means “too long, didn’t read,” and is commonly found on long-winded, rambling opinion pieces. Next time your co-worker uploads a six paragraph status about the condition of her cold sores, try commenting “TLDR, but I hope you feel better soon!”

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IIRC

IIRC = “if I recall correctly,” and is the social media equivalent of you bringing receipts. It’s a little argumentative, but useful when you need to say things like, “IIRC, you promised me so much more. Here’s a screenshot to prove it.”

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IRL

This is a great one, because it’s often a relationship builder. It means “in real life,” and is great for saying things like “Would love to see you soon IRL!”

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Slay

This one isn’t an abbreviation, but it’s common text slang that everyone under 40 is using routinely, so you need to get on board. Slaying may sound negative, but it’s used in a positive way now to denote killing or crushing a task in the best possible sense. “I slayed at spin class tonight,” would be an appropriate text to send your trainer.

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Vaguebooking

If you’ve ever seen someone post a ridiculous Facebook status like “Today is totally major for me,” without giving any specific details, that’s vaguebooking in action. It’s the act of alluding to something via social media status without pinpointing it, and it’s widely unpopular. Don’t be a vaguebooker, but politely call your friends out on Facebook with a comment like “#vaguebook” when they upload a weird, confusing, and overwhelmingly broad status.

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LMK

You need this one because it translates to “let me know,” and is super useful when you find your friends vaguebooking. Comment something like “LMK what the heck is going on because I don’t understand your vaguebooking at all.”

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OMW

If you’re still blow drying your hair but were supposed to be at dinner 10 minutes ago, try texting your significant other something like “OMW, see you soon.” OMW means “on my way,” and is most commonly used when you’re not even really on your way, because #kidsthesedays.

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Originally Published on Reader's Digest