16 Text Abbreviations You Might Not Know

©Max Pixel

You’ve been in this situation before: you get a text from a friend or family member and there’s an abbreviation in there that you’ve never seen before. You panic because you don’t want to look clueless or uncool and you act like you know what they’re talking about. Then the conversation takes a strange turn because you just couldn’t be honest and everyone’s day is ruined.

Okay, that may be a little dramatic, but you know what I mean.

I have many moments like this with my 12-year-old niece when I should just own up to the fact that I don’t know what the hell she’s talking about and I need her help because apparently I’m already a senior citizen. But I can’t lose face, so I play this dangerous little game.

So, let’s run down the must-know list of text abbreviations that you really should know by now.

Ready? Go!

1. TFW


“That feel/feeling when…” Okay, I have to admit I didn’t really know about this one until now. We are NOT off to a good start.

2. NBD


“No big deal.” A classic! Believe it or not, people actually used to SAY this to each other when human beings still spoke before smartphones were invented.



“Fear of missing out.” This describes your friends who can’t miss any of the action. Ever. Even if it’s your Aunt Esther’s 90th birthday party.


“In case you missed it.” Simple. Elegant. To the point.


“For what it’s worth.” Whatever follows this abbreviation might not be something you want to hear.

6. TBH


“To be honest.” Another timeless classic.

7. FTW

“For the win.” I thought this meant “f*ck the world” forever, but now I stand corrected.

8. IDK


“I don’t know.” But you should know this one, okay?

9. SMH

“Shaking my head.” As in, “you’re not gonna believe this and I’m very perplexed.”

10. TLDR


A staple on Reddit, this means “Too long, didn’t read.” Everyone’s in such a hurry these days…

11. IIRC


“If I recall correctly.” Full disclosure: I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen this one out in the wild before.”

12. IRL

“In real life.” A must-have in your texting arsenal.

13. SLAY

“Crushing it” or “killing it.” So not exactly an abbreviation, but important nonetheless.

14. Vaguebooking


Another one that’s not an abbreviation, but you need to know, okay? This term sums up when someone posts something random or vague on social media because they’re obviously looking for likes, comments, and attention. A good example would be “Please pray for me at this tough moment” with absolutely no context at all.

15. LMK


“Let me know.” A huge one! LMK when I should be there. LMK what time dinner is. Etc.

16. OMW

“On my way.” You’re always in a hurry, so you’re always gonna need it.