Texting Abbreviations


If you like chat rooms and instant messenger programs, chances are you're already familiar with texting abbreviations-maybe without even knowing it! There's not much of a difference between the two, though some people find text abbreviations more "acceptable" than when you've got a full keyboard and more space than a text message allows at your fingertips. There are ways to shorten single words, reduce phrases to a lone acronym, and even show certain emotions with symbols.

Common Texting Abbreviations

You can feasibly string whole sentences together with texting abbreviations. You can substitute letter/number combinations for words or use a few texting symbols to say you're sorry, you're smiling, or you're afraid or shocked.


Even with a one word answer, you can still shorten your message to make your reply more quickly, especially if you're trying to text at a red light before it changes to green or you're standing in line at the check-out counter.

  • 411: Information
  • 2: To/too
  • 4: For
  • 2MOR/TMR: Tomorrow
  • 6Y: Sexy
  • PPL: People
  • BF/GF: Boyfriend/Girlfriend
  • B4: Before
  • BC or B/C: Because
  • L8R: Later
  • L8: Late
  • Y: Why/Yes
  • PLS: Please
  • UR: Your/You're
  • U: You
  • W/O: Without
  • TY/TNX: Thank you/Thanks
  • I: Eye
  • C: See/sea
  • BZ: Busy
  • SRY: Sorry


An abbreviation can be worth a thousand words. Okay, maybe not quite a thousand, but more than you'd think! Here are a few examples:

  • ?: The question mark can mean that you have a question or that you don't understand the last text from that individual. Another way to express the "I have a question" line is "?4U."
  • If you spend any time online, you've probably seen <3 or <33. This is a sideways heart, which means love or friendship. More threes mean more love.
  • 2GTBT: Too good to be true
  • TMI: Too much information
  • ^^: Read the earlier message/message above
  • .02: My two cents
  • ILY: I love you
  • ^5: High five
  • 4EAE: Forever and ever
  • AAMOF: As a matter of fact
  • WTH?: What the heck?
  • ADAD: Another day, another dollar
  • AYS: Are you serious?
  • BIF: Before I forget
  • BHL8: Be home late
  • RU/RUOK?: Are you/Are you okay?
  • BOL: Best of luck
  • OMG: Oh my goodness
  • LOL: Laughing out loud
  • TTYL: Talk to you later
  • BTW: By the way
  • @TEOTD: At the end of the day
  • 4COL: For crying out loud
  • CYE: Check your email
  • TAU: Thinking about you
  • TAM: Tomorrow a.m.
  • DQMOT: Don't quote me on this
  • DTS: Don't think so
  • TCOY: Take care of yourself
  • TBL: Text back later
  • TMOT: Trust me on this
  • THT: Think happy thoughts


Sometimes words just aren't enough, and texting abbreviations for words definitely won't get the message across. That's when emoticons come in. They're pictures or facial expressions done in symbols to convey feelings and emotions you're feeling when you're at a loss for words. Some cell phones have menus that include a few emoticons. If not, you can text your own anyway.

  • :) / :-) / :-D Smile variations (tilt your head sideways)
  • :| Mad, grim
  • :-X Kiss
  • @}->->--- Rose (there are other similar variations of this one)
  • =8-0 Frightened
  • <<…>> or (((…))) Hug, but replace the ellipsis with the person's name

Texting with Abbreviations: Guidelines

There are a few guidelines to abide by when texting abbreviations.

First, try not to use them with people who probably won't recognize them and understand what you mean if you're in a hurry and don't have time to elaborate if necessary. Otherwise you may simply get a "?" back and you'll both be frustrated until you have time to talk more later.

If you have no choice but to use texting abbreviations in order to save space and stay under your text message limit for the month, try to pick and choose the words that look the most obviously like what they mean. For example, someone may not understand, "DQMOT" but they can understand that "2" stands for "too" or "to."

A Final Word

Whether you're looking for a way to abbreviate your own text messages so that others will understand what you mean without the need for multiple texts or you've recently been getting text messages that left you wondering, "WTH?", brushing up on your texting abbreviations can't hurt.


Was this page useful?
Related & Popular
Texting Abbreviations