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Text Slang Decoded: Find Out What These Common Text Abbreviations Really Mean

Come across an abbreviation in a text or on social media that's left you scratching your head? We've got you covered.

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Social-Media-Slang-Terms-You-Really-Should-Know-By-NowTatiana Ayazo/


If you see someone posting a funny GIF of a cat lounging with sunglasses with the caption, “TFW you’re off 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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Social-Media-Slang-Terms-You-Really-Should-Know-By-NowTatiana Ayazo/


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, although it’s often passive-aggressive, so be careful how you use it. For example, if you tell someone you can’t make it to their party, and you get an “NBD” in response—you can pretty much guarantee they’re silently fuming.

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Social-Media-Slang-Terms-You-Really-Should-Know-By-NowTatiana Ayazo/


FOMO is the granddaddy of text slang words 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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Tatiana Ayazo/


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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FWIWTatiana Ayazo/


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 voted for him.”

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TBHTatiana Ayazo/


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.”

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FTWTatiana Ayazo/


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!”

Want to start someone’s day with a smile? Share these funny good morning GIFs FTW!

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IDKTatiana Ayazo/


Don’t know what IDK stands for? Well, that’s actually kind of appropriate, as it literally means “I don’t know.” Next time you get an invitation out of the blue and can’t respond right away, you might reply with “IDK, I have to check my schedule.”

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Tatiana Ayazo/


SMH = shaking my head, which is a common response when scrolling through just about any social media timeline these days. 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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Tatiana Ayazo/


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. Again, it’s one of those passive-aggressive comments that’s often better kept in your head than actually posted for everyone to read.

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Social-Media-Slang-Terms-You-Really-Should-Know-By-NowTatiana Ayazo/


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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Tatiana Ayazo/


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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Social-Media-Slang-Terms-You-Really-Should-Know-By-NowTatiana Ayazo/


This one isn’t an abbreviation, but it’s common text slang that you’ll likely encounter on social media, 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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Social-Media-Slang-Terms-You-Really-Should-Know-By-NowTatiana Ayazo/


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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Social-Media-Slang-Terms-You-Really-Should-Know-By-NowTatiana Ayazo/


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’s going on because I don’t understand your vaguebooking at all.”

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Tatiana Ayazo/


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, erm… When you’re not even really on your way.

Next, test your knowledge of these Canadian slang terms.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest