What is the difference between Abbreviations and Acronyms?

Intermediate Level

What is the difference between Abbreviations and Acronyms?


An abbreviation (from Latin brevi³re → brevis meaning “short”) is a shortened form of a word or phrase used mainly in writing to represent the complete form. It usually has a full-stop at the end.
Examples: Lib. For Library / abbr. for abbreviation / approx. for approximate


An acronym (from Latin acro- meaning “beginning” + -onym meaning “word, name”) is a pronounceable word formed mostly (but not always) from the initial letters of a descriptive name or title.
Examples: radar = radio detecting and ranging / ASAP = asoon apossible

The term initialism uses a similar method, but the word is pronounced letter by letter. Example: BBC British Broadcasting Corporation or USA United States of America.
And last but not least, there are symbols and/or units of reference, like min for minute or kg for kilogram.

50 Popular Internet Acronyms

The Language of the Internet - AcronymsThe Language of Internet: the following is a list of some common acronyms that are used on the web, in E-Mails,… . The list is far from being complete, it just contains the abbreviations (new Slang / shorthands), which I consider most useful. And they should help to better understand the meaning of text centered messages. The acronyms / abbreviations are mostly written in upper case.

Usage & Meaning

Not all of these short-hands can be assumed to be understood by the majorities of Internet or E-Mail users. However, there are some exceptions, which are fairly safe to use:

to / tooforbeseeeyeoweareyouwhy

The reason is that these abbreviations are based on the pronunciation of their corresponding letter / digit.

List of Internet Acronyms

Please note: An acronym (from Greek: -acro = sharp, pointed; -onym = name) in its pure form denotes a combination of letters (usually from an abbreviation) which can be used and pronouncedas a word. For the sake of clarity and readability, this definition is not always followed within the 2 lists on this page.

Acronyms A to L
2F4U Too Fast For You
4YEO FYEO For Your Eyes Only
AAMOF As a Matter of Fact
ACK Acknowledgment
AFAIK As far as I know
AFAIR As far as I remember / recall
AFK Away from Keyboard
AKA Also known as
B2K BTK Back to Keyboard
BTT Back to Topic
BTW By the Way
B/C Because
C&P Copy and Paste
CU See you
CYS Check your Settings
DIY Do it Yourself
EOBD End of Business Day
EOD End of Discussion
EOM End of Message
EOT End of Thread / .. Text / .. Transmission
FAQ Frequently asked Questions
FACK Full Acknowledge
FKA Formerly known as
FWIW For what it’s Worth
FYI / JFYI (Just) For your Information
FTW Fuck the World / For the Win
HF Have fun
HTH Hope this Helps
IDK I don’t know
IIRC If I Recall / Remember Correctly
IMHO In my Humble Opinion
IMO In my Opinion
IMNSHO In my not so Humble / Honest Opinion
IOW In other Words
ITT In this Thread
LOL Laughing out loud
DGMW Don’t get me wrong
Acronyms M to Z
MMW Mark my Words
N/A Not Available / Applicable
NaN Not a Number
NNTR No need to Reply
noob n00b Newbie
NOYB None of your Business
NRN No Reply Necessary
OMG Oh my God
OP Original Poster, Original Post
OT Off Topic
OTOH On the other Hand
PEBKAC Problem exists between Keyboard and Chair
POV Point of View
ROTFL Rolling on the Floor Laughing
RSVP Repondez s’il vous plait (French: Please reply)
RTFM Read the fine Manual
SCNR Sorry, could not Resist
SFLR Sorry, for late Reply
SPOC Single Point of Contact
TBA To be Announced
TBC To be Continued / To be Confirmed
TIA Thanks in Advance
TGIF Thanks God, its Friday
THX TNX Thanks
TQ Thank You
TYVM Thank You Very Much
TYT Take your Time
TTYL Talk to you Later
w00t Whoomp, there it is; Meaning “Hooray”
WFM Works for Me
WRT With Regard to
WTH What the Hell / What the Heck
WTF What the Fuck
YMMD You made my Day
YMMV Your Mileage may vary
YAM Yet Another Meeting
ICYMI In Case you missed it

50 Text Messaging (Short Message Service (=SMS)) and WhatsApp Abbreviations

Short Messages: SMS, WhatsApp, Chat - AbbreviationsIf you are a newbie to the Internet or texting on your mobile phone you easily get confused by all the abbreviationstext shortcuts and acronyms used by more experienced users. To help you out, this list contains a compilation of the 50 most common abbreviations utilized in text messages, IMs (= Instant Message), social networks, etc, where people want (or are required) to use only a few typed characters to communicate a thought or an idea .

Please note: even though the acronyms below are written in ALL CAPS, it is not mandatory to use the capital letters, and most people tend to mix upper- and lowercase depending on personal taste. To use caps for the acronyms themselves is generally not considered poor netiquette; however, writing whole words or sentences in ALL CAPS is usually read as “shouting”, and thus easily considered offensive.

List of Text Messaging & SMS Abbreviations

Abbreviations A to L
2moro Tomorrow
2nte Tonight
AEAP As Early as Possible
ALAP As Late as Possible
ASAP As Soon as Possible
ASL Age / Sex / Location?
B3 Blah, Blah, Blah
B4YKI Before You Know it
BFF Best Friends, Forever
BM&Y Between Me and You
BRB Be right Back
BRT Be right There
BTAM Be that as it May
C-P Sleepy
CTN Cannot talk now
CUS See You Soon
CWOT Complete Waste of Time
CYT See You Tomorrow
E123 Easy as 1, 2, 3
EM? Excuse Me?
EOD End of Day
F2F Face to Face
FC Fingers Crossed
FOAF Friend of a Friend
GR8 Great
HAK Hugs and Kisses
IDC I Don’t Care
IDK I Don’t Know
ILU / ILY I Love You
IMU I Miss You
IRL In Real Life
J/K Just Kidding
JC Just Checking
JTLYK Just to Let You Know
KFY Kiss for You
KMN Kill Me Now
KPC Keeping Parents Clueless
L8R Later
Abbreviations M to Z
MoF Male or Female
MTFBWY May the Force be with You
MYOB Mind Your Own Business
N-A-Y-L In a While
NAZ Name, Address, ZIP
NC No Comment
NIMBY Not in my Backyard
NM Never Mind / Nothing Much
NP No Problem
NSFW Not Safe for Work
NTIM Not that it Matters
NVM Never Mind
OATUS On a totally Unrelated Subject
OIC Oh, I See
OMW On My Way
OTL Out to Lunch
OTP On the Phone
P911 Parent Alert
PAL Parents are Listening
PAW Parents are Watching
PIR Parent in Room
POS Parent over Shoulder
PROP(S) Proper Respect / Proper Recognition
QT Cutie
RN Right Now
RU Are You
SEP Someone else’s Problem
SITD Still in the Dark
SLAP Sounds like a Plan
SMIM Send Me an Instant Message
SO Significant Other
TMI Too Much Information
UR Your / You are
W8 Wait
WB Welcome Back
WYCM Will You Call Me?
WYWH Wish You Were Here
XOXOXOX Hugs, Kisses, …

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