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Texting Abbreviations, 2014

a Dictionary of Text Talk and Instant Message Jargon


April, 2014

2014 is all about quick and mobile internet.  Our desktop messaging has progressively shortened into millennial jargon, while our handheld text messaging is even more abbreviated to accomodate thumb typing.  Yet we still need to pack in meaningful information, courtesy and etiquette into our messages.

Hundreds of bizarre jargon expressions have spawned as a result.  Primarily about shorthand (and the removal of capitalization and punctuation), the new jargon saves us keystrokes to say ty (thank you) and yw (you're welcome).  The new jargon also conveys spontaneous emotion and personal expressions ('O RLY', 'FML', 'omg').

Capitalization and punctuation are optional. (Yes, your English teachers cringe at this new and loose world of messaging). In text messaging, lowercase is the norm for speed.  For desktop email and IM, UPPERCASE is acceptable for emphasizing one or two words a time. BUT PLEASE AVOID TYPING ENTIRE SENTENCES IN UPPERCASE AS THAT IS CONSIDERED RUDE SHOUTING.

Here is a list of the most common text message and chat expressions, 2014.

RELATED: the full glossary of text messaging terms.

1. coo

Students at a further education college
Roy Mehta/Iconica/Getty Images
COO - Cool

This is largely a west-coast expression, spawned in California.  "Coo" is a stylish way of saying "Cool" or "I definitely approve of this".  Coo does not really save you typing time, but it will set you apart as having a different speaking style than people around you.

2. gerd

gerd / ermahgerd - god / oh my god!

'gerd' is a short version of the stupidity expression 'ermahgerd!'. As a derogatory way of saying 'oh my god', 'gerd' is used to say 'I'm shocked' and 'that's so stupid' in four quick letters.

Examples of gerd
  • User 1: My professor just failed my midterm essay. I dropped it in the wrong mail slot on the due date, and it didn't get to him until 4 days after the deadline. He doesn't believe me and is giving me a zero.
  • User 2: gerd, dude. what are you gonna do?
  • User 1: I don't know. I'm so stupid!

3. hmu

HMU - Hit Me Up

This acronym is used to say "contact me", "text me", "phone me" or otherwise "reach me to follow up on this". It is a modern shorthand way to invite a person to communicate with you further.

Example of hmu

  • User 1: I could use some advice on buying an iPhone bersus buying an Android phone.
  • User 2: Hmm, I read a great article on comparing those two exact phones. I have the link somewhere.
  • User 1: Perfect, HMU! Send that link when you can!

4. wut

wut - what

ALSO: wuteva - whatever

This abbreviation is guaranteed to anger English teachers.  By shortening 'what' into three letters, millennial youth save seconds of thumb typing time every day.

Example of wut

User 1: idk, wut do u think we should do?

User 2: idc let's do wuteva has no lineup 

User 1: kk, c u at shelbys

5. props

PROPS - Proper Respect and Acknowledgement

"Props" is a jargon way to say "Proper Recognition" or "Proper Respect Due". Props is commonly used with the prepositional phrase "to (someone)". As a stylish way to acknowledge someone's skill or achievement, props has become quite common in modern text and email conversations. 

Example of props usage:

  • (User 1) Props to Suresh! That presentation he gave was really darn good.
  • (User 2) Aye, big props to Suresh, for sure. He blew away all the other presenters at the conference. He put lots of work into that, and it really showed this weekend.

6. sup

SUP - What's Up

Sup is a common greeting.  You would open a conversation with friends using "sup", in the exact same way you would ask "how are you doing?"

7. idk

IDK - I Don't Know

IDK is a pretty straightforward expression:  you use IDK when you cannot offer an answer to someone's question. Like most of these messaging jargon terms, you would only use IDK for personal conversations or when there is a trusted work relationship established in advance.

8. wbu

WBU - What About You?

This expression is used in personal conversations where the two parties are well acquainted.  This expression is commonly used to ask for the other person's opinion, or to check for their comfort level with the situation.

9. kk

Photodisc / Getty Images


This peculiar acronym expression stands for "Ok" or "message acknowledged". It is the same as nodding in person or saying "gotcha".  KK is becoming more popular than OK because it is easier to type.

The other bit of history behind "kk" is the 1990's expressions "k, kewl". Translated, this expression meant "ok, cool", but was stylistically spelled otherwise. "k, kewl" undoubtedly also influenced the use of kk in today's online chatting.

10. idc

IDC - I Don't Care

You would use IDC when you are trying to make a decision with your messaging friend, and you are open to multiple options. While IDC is largely an emotion-less term, it can sometimes convey a negative attitude, so it is best to use this expression with friends and not new acquaintances.

e.g. User 1: we can meet at the mall first, then head to the movie in one car, or we all meet in front of the movie ticket box. Wut would you like?

e.g. User 2: IDC, you pick.

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