An acronym is an abbreviation that consists of the first letter of each word in a phrase, title, or name.
“KO“–knock out, a boxing term
“GHI“–“Ghost Hunters International”, a television show
“DW“–Darrell Waltrip, a race car driver
Acronyms on the Internet
Acronyms on the internet have existed for nearly as long as the internet itself. For regularly repeated phrases, this is a handy way to type less and speed up conversation. For someone in a chat room for the first time, conversation can look like scrolling alphabet soup, and for a parent, cell phone text from a child who is well-schooled in internet acronyms can be mind boggling.
Mom: “Where are you? Dad needs the car.”
Kid: “I’d B OMW but BFF wants BK AGKWE. I’ll BRT ASAP.”
Mom: “WHAT?! Just call me!”
Stick around for a translation.
Top 12 Useful Internet Acronyms
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WYSIWYG: what you see is what you get
“I’m not dressing up, WYSIWYG.”
AFC or AFK: away from computer or away from keyboard
“Sorry I didn’t reply right away, I was AFK while I made a sandwich.”
AGKWE: and God knows what else
“After that party, we’re out of pop AGKWE.”
AIMB: as I mentioned before
“AIMB, all of my chickens got loose.”
BION: believe it or not
“Olive oil is actually so healthy that some say you should have a spoonful a day, BION.”
CMIW: correct me if I’m wrong
“CMIW, but did you just drive past us?”
IRL: in real life
“IRL, zombies don’t exist. Probably.”
IYKWIM: if you know what I mean
“There’s nothing like a blueberry pie, IYKWIM.”
NUFF: enough said
“Don’t mess around with an angry badger. NUFF.”
BRB: be right back
“Hold on! BRB”
ROFL: rolling on the floor laughing
“Have you seen recent xkcd? ROFL!”
Multi-player internet games have spawned their own acronyms, some blending into “internet speak” and cell phone text messages. Here are a few and where they came from:
OMW: on my way. Gamers able to type back and forth to each other often arrange to meet up in a certain location, and this is easier/quicker to type, especially if a buddy needs some help.
BRT: be right there. A little less common, but basically the same as OMW.
GTG: got to go. Either the player is leaving the group he is playing with or he is “logging out” (turning off the game). This is handy as it can be used on cell phones, such as “I’ve GTG to the store after work”, or “Nice chatting, but I’ve GTG”.
Acronyms are fun and useful, so why not make your own? Try this simple and free acronym generator sponsored by the Oregon Ducks. Be sure to capitalize the first letter of each word, and put each word on a separate line (hit “enter” after every word instead of using your arrow keys).
So what was that teenager saying to her mom? Looking back at the definitions, “I’d B OMW” is “I’ll be on my way”, “BFF wants BK AGKWE” is “‘best friend forever’ wants Burger King and God knows what else”, and “I’ll BRT ASAP” is “I’ll be right there as soon as possible”.
Some of the most popular acronyms have seeped into spoken conversation. Have you heard anyone use an internet acronym while talking to you, or have you used them yourself? If you have, did anyone LOL?