Opening up a text message filled with text-speak can make a lot of people do a double-take. Texters around the world are continuously inventing brand new abbreviations, and it can be hard to keep up. Internet culture and social media outlets influence what’s popping up in your phone’s inbox, sometimes making it look more like a foreign language than a text message. Read on to learn what’s being said and how you can respond.

Over the past decade, texting has emerged as its own unique dialect with it’s own texting glossary. Chat-speak is no longer a work around for character limitation (160 characters) and billing fees. Hence, “you” became “u,” “too/two/to” became “2”, and “got to go” became “g2g.”

Fortunately, a lot has changed since the days of charging by the letter! Wonderfully affordable cell phone plans with unlimited texting emerged. This upgrade made for happy texters who were no longer forced to use acronyms to get around the outrageous fees.

However, that was not the last we heard of the beloved and widely-used abbreviations and acronyms. Texting is a speedy means of communication, and text-speak makes it even more quick and convenient. Savvy communicators haven’t stopped with the old-school acronyms such as “g2g.” In fact, shorthand versions of words are still popping up everywhere.

Texting Glossary – Contemporary Acronyms

The world of text-speak has grown considerably since those pioneer days, and it continues to grow today. There are tons of new acronyms and abbreviations being added to the texting glossary that are coming from social media outlets, forums, and blogs, for example:

IAWTC: I agree with this comment
IDK / IDEK: I don’t know / I don’t even know (IDEK is used in disbelief or astonishment)
IDC: I don’t care
HDU: How dare you
HMU: Hit me up
SMH: Shaking my head
PM: Private message
DL: Down-low (“Keep it on the DL” is a way of saying “Don’t tell anyone else about this”)
QFT: Quoted for truth (this is written to show that you support or agree what your texting partner just said)
JK: Just kidding

Original Words

While not necessarily acronyms, some words commonly used in texting have been shortened from their dictionary-friendly original forms. Here are a few:

BF/GF: Boyfriend/Girlfriend
DD: Dear daughter*
DH: Dear husband
DS: Dear son
DW: Dear wife
Ditto: Same here
Dunno: I don’t know
FB: Facebook
Gonna: Going to
Gotta: Got to
Imma: I’m going to
Srsly: Seriously

* Note: DD, DH, DS and DW originally began as an anonymous way to discuss other family members online without mentioning their names. Today, these acronyms are typically used as a time saver.

Texting Glossary Symbols To Keep In Mind

Don’t be shocked if some of these common symbols below pop up on your screen from time to time:


A heart


Did you receive a text consisting of nothing except a question mark? This signals that your texting partner is confused and doesn’t know how to react to the information you just sent them.


If you receive a text with only exclamation marks, take it as a sign that your texting partner is shocked, and waiting for more information from you. Before you get too worked up, remember that it’s generally positive. You should expect this type of response after sending something like, “I’m moving across the country!” or “I have a new job!”




A “rocker” hand, also called “the horns,” usually paired with “Great job!” or “Good luck!” or “Awesome!”

: ))))))))))

Basic emoticons are pretty standard for most texters. Sometimes, though, smiley faces are given their own special style. In this case, it would be a very large, contented smile. Similarly, : ((((((((( should be interpreted as a large frown, and : DDDDDDD is a huge grin. Emoticons are a great way to flirt, just make sure you follow a few basic guidelines and don’t abuse them.

Special Verbal Considerations

Many linguistic rules have been bent, changed, or eradicated in order to use text-speak and net-speak in our daily lives. Nouns, especially branded nouns, have become commonly accepted verbs. Here are a few examples:

FB me

Talk to me on Facebook.

Tag it

This means, “Categorize your blog posts” or “Tag those pictures with our names.”


Hashtags (#) are used on Twitter and blog websites as a way to track subjects. For example, writing “# this weekend” means, “Consider this information or message filed under ‘this weekend.’”

Don’t Forget English 101

Correct punctuation, grammar, and capitalization indicate formality and an urge to impress you. Note: this is a good thing! It’s something that you should try to copy, and apply to each text message that you send your crush or partner.

An Abundance Of Emoticons

These can be thrown in when texting close friends and family if you’d like to show happiness or playfulness. They can also be used to tone down an argumentative or serious conversation. By using an emoticon here and there, you’ll make it clear that you’re not upset with the other person, and that it’s JUST a conversation.

The Dreaded One Or two Word Responses

Unless stated otherwise, assume that this is your texting partner’s polite way of letting you know that they are busy, or they have nothing else to say. After you receive a “one-word wonder,” try to keep yourself limited to one last text, or better yet, quit while you’re ahead.

Keep Them Laughing…And Keep Them Close

Sending funny text messages to your crush is a great way to keep them entertained, interested in you, and motivated to send you some of their own humorous messages in return. Just like with flirty photos, always acknowledge their attempt at humor, no matter how bad it might be. What’s the best way to do this? Try one of these:

Hahaha! You’re A Riot

Text this back if you have just received a joke. It’s also a good way to lighten the mood without sounding patronizing.


LOL is an acronym for “laughing out loud”  and gives you a positive vibe.


Heehee is a more flirtatious and coy version of “Hahaha.”


Short for “Oh my God/gosh.” Similar to LOL, OMG is very casual, so don’t slip it into texts when you’re discussing something serious.


These are two good short words to express disbelief, and possibly sympathy.

Oh No/Oh Goodness

Use these to express sincere shock.


This is often considered the text equivalent of shouting, and can be perceived as rude in the wrong situations. However, it can also be a clear sign of positive excitement. Use it sparingly.

Miscellaneous Emotions

Below I’ve included a few “extras” that you might want to throw in from time to time:


Aww has a number of uses. It shows empathy, compassion, and amusement.


These are noises of disgust.


A way to show understanding or sudden clarity.

Tread Carefully With Sarcasm

Before you start peppering your messages with Bill Murray style sarcasm, make sure that you are communicating with someone who appreciates this brand of humor. If you’re on the other end and are trying to decipher whether or not someone’s being sarcastic then ask yourself if there are any:

– extra characters tacked onto a word? (For instance, “Wellllllllll….”)
– emoticons?
– exclamation marks?

These can all be subtle clues that the person texting you is being sarcastic or is teasing you.

Enjoy The Conversation Using This Fun Texting Glossary

Keep in mind that every texting experience is different. It’s important not to let yourself become overwhelmed when you spot something that you don’t understand. Over time, you will develop your own unique lingo with your texting partner.

While adding cute emotions and using acronyms is fun, don’t forget that there are other ways to make your texts even more enticing. If you’d like to learn how to write funny, sexy, and sweet messages for any occasion, then stick around. Check out my best selling eBook French Seduction Made Easy that is full of tons techniques and tips. Masterful texting is fun, and could just be the edge that you need to make them want you and keep wanting you.

Claudia Cox

Claudia Cox is a modern communication expert who gives singles and couples alike the tools they need to improve their relationships. She is the creator of The Text Weapon Texting Club, and the author of French Seduction Made Easy. She loves the outdoors, baking tasty treats for friends, and of course, texting.
Learn more about French Seduction Made Easy.

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