Internet Acronyms & Proof That I’m Old

WTF in Boggle letters
Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

I’m in my 40s and Gen-X, so compared to the kids on the internet these days, I’m old. I also spend very little time on social media, so I’m pretty out of the loop. There are a few acronyms that I use, like lol, TMI, IRL, and WTF, but for the most part I’m clueless.

So let’s look at some examples, shall we?

From Preply:

  • HIFW (how I feel when): apparently this is used a lot in memes, but I’ve never heard of it before
  • BAE (before anyone else): I’d come across bae, but I figured it was just a variation of baby
  • QQ (crying): apparently this may have originated with World of Warcraft
  • IANAL (I am not a lawyer): please, unless you’re talking about anal sex, just write out “I am not a lawyer”
  • ASL (age, sex, location): anyone remember back in the day when there were personal ads in the newspaper?
  • RLRT (real life retweet): knowing what it stands for still doesn’t help me understand what it means
  • BUMP (bring up my post): I’ve come across this before and had no idea what it meant

From Words Matter‘s Top 50 Text Abbreviations and Internet Acronyms in 2021:

  • Some were kicking it old school, which Gen-Z may not even realize, like:
    • ASAP (as soon as possible)
    • DIY (do-it-yourself)
    • FYI (for your information)
  • OOO (out-of-office): how hard is it to just say out-of-office? Leave ooo-ing for the fun stuff you’re doing while you’re out of the office.
  • RT (real time): okay now I’m confused, because I thought this meant retweet
  • ILY (I love you): if someone can’t be bothered writing out “I love you,” I would be seriously questioning that love

From Netlingo, and heavily stacked towards the beginning of the alphabet because it’s a hella long list:

  • ,!!!! (talk to the hand): I have two issues here. One is what on earth does ,!!!! have to do with talk to the hand (ooh, I get it now, that’s supposed to be a thumb and fingers), and two, how is anyone still saying “talk to the hand”?
  • 1174 (nude club): apparently this is youngin’-speak for where the party is tonight, although I remain unsure whether actual nudity is involved or not
  • @TEOTD (at the end of the day): I was never a hater of the cliché that “at the end of the day” became, but the acronym is just dumb
  • A3 (anytime, anyplace, anywhere): I think that back in the day them was fightin’ words, but now it probably has to do with sex
  • AAP (anarchy, arrogance, pollution): um, Donald Trump’s presidency?
  • ABITHIWTITB (a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush): I thought acronyms were supposed to make it easer to remember things. I had to copy and paste this mofo because there was no way I was going to remember it while moving from the tab I was reading in to the one I was writing in.
  • ABK (always be knolling): What on earth is knolling? And why are we always doing it?
  • AFZ (acronym-free zone): well isn’t that just clever
  • AMF (adios motherfucker): Adios mutherfucker really loses its effectiveness as AMF. I can’t imagine a gangster movie where just before one dude blows another’s brains out, he says AMF.
  • AWHFY (are we having fun yet?): if someone feels the need to ask in that form, the answer is no
  • BAMF (bad-ass motherfucker): As with adios motherfucker, it loses a lot in shortened form. Bamf sounds like the noise you would make if you walked into a wall.
  • BDE (big dick energy): Hey baby, you wanna come over here and check out my BDE?
  • BFE (bum fuck Egypt): What does Egypt have to do with anything?
  • BHAG (big hairy audacious goal): I can’t tell if that’s supposed to be sexual or not
  • BIOIYA (break it off in your ass): another one that loses a lot in the shortening
  • BTWITIAILWU (by the way I think I am in love with you): well how romantic!
  • CTC (care to chat or choking the chicken): I learned recently what choking the chicken means, and there’s a big difference between that and caring to chat
  • DUM (do you masturbate): speaking of choking the chicken…
  • DWS (driving while stupid): they might need to start putting that on certain state license plates
  • FUPA (fat upper pussy area): I was mystified, so had to turn to Google. It actually (although maybe actually is the wrong word) stands for fat upper pubic area. Perhaps pussy area is the result you get when you don’t teach teenagers sex ed, i.e. 15-year-old boys want to stick their penis in something, but they don’t actually know what they’re aiming for.
  • CRD (Caucasian rhythm disorder/deficiency): we conclude here with an appropriate video…

Do you use a lot of acronyms and internet slang? Or are you an old fart like me?

49 thoughts on “Internet Acronyms & Proof That I’m Old”

  1. 🙂 I never use internet acronyms whenever I am communicating with someone online.


    Because it is not my sort of thing and I want people to grasp what I am saying right away.

  2. Lol is all I use mainly, if I do use. Which has been a while in using, as I tend to use smilies.
    The other I have used once btw. (By the way.)

    I recognise a few mentioned here. But a lot I have never heard.

  3. Ooh – fun! I am way older than you and have been on the internet since 1996 when acronyms were not so widely used – LOL, BRB, AFK, ROTFLMAO, PMP. I hate acronyms for the most part but especially when they are used as a “conversation” but as a quick comment they work well enough. BFD is a good one and unfortunately it is also the acronym for the Boston Police Department, which, for all I know is a BFD. COB is an old rather commonly used acronym for “Close of Business” meaning at the end of the work day. RT (real time) and IRL (in real life) are okay for a short note…But no, I don’t use acronyms a lot and I am not fond of them.

      1. It was originally ROTFL then someone added MAO for emphasis…PMP when used in context is pretty straight forward, it means pissing my pants indicating laughing really hard…SOS is also an old one – I use more acronyms when speaking than writing – (“So, what’s going on with you? “SOS”)

  4. Bloody hell. I thought BAE was like bay, baby, girl, or boy. A term of endearment, something like that. Definitely got that wrong then. I don’t get QQ or RLRT either. Aren’t all Tweets done in real life, not an alternative universe?

    There’s also IRL – in real life. I seem to Google acronyms quite regularly these days.

    I agree with the popular ones that have been around for decades. I know those, too (thankfully, I know some!)

    But then you get to the other ones, ones for which I can’t think of a word to describe them. ,!!!! – What the hell? I want to make a new one. ,|||| – that’s talk to my foot!

    I Googled Big Dick Energy because I was curious. “Big Dick Energy (BDE) is the unavoidable subject of the minute on social media.” So “perhaps Covid is so BDE, right?”. I feel I should put “dawg” at the end of that.

    “Break it off in your ass” I do really like that one! I’m not sure there’ll be many occasions to use it but I’m already trying to think of one. Squeezing that down into an acronym definitely ruins it.

    Thank you for the laughs and the learning.



  5. I love it. I love that you used “mofo.” My favourite acronym is my mom’s use of LOL. We gave up trying to get her to accept it meant “laugh out loud” rather than “lots of love” and so now, when she ends her texts with it, it makes me smile.

  6. I don’t know, but maybe ,!!!! is supposed to look like four fingers and a thumb, hence “hand”?

    I use a few very well-known acronyms when texting, but not generally on my blog. I have mentioned my FOMO (Fear of Massive Octopuses) before!

    In online geek circles, people talk about LOTR (Lord of the Rings). In Orthodox Jewish circles, people talk about their LOR (Local Orthodox Rabbi, as in “This blog post is just for discussion; if you want to know what to do in practice, ask your LOR”). I often wonder if anyone mixes the two up. To be honest, I wouldn’t ask Sauron any questions on Jewish law, I think he’s too modern…

  7. Oh my Ashley, this had me in stitches and crying! I always though SMH was suck my head but it’s actually shake my head… and for as long as I can remember I have always believed (and still do) that PhD means pretty huge dick… you do find some corkers haha

  8. I don’t use many acronyms. I find them difficult to remember and context dependent. Just clearer to spell them out.

    Unless they’re the ones I grew up with in the 2000s Internet, those I remember.

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