Twitter, a foreign language? Translation for the new Twitter user.


With Twitter users growing at a massive rate and moving from 200 million to 300 million accounts in a matter of months, it seems that the Twitter domain is taking on a culture of its own. We’ve even seen tweets be an instrumental tool in bringing down dominant, decades-long government regimes.

It seems to me twitter has developed a language of its own, taking from the early mobile text acronyms. Multiple twitter dictionaries and cheat sheets are popping up all over the internet. I never thought I would be talking in a series of abbreviations and hashtags to get my point across effectively. Then again, I never thought I’d be limited to getting my point across in 140 characters or less.

twitter confusion

To the untrained eye, a savvy tweet may be gibberish. However, with a little training, you too could be communicating in this “twitter code.”

Not only that, the hashtag symbol will organize the over 200 million tweets-per-day into real-time trending topics and easy-navigation by subject. They can even be used to help explain context in an otherwise obscure, shortened, 140 character statement.

To help you out, below is yet another list for you to add to your cache of shorthand twitter speak. It is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to add to it in the comments.

@ = Reply to username

AFAIK = As far as I know

bc or b/c = Because

BG = Background (referring to their Twitter background)

BFN = Bye for now

BR = Best regards

BRB = Be right back

BTW = By the way

CT = Cutweet= It’s a shortened retweet that had to be shortened to include all of the information.  Usually happens when there are a lot of RT’ed users.

DM = Direct message

EM = Email

FB = Facebook

F2F or FTF = Face to face

FTW/FTL = For the win/for the loss

FWIW = For what it’s worth

Gr8 = Great

H/T = Hat tip

HTH = Hope that helps

IDK = I don’t know

IIRC = If I recall correctly

IMO = In my opinion

IMHO = In my honest/humble opinion

IRL = In real life

JK or J/K or JP = Just kidding, Just playing

JSYK = Just so you know

LI = LinkedIn

LMK = Let me know

LMBO = Laughing my butt off

LOL = Laughing out loud (I’ve also seen people use LOL to mean “lots of love”.)

NP = No problem

NSFW = Not safe for work

OCT = Obsessive compulsive Twitterer

OH = Overheard

OMG = Oh my God

OOT = Out of touch

PLZ = Please

PPL = People

PRT = Please retweet

RE = regarding

ROFL = Rolling on the floor laughing

RT = ReTweet

RTHX/TQRT = Thanks for the retweet

SMH = Shaking my head

STW = Search the web (for you lazy Twitterers)

TMB = Tweet me back

TMI = Too much information (Some of you need to be aware of this.)

TTYS = Talk to you soon

TTYL = Talk to you later

TWTBL = Tweet back later

TY = Thank you

Via @ = Crediting a user for their tweet, but not copying it verbatim

W/E = Whatever or weekend

WTH = What the hell

YGTR = You got that right

YT = YouTube

YW/YVW = You’re welcome/You’re very welcome

ZOMG = OMG to the 10th degree

<3 = Text version of a heart.  (I would argue that it’s a kiss too.)


Jess H. • January 6, 2012

Posted in these categories:

Marketing Tips

With these tags:

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Keep Reading...


Leave a Reply