Meaning of 20 Internet Slang Abbreviations to Help You Navigate the Web

So you've stumbled across the world wide web, but its wacky internet lingo and modern slang are completely alien to you. Have no fear, a millennial is here who will happily guide you through your tumultuous virtual journey. Buckle up, because it's going to be quite the ride.

Between "fire selfies" and "IDGI," it may seem as though there is a lot to learn. Really, it's all quite simple — let's break it down.

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Here are 20 phrases and abbreviations to help you survive in the ever-changing digital age.

Source: Unsplash

TL;DR - "Too long; didn't read." When a message, whether it's a tweet, Instagram caption or a Facebook chat, is just too exhausting to read all the way through.

Yaaass - A form of approval, which we have black drag queens to thank for ever coming into existence online. "Yaaass" is a great reply for any of the following questions: "Does my butt look good in these jeans?" "Should I go on a date with this wealthy doctor tonight?" and "Would you like to link up for happy hour after work?"

FWIW - "For what it's worth." 

Ship - When you endorse or approve of a romantic relationship. If you spot a friend or relative uploading a photo of a celebrity power couple like hip-hop royalty Beyoncé and Jay-Z along with the caption, "OMG I ship this so hard," it essentially means that person is quite fond of the bond the two artists share with each other. Beautiful, right?

IDGI - "I don't get it." 

LMFAO - "Laughing my fucking ass off." This is basically just an edgier version of "LOL [Laugh out loud]" and "LMAO [Laughing my ass off]."

TY - "Thank you."

BAE - "Before anyone else." An affectionate term to call your beau, babe, lover, significant other, etc. 

V - "Very." What may seem like a typo at first is just a single-letter abbreviation, because millennials apparently don't even have enough time to press four buttons to spell a word. "I was v upset when I found out the cream inside an Oreo doesn't actually contain milk" is a perfect example of its usage. 

KK - These two letters combined hold more meaning than they might imply. "Kk," "KK" or "kk" all essentially mean "okay" — the capitalization doesn't matter — though it should be noted someone using this term means absolutely no rudeness whatsoever. In fact, spending the extra second to type the letter a second time implies you are not being brushed off. When a question you ask is responded with a single "k" however, beware: You are on somebody's bad side. 

Selfie - A photo taken by oneself, of oneself.

Source: Giphy

Fire selfie - Not to be confused with just any selfie, a "fire selfie" is a seriously high-quality photo someone took of themselves. Think back to when Rihanna broke her silence about eighth studio album Anti by dropping a selfie on Twitter while wearing a $9,000 pair of Dolce & Gabbana headphones as an example. 

Ussie - A photo of multiple people taken by somebody who is in the picture. Essentially, an ussie is a group selfie.

Source: Giphy

S.O. - "Significant other." A more professional term for "bae," typically seen in viral articles or Facebook wall posts from non-millennials: "Hey Chris! Susanne helped me set up this Facebook thing! How are you and your S.O.? SEE? I'm learning slang you cool kids use! LOL! Hope all is well! Say hi to mom for me!"

K - "Okay." The rudest possible reply you can ever receive or send to another person on the internet. "K" should be used sparingly — only in times of complete and utter anger. For example, if your S.O. sends you a chat message which reads, "hey babe, can't make dinner tonight, made new plans," "k." is a perfect response.

VBD - "Very big deal." When social media queen Kim Kardashian-West announces what the name of her husband Kanye West's album will be on Twitter, that will be a "VBD."

L8r - "Later." A casual way to sign off from social media for the time being, or end a conversation with a friend.

IMHO - "In my honest opinion." This abbreviation can be used when your perspective on an issue greatly contrasts the general consensus. "Taylor Swift isn't that talented of a singer IMHO. Like, her music is catchy and w/e, but you know?"

W/E - "Whatever." See above for proper use.

FOMO - "Fear of missing out." Social media users consider this an illness brought on by seeing pictures of friends, relatives and even celebrities attending outings or events without them. If somebody's best friends are sharing selfies on Instagram while at a party without them, it's fair to say they have a serious case of "FOMO."

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Chris Riotta

Chris Riotta is a culture reporter at Mic, covering news, music and entertainment. He is based in New York and can be reached at criotta@mic.com

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