Commonly used English abbreviations


In English, abbreviations are widely used, particularly on the Internet. They’re almost everywhere — on forums and social media sites, in chat rooms, and even in more formal online communications via e-mail or instant messaging services like Skype or ICQ.

As a result, knowing them is essential, if not all of them, then at least the most common. The following is a list of abbreviations. (There is a distinction between “abbreviations,” “acronyms,” and “initialism,” but I believe in our instance it will suffice to refer to them all as “abbreviations” to keep things simple.)

These are the ones that are almost universally used:

That is to say (from the Latin “id est”)

For instance (from the Latin “exempli gratia”)

and al. (from the Latin “et alii”) – and others

NB (from the Latin “nota bene”) means “take note.”

PS – addendum

After noon / before noon (from the Latin “after meridiem” and “ante meridiem”), P.M. / A.M.

AD / BC – Before Christ, in the year of the Lord (from the Latin “Anno Domini”).

These can be found on the following websites:

authorization (auth)

admin is an abbreviation for an administrator.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

the account is a word that means “account” in English.

n/a – does not apply

pm stands for private message.

captcha – a public turing test that distinguishes between machines and humans.

These are commonly seen in forums, social media sites, and chat rooms:


In my humble opinion (IMHO)

I believe – I believe – I believe – I believe – I believe – I

IRL stands for “in real life.”

ASAP stands for “as soon as possible.”

AFAIK (as far as I’m aware)

BBL – I’ll be back in a minute

BRB – I’ll be back in a minute.

DIY stands for “do it yourself.”

By the way

FYI – just in case you didn’t know

I’m not sure – I’m not sure

LOL stands for “laughing out loud” (lots of laughs)

ROFL – rolling around on the floor with laughter

ORLY – Are you serious?

NIM stands for “not in the mood.”

NP – it’s not a problem

Oh my God,

BFN – farewell for the time being

To put it another way,

CUZ stands for “because.”

I’m joking, of course.

SYL – I’ll talk to you later

brother – a sibling

mag – a publication

adverbial adverbial adverbial ad

msg stands for “message.”

especially – particularly

please (pls)

People are referred to as ppl.


These are the ones that have been mentioned in the press and on blogs:

CEO (chief executive officer) is an abbreviation for the chief executive officer.

apt. means “apartment” in English.

auxiliary – supplementary

barrel (abbreviated bbl) (of oil)

condo is short for a condominium.

conf stands for the conference.

Department, deputy 

a.l. stands for an autograph letter.

Narrator – a narrator who tells the story.

Publisher – a company that publishes books.

ed. – edited by, edited by, edited by, edited by, edited by, edited by, edited by, edited by, edited

These are also often used:


‘Of course,’ says the speaker.

‘Sup – how are you?’

These are the ones that are frequently utilized in games:

n1 – This is a good one

ew– excellent work

hf & gl – best of luck and have a fantastic time

gh/nh – excellent/

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you,

This list is far from comprehensive. There are thousands of abbreviations out there, especially for certain subjects (like “LAMP” (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) in web development and “UTG” (under the gun) in poker) and even certain websites (like “RT” (retweet) on Twitter). If you’re not a web developer or a poker player, and you don’t use Twitter, there’s no need to understand all of them. It’s a good idea to learn the most common ones first.


Learning is easy and fun!

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