Decoding 15 Common Text Abbreviations

Now that we live in an age where texting is one of the most common forms of social connection—one that everyone from your classmates to your grandma are probably at least somewhat familiar with—it's not uncommon to find that many of us use abbreviations in order to save time and effort (both for our fingers and our brains, let's be honest).

These simple linguistic tools should, in theory anyway, make our lives easier. After all, they save us effort when it comes to reading, too. However, that only rings true if you understand what exactly the abbreviation actually stands for.

It's not hard to imagine getting some of these wrong if you're unfamiliar with the meaning behind them; there's a good chance your mom or another family member may have misused "LOL" to mean "lots of love" at some point, after all. But to help you understand what exactly the person you're texting is trying to say (and to help you use these simplified phrases in your own texts), we have your guide to decoding common text abbreviations right here. We'll skip the basics like LOL, LMAO and the like, but read on for the ones that you may find most useful in your everyday life.

1. What Does 'YW' Mean in Texting

In texting, yw usually means "you're welcome."

Woman texting on the bus with others texting behind her: Shutterstock. Young woman using a smartphone in a subway

(via Shutterstock)


2. What Does 'ATP' Mean in Texting

A little more confusing, atp can mean "at this point" or "at that point" as well as "answer the phone," which is likely the more accurate meaning if your best friend casually sends you those three letters over text.


3. What Does 'IMO' Mean in Texting

Simply put, imo = "in my opinion."


Also Read About: Avoid These Texting Faux Pas If You Want to Be a Better Communicator


4. What Does 'WSG' Mean in Texting

"What's good" can be seen abbreviated in text as wsg.


5. What Does 'JW' Mean in Texting

This one is a quick way of saying "just wondering," and can commonly be found after a question in order to diffuse any possible awkwardness around what is being asked.

Woman with yellow phone texting and smiling: Shutterstock. Young hispanic girl smiling happy using smartphone at the city.

(via Shutterstock)


6. What Does 'OTP' Mean in Texting

Another abbreviation with two possible meanings is otp. Similar to atp, it often means "on the phone" and is something that might be sent to you over text if you tried to call someone but they didn't answer (due to, you know, being otp).

You might also see this one in discussions of your favorite celebs and/or fandom with your friends, but otp usually stands for "one true pairing." AKA, two people (or fictional characters, more likely) who are simply made for each other. However, this version can is used a bit more infrequently.


7. What Does 'DWU' Mean in Texting

Dwu translates to "don't wait up," essentially telling you not to not worry about the person who sent it to you or to simply not waste your time waiting for them to finish whatever it is they're occupied with.


8. What Does 'DTM' Mean in Texting

According to Urban Dictionary, dtm means "doing too much." Some other definitions do exist, but this appears to be the common in the general lexicon. It refers to someone who's being extra, or is even just exhausted from everything they've got going on in their life.


9. What Does 'TMB/TM/TB' Mean in Texting

"Text me back" ™, "text me" ™ or "text back" (tb) are the translations of these similar abbreviations.


Also read about: What Those Texts From Your Crush Really Mean


10. What Does 'MBN' Mean in Texting

Come on, who hasn't needed to say "must be nice" in text before without actually saying it? That's where mbn comes in.


11. What Does 'WTW' Mean in Texting

Perhaps the most slang-riddled abbreviation of this list so far, wtw is a sort of "what's up" that can be even further dissected into "what's the word." However, some sources state that it may also mean "worth the wait," so context really is key to understanding this one.

Woman looking at phone texting: Shutterstock. Selective focus on Young woman hand while using mobile smart phone by texting the message to communicate with someone, surf the internet, buy product online shopping, copy space, modern technology

(via Shutterstock)


12. What Does 'HYB' Mean in Texting

"How you been" is abbreviated into hyb in texting.


Also Read About: 10 Weird Texting Habits We're All Guilty of Doing


13. What Does 'TT' Mean in Texting

Tt can be anything from "crying" (due to the appearance of the letters) to "trending topic," "too true" or even "'til tomorrow." Once again, context clues will be your guide to understanding this particular abbreviation.


14. What Does 'WYD' Mean in Texting

"What you doing" or, more grammatically correctly, "what are you doing" is abbreviated over text into wyd for clarity and conciseness.


15. What Does 'BTW' Mean in Texting

Another considerably popular one, btw means "by the way."


Now that we've provided your basic guide to abbreviations often used in texting, you can go forth and conquer by saving a few precious letters in the meantime.

And if these abbreviations are being used in a group chat of some kind? Well, you'll need to know a few extra rules on proper etiquette there. For some help, we have it all laid out for you. You simply need to click HERE for that guide.