Internet Culture for Beginners: Popular Acronyms (Part 1)

Posted by: Maxine Brimmer (4 years, 1 month ago)

Since writing things out in full seems a little bit too boring for most denizens of the internet, a vast array of slang words and acronyms have popped up on the internet. If you’re only new to internet culture, it can be a little bit difficult to figure out just what’s being said, so here are a few popular terms to get you started in decoding the internet.


Probably the most well-known of all internet slang words, LOL famously stands for ‘laugh out loud’ or ‘laughing out loud’. Unsurprisingly it is an expression of amusement, though not a particularly overwhelming one. Variations include: lolz, lul, and lulz.


This acronym is much older than the internet, in fact the first recorded use of the expression was in 1917! But just in case you missed that, this stands for “Oh My God”, or alternatively “Oh My Goodness” or  “Oh My Gosh”.


An important one to remember at the office, this acronym means “Not Safe For Work”. Content marked with this slang term may contain potentially offensive pictures or text which should not be opened outside a public setting.


Used largely in chat rooms or instant messaging systems, this acronym means “be right back” and is used to excuse yourself from a conversation for a period of time.


You might hear this piece of slang being tossed about on a Facebook post that shares a little more detail than is necessary, because it stands for “too much information”. This acronym is usually used as a roundabout way of telling someone that they’ve said more than you’re comfortable or which you feel is inappropriate.

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