Skip to Content

SMS Language: Texting and Chat Abbreviations

Sharing is caring!

SMS Language, also known as text speak or textese, is a type of shorthand language used in text messaging and online communication. It is characterized by the use of abbreviations, acronyms, and other shortened forms of words and phrases. This type of language has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among younger generations who use it as a way to communicate quickly and efficiently.

Understanding SMS Language

SMS language, also known as text message shorthand, is a type of language that is used in text messaging, social media, and other forms of digital communication. It is a way of writing that is designed to be fast and efficient, using abbreviations, acronyms, and other shortcuts to convey meaning in a shorter amount of time. In this section, we will explore the origin and evolution of SMS language, as well as some common SMS language terms.

Origin and Evolution

The use of SMS language can be traced back to the early days of mobile phones, when text messaging was first introduced. At that time, text messages were limited to 160 characters, which meant that users had to find ways to convey their messages quickly and efficiently. This led to the development of SMS language, which allowed users to shorten words and phrases in order to fit more information into a single text message.

Over time, SMS language has evolved and expanded, with new terms and abbreviations being added to the lexicon. Today, SMS language is used not only in text messaging, but also in social media, email, and other forms of digital communication.

Common SMS Language Terms

Here are some of the most common SMS language terms that you may encounter:

Term Meaning
LOL Laugh out loud
BRB Be right back
OMG Oh my God
TTYL Talk to you later
IDK I don’t know
BTW By the way
IMHO In my humble opinion

These are just a few examples of the many SMS language terms that are in use today. While SMS language can be a useful way to convey information quickly and efficiently, it is important to remember that it is not appropriate for all situations. In formal writing, for example, it is generally best to use standard English rather than SMS language.

Why do People Use SMS Language?

Three features of early mobile phone messaging encouraged users to use chat abbreviations:

  • Text entry was difficult, requiring multiple key presses on a small keypad to generate each letter;
  • Messages were limited to 160 characters; and
  • It made texting faster.

Once it became popular it took on a life of its own and was often used outside of its original context. At its peak, it was the cause of vigorous debate about its potentially detrimental effect on literacy, but with the advent of alphabetic keyboards on smartphones its use, and the controversies surrounding it, have receded and died off.

List of Common Chat Abbreviations

Here is a list of some common chat abbreviations in English:

  • ASAP – as soon as possible
  • BRB – be right back
  • BTW – by the way
  • CUL8R – see you later
  • FWIW – for what it’s worth
  • FYI – for your information
  • IDK – I don’t know
  • JK – just kidding
  • L8R – later
  • LMK – let me know
  • LOL – laugh out loud
  • NP – no problem
  • OMG – oh my god
  • OMW – on my way
  • PLZ – please
  • ROTFL – rolling on the floor laughing
  • THX – thanks
  • TMI – too much information
  • TTYL – talk to you later
  • WB – welcome back
  • AFAIK – as far as I know
  • B4N – bye for now
  • BBL – be back later
  • BBS – be back soon
  • CU – see you
  • CYT – see you tomorrow
  • F2F – face to face
  • G2G – got to go
  • HAND – have a nice day
  • IC – I see
  • IDC – I don’t care
  • IRL – in real life
  • J/K – just kidding
  • KISS – keep it simple stupid
  • L8 – Late
  • LMAO – Laughing My Ass Off
  • NRN – no reply necessary
  • OIC – Oh, I see
  • PLS – please
  • PM – private message
  • POS – parent over shoulder
  • ROFL – Rolling On the Floor Laughing
  • SOOB – straight out of the box
  • TTYS – talk to you soon
  • U – you
  • W/ – with
  • WBU – what about you
  • YW – you’re welcome

Origins of SMS Language

The origins of SMS language can be traced back to the early days of text messaging and mobile phones. In the early 1990s, when text messaging first became available on mobile phones, the messages were limited to 160 characters, and this limitation encouraged users to find ways to shorten their messages to save space. As text messaging became more popular and the character limit increased, this style of communication continued to evolve.

The first text message was sent on December 3rd, 1992, by a software engineer named Neil Papworth, who sent “Merry Christmas” to the Vodafone director Richard Jarvis.

SMS language also evolved as a way for people to communicate quickly and efficiently using their mobile phones. The small screens and cramped keyboards of early mobile phones made typing difficult, and the limited number of characters allowed in a message further encouraged the use of abbreviations and acronyms.

Impact of SMS Language

SMS language has had a significant impact on communication and language usage. In this section, we will discuss the impact of SMS language on communication and language and literacy.

On Communication

SMS language has made communication faster and more efficient. With the use of abbreviations and acronyms, we can convey our messages in a shorter amount of time. This is especially useful when we need to send a quick message or when we have limited time to communicate.

However, the use of SMS language can also lead to misinterpretation and confusion. Not everyone is familiar with the abbreviations and acronyms used in SMS language, which can result in miscommunication. It is important to use SMS language appropriately and only when it is appropriate to do so.

On Language and Literacy

The use of SMS language has also had an impact on language and literacy. Some argue that the use of SMS language has led to a decline in language and literacy skills. However, studies have shown that this is not necessarily the case.

In fact, the use of SMS language has been found to have a positive impact on language and literacy skills. It has been shown to improve spelling and reading skills, as well as increase vocabulary. This is because SMS language requires us to be creative and come up with new ways to convey our messages.

Overall, the impact of SMS language on communication and language and literacy is complex. While it has its benefits, it is important to use SMS language appropriately and not rely on it too heavily.

Popular Chat Abbreviations | Image

SMS Language
SMS Language
SMS Language
SMS Language

Elias Mbaindiguim

Sunday 11th of September 2022

I like this page


Tuesday 2nd of November 2021



Tuesday 2nd of November 2021

I want to learn english speaking.

Chioma Delight

Monday 16th of August 2021

I want Join dicussion


Wednesday 26th of May 2021

What a waste of time