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Guide: English Abbreviations

English abbreviations and their meaning

Whether in text messages, social media, business correspondence or everyday use, English abbreviations are ubiquitous and contribute significantly to the efficiency and precision of our communication. Here we present a wide range of English abbreviations, from the common and daily used to specialized and industry-specific acronyms and abbreviations. In addition to the full written format, we also supply concise explanations of the meaning and use of these letter combinations.

General – English abbreviations in colloquial language


Abbreviation Written version Meaning & application
AFK Away From Keyboard Similar to BRB, but often refers to a slightly longer period of time.
AKA Also Known As Used to introduce additional names or aliases for a person or thing.
BAE Before Anyone Else Term for a very important person in life.
BCC Blind Carbon Copy Email with multiple recipients, each invisible to the other recipients.
BFF Best Friends Forever Very good, close friends whose friendship endures. 
BRB Be Right Back In chat, to say that you are not replying because you cannot participate in the conversation for a short time.
BTW By The Way Used to introduce an additional piece of information or question into the conversation.
CC Carbon Copy An email has additional recipients
DIY Do It Yourself Request or recommendation to do a certain task yourself instead of having others do it.
FOMO Fear Of Missing Out Describes the feeling of missing out on something important or fun, especially on social media. 
FYI For Your Information Used to give someone (additional) information without expecting a response.
GTG Got To Go Used to end a conversation quickly because you have to leave.
IMO/IMHO In My Opinion/In My Humble Opinion Subsequent opinion/view should be considered subjective and not absolute.
LOL Laughing Out Loud Expression of amusement or amusement, often used in online chats or text messages. 
NSFW Not Safe For Work Warns of content that may be inappropriate for the workplace.
OMG Oh My God Expression of surprise or astonishment.
PM Private Message A message that is only visible to a specific recipient, often in a chat room or on a social media platform.
P.S. Postscript Additional information or clarification after the main text of a message or letter.
RSVP Répondez s'il vous plaît Invitation to respond to an invitation to leave.
SMH Shaking My Head Expresses incomprehension, disbelief or disappointment.
TBA To Be Announced Information or details are still pending and will be revealed later.
TTYL Talk To You Later Used to end a conversation but signal the intention to continue talking later.
WIP Work In Progress This abbreviation is often used to indicate that a project or task is not yet complete and work is continuing.
YMMV  Your Mileage May Vary Expresses that the results or experiences in a particular situation may vary from person to person.
YOLO You Only Live Once Emphasizes the attitude or action of doing something risky or out of the ordinary because you only live once.


Marketing – English abbreviations in sales


Abbreviation Written version Meaning & application
UGC User Generated Content Content created by users.
CTA Call To Action Prompt for readers to do something.
CRM Customer Relationship Management Customer relationship management system.
PR Public Relations Communication between companies and the public.
DM Direct Marketing Direct advertising approach to customers.
B2C Business to Client Service provider sells its product to private customers.
B2B Business to Business Service provider sells its product to other companies.


Technical – English abbreviations in IT & web development


Abbreviation Written version Meaning & application
IP Internet Protocol Technology rules for Internet communication
P2P Peer-to-Peer Network without central servers
NFC Near Field Communication Short-range wireless technology.
API Application Programming Interface Allows programs to communicate with each other
CMS Content Management System Software to create web content
HTML HyperText Markup Language Language to create web pages
SaaS Software as a Service Software used online instead of on the computer.
RSS Really Simple Syndication Allows web content to be subscribed to in a standardized form.
UI User Interface How users interact with a product


E-Commerce – English abbreviations in online retail


Abbreviation Written version Meaning & application
COD Cash On Delivery Payment is only made on delivery.
BOPIS Buy Online, Pick-up In Store Order online, collect offline.
SLA Service Level Agreement Contract on quality of service.
POS Point of Sale Location, online or offline, where the final sale takes place. 
PCI DSS Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard Rules for the protection of credit card data.
ROI Return on Investment Profit compared to investment.


Social Media – English abbreviations in social media


Abbreviation Written version Meaning & application
SM Social Media Online platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc.
PM Private Message Non-publicly visible message between users.
RT Retweet Used on Twitter (now X) synonymously for re-sharing a post.
CM Community Management Includes communicating with members (followers/fans), moderating content and answering questions, etc.
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions A list of answers to frequently asked questions from the community


Correspondence – English abbreviations in abbreviations in e-mails


Abbreviation Written version Meaning & application
COB Close Of Business Similar to EOD, but more specific to the end of the business day
CSR Corporate Social Responsibility A concept that encourages companies to take responsibility for the impact of their activities on society
DM Direct Message A private message on social networks or email platforms
EOD End Of Day Commonly used to indicate a deadline
EOB End Of Business Used to indicate the time at which the working day or business hours end, Used to indicate when the working day or business hours end
EOM  End Of Message Used at the end of a short email or message to indicate that no further reading is required
ETA Estimated Time of Arrival Commonly used in relation to deliveries or completion times
FTE Full-Time Equivalent  A measure of an employee's working time
FYA  For Your Action
(Oder: For Your Amusement)
Used when an action is expected from the receiving party (Or: Used to share content that is humorous or entertaining)
FYI  For Your Information Used to share useful information without expecting a response
KISS Keep It Simple, Stupid A principle that emphasizes the importance of simplicity
LTV Lifetime Value A measure of the total value of a customer over the entire duration of the business relationship
MOU Memorandum Of Understanding An informal contract between two parties
MRR Monthly Recurring Revenue A measure of a company's recurring revenue
NDA Non-Disclosure Agreement A contract, that restricts the sharing of confidential information
OOO Out Of Office A notice that someone is out of the office
POC Point Of Contact The person responsible for a particular project or task
PPE Personal Protective Equipment Employee protective equipment
QA Quality Assurance A process that aims to prevent errors and ensure the quality of a product or service
QC Quality Control The process of reviewing the quality of a product or service
RFQ Request For Quotation A request for a price quotation for specific goods or services
RFP Request For Proposal A document that represents a request for a proposal for a specific project or service
SLA Service Level Agreement A contract for the quality of service to be provided
SME Subject Matter Expert A person with specialized knowledge in a specific field
SWOT Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats An analytical method for evaluating business strategies
TBD To Be Determined Details that still need to be clarified
TL;DR Too Long; Didn't Read A short summary of a longer text
WFH Work From Home Refers to the ability to perform professional tasks from home
YTD Year To Date A time period that extends from the beginning of the current calendar or fiscal year to the current date

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