Do You Speak Millennial? A Modern Acronym Guide

Brooks Wallace
Stronger Content
Published in
2 min readJul 15, 2016


TFW…you have no idea what anyone is saying. Shorthand is becoming commonplace, especially among Millennials. If you’ve found yourself shaking your head trying to figure out what “SMH” or “TBH” means, you’re not alone.

Gone are the days of full sentences, perfect grammar, and AP Style (*tear*). Of course, formal writing will always have its place in business and will continue to be taught in school (let’s hope). However, it’s also becoming critical to understand the abbreviations of the millennial generation. In no particular order, here’s a guide to help de-code modern acronyms and speak “Millennial” (or at least understand it). Because apparently it’s just too exhausting to write out full words.

OMG = Oh My God
LOL = Laugh Out Loud
LMAO = Laughing My A** Off
JK = Just Kidding
BRB = Be Right Back
NVM = Never Mind
TTYL = Talk to You Later
NBD = No Big Deal
TBH = To Be Honest
JOMO = Joy of Missing Out (opposite of FOMO)
BAE = Before Anyone Else
TFW = That Feeling When
TMW = That Moment When
SMH = Shaking My Head
V = Very (“I’m v excited”)
P = Pretty (“I’m p excited”)
WYD = What (Are) You Doing
MCM = Man Candy Monday
WCW = Woman Crush Wednesday
RN = Right Now
TN = Tonight
BC = Because
Thx = Thanks
@ = At (but used in a sentence, not in an email address)
L8 = Late
OMW = On My Way
Bye = Get Out of Town (girl, bye)
OOTD = Outfit of the Day (akin to SOTD, Shoes of the Day and POTD, Photo of the Day)
FTW = For The Win
HBU = How About You
WBU = What About You
FWIW = For What It’s Worth
YOLO = You Only Live Once
BTW = By The Way
ICYMI = In Case You Missed It
TY = Thank You
YW = You’re Welcome
IDC = I Don’t Care
FB = Facebook
IG = Instagram
SM = Social Media
DM = Direct Message (like on Twitter: “dm me”)
TBT = Throwback Thursday
FBF = Flashback Friday
NSFW = Not Safe For Work
LMK = Let Me Know
HMU = Hit Me Up
RT = Retweet
IRL = In Real Life
TIL = Today I Learned
IMO or IMHO = In My Opinion or In My Humble Opinion

A favorite commercial of mine pokes fun at the evolving shorthand language, produced by AT&T / Cingular. For your viewing pleasure, watch it here.

There, now you speak Millennial. YW.



Brooks Wallace
Stronger Content

Public relations pro @hollywdpr, @PRNews Rising PR ⭐️, #news junkie, @Northeastern alum, former D1 diver, yogi. Survive on strong coffee + #NPR. SF • Boston