Abbreviations are great for saving time while communicating via text, social media or email, but sometimes things can get confusing. If the person on the receiving end of the message doesn’t know the abbreviation or anonym, having to explain the shorthand defeats the purpose of using it in the first place. By now, most people know what LOL (laugh out loud) and BRB (be right back) mean, but new slang is constantly evolving. To stay up to date, and to avoid any possible misperceptions, check out this glossary of popular terms used on Instagram and Reddit:

Bae: This acronym means “before anyone else,” but is essentially used as a short way to say “baby.” For instance, “He (or she) is my bae.” Or, more simply, “Hey, bae.”

SMH: This is a popular term on social media that stands for “shaking my head.” Occasionally, it will be written as SMDH, which means “Shaking my damn head.”

MFW/MRW: This stands for “my face when” and “my reaction when.” These terms are normally used on Reddit when someone is describing their response to what something looks like.

NSFW: This term can be found all over the internet and stands for “not safe for work.” It’s used when online content is not suitable for the workplace. For instance, articles that have nude or graphic images normally contain “NSFW” in the headline.

IAMA: IAMA is generally only used on Reddit and it stands for “I am A.” It’s used when someone starts an "ask Reddit" thread. For instance, someone might write, “IAMA commercial airline pilot, ask me anything.”

IMO: This acronym, which stands for “in my opinion,” can be used by anyone on any type of forum to express a belief.

TL;DR: When someone writes a response that is way too long, and the recipient doesn’t want to read it all, the person will write TL;DR, which means, “too long; didn’t read.”

Stay tuned for updates and tweaks...

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