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Acronyms and InitialismsHere is a useful list of acronyms, initialisms, and abbreviations you may come across in e-mails, chat rooms, online games, instant messaging, or elsewhere on the Internet or in phone text messages.
If you often find yourself baffled by TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) and ETLAs (Extended Three Letter Acronyms) as you surf the 'Net, bookmark this page and you will always have a handy dictionary at your fingertips. The lists contain various sorts of abbreviation, including acronyms, which are words made from the ititial letters of other words, and pronounced as a word themselves, and initialisms, which are like acronyms, but pronounced by spelling out the letters individually. (This means that TLA and ETLA are actually initialisms, not acronyms.)
Common AbbreviationsIn this first list, you will find the abbreviations that are most commonly encountered.
Although all these abbreviations are given in upper case letters (as acronyms and initialisms should be, standardly), you are just as likely to enounter many of them written, in informal situations, in lower case characters.
Other AbbreviationsThere are many more widely used abbreviations on the Internet. (Note that abbreviations, such as the initialism ASAP, are not included here because they are well known outside the domain of the Internet.)
Our Visitors' SuggestionsSince this page was first published on Fun-with-words.com, dozens of our visitors have e-mailed to submit abbreviations they felt should be included. This final list is a selection of those submissions. We have had to omit very many as they were deemed too rude for inclusion. (We have only included abbreviations of phrases containing rude words where they are in very common usage.)
Have we left something out? If you think you know an acronym, initialism, or other abbreviation widely used on the Internet that ought to be included in this dictionary, please send it to us.
And if you keep encountering a baffling abbreviation that you cannot find in the list above, feel free to send it to us and we'll do our best to figure it out for you. (It may be one that we know, but have not included because it is too rude or obscure.)
More on Smileys and Internet LanguageSee also our Dictionary of Smileys for more on these emoticons used in chat rooms and e-mails.
You will also find fun books of smilies, as well as comprehensive guides to internet terminology, in the Internet Language section of our online language book shop.
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