Reading: 13 Millennial Acronyms You Need to Know


13 Millennial Acronyms You Need to Know

Surprise your kids or co-workers by using the phrases they created to lock you out

By Dara Pettinelli

Your kids are texting you with some foreign-looking words like IDK (I don’t know) and YOLO*! (You only live once). (These words are mostly acronyms and are becoming so ubiquitous, you might have already encountered them in the workplace. Our advice: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. So take the phone away from your ear and start communicating like you were born yesterday. To help you on your way, we’ve created a glossary of some of the most commonly used acronyms from our Millennial friends. Print it out old-school style and keep it at your desk. You’ll never get caught (like our hilarious writer Rona Gindin) on a job application being asked to write about an “AF room” (see below) and not know what it is.

AF = As F*ck. The most extreme degree of feeling, either positive or negative.

My boss’s latest decision made me angry AF.

learning/knowing post

BAE = Before anyone else. A way of referring to your romantic partner. Sometimes also used among best friends. Interchangeable with “babe,” or “boo.”

BAE took me out for a surprise birthday dinner last night.

BTW = By the Way. Used to introduce a new, minor topic in conversation.

BTW, I figured out how to email pictures from my phone, no thanks to you.

CU = See you. A way of saying goodbye or see you soon.

CU there!

FML = F*ck My Life. How one expresses the feeling of being over. it. all.

Not sure when I’ll get home–all train service going to and from the city has been suspended. FML.

FOMO / JOMO = fear of missing out / joy of missing out. One is used by people who enjoy socializing and the other among those who would rather watch Netflix and binge eat than be in any kind of social setting, especially after work hours.

Patsy didn’t actually enjoy watching The Bachelor but FOMO got the best of her–everyone at work would be talking about it the next day.

JOMO has inspired me to finally delete my Facebook account.

FTW = For the Win; Describing someone who has accomplished something, anything–delivering a snarky comeback, getting a raise, getting off the couch. Also used to describe a beneficial/popular option or decision.

Stormy Daniels FTW!

Mexico girls’ trip FTW!

FWIW = For What It’s Worth. An acknowledgment that the information you’re about to share may or may not be useful.

FWIW, I know plenty of women who started getting Botox before age 40.

ICYMI = In Case You Missed It. Often a way to fill someone in on something they probably missed.

ICYMI: CoveyClub’s Coffee & Conversation last week was amazing!

IMO / IMHO = In My Opinion / In My Humble Opinion. A way to qualify your clear bias.

IMHO, I think we nailed that presentation.

IRL = In Real Life. Any interaction that takes place with another human being in the same space, offline.

I look forward to meeting you IRL!

KK = Cool, okay. The emoji-free way to signal a thumbs up; an acknowledgment that what was suggested or proposed sounds good.

Mom: Please make sure to text me when you get there.

Daughter: KK

NVM = Nevermind. Shorthand for telling someone to forget whatever was just asked.

NVM, Susan. I figured out how to fix it myself.

TBH = To Be Honest. How to let someone know that the truth might hurt.

TBH, I don’t even know what a Kardashian is.

TFW = That Feeling When. Used as a way to describe a current mood or moment.

TFW your kid curses in public.

smh = Shaking My Head. Literally shaking my head in disappointment or disbelief.

smh at Kanye West’s comments on … just everything.


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  1. Amy Sunshine

    This article was awesome AF. Thank you! I think we need some acronyms for when we don’t want the “children” to understand. Maybe:

    PMR Post-menopausal rage
    WAIITR: Why am I in this room?
    WAMG: Where are my glasses?
    MRHC: My real hair color
    NLMP: No longer my problem

    Just sayin.


    Here’s a few more:
    IATP- It’s a Tuesday problem. (Used on Monday night, chg day as needed!)

  3. Molly Wootton

    I love Amy Sunshine and would like to steal PMR as it could also be PRE-menopausal rage. Very nice. I’d like to add one more. INW: I need wine.

  4. Paulette Thorn

    I received a message yesterday
    From someone named tiff asking if she had any mail
    I replied sorry she must have the wrong number
    She replied back “amu”
    Been driving me crazy trying to find out what that meant
    Can’t find it anywhere
    Can you help? Thanks

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