29 Millennial Acronyms You Need to Know in 2023
Surprise your kids or co-workers by using the phrases they created to lock you out
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 in 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 that means.
Even our millennial friend, Dr. Tiana Piscitelli, now a pediatric dentist says: “Millenials have acronyms because we grew up during the days of texting and AIM. Gen Z has all new words in the age of TikTok. Ain’t nothing cool or hip about saying TTYL (talk to you later) anymore. When a kiddo sits down in my chair and says, ‘That’s RIZZ!’, I gotta know WTF they mean.”
Millennial Acronyms A-C
AF = As F*ck. The most extreme degree of feeling, either positive or negative.
My boss’s latest decision made me angry AF.
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.
BFFR = Be Fucking For Real. When you need someone to be honest with themselves, stop lying or get in touch with reality.
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.
Millennial Acronyms F-K
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 is 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.
GOAT = Greatest of All Time. “Taylor Swift is a GOAT!” (Not to be confused with “old goat”.)
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!
ILY = I Love You.
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!
IYKYK = If you know you know. You go to get your favorite sandwich at a cool place and put it on Instagram, but it’s so cool, you don’t need to tag it. You just write IYKYK.
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.
LMAO = Laugh my ass off. Also LMFAO = Laugh my fucking ass off. Posted as a reply in Instagram, sometimes with a crying face emoji.
Millennial Acronyms N-Z
NBD = No Big Deal.
NVM = Nevermind. Shorthand for telling someone to forget whatever was just asked.
NVM, Susan. I figured out how to fix it myself.
NP = No Problem.
SMH = Shaking My Head. Literally shaking my head in disappointment or disbelief.
smh at Kanye West’s comments on … just everything.
STFU= Shut the Fuck Up. Com’ on. You know how to use this one.
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.
TY = Thank you. Mom: “Grandma just left you $1000. ” Kid: “TY!”
WTF= What the Fuck. See quote from Dr. Piscitelli, above.