The Social Media Dictionary: Online Terms, Slang and Acronyms

Is your content passing the vibe check? 

As part of our Social Media Dictionary blog series, we’ve collected a massive list of online terms, slang, words and acronyms to keep you up to speed with all the new terminology.

As the internet and social media platforms evolve, the ways we communicate online change along with it. With such rapid changes, it can be challenging to keep up. 

So get the notepad ready. You might want to write some of these down for future references.

How do words get added to the Macquarie dictionary?

For a word to be included in the Macquarie dictionary, it must be proven to be accepted by the community. The word must appear in different contexts, for a sustained period of time.

Editors read books and newspapers, search the internet, listen to the radio, and their day-to-day conversations to discover new words.

Macquarie has its own computer database of Australian writing, which can scan for citations of use. Other technology also helps to search online for new words being regularly used.

Different types of content

  • AMA: Ask me anything. Most notably used on Reddit, “Ask me anything” refers to crowdsourced Q&A sessions.
  • ASMR: This stands for “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response”. ASMR is a popular search on YouTube. The videos are typically about soft, calming sounds to assist with sleeping, meditation or study.
  • Challenges: Ever heard of the #bottlecapchallenge? These challenges are driven by social media and are popular on TikTok and Instagram. 
  • FBF: Flashback Friday. It’s the same as Throwback Thursday; it’s about nostalgic posts on a Friday! #FBF, #FlashbackFriday.
  • FF: Follow Friday. A trend that started on Twitter, FF lets users make recommendations of accounts worth following.
  • GRWM: “Get Ready With Me”. These are videos of the creator getting ready for something. These videos are usually live, so the person can chat with their followers while they get ready.
  • Hauls: Haul videos are when a creator shows their followers a bunch of things they’ve recently got. Prominent influencers often do “Haul Videos” to show what brands and sponsors have given them.
  • MCM: Man Crush Monday. Hashtagged on all social platforms as #ManCrushMonday or #MCM
  • NSFW: Not safe/suitable for work. Content is sensitive or unsuitable for a work environment, often about nudity or profanity.
  • OOTD: “Outfit of the day” – this is used on Instagram so people can show their followers what they’re wearing.
  • POTD: Photo of the day. Popular on Instagram as a way for users to show off their best images.
  • QOTD: Quote of the day. They are used for sharing funny or inspirational quotes.
  • RT: Retweet – a Tweet that is shared with another user’s Twitter account followers.
  • TBT: Throwback Thursday. Posting images from the past on Thursdays: #ThrowbackThursday, #TBT.
  • UGC: User-generated content. Any content created by users of an online system.
  • WCW: Woman Crush Wednesday. Hashtagged on all social platforms as #WomanCrushWednesday or #WCW.

Internet acronyms and slang

  • AF: This means “As F*ck” and is used to describe something in excess. For example, on a chilly morning, you could say, “It’s cold AF outside”.
  • AFAIK: As far as I know
  • BAE: Before anyone else. A term of endearment for your loved one.
  • Basic: Tragically mainstream
  • BFF: Best friends forever. Aww.
  • BRB: Be right back
  • Bussin: a term used to describe delicious food.
  • Caught in 4k: to catch someone red-handed. 
  • Cray: to be crazy.
  • DAE: Does anyone else. This is a term used when people share something embarrassing.
  • DFTBA: Don’t forget to be awesome
  • Doomscrolling: The hypnotic state of endlessly reading grim news on the internet and social media. Very 2020!
  • Drip: used to describe someone with swagger or someone who dresses well. 
  • ELI5: Explain like I’m 5. Use this when you want someone to explain something simply. 
  • Extra: To be “extra” is to be dramatic and over the top.
  • F: Press “F” to pay respects. This is primarily a meme comment born from a Call of Duty game. 
  • Facepalm: When someone does or says something a bit stupid.
  • Fam: Short for family.
  • Fire: When something is outstanding.
  • Fit: This one has two meanings, depending on what side of the pond you’re on! The British version of the term means attractive, while in the United States, it’s just a shortened version of “outfit.”
  • Flex: To “flex” is to flaunt and show off.
  • FOMO: Fear of missing out.
  • FTFY: “Fixed that for you” means that someone has fixed an error you made on a post.
  • FTW: For the win. An exclamation of excitement, but more often used sarcastically.
  • GOAT: Greatest of all time.
  • HBD: Happy birthday.
  • HMU: Hit me up.
  • HTH: Happy to help/here to help.
  • I can’t even: an inability to convey feelings or thoughts properly due to being incredibly overjoyed or frustrated.
  • I’m dead: I’m laughing so hard about something that you’ve died – dying of laughter.
  • ICYMI: In case you missed it
  • IDK: I don’t know
  • IKR: I know, right? 
  • ILY: I love you
  • IMO/IMHO: In my opinion/In my humble opinion. Distinguishing opinion from fact.
  • IRL: In real life
  • It me: Used when someone can relate to something, usually a quote or meme.
  • IYKYK: If you know, you know.
  • JIC: Just in case
  • JK: Just kidding. Used for conveying a light-hearted tone.
  • JOMO: The joy of missing out
  • LEL: A satirical abbreviation of LOL – laugh out loud.
  • Lit: Used to describe something that’s very cool or exceptionally good, similar to ‘fire’.
  • LMAO: Laughing my a** off
  • LMK: Let me know
  • Lowkey: To be slightly or discreetly into something. The opposite of “high key” (when you’re very into something).
  • NIL: Next in line is used on Facebook buy and sell groups. If an item has been sold, someone can write NIL if the buyer pulls out.
  • NMU: Not much, you?
  • NVM: Nevermind.
  • Mid: used to describe something as low quality or average.  
  • On fleek: Something that’s very on point.
  • Salty: To be “salty” is to be annoyed, upset, or bitter, usually about something minor.
  • Savage: When someone or something is exceptionally harsh. Often used as praise!
  • Sending me: used to describe something that you found hilarious.  
  • Shook: To be “shook” is to be significantly affected by something.
  • Slay: You’re “slaying” something if you do it exceptionally well.
  • SMH: Shaking my head. Conveys frustration or disbelief.
  • Stan: “Stan” means to be an overzealous and obsessive fan of something or someone.
  • Tea: “Tea” is the gossip, and “spilling the tea” is the act of sharing the gossip.
  • TFW: That feeling when… Used for sharing a relatable experience.
  • TGIF: Thank God it’s Friday
  • TIL: Today, I learned…
  • THIRSTY: No, we don’t want a glass of water. Thirsty is slang for being very interested in another person.
  • TL;DR: Too long; didn’t read. When someone hasn’t read what you’ve written but wants to reply anyway. It is also used to give a brief synopsis of a post or article.
  • TBH: To be honest
  • TMI: Too much information
  • Vibe check: A spontaneous and usually random time where someone checks your vibe.
  • WFH: Work from home
  • YEET: YEET means to be very happy about something and is often associated with a dance move or throwing something.
  • YOLO: You only live once. Used jokingly and also literally, often associated with risky behaviour.
  • YSK: You should know
  • Zoombombing: An unwanted, disruptive intrusion of a virtual meeting. Think photobombing, 2020 style!

Digital Marketing Jargon

  • API: Application Programming Interface. The mechanism that connects one backend system to another allowing for communication across platforms and channels.
  • B2B: Business to business
  • B2C: Business to consumer
  • Content: The digital material available to users via text, video, audio, images, etc.
  • CMS: Content Management System. The backbone of content management; a central place to create and manage content. For example, WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
  • Conversion/Goal: The action you want visitors to perform.
  • Conversion optimisation:­ The process of increasing the percentage of visitors who complete your goals.
  • CR: Conversion rate. Conversion rate is the measure of action. It looks at things like views, engagement, or purchases. Tracking conversions is the best way to demonstrate return on investment.
  • Crawler: A program designed to systematically browse content on the Internet and collect information about it to help searchers find what they’re looking for.
  • CTA: Call to action. A highly actionable instruction.
  • CTR: Click-through rate. The number of people who click on a link.
  • CX: Customer experience.
  • DM: Direct message. Communications that are conducted privately, not on the public interface of a social media platform.
  • FB: Facebook
  • HTML: Hypertext markup language. The coding language used to build websites.
  • G+: Google Plus
  • GA: Google Analytics. Google’s web analytics service that tracks and reports website traffic and important social media metrics.
  • IG: Instagram
  • IM: Instant message. Facebook Chat is the most popular and common version of IM around today.
  • Impressions: The number of times an advert is shown.
  • KPI: Key performance indicators – a business metric used to determine success.
  • LI: LinkedIn
  • Paid listings: Advertisements that appear on search engine results pages.
  • Pay-per-click: An advertising system in which advertisers pay for users to click on their advertisements.
  • ROI: Return on investment. The benefit of your investment divided by the cost of your investment. A great way to demonstrate effectiveness.
  • SaaS: Software as a service. Sometimes referred to as web-based or hosted software, it allows you to log in and run an application on your web browser. For example, Hootsuite.
  • SEM: Search engine marketing. Buying traffic. Paid search listings mean your site will appear ideally high ranking on search engines like Google.
  • SEO: Search engine optimisation. Focused on organically growing search engine ranking by optimising elements of your website or digital behaviours.
  • SERP: Search engine results page. The list of results you get in response to a search query in a search engine like Google.
  • SOV: Share of voice. Looks at the percentage of mentions within a discussion or industry are about your brand.
  • SoLoMo: Social, local, mobile. Refers to the convergence of social media, location-based search and mobile devices.
  • Traffic acquisition: ­The process of attracting visitors. Often referred to as traffic­ to websites and mobile apps.
  • TW: Twitter
  • Unique visitor: A single visitor to a website during a specific period of time.
  • UI: User interface. The means by which a user and a computer system interact.
  • UX: User experience. A user’s experience with a product, service or interface. A great UX depends on UI!
  • YT: YouTube

What terms are you still unsure about? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll get right back to you!