Twitter Dictionary: A Guide To Understanding Twitter Lingo

Webopedia’s Twitter Dictionary will help you understand Twitter chat, Twitter abbreviations and Twitter slang.

Twitter is a free microbloging or social messaging tool that lets you stay connected to people through tweets, a Twitter-specific post that can contain up to 280 characters, images, or videos. Twitter is used largely for reporting real-time events, like sports, and sharing what you are doing at the moment. Your tweets can be posted through Twitter, SMS text messaging, instant messaging, RSS, email or through other social applications and connected websites.

The rise of Twitter

Twitter was originally created as a side project of Odeo, a podcasting platform co-owned by Evan Williams. During a brainstorming session in 2006 at Odeo, Jack Dorsey introduced the idea of an individual SMS service to communicate with a small group.

On July 15, 2006, Odeo launched Twttr, a free application that allowed users to share short status updates with a group of friends by sending one text message to a single number (40404).

Six months after launch, Twttr became Twitter, and its founders imposed a 140-character limit for messages. This would later be expanded to 280 characters. Twitter’s popularity took off in March 2007 at the South by Southwest convention in Austin, Texas, when more than 60,000 tweets were sent per day. From there, growth was rapid. Twitter has over 340 million active users.

Twitter Dictionary: Understanding Twitter Abbreviations and Slang

As with any social platform, there is an entire vocabulary of abbreviations and slang words that users of the Twitter service have adopted.

Some of the Twitter lingo describes the collection of people who use the service, while other abbreviations are used to describe specific functions and features of the service itself (like the Twitter abbreviation “RT”). There are also a number of terms which are essentially Twitter shorthand: abbreviations that users include in their tweets.


Twerminology: 119 Twitter Slang Words & Abbreviations

Our collection of the best twerminology includes definitions to more than 100 Twitter abbreviations, words, phrases, and tools that are commonly used on (or associated with) Twitter.

Quick Links: Numbers & Characters A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z | Tools & Apps

Twitter Abbreviations: Numbers & Characters

@: The @reply refers to a tweet that is directed to another user in reply to their update. An @reply will be saved in the user’s “Replies” tab. Replies are sent either by clicking the ‘reply’ icon next to an update or typing @ username message (e.g., @user I saw that movie too).

^: The caret sign is used to denote that the tweet in question has been posted on behalf of a group, organization, team, etc by a user whose initial comes after the caret sign. For example, a large corporation may have several employees managing social accounts—each person would use ^initials (^VB for example) to indicate who sent the message.

#: Adding a “#” to the beginning of an unbroken word or phrase creates a hashtag. When you use a hashtag in a tweet, it becomes linked to all of the other tweets that include it. Hashtags help group together tweets and conversations around a similar topic. When someone searches a specific hashtag—for example, #Webopedia—they will be able to find all profiles and public posts that have mentioned #Webopedia.

$: A stock market name can be used with the $. For example, tweeting $GOOG will create a clickable link in the tweet, similar to a hashtag.

Twitter $ stock market name

Twitter Abbreviations: A

ab/abt: Short for “about.” This chat abbreviation is frequently seen on Twitter.

adventuritter: Slang term used to describe a Twitterer who is adventurous.

attwaction: Slang term used to describe an attraction between two users.

attwicted: Slang term used to describe someone who is addicted to Twitter.

Twitter Abbreviations: B

b/c: Short for “because.”

B: Short for “be.”

b4: Short “before.”

beetweet: Slang term used to describe a “hot tweet.” Usually this is a popular, trending topic on Twitter, and many users will retweet a beetweet.

bemyguest, #BeMyGuest: A popular Twitter hashtag (#BeMyGuest) to let other Twitter users know you’d like to exchange guest blog posts.

BFN: An acronym for “Bye for now.”

bgd: A shortened form of “background” often used on Twitter.

Bird-of-mouth: Slang term that refers to the use of Twitter to circulate news and information.

BR: An acronym for “Best regards.”

BTW: An acronym for “By the way.”

bulltwit: Slang term to describe fake, false, or over embellished Tweets.

Twitter Abbreviations: C

celebrity syndrome: This Twitter phrase refers to a situation in which a non-celebrity mistakenly believes he or she is a celebrity. Users with celebrity syndrome will not follow a significant number of Twitter users.

chk: Short for “check.”

cld: Short for “could.”

clk: Short for “click.”

co-twitterer: Slang term used to describe a second person who tweets on a single Twitter account.

cre8: short for “create.”

cuttweet: Sometimes simply known as “CT,” this slang term refers to a retweet that is a shortened version of the original.

Twitter Abbreviations: D

da: Often used on Twitter, this is a shortened version of “the.”

daily twitamin: Twitter slang that means a tweet that contains useful knowledge that is easy to take in and remember. It is a “daily vitamin” for Twitterers.

deets: A shortened version of “details.”

detweet: Slang term used to describe a tweet made, then deleted.

direct message (DM): Short for direct message, it is the function of the Twitter service that enables you to send a private message (direct message) to a person you are following.

drive thru tweet: Refers to a tweet sent by an individual while he or she is at a restaurant drive-thru.

drive by tweet: This is a fast tweet posted by an individual while he or she is in between tasks.

drunktwittering: The act of posting on Twitter while intoxicated.

Dweet: Slang term used to describe a tweet that has been sent by a user who is drunk.

Twitter Abbreviations: E

eavestweeting: The act of eavesdropping on other Twitter conversations.

egotwistical: Slang term used to describe a user who talks about himself on Twitter. It is a combination of the words “egotistical” and “Twitter.”

EM/eml: Short for “email.”

EMA: An acronym for “Email address.”.

emergaTweet: Also known as “emergetweet,” it refers to a tweet sent out during an emergency when 911 is unavailable.

Twitter Abbreviations: F

F2F: An acronym for “Face to face.”

fab: Short for “fabulous.”

Fail Whale: An image of a whale held up by birds and nets. This image shows that Twitter has been overloaded or that a failure occurred within the service.

Follower / following: On Twitter, blogs, and other social media sites, a follower is someone who subscribes to receive your updates. On Twitter, “following” someone means you will see their messages in your own personal timeline. Twitter lets you see all the people you follow and also who is following you.

FollowFriday (FF, or #followfriday): A recommendation. It is used to call attention to a user’s favorite followers and people on Twitter. When you tweet a FF message, you are recommending that your followers also check out the people you mention in your post. When you send a FollowFriday message, you include #followfriday in your update so it can be searched for using that hash tag.

FOMO: An acronym for “Fear of missing out,” which is used when you feel like you are not going to be included in a social event.

friendapalooza: A slang term used to describe a situation in which a twitterer adds many friends within a short time period.

friendscraping: A slang term that refers to an individual adding all of a friend’s friends as his or her own.

FTL: An acronym for “For the loss.”

FTW: An acronym for “For the win.”

Twitter Abbreviations: H

HAND: An acronym for “Have a nice day.”

handle: A twitter handle is a username that is set up when a user first creates a Twitter account.

Hivemind: This is a term used to refer to the combined intelligence of all Twitter users.

HT: An acronym for “Hat tip.” A cultural expression of respect, recognition, gratitude, greeting, or simple salutation and acknowledgement done by removing one’s hat for a brief moment.

Twitter Abbreviations: I

IC: Short for “I see.”

ICYMI: An acronym for “In case you missed it.” The abbreviation may appear in a tweet that is a repost from the same person, just in case their followers missed it the first time it was tweeted.

IDK: An acronym for “I don’t know.”

IMO: An acronym for “In my opinion.”

intwituation/intwituated: Slang terms used to describe a situation in which someone is infatuated with another Twitter user.

Twitter Abbreviations: K

kk: Short for “okay.”

Twitter Abbreviations: M

Mention: Used to name another user within your tweet by using the @ symbol with the other user’s username.

microblog: A type of blog that lets users publish short text updates. Bloggers can usually use a number of services for the updates including instant messaging, email, or Twitter. The posts are called micro posts, while the act of using these services to update your blog is called microblogging.

microfunding: Using Twitter and other forms of microblogging to raise money for nonprofits and charity donations.

mistweet: Slang term used to describe a tweet that you later regret having sent.

MRT: An acronym for “Modified retweet (RT).”

MTF: An acronym for “More to follow.”

Twitter Abbreviations: N

neweeter: A slang term used to describe a new tweeter.

NTS: An acronym for “Note to self.”

Twitter Abbreviations: O

OH: An acronym for “Overheard.” This chat abbreviation is used on Twitter, often in place of RT (retweet) when the user does not want to provide the username of the follower they are quoting.

Twitter Abbreviations: P

PRT: An acronym for “Please retweet.” This is a notation added to the end of a Tweet. PRT shows the user is asking others to retweet their post.

Twitter Abbreviations: R

retweet: Abbreviated as RT, retweet is used on Twitter to show you are tweeting something that was posted by another user. The format is RT @username where username is the Twitter name of the person you are retweeting.

Twitter Abbreviations: S

selfie: Slang phrase used to describe a photo that is taken of oneself where the right or left arm is extended to capture the individual in the selfie.

SMH: An acronym for “Shaking my head,” which is typically used when someone does not agree with something or is disgusted or off-put by something.

social networking site: Abbreviated as SNS, a social networking site is the phrase used to describe any website that enables users to create public profiles within that website and form relationships with other users of the same website. Social networking sites can be used to describe community-based websites, online discussions forums, chat rooms and other social spaces online.

SP: short for “sponsored.” The user is indicating that they are being paid for the post or for clicks on the link contained in the post.

Subtweet: Tweeting behind someone’s back or about them without their knowledge. A subtweet can also be a general complaint directly at no one in particular.

Twitter Abbreviations: T

TBH: An acronym for “To be honest.”

TBT: An acronym for “Throwback Thursday,” usually following an old image as a reference to the past.

TFTF: An acronym for “Thanks for the follow.”

TMB: An acronym for“Tweet me back.”

trashtweeter: Refers to a twitterer who talks trash in his or her posts.

twabe (or twabes): Slang terms often used to refer to a young woman. Can also be used as a flattering term that has roughly the same meaning as dear or sweetheart.

twabstinence: A slang term used to describe someone’s decision to cut back on their Twitter time because it is preventing them from completing their work or other important daily tasks.

twabulous: A slang term used to describe a fabulous tweet.

twaffic: Slang term used to mean “Twitter traffic.”

twalking: Slang term used to describe someone who is walking while they tweet using a mobile device.

twart: A slang term meaning Twitter art.

twebay: Slang term used to describe selling (or promoting) an eBay item on Twitter.

Tweeple: Meaning Twitter people. It is used to refer to or describe Twitter users.

tweet: Describes a status update on Twitter that is broadcast to other users. Limited to 280 characters or less, tweets can express how users are feeling, what they’re doing, and anything in between.

tweetaholic: The term used to describe someone who has a problematic addiction to Twitter.

tweeter: Refers to a person who sends tweets on the Twitter service (same as Twitterer).

tweeterboxes: Slang term used to refer to Twitter users who “tweet excessively.”

tweetorial: Slang term used to describe tutoring or lecturing on or about Twitter. Some industry speakers use the term to describe a live event where a lecture on a Twitter topic is given (e.g., a seminar or event that teaches people how to use Twitter), while others use the term to describe giving a lecture on Twitter. Here the host speaker will use a designated hashtag so others can follow the lecture on Twitter.

tweetroduce: Slang term used to describe the situation in which a user introduces one follower to another.

tweetsult: Slang for an insult sent using Twitter.

twegal advice: Slang term for legal advice that is sent on twitter using 280 characters or less.

twerminology: A slang term meaning “Twitter terminology.”

twettiquette: Short for “Twitter etiquette.” It is a slang term used to describe acceptable Twitter behavior.

twewbie: Short for “Twitter newbie.” It is a slang term used to describe someone who is new to Twitter.

twinkedIn: Slang term used to describe someone who invites their Twitter friends to interact with them on LinkedIn.

twis: Slang term used to describe a ‘dis’ on a fellow Twitter user.

twishing: Twishing is a combination of the words “Twitter and phishing.” It is the act of sending a message to a Twitter user in an attempt to obtain his or her name and password. The message may instruct the recipient to visit a website where he or she is asked to log in. The site,, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information.

See “Beware of Twishing” for more information on Twishing.

twitosphere: An expression used to describe the “World of Twitter.”

twittcrastination: Slang term that refers to using Twitter as a form of procrastination.

twitterage: Slang term describing feelings of rage experienced as a result of a Twitter post.

Twitterapps: Short for Twitter applications. It is the phrase used to describe any application that integrates with the twitter service. May also be called Twitter tools or Twitter add-ons.

twitterati: Slang term that refers to “A-list” Twitter users.

twitterer: Refers to a person who sends tweets on the Twitter service.

twitterfly: A social butterfly on Twitter. A Twitterfly uses the @ sign in many messages, showing they have a lot of Twitter friends to talk with or mention in their updates.

twitter-ific: Short for “Twitter” and “terrific”. It is a slang term used to describe something terrific you find on Twitter.

twitterpated: Slang term describing the feeling one experiences when messages on Twitter become overwhelming.

twitterphoria: Slang term describing the feelings of elation one experiences when they add someone as a friend and the person adds them in return.

twittworking: Short for Twitter networking. It is a slang term used to describe Twitterers who use Twitter to network.

Twitter Abbreviations: U

U: Short for “you.”

Twitter Abbreviations: V

Verified account: Verified is the phrase Twitter uses for accounts for which it has certified the owner’s identity. The user is who they claim to be. Verified accounts are marked with a blue checkmark badge on their profile page. Many belong to celebrities, politicians, media personalities, and well-known businesses.

Twitter Abbreviations: W

woz: Slang for “was,” this term is frequently found on Twitter.

wtv: short for “whatever.”

Twitter Abbreviations: Y

ykyat: An acronym for “You know you’re addicted to.”

YOLO: An acronym for “You only live once,” which is used much like the saying carpe diem, implying that you should just enjoy life.

YOYO: An acronym for “You’re on your own.”

Twitter Abbreviations: Z

ztwitt: A slang term that means “to tweet extremely fast.”

Read Also: Webopedia’s Quick Reference definitions to more than 1,300 text and chat abbreviations


Our Big List of Twitter Apps, Tools, Widgets & Applications

  • AllMyTweets: A tool that allows users to view all of their tweets on one page and export them through Firefox.
  • Bitly: A URL shorten service to shrink tweet URLs to 20 characters, plus track and share URLs.
  • Buffer: A social media management platform that allows users to manage their various social media accounts in one place.
  • BuzzSumo: A tool that allows users to search for Twitter’s key influencers for specific subjects and the most shared content.
  • FollowerWonk: A tool for Twitter that provides analytics, follower segmentation, social graph tracking, compares users, and more.
  • Friend or Follow: A Twitter tool to find out whether people you following are following you back, and whether they are following the people following them. Interested twitterers simply need to enter their Twitter username at the site.
  • GeoChirp: A Twitter application that allows users to find other Twitter users who have similar interests in any specific geographical location.
  • GroupTweet: A Twitter tool that lets users send messages that can only be viewed by a selected group of Twitter friends.
  • Hootsuite: A social media management platform that is compatible with a variety of social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
  • PocketTweets: The name of a mobile web-based Twitter client for the iPhone. You can use it to see the latest tweets from your contacts or to update your status remotely as well as download other Twitter applications.
  • TinyURL: A tool that shrinks your URLs to 23 characters on Twitter or any online publishing space.
  • Tweetbot: A tool that gives you the ability to filter and customize your timeline.
  • TweetDeck: A tool for Twitter that includes real-time tracking, tweet managing, organizing, and engagement.
  • TwitLonger: A tool that allows users to submit tweets longer than the allowed 280 characters by automatically including a link that followers can click to continue reading the full message.

UPDATED: This article was updated on April 2021 by Abby Dykes 

 

 

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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