What are some of the common chat items?

I want to understand what people who are more familiar with other chat clients are trying to say to me.


1 Answer 1



  • -.- - could be sarcastic, can mean fail or express disbelief
  • o/, \o - Waving either hello or goodbye
  • \o/ - excitement, exclaiming "yay!" (both hands in the air)
  • /me - it's like "insert my name here"
  • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ - Shrug, I don't know
  • ;P - Almost anything with a ; on the front indicates winking
  • :P - Almost anything with a P on the end indicates a "tongue out"...most often expressing humor, sarcasm, or jest.
  • O_o, o.O, and similar - Can be used to express shock or surprise or just "Really?"
  • :o, :O - surprised look, amazement (open mouth/jaw dropped)
  • ^^ this, --^, and ^--, and sometimes ^ - point to the post directly above. By itself, it indicates agreement with that post.
  • ^^ - Can also mean a smug smiley face, like pikachu! (^-^)
  • >:) - Evil grin
  • :/ - Skeptical, or dissatisfied
  • :( (and variants) - Sad
  • @_@ - Hypnotized/dazed
  • >< or >_< - Frustrated
  • >_> or <_< - Sideways glare
  • :| - Neutral
  • ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) - "I want to troll teh Forumz!"
  • ಠ_ಠ - The "Look of Disapproval", usually used to show disapproval with something that was said in chat.

Ask Ubuntu/Stack Exchange network specific terms:

  • AU - Ask Ubuntu
  • Closegoat - Close vote. A joking term used by some community members to indicate vote to close. More generally in odd words involving vote, substitute boat or goat.
  • CW refers to Community Wiki. Possible usage may include, "I am working on a CW" or "Make that a CW". Also used as an adjective: "a CW answer." And occasionally as a verb: "I CW'd it."
  • DV - Downvote, or possibly Delete vote.
  • EoL - End of Life, referring to a release of Ubuntu that is no longer supported
  • MSE Meta Stack Exchange
  • NAA - not an answer (sometimes seen as NaA)
  • OP - Original Poster (the person who asked a question) or Original Post (the original question itself)
  • OT - Off Topic, refers to a question not within the scope of the site.
  • POB - Primarily Opinion Based, a reason why questions may be closed
  • Starbait or Star Bait - indicative of a post that has either received a ton of stars in the chat, or is a post made for the sole purpose of getting starred by the community.
  • star wall - The "starred posts" section of the chat room page when viewed in a web browser.
  • VLQ - Very Low Quality, a flag that is supposed to be rarely used, for un-salvageable posts
  • VTC is an acronym for Vote to Close. This refers to the task of voting to close a question.
  • VTD - Vote to Delete
  • VTR - Vote to Resolve. This means to upvote an answer (usually to an old question) so that the question no longer appears on the list of unanswered questions. Of course, this should only be done if the answer has value. Sometimes good answers have simply been neglected. This term may also be applicable when requesting upvotes for a CW answer posted after OP or someone else has answered in a comment that was not later posted as an answer.

Other terms (capitalisation may or may not be used):

  • ASAP - As Soon As Possible
  • ASAHP - As Soon As Humanly Possible (Slightly less urgent then ASAP)
  • afk - away from keyboard
  • afaik - as far as I know
  • BBL - Be back later
  • BBT - Be back tomorrow
  • btw - by the way
  • CUL8R - See you later
  • cya - see you around
  • /dev/null - black hole, to put things in
  • ftl - for the lost (but please do not use "ftl" to be mean to people)
  • FTR - for the record
  • ftw - for the win
  • FWIW - For what it's worth
  • FYA - For Your Action
  • FYI - For Your Information
  • gp - Good point
  • gtg (or g2g) - got to go
  • IANAL - I am not a lawyer (normally followed by "but...")
  • iirc - If I recall (or remember) correctly.
  • IMO - in my opinion
  • IMHO - in my humble opinion ("humble" is sometimes sarcastic). Could also be "In my honest opinion" (and not sarcastic at all).
  • IMNSHO - In my not so humble opinion
  • IKR - I know, right! (expressing agreement)
  • IYKWIM - If you know what I mean
  • IYKWIMAITYD - If you know what I mean, and I think you do...
  • HTH Hope This Helps
  • jk - Just Kidding
  • kk - OK, okay cool
  • lol - laughing out loud
  • np - No Problem
  • NRN - No Reply Necessary
  • OMG - Oh My Gawd (or insert your preference of 'G' word)
  • omw - On my way OR Oh my word
  • ROI - Return on investment
  • rofl or rotfl - rolling on the floor laughing
  • RTFM - "Read the ******* manual!"
  • RTFFAQ - "Read the ******* FAQ!"
  • smh - Shaking my head
  • TANSTAAFL - There aint no such thing as a free lunch
  • tbh - To be honest
  • TIL - Today I Learned
  • TFIF - Thank Fuck it's Friday (for the atheists)
  • TGIF - Thank God it's Friday (for the religiously inclined)
  • TL;DR - Too long; didn't read. Points out that a text (e.g. a post) is long and the person didn't read it all before giving up. This acronym is often used to highlight a short summary of a long post (meaning something like, for those who just want the gist of that, here's the short version).
  • TTYL - Talk To You Later
  • WIP - Work In Progress
  • YMMV - Your mileage may vary (you might get different results, depending on your situation)
  • YMMVAPD - Your mileage may vary and probably does
  • 15
    Hehe, you forgot ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°), which means "I feel like spamming the chat today". Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 17:52
  • 1
    suggest edit: RTFM and RTFFAQ :¬p
    – geezanansa
    Commented May 24, 2013 at 16:59
  • 2
    :| = neutral face, often misunderstood for some reason, guess it's not that popular
    – Thomas
    Commented Jul 6, 2013 at 12:35
  • 3
    I am now using this for the entire internet.
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 19:33
  • 3
    A more comprehensive set of Stack Exchange specific terms is available on the SE Meta: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/40353/…
    – muru
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 23:38
  • Maybe that should be top-edited in to the answer. It's just an attempt to be helpful, it's not a snark contest. See? It was that easy... Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 23:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .