AMA & Stay in the Loop! - Common Acronym List Guide

Author: Sarah Perowne

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Time is precious, especially when we've got tons of things to do on a daily. So grab your coffee and come here to get the tea on all the common acronyms you need to know with the only acronym list you'll ever need. Whether you're running an SMB and need to widen your fan base with some popular texting types of abbrev., work on using acronyms in informal writing, or just need clarification about which government department you want to contact, we’ve got you covered.

First, what is an acronym?

Why are acronyms 3 Letters?

Why Acronyms Matter: The Power of Concise Communication

Acronyms can be a powerful tool for effective communication. But why? Well, they allow us to convey complex ideas, phrases, or long names in a concise and memorable form - especially in fields where speed and accuracy are crucial, like the emergency services and governmental organizations, which have been using acronyms for decades.

In fact, some of the earliest recorded examples of acronyms include the Greek word "ichthys," which was used as an abbreviation for "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior," and the Latin word "SPQR," which stood for "Senatus Populusque Romanus" (The Senate and People of Rome). Pretty cool, right? Now on socials, more and more people are embracing acronyms, and it's become a common way to communicate online.

With that in mind, let's dive in and answer your FAQs with this list of acronyms.

List of Acronyms & Intilisms

What does mia mean? Stop yourself from feeling like you’re missing in action with this list.

Business & Office

Want to understand your CTR or B2C sales? Or maybe you need to impress the CFO with your ROI figures.

  • CTR - click-through rate
  • B2C - business-to-consumer
  • B2B - business-to-business
  • SaaS - software as a service
  • R&D - research and development
  • UX/UI - user experience/user interface
  • CRM - customer relationship management
  • PPC - pay-per-click
  • SMB - small/medium business
  • KPI - Key Performance Indicator
  • BID - Business Intelligence and Data
  • CMO - Chief Marketing Officer
  • FIFO - First In, First Out (inventory management)
  • MoM - Month over Month
  • NWR - New Work Request
  • PM - Project Manager
  • POC - Proof of Concept
  • OOO - Out of Office
  • SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound (goal-setting framework)
  • SSM - social media marketing
  • VPN - Virtual Private Network
  • ToS - terms of service

Texting & Direct Message (DM)

Sending a txt to a friend or customer should be short, sweet, and concise; here are some you can use for online chats, JIC! (just in case)

  • SMH - shaking My Head
  • LOL - laugh out loud
  • BRB - be right back
  • DnD - do not disturb, Dungeons & Dragons, and Detail Notice of Discharge (health)
  • LMK - let me know
  • GTG - got to go
  • IRL - in real life
  • NVM - never mind
  • AFK - away from keyboard
  • DM - direct message
  • TY - thank you
  • WYD - what are you doing?
  • TTYL - talk to you later
  • IDK - I don't know
  • TMI - too much information
  • IMO - in my humble opinion
  • AMA - ask me anything
  • WBU - what about you
  • TBH - to be honest
  • TL;DR - too long; didn't Read
  • PM - private chat (not in public chat)
  • WTGP - want to go private? (speak out of public chat place)

Want to know what your favorite influencer means when they say BTS or GRWM? Look no further with this list.

  • BTS - behind the scenes
  • GRWM - get ready with me
  • IG - Instagram
  • FB - Facebook
  • YAS - Amazing
  • POV - point of view
  • GG - good game
  • RT - retweet
  • NSFW - not safe for work
  • BLM - Black Lives Amazing
  • TFW - that feeling when
  • JOMO - the joy of missing out
  • FOMO - fear of missing out
  • OOTD - outfit of the day
  • TBT - throwback Thursday
  • FTFY - fixed that for you
  • TW - Twitter
  • ASMR - autonomous sensory meridian response
  • NGL - not gonna lie
  • WIP - work in progress
  • POVchallenge - A popular hashtag used to participate in a trend where users act out different scenarios based on a specific POV

Think you've got it? Try this quiz.

What does dnd stand for in texting?

Choose the best answer from the choices below

Possible answers

Is KFC an acronym or initialism?

Choose the best answer from the choices below

Possible answers

What does MIA stand for?

Choose the best answer from the choices below

Possible answers

What does GRWM stand for?

Choose the best answer from the choices below

Possible answers

Government & Military Acronyms

Governments and the military have been using initialisms for decades. If you need to know what some of the most common military and government ones stand for, keep reading.


  • FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • DoD - Department of Defense
  • CIA - Central Intelligence Agency
  • NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • DEA - Drug Enforcement Administration
  • USMC - United States Marine Corps
  • IRS - Internal Revenue Service
  • DON - Department of the Navy
  • RNC - Republican National Committee
  • POW - Prisoner of War
  • REAP - Rural Energy for America Program
  • USAF - United States Air Force
  • CPS - Child Protective Services
  • CSI - Crime Scene Investigation
  • DHS - Department of Homeland Security
  • SCOTUS - Supreme Court of the United States
  • EU - European Union
  • HUD - Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

Government & Military Acronyms

It’s pretty difficult to keep up sometimes, so familiarize yourself with this list.

  • NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • SCUBA - Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus
  • RADAR - Radio Detection and Ranging
  • NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • SONAR - Sound Navigation and Ranging
  • LASER - Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation
  • SWAT - Special Weapons and Tactics
  • AWOL - Absent Without Leave
  • SEAL - Sea, Air, and Land
  • FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • AMA - American Medical Association
  • APA - American Psychological Association
  • UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • ZIP - Zone Improvement Plan code
  • IES - Institute of Education Services

Medical and Technical

Medical and technical organizations have used abbreviations for years because they are so concise in emergency situations.

Medical Acronyms

  • AIDS - Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • HIV - Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • CAT or CT - Computed Tomography
  • PET - Positron Emission Tomography
  • ECG or EKG - Electrocardiogram
  • EEG - Electroencephalogram
  • ICU - Intensive Care Unit
  • NICU - Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • CCU - Cardiac Care Unit
  • PICU - Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • ENT - Ear, Nose, and Throat
  • ICU - Intermediate Care Unit
  • OB/GYN - Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • PT - Physical Therapy
  • OT - Occupational Therapy
  • COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • ALS - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's Disease
  • IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • PACE - Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly


  • AI - Artificial Intelligence
  • IoT - Internet of Things
  • VR - Virtual Reality
  • AR - Augmented Reality
  • GPU - Graphics Processing Unit
  • CPU - Central Processing Unit
  • RAM - Random Access Memory
  • SSD - Solid State Drive
  • DNS - Domain Name System
  • FTP - File Transfer Protocol
  • HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol
  • HTTPS - Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure
  • HTML - Hypertext Markup Language
  • CSS - Cascading Style Sheets
  • JS - JavaScript
  • SQL - Structured Query Language
  • VPN - Virtual Private Network
  • WAN - Wide Area Network
  • LAN - Local Area Network
  • HTTPS - Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure

The Dos and Don'ts of Using Acronyms

Acronyms are a good way to put information out there, but they can confuse people if you use them incorrectly or in some formal situations. Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind.


  • Use acronyms when they are commonly known and understood by your audience.
  • Define it the first time you use it in a document, essay, or conversation.
  • Use them consistently throughout your document or conversation.
  • Consider your audience when using acronyms, and use them sparingly if you are unsure if they will understand them.
  • Avoid creating unnecessary or overly complex.
  • Keep in mind the MLA and APA style guides for using acronyms and abbreviations in essays and citations.


  • Use an acronym without defining it first.
  • Use acronyms that are specific to your organization or industry without explaining them.
  • Overuse acronyms to the point where they become confusing or distracting.
  • Use acronyms that have multiple meanings or are easily confused with other acronyms.
  • Use acronyms in professional documents or settings where they may not be appropriate or understood.

By following these dos and don'ts, you can use acronyms effectively and avoid confusion in your communication style, regardless of who you're writing for.

How to Learn and Remember Acronyms Effectively

Learning and remembering acronyms can be tricky, but with the right approach, it is possible to master them. Here are some tips.

Mnemonic devices

Mnemonic devices are memory aids that help you remember information. You can use a variety of mnemonic devices to remember acronyms, such as creating a sentence or phrase that uses the letters of the acronym.

Practice IKR?

Practice is key to remembering acronyms. Use them in conversation or writing, and make a conscious effort to use them as often as you can.

Visual Aids

Creating flashcards with the acronym on one side and the definition on the other is a great way to reinforce your learning; the same goes for diagrams and mind maps.


Got a question? See if we’ve answered it here.

What does dnd mean?

What does wth mean?

What is mia acronym?

Is KFC an acronym?

Which generation uses texting acronyms the most?