Internet Jargon Confuses Me – Dating Acronyms You May Not Know


When I was a teenager, instant messaging was up-and-coming. Nearly everyone I knew logged on every night to chat about had happened at school that day. Who had worn what? Who had done what? Who had sneaked out of her house that weekend?

So I’d always assumed that I was current on the lingo — that I would be on the cusp of whatever newspeak people were pounding out on their keyboards.

Then it happened: I realized that I was no longer in the know. My first realization occurred a few months ago when I noticed people typing “FTW.” At first, I was under the false impression that they were just typing WTF backward (I wasn’t sure what this accomplished). Maybe it indicated ultimate confusion or rebuttal? Maybe it was a powerful WTF? And then, finally, I broke down and asked someone. It means “For the Win.” Definitely not the same as WTF backward.

At this point, I began wondering what other terms people had thrown my way that I had misinterpreted. So I started a conversation with one of my high-school-age cousins on IM.

“Hi,” I said.

“Hi, wut iz ^ cuz?” she replied back. I was already confused at this point. Why so many unnecessary z’s? Why was she breaking out the carat key? No one was multiplying exponents.

“Nothing much. How are you?” I finally replied.

“good. CRAT,” she typed back. CRAT?? What did that mean? Attempting to look cool and not like a lame, unfamiliar with computer lingo cousin, I Googled a “translation” site where I would look up the jargon she was throwing my way. CRAT=Can’t Remember A Thing.

“Me either,” I replied.” Anything fun happening at school lately?” More lame questions on my part.

“My frnd is mad @ me bcuz she wanted to have D&M convo and I ddn’t.” She typed back.

I automatically looked up D&M, because quite frankly, it smelled like sexual connotation. However, I found out it really meant “Deep & Meaningful.” (Heh.) Yet another one I didn’t know.

Finally, I replied, “Oh, I understand. Sometimes D&M is tiring.”

After that I sort of gave up, tired of having to look up every acronym she threw my way. The way I see it is: I may have grown up while the Internet was a baby, but I’ll take full sentences over jargon any day of the week. They can have their Internetlingo. But to me, “BRB” is the closest I will ever get.

If you are new to the online dating scene be prepared for an influx of abbreviations, slang, winks, smiles, and all kinds of three character acronyms that are going to start coming your way.  Online dating and texting/chat sort of has a mini language of its own that you do need to pay attention to.  Why? Well, you may think you know the type of person you are chatting with and what they are looking for, but you could be wrong.  So here’s a quick cheat-sheet with 80 fairly common (but not overly obvious) online dating acronyms.

  1. AML – Not just a part but you are lucky enough to be receiving All My Love.
  2. BiF– No, not a sound effect from the original batman series, it is a Bisexual Female.  The person is just letting you know their sexual preference.
  3. BiM– You guess it, it’s a Bisexual Male.  With a help of this abbreviation this person is just letting you know they are interested regardless of your gender.
  4. BiMF– A little more of a brain teaser this one is Bisexual Married Female.  This wife is ready for just about anything, but note that you are either way the other person in the marriage (or one of them).
  5. BiMM– Of course, a Bisexual Married Male (ditto the BiMF).
  6. BDSM– A little more on the naughty side this one is for Bondage/Domination/Submission/Masochism.  Be prepared for some wild and intimate encounters if this comes up in a conversation.
  7. BBW– This is short abbreviation for Big Beautiful Woman.  If you like a fuller figure woman then pay attention for this in her profile.
  8. BHM– Okay this means Big Handsome Man.  So this one is more of an enigma big could mean tall or it could mean he is packing a lot of extra pounds.  In either event, it’s most likely an honest person.
  9. CD– This is not something that you listen to in your car radio or computer, this is a Cross Dresser.  Be prepared to share your clothes!
  10. CPL– This person is not a certified professional, in fact it isn’t one person it is a Couple.
  11. DBF – You might think this is an old database file (nerd alert), nope it is a Divorced Black Female.
  12. DBM – This is not double mint anything, it is a Divorced Black Male.
  13. DDF – This is something you hope that EVERYONE is Drug and Disease Free.
  14. DINK – This isn’t someone small or dinky.  This stands for Double Income No Kids.
  15. Dom – This is a type A, bonafide Dominant
  16. Domme – This is not a reference to Jean Claude, rather it is an honest and interesting type A Dominant
  17. D/s– This abbreviation again relates to generally sexual activities and stands for Domination/Submission.
  18. DWF – No, not the airport in Dallas this is a Divorced White Female.
  19. DWM – I’ll bet you can guess now that this is a Divorced White Male.
  20. F/T– This abbreviation fairly universally known as being an abbreviation for Full Time(meaning not part time and usually looking to commit).  They are no part-time lovers (sorry Stevie…).
  21. F2F – Also pretty obvious but they are looking for a Face To Face
  22. GSOH – No, they didn’t mis-spell gosh, this is a person with a Good Sense Of Humor.
  23. GBF – This doesn’t have anything to do with Great Britain, but it is a Gay Black Female.
  24. GBM – This is a Gay Black Male.
  25. GWF – Not to be left out, this is a Gay White Female.
  26. GWM – If you see this in a profile this is Gay White Male.
  27. ICQ – Well this person wants to use I seek you – chat software.
  28. IMHO – Not just in my opinion but In My HUMBLE Opinion.
  29. ISO – This is not an industry standard for quality control but someone that is In Search Ofsomeone or some thing.
  30. IRL – This is not someone from Ireland, but they telling you about something Inthe Real Life.
  31. ILU – Well they can’t type a heart with one stroke so they are saying I Love You.  So this is getting serious…
  32. LOL – This person thinks you are so funny they are Laughing Out Loud!
  33. LTR – This is not a person that wants to write a letter they are looking for a Long Term Relationshipso be ready.
  34. LFG – This abbreviation is not laughing gas but someone that is Looking forGroup.
  35. LDS – No, not LSD this is a member of the church of Latter-day Saints.
  36. LDR – Not the leader of the pack, this person is looking or okay with a Long Distance Relationship.
  37. LGBT– This is generally used to refer to an organization or group of people and it stands for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender.
  38. M4M – This is basically a gay guy that is saying Men For Men.
  39. M4W – This is generally heterosexual as it is Men For Women.
  40. MBA –This is not a business school graduate, but someone that is Married But Available.
  41. MBF – This is a Married Black Female.
  42. MBM – Not MGM the move studio, this is a Married Black Male.
  43. MJF– Actually not related at all to MJ (Michael Jordan), this is a Married Jewish Female.
  44. MJM– Likewise this is a Married Jewish Male.
  45. MM – Not the chocolate covered candy that melts in your mouth but not in your hands, this refers to Married Men.
  46. MWC– Awwww… This person is Married With Children.  Relax, they could just be looking for a friend, besides you can’t be interested in online dating and be judgmental.
  47. MWF – This is a Married White Female.  Again, don’t assume they are looking for an affair or sex unless they say so.
  48. MWM – This is a Married White Male(ditto MWF).
  49. NSA – This is not the National Security Agency looking for spies, etc.  This just means No Strings Attached (no commitments necessary or desired).
  50. PF – This is simply a Professional Female (not that kind of pro… mind out of the gutter please).
  51. PM – This acronym does not always mean in the afternoon, evening, or night this can be a Professional Male.
  52. P/T – Well this just means Part-Timeof course (not F/T).
  53. PUA – PUA is short for pick-up artistry.
  54. RPG – Well if you are an online gamer, you know this means Role Playing Games.
  55. RL – An abbreviation similar to IRL, this just means Real Life.
  56. SAF – Not SAP from a tree this is a Single Asian Female.
  57. SAM – This person’s name is not necessarily SAM, he could be a Single Asian Male.
  58. SALT –They are not looking for condiments (salt and pepper).  They are instead Single And Loving IT!
  59. SBF – These start to get predictable but this is important as this is a Single Black Female (more singles to follow).
  60. SBM – This is accordingly a Single Black Male.
  61. SCF –This isn’t something from ScarFace, this is a Single Christian Female.
  62. SCM – This is not source code management, but a Single Christian Male.
  63. SHF – Buenos dias, this is a Single Hispanic Female.
  64. SHM – We can’t leave out the Single Hispanic Male.
  65. SINK – Well you can’t just say you are single, if you have a Single Income No Kids.
  66. SJF – Shalom, this is a Single Jewish Female.
  67. SJM – We have to pay our respects as well to any Single Jewish Male.
  68. SM – This is not a small shirt size, but another type of sexual encounter that is just Sadmism/Masochism (also S&M).
  69. SOH – They are not trying to be indifferent they are looking for a Sense Of Humor.
  70. Sub – This is not an underwater ship (nor a $5 foot long) but someone that is
  71. SWF– You might know this from the movie with the same name this is a Single White Female.
  72. SWM – A less well known species called the Single White Male.
  73. SO – Pay close attention to whether this is capitalized like this and then it means Significant Other.
  74. SWALK– This one is a bit long for text messages/abbreviations and it means Sealed With A Loving Kiss.
  75. TV – This is not only the box you like to relax and watch at night this could also be referencing a Transvestite.
  76. TS – This generally will be referring to a Transsexual.
  77. W4M – This stands for Women for Men.
  78. W4W –You had to know that Women for Women was coming.
  79. W/E –This does not always mean the weekend this could also mean that the person is Well Endowed.
  80. WLTM –This pleasant word means that some person Would Like To Meet 
  81. XOXO – Just like a letter from Grandma this means Hugs and Kisses.

There are many more acronyms, but you generally can begin to understand them fairly easily if you have the right mindset.  Basically, by learning these and a few others you will begin to get a natural feel for these abbreviations and of course, you can always ask for clarification (???) or IDK (I don’t Know) and XXX (the acronym you don’t know).  If an acronym is being used, you need to think about it and make sure you know it otherwise you could end up with a big surprise down the road.


  1. Haha, actually, I’ve started to really dislike “Chat speak” and whatnot. I’ve gotten more into the habit of actually typing everything out. I think that when you use the “chat speak,” you sound a lot less intelligent. ;P

    Besides, I’m gonna go ahead and think that “chat speak” won’t work well if you put it into a thesis for school without even realizing it. ;P