I’m LOLing right now because my BFF just shot me an IM about this new hist rom BIMBAW she’s diggin’ on.  He’s a total EMD, and that doesn’t even begin to touch on the fact that he’s wicked hawt UATW.

Oh. Did I lose you there? That most likely means two things.   First, you’re new to hanging online and haven’t had anyone introduce you to the maddening collection of abbreviations and acronyms that pass for communication on social media forums.  And second, I’m a pretty poor blog hostess.  Because I’m assuming you’re all caught up on soc-med speak, and maybe even putting you off because I’m using some “insider” terms.


There’s no need to feel embarrassed, even though some folks act like they were sprung from the womb posting and tweeting – in the same way they’d have you believe they always knew marquess has a qweh sound in the middle, and that viscount rhymes with WHY Count?.

When I was dragged kicking/screaming into blogging by my Internet-guy husband back in ’06, folks were commenting at my posts, using statements like, “I’m ROTFLMAO!” or “That heroine is just TSTL!” 


And I was, like, “Huh?”

Yet because generosity was a hallmark of interaction at romance blogs long before Web 2.0, I was fortunate that a member of my RomanceBuyTheBook.com community, author Monica Burns, felt my pain and shared with me a list of acronyms and abbreviations.

I had so much fun learning that ROTFLMAO meant “Rolling on the Floor, Laughing My Arse Off,” and that a heroine who keeps stepping into dangerous situations no matter how many blatant warning signals flash in front of her is “Too Stupid To Live,” that I started – and encouraged my RBTB community members -- to come up with new ones that relate to romance.

Hence, a BIMBAW became the ubiquitous hero who is a Big Man, Big in All Ways; the EMD, an English Major’s Dream (think historical heroes Mr. Darcy or Aragon); and our favorite form of love-scene consummation, UATW, or, um, well, Up Against the Wall, and its glorious, myriad variations like UATEscritoire, UATRefridgerator, etc.  Another fave is the FITH or Fox In The Hen house, a male author or editor in the romance industry.


FWIW (for what it’s worth), back in the first paragraph, I was Laughing Out Loud at my Best Friend Forever’s Instant Message about a hawt hero (h = hero/hn = heroine).  What are some of your favorite social-media speak abbreviations/acronyms? Which ones do you need help translating? Do you have some favorite romance-specific abbreviations to share?

Image: Transl8it! Dxnre and Glosre :Yor Complet Guide to Online Chat and SMS Lingo

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎12-28-2009 06:48 PM

My kids spoke this language long before I did, and since they email me a lot, I had to learn fast or float in clouds of cluelessness. It's not just internet language, it's language in general -- it evolves so quickly, a person of my age could easily get left behind. I make a point of keeping up any way I can, and a surprising number of books address this in different ways.


Also, as Michelle knows, I have an annoying fondness for cliches, and sometimes get carried away. I love to read about odd phrases, word origins, etc., and especially about slang and euphemistic words.


I'm bad at inserting links, but in addition to the book Michelle (correctly) linked to, I've found these very educational:


URBAN DICTIONARY: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Urban-Dictionary/Aaron-Peckham/e/9780740751431/?itm=1&USRI=urban+di...


MO' URBAN DICTIONARY: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Mo-Urban-Dictionary/Aaron-Peckham/e/9780740768750/?pwb=1&


THE BIG BOOK OF TALKING DIRTY: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Big-Book-of-Talking-Dirty/Jonathon-Green/e/9780304368228/?pwb=1...


SLANG AND EUPHEMISM: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Slang-and-Euphemism/Richard-A-Spears/e/9780451203717/?pwb=1&


DIRTY FRENCH: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Dirty-French/Adrien-Clautrier/e/9781569756584/?itm=3&USRI=swear+wor...


VERY NICE WAYS TO SAY VERY BAD THINGS: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Very-Nice-Ways-to-Say-Very-Bad-Things/Linda-Berdoll/e/9781402208850...





A MAN ABOUT A DOG: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/A-Man-About-a-Dog/Nigel-Rees/e/9780007240975/?itm=7&USRI=euphemisms


UGLIER THAN A MONKEY'S ARMPIT: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Uglier-Than-a-Monkeys-Armpit/Stephen-Dodson/e/9780399535062/?itm=8&...


CLICHES: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Clich-s/Betty-M-Kirkpatrick/e/9780312198442/?itm=2&USRI=cliches


IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, AND OTHER IRRITATING MODERN CLICHES: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Its-Not-Rocket-Science/Clive-Whichelow/e/9780749951597/?itm=6&USRI=...



by Author MonicaBurns on ‎12-28-2009 10:07 PM

I'm honored that you remembered it was me who intro'd you to net lingo. FWIW, IMHO I think you TRTH (totally rawk the house).


I think my fav romance acroynm is UATWM  (up against the wall moments). I think that's a little like a foot popping kiss (sorry just finished watching the divine Chris Pine in Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement). It was a semi-HEA, when I wanted the full monty, but maybe they'll do a Royal Wedding!!


Hugs, Mon



by 1lovealways on ‎12-29-2009 02:58 AM

Hi Everyone!


Gee Michelle, I had a time just reading the title of this article!  I had to slow it down in my head to figure it out!  You just don't know how long it took me to find out what HEA meant!  I was so flustered, not to mention dumbfounded.  Everytime I'd see that, I'd wonder what it meant, so I did a search and the answer came up.  I was so glad!  I kept thinking I wasn't going to make it on these boards with these acronyms that I'd never heard of. 


I figured out some on my own.  Anything I don't know, I  just go to this slang website, which I've put on my favorites list and look it up.  That has helped me so much!  I'll admit some of it is way over my head, but you learn to get with the program or be left behind in the dust.  Also, I have tons of young cousins, who'd help me out in a heartbeat.  That's a good thing, because if I didn't have that slang website or couldn't figure them out on my own, I'd be up the creek without the proverbial paddle.


Some of my favorites are ITA, POV, ROTFLMAO, IMHO, BTW and of course HEA.  TLC is an old one, so I knew that one.  And that's about the only one I knew.  I'm a little better now than before.  Thank goodness, cause I could see myself going down in flames!  :smileyhappy:

by Lisa_Kroener on ‎12-29-2009 03:57 AM

When I first intorduced myself to the English-speaking romance online world I had a very, very hard time. I didn't even know German abbreviations (and still don't since I really visit German sites where they're used), so how could anyone think I knew English ones? I learned things like LOL, ROFL, ASAP, btw, and atm at TGB mostly, but most romance related things I was taught at RBTB and here. Even things like HEA or h/h which I use a lot. UATW is my favourite (hmmm, can you immagine why?) but I don't use it a lot - when do you have a chance to write about that? I never got used to w/ and w/out, though, don't know why. I don't have problems with others using it but I just like not shortening it.



by MalePerspectiveGuy on ‎12-29-2009 09:36 AM

My favorite is the simple "BTW" (by the way).  I find I use that one a lot without concern that the reader won't understand it.  The other ones are the ones where no explanation is necessary...U for you, 2 for to, things like that.  I try to keep it simple with this stuff, clearly.



by Moderator dhaupt on ‎12-29-2009 10:08 AM

I'm just a toddler still learning her way in the world of e-speak. It's a slow process but I learn more each day.

My favorite is HEA which should say something about where my heart is.


by amyskf on ‎12-29-2009 01:32 PM

My youngest gives me pop quizzes on this very subject -- but, you're right Becke, it changes and grows constantly. What I like, is I usually don't feel stupid asking what's meant, especially here and at RBTB (Romance:B(u)y the Book) nor should anyone else.


My fave is and always will be UATW. Sigh...however I do enjoy a good ROTFLMAO too.

by Author MonicaBurns on ‎12-29-2009 04:34 PM

My fave is and always will be UATW. Sigh...however I do enjoy a good ROTFLMAO too.


Ames, I love UATW!  And once in a while that wonderful WTF?? allows you to cuss without being completely and totally crude. *grin*

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎12-29-2009 05:50 PM

My daughter jokingly says "Oh Em Gee" sometimes but both kids are quick to let me know what is allowed for them to say and what brings raised eyebrows when I say it!

by Author MonicaBurns on ‎12-29-2009 08:23 PM



Oh Em Gee must be the DH's favorite acroynm at the moment. LOL

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎12-30-2009 12:43 AM

I keep thinking of Sleepless in Seattle -- the scene where the precocious little girl is talking in initials. Can't remember WHAT initials, but I know there were initials . . .

by on ‎12-30-2009 05:24 PM

Me I tend to skip them for the most part. I'll use Ect, Ergo, IE, P.S., Mr., Mrs., Ms, and BTW. But there's in my mind is just too many words with the same letters for most of them.


I rather go (chuckle) or (fall on my butt cause I'm laughing too hard) than LOL. World's too lush and descriptive to turn it into a bunch of abrieviations.

by LindaEducation on ‎01-11-2010 03:01 AM

When I first got on the internet - and AOL - in 2000, my older middle aged sister taught me some of the lingo I would need.  When I first entered a chat room for the first time I learned "AFK' away from keyboard.  Those were the good old days and many of the people I met in those chatrooms almost 10 years ago are still my friends and we still commiunicate weekly. 


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