Decoding Email Lingo


(The Vancouver Sun, August 2001)

Q : Yesterday, I noticed an email printed out on my 13 year old daughter’s desk. It may as well have been written in another language. Is there a new email language I’m unaware of?

Signed Dazed and Confused, Vancouver

Teresa and Saleema: You are not alone in your confusion. In the days of nearly every child being more proficient at computer skills then their parents, it is easy to feel lost and outdated. We are constantly amazed watching girls aged 10 to 13 buzzing about at the end of our workshops exchanging not phone numbers like we used to do, but email addresses. Furthermore, there is an email lingo, based on abbreviations and symbols, understood by the online pros, that looks like a bizarre new language to the rest of us. With the help of a 13 year old wiz, known online as *pixie*, once again an enlightening new dictionary has been developed for those of us who are feeling a little confused. Sooo… if you think the initials JK stand for a character in a current soap opera (that was JR – as in who shot JR? – silly) you may want to clip this out and tape it next to the slang dictionary printed previously because this column is dedicated to you.

First off, capitols and punctuation, with the exception of !!!!!! marks, are rarely used – instant geek identifier. Just to be nice, punctuation has been added.
jk: just kidding. “ i sold her out…..jk!!!” (sold out means stood up)

btw: by the way. “btw, guess who was macking on her last night?” (macking – to flirt with)
nm: can be used for two meanings (btw: another geek identifier, never actually use the word ‘two’. Use instead the number symbol ‘2’. Much cooler) either not much, or never mind. “do you chat online often?” “nm”

lol: laughing out loud. “you’re so funny, I’m lol”
rotfl: rolling on the floor laughing. “oh stop, I’m rotfl”
lmao: laughing my a_ _ off. Swear words not allowed, so kidz (the cool way to write ‘kids’) write a$$. “no seriously, i was lmao.”

irl: in real life. “let’s meet irl” (a whole other column topic)
g2g: got to go. (see use of ‘2’ – very clever.) “more latta. g2g”
brb: be right back. “g2g but brb” (got it?)

plz: please. Can be emphasized according to how many z’s you use. “write back plz” or “can I borrow your black shirt. it’s sooo money. oh plzzzzzzz?”
1sec: one second. “1sec, my bro is driving me crazy.”
omg: oh my God. Also can be emphasized by the number of !!!!’s. “omg you should have heard them” or “omg!!!!! you would have lol”

y: why. “y?”
u: you. “u did what?!!!!”
bcnu: (bet u can get this one!!) be seeing you. “g2g, bcnu”
k: ok “let’s go to the limp bizkit concert k”

k, now for the real test. Try this one: “omg!!! u have 2 b there. plzzzzz!!!! it will b sooo money. we will rotfl.J g2g but brb.”