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Email Abbreviations & Lingo

2021 Note: This info is dated, but it has been left in place for anyone who might enjoy a throwback to early days of the internet. :)

People who use the Internet and email extensively have developed a vocabulary of abbreviations for commonly used phrases and even symbols for facial expressions. There is also "pseudo-formatting" of plain text: asterisks indicate *italic* or *bold text* (emphasis) and underscores suggest _underlined text_.

The following is a collection of email abbreviations that have been used by Continuum List subscribers.


CC or TCC -- The Continuum Concept. Also, CC used as an adjective might be thought of as "continuum-correct", i.e., in accord with the principles of The Continuum Concept.

AP -- attachment parenting (similar to CC parenting)

BTW -- by the way

dh/dw/dd/ds -- a reference to members of one's immediately family: dear husband, dear wife, dear daughter, dear son (etc.)

FYI -- for your information

e.g. -- "for example" (from the Latin exempli gratia)

i.e. -- "that is" or "in other words" (from the Latin id est)

IYKWIM -- if you know what I mean

KWIM? -- know what I mean?

IMO -- in my opinion

IMHO -- in my humble opinion

IMNSHO -- in my not-so-humble opinion

JL -- Jean Liedloff, author of The Continuum Concept

LCN -- the Liedloff Continuum Network

LLL -- La Leche League (international breastfeeding support organization)

LOL -- laugh out loud

TCC -- The Continuum Concept (see "CC" above)

TCS -- Taking Children Seriously, an organization that promotes a libertarian philosophy of parenting and education. [In the early 2000s, some members of the Continuum list were integrating TCS with TCC. See: Intro to TCS.]

:-) smiling
:-( frowning/sad
;-) winking/joking

-- grin, also and (very big wide grin)

Any facial expression or non-verbal sound may be spelled out and placed in angle brackets. Examples: ,

or [...] -- indicates that a quote has been edited or taken out of context.


a.k.a. -- also known as

AR -- anal-retentive (in the Freudian sense) or, more politely, absolutely rigid (perfectionistic)

BF -- breastfed or breastfeed

BTDT -- been there, done that

dks/dk's -- dear kids

FWIW -- for what it's worth

H/G -- hunter/gatherer

IRL -- in real life

ISTM -- it seems to me

JM2c -- just my two cents

MIL/FIL/SIL/BIL -- mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law.

MOL -- Mother OutLaw ;-)

MS -- mainstream

OTOH -- on the other hand

ROTFLOL -- rolling on the floor laughing out loud

SAH -- stay-at-home [mom/dad]

s.o. -- significant other

(sp?) -- "Spelling?" (indicates the previous word may be misspelled)

TANSTAAFL -- "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch."

TIA -- thanks in advance

TTYL -- talk to you later

TTFN -- "ta ta" for now (goodbye)

UC -- unassisted childbirth

WAH -- work-at-home [mom/dad]

WRT -- with regard to

YKHII -- you know how it is

YMMV -- your mileage may vary

:-D big smile :-P sticking tonue out :-O gasping

If you saw an abbreviation that is not listed above, please do not use the list to request an explanation; rather, directly ask the subscriber who used the abbreviation, or request help from the listowner.

Updated May, 2000