STFU or SMH? Check out the most Googled text abbreviations and acronyms

midian182

Posts: 7,306   +65
Staff member
TL;DR: Did you know that FTW actually means For The Win and not F**k The World? Or that Bae is, arguably, an acronym for Before Anyone Else? The digital world is full of this sort of text, and not releasing what something means can lead to awkward situations. To illustrate just how confusing it can be, someone has put together a list of the most Googled text abbreviations globally that might make you LOL in despair.

The report was put together by UK phone-case seller Case24.com/uk (via PCMag). It used analytical tool Ahrefs to compile a list of the top 35 most-Googled acronyms and abbreviations across the world as of October 2021.

 

Sitting in the top position with almost one million searches is SMH. That’s not too surprising as many people argue over whether this means So Much Hate or Shaking/Shake My Head. SMH does actually mean Shake/Shaking My Head, a term that goes back to 2014. More than one person thought it meant Shut My Hole, which was hopefully an expression of surprise that referred to their mouth and not a different orifice.

It’s surprising to see LMAO and LOL in second and fourth place, respectively. The acronym for Laugh Out Loud can be traced back to the 1980s and was used extensively during the nineties when mobile phones, many of which had data plans with a set number of texts, started to explode in popularity. It even entered the Oxford English dictionary in 2011. Interestingly, LOL was first used as an initialism in the 1960s for Little Old Lady—LMAO!

GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) is another term that’s become very common in recent years, while it feels like AFK (Away From Keyboard) and BRB (Be Right Back) have been around for decades. This writer remembers using both in internet chat rooms of the 1990s. It’s also unusual to see words not associated with online activities, like DIY and AKA, make the list.

Personally, the only entries on the list I didn’t know were OOTD (Outfit Of The Day) and NGL (Not Gonna Lie), which may be a reflection of my age.

With an ever-increasing amount of the world’s population spending more time online, communication apps becoming the primary way of communicating, and more people working remotely, expect this list to look quite different ten years from now. New acronyms are finding their way into everyday use all the time, so the next LOL could be just around the corner, IMO.

Permalink to story.

 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,689   +6,470
I curious as to why someone who doesn't even go near a computer would have to google "AKA" a synonym for "alias", and "ASAP" (as soon as possible). I thought the latter was "in the public domain", for decades.

Ford has hijacked "GOAT", for the new, old ,"Bronco". It now means "Goes Over All Terrain". It could also be, "Goes Over Any Terrain". I'm not exactly sure, since I mute their commercials, ASAP.

They missed my "GOAT", which is, "DILLIGAF". ::eek: ;) :rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

EEatGDL

Posts: 766   +491
I curious as to why someone who doesn't even go near a computer would have to google "AKA" a synonym for "alias", and "ASAP" (as soon as possible). I thought the latter was "in the public domain", for decades.
Agree.
One curious thing: even knowing the meaning of ASAP, I always felt it like "now", "top priority", "put everything else on hold". I used to get a little stressed when someone at work used that acronym; turns out I was turning in deliverables way sooner than expected.
 

ziffel66

Posts: 136   +229
I curious as to why someone who doesn't even go near a computer would have to google "AKA" a synonym for "alias", and "ASAP" (as soon as possible). I thought the latter was "in the public domain", for decades.

because not everyone is a native English speaker.

Ford has hijacked "GOAT"

No, they really, really have not. Just because you saw a commercial doesn't mean the internet changed a definition. I've never seen GOAT used for anything except 'greatest of all time'
 

johnehoffman

Posts: 45   +65
We've come full circle.

Acronyms were widely used in the days of the telegraph to keep message costs down. The need for acronyms was eliminated when the telephone was adopted. Acronyms were used again in emails, but not widely since it was fast and easy to type on a typewriter-like keyboard.

We are back to using acronyms again because typing on a tiny cellphone keyboard is more difficult than speaking on a phone or typing on a full-size keyboard--difficult enough that people feel a need to short-circuit part of the process by shortening the messages.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,689   +6,470
Did you know that FTW actually means For The Win and not F**k The World? Or that Bae is, arguably, an acronym for Before Anyone Else?
Well, I own an EVGA "GTX-1050 ti FTW" edition. I was sort of hoping the "FTW" stood for "f**k the world", but alas, it does not.

FWIW, (For What It's Worth), I try nor to use more than a few of the most commonly accepted acronyms. Sic: IMO, IMHO, AFAIK, BTW, and IIRC

The rest of the time, I try to converse in standard American English. One aspect of which, is to capitalize all the letters of an acronym. I find many people seem to have forgotten what is the purpose of the "shift key"., In example, ("IE"), "nasa", is not how "NASA" is spelled.

As I have previously thought, most of these "clever contractions" had been thought up by teenaged cellphone addicts, in order to obscure the actual content of the messages from their parents

So either congratulations to Google for exposing these acronyms, or "a pox upon them", depending on your POV,, from a demographic and social`standpoint..
 
Last edited:

captaincranky

Posts: 17,689   +6,470
No, they really, really have not. Just because you saw a commercial doesn't mean the internet changed a definition. I've never seen GOAT used for anything except 'greatest of all time'
Then either I watch too much TV (television), or you watch too little.

AFAIK, Ford is advertising the Bronco reissue as, "built for America". (I usually mute TV commercials, ASAP)...

However, should the truck be marketed in your native tongue, perhaps the words won't match up, and you can be right.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,689   +6,470
FWIW, the Pontiac GTO was sometimes referred to as "The Goat."
Yes, they were. Although sadly, in comparison with the performance of Mopar products of the same era> they should have bee nicknamed "slugs".

Funny GTO story. A friend of mine had a brand new '64, 389 trips? 4 speed. white interior and the prettiest greenish/bluish metallic color.

Anyway, he was in a local supermarket parking lot, trying to pick up girls Not clear about the actual event, (in reverse or just drifted back), but he hit a light pole with it, and the rear bumper was practically bent in a "V". He said it didn't go well with the girls after that.
 
Last edited: