Common Emoji Meanings & Text Abbreviations

Since their invention, emoji meanings in text messages have continued to evolve. The use of emojis varies between individuals—some people rarely add emojis to their texts while others use them like modern hieroglyphics! In either case, we'll cover the most common text slang, abbreviations, and popular emojis to help you better decipher the meaning of your text messages. Let's get started!

Related: How to Find & Use the Emoji Keyboard on an iPhone & iPad

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Common Texting Acronyms

These texting acronyms first became popular with the flip-phone keyboards requiring you to punch a button multiple times to select a single letter. While acronyms are less of a time-saver with current iPhone keyboards, the abbreviations below are still widely used. To learn more handy tips and shortcuts on your iPhone, consider signing up for our free Tip of the Day. For now, read on to learn the meaning of popular text message acronyms. 

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What does aka stand for?  Also known as. 

This is used when someone or something has another name. 
What does brb mean?  Be right back.
What does btw mean?  By the way.
What is the ftfy acronym? Fixed that for you.

Often used on social media to make fun or jokingly correct the grammar or opinions of another person.
What does hmu mean in text messages? Hit me up. 

It's a quick way to tell someone to contact you and set up a meeting in the future. 
What does idk mean in texting? I dont know.
What is the iirc acronym? If I remember correctly, If I recall correctly. 
What does ily mean in text messages? I love you.
What is lmk meaning in text messages? Let me know. 
What is lol meaning in texts? Laugh out loud.
What does nsfw mean? Not safe for work. 

Typically denotes inappropriate content.
What does nvm mean in text messages? Never mind.
What does omg mean?  Oh my gosh!
What does stfu mean in texts? Shut the f*ck up.
What does tbh mean in text? To be honest. 
What does thx mean? Thanks!
What is ttyl meaning in text messages? Talk to you later. 
What is rn meaning in text messages? Right now.
What is rofl meaning in texts? Rolling on the floor laughing.
What does wtf mean? What the f*ck.
What does <3 mean in texting? This has mostly been replaced by emojis, but when used, represents a heart and expresses love or affection.
What does :3 mean in texting?  This has mostly been replaced by emojis, but typically represents a coy smile when someone says something cute.

Popular iPhone Emoji Meanings

Emoji definitions can sometimes be tricky to pin down! Sometimes, friends will use an emoji meaning in a specific way, as an inside joke known only to them. And many emojis often have multiple meanings, such as the side eye emoji, which is used to express everything from suspicion to attraction to another person. Your iPhone has several thousand emoji options, so instead of going through each, we've included the most popular (and often confused) emoji meanings. 

What does the side eye emoji mean?    Often used to express feelings of skepticism and irony, it can also be used when considering an idea or in a flirty manner when another person finds you attractive.
What does heart eyes emoji mean?  This emoji is used to express feelings of adoration for another person, thing, or idea.
What does the two hands emoji mean? This thank you emoji can either represent praying or simply expressing gratitude to another person.
What does the slightly frowning face mean?  This emoji is usually used to represent confusion or mild disappointment. 
What does the emoji with pointing hand mean? Called the thinking face emoji, this icon is used when considering an idea.
What does each heart emoji mean?  The red heart represents true or romantic love, while the others are often used for friends and family. The black heart can represent sadness or grief.
What does the jellyfish emoji mean? Commonly mistaken for a jellyfish, this emoji is a wind chime used to represent a feeling of calmness or zen.
What is the monkey covering eyes emoji meaning? Most often used as a joking way to express embarrassment or feelings of shyness.
What does the peach emoji mean?  Most often used to represent a butt. 
What does the eggplant emoji mean? Typically used to represent a penis. 

Now that you've mastered some common internet lingo, learn how to make a meme next!

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Author Details

Ashleigh Page's picture

Author Details

Ashleigh Page

Ashleigh Page is an Associate Editor for iPhone Life. A longtime Apple enthusiast with a Bachelor's in English and Computer Science and three years of experience writing about tech, Ashleigh has written and tested hundreds of articles about devices and features within Apple's ecosystem. She specializes in iPhone, iPad, AirPods, and Mac content and has authored a 60-page in-depth guide about the Apple Maps app. Based in North Carolina, Ashleigh is often crafting whimsical (and sometimes nonsensical) short stories and hiking when she's not working.