LL (Lazy Letters) Index

As i read this forum, I often see people using terms like AFAICT or IANA. Tell me what these abbreviations mean, please. And where did they come from, is my common sense really supposed to be able to figure them out from context?

Also, list the other common abbreviations that i may come across around here so i wont be left in the dark in the future.


I’ll try to tap out a short list as they come to me:

IANAD - I am not a doctor
" L - I am not a lawyer
AFAIK - As far as I know
IIRC - if I recall correctly

As far as where they came from, it’s anybody’s guess. Someone probably just got tired of typing out the phrases all the time, and abbreviated. I think I’ve been able to pick up on most of the commonly used abbreviations used around here without any assistance, but then again I’m usually good at figuring out that sort of thing.

I’m guessing AFAICT is As Far As I Can Tell.

BTW, BTW means by the way.
OTOH – on the other hand.

They’re like any slang – who knows where it comes from. Once you know the convention, though, you can often figure out new examples as they come along.

I forgot one of my favorites –

PITA – pain in the ass

And if someone’s talking family and relationships, BIL is brother-in-law, SIL, MIL, FIL, etc. SO is significant other. bf and gf (boyfriend and girlfriend) aren’t usually capitalized, I don’t know why.

BOHICA - Bend Over Here It Comes Again

NetLingo will be your salvation!

Abbreviations and acronyms come from all sorts of different sources. After a while, people forget that they even are acronyms. In computer programming, you’ll often see the variables “foo” and “foobar” (engineers use these as signal names, too, where the “bar” is the inverse of the main signal). The spelling shows that many forget they came from a military acronym, FUBAR (f***ed up beyond all repair–or recognition, depending on who you ask).

SNAFU is another (situation normal, all f***ed up).

People have stopped capitalizing the programming language BASIC, although it stands for Beginner’s All-Purpose (or Algorithmic) Symbolic Instruction Code.

The MODEM on your computer is usually all lowercase now (like scuba, radar, and laser), and sometimes isn’t a modulator/demodulator at all.

If there was a catchy pronunciation for IANAL, it would already be lowercased, listed in Webster’s, and used in every disclaimer in the U.S. (except those written by lawyers).

BOHICA is one of my favorites.