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ROFL: The FBI's Exhaustive List of Twitter Shorthand Is Hilarious

Left bewildered by the acronyms and slang used on Twitter and other online communities? The FBI had the same problem ... and made this list.

Are you left bewildered by the alphabet soup of abbreviatiosn and slang used on Twitter and other popular Internet watering holes? Lucky for you, the FBI had the same problem — and put together a document listing thousands of the most (and some of the least) popular terms out there. It makes for fun reading.

The document (PDF) describes itself to its users as "useful in your work or for keeping up with your children and/or grandchildren." It is the result of a Freedom of Information Request request filed by MuckRock, an organization that promotes government transparency and accountability.

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Here is a small sampling of the entries, QFP (quoted for posterity):

  • GPOY: gratuitous picture of yourself
  • PDBAZ: please don't be a zombie
  • BU2M: been up to much?
  • MAWOY: may angels watch over you
  • SWAMBO: she who always must be obeyed

As you can see, it's not all the commonplace BRBs and LOLs — but just because someone used GNSTDLTBBB once (good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite) doesn't mean it's popular with the kids. That said, just because you haven't seen it before doesn't mean it isn't in constant use. Niche communities develop shorthand all their own and you might never hear SPF (strictly platonic friend) outside of, say, a dating site.

Whatever the real-world frequency of these thousands of abbreviations, it's certainly entertaining to browse through them.