IDK, Am I Hip? #WriterAcronyms

Word Art

A long-time friend sent a group text announcing what “IDK” means. Her pre-teen had filled her in on the acronym. IDK stands for I don’t know, she wrote. She was passing on the knowledge to us forty-somethings to keep us “hip.”

The “hip” comment was the icing on the cake.

I must proudly say that I’ve known what IDK means for some time, and was slightly surprised that the others in the group didn’t know. To be fair, one other friend knew, too. But two out of five isn’t the best score.

The text message got me thinking. How did I know about IDK? Or IKR or IMHO, for that matter? The answer is Twitter.


Ever since I got active on Twitter about two years ago, I’ve been decoding and learning the popular acronyms. I’ve hit Google many times for translation. It always helps.

Check out: Keeping Up with Internet Slang and Social Media Acronyms on Day Translations

I quickly learned that the writing community on Twitter has its own set of acronyms and short-hand slang to learn, too. Things like:

  • WIP — Work-in-Progress
    • Yes, dirty minds, the “h” in WIP is left out on purpose.
  • MS — Manuscript
    • No, MS in this case is not short for the gang MS-13.
  • 80K/90K/100K — any variation stands for a manuscript’s Word Count
    • 80K is not short-hand for a run or race. If so, writers do a whole lot of running, and I’m not fit enough for all of that.
  • FF — Flash Fiction
    • This could also mean #FollowFriday, or maybe even Fast Forward if you still have a cassette player.
  • Fic — Fiction
    • Looks like “Pic” if you glance too fast, until you notice that there is no photo attached to the tweet, just lots of words. Lots and lots of writer-words.
  • FanFic — Fan Fiction
    • Not to be confused with “FanPic,” which would probably be attached to the #amstalking hashtag, versus #amwriting.
  • YA/MG — Young Adult/Middle Grade
    • YA/MG isn’t the name of an old school rap group, though I think it would’ve worked. It also doesn’t mean an abundance of OMG emotions, like Lulz for LOL.

There are more acronyms that come to mind, but you get the point. There’s Twitter-speak and there’s #writingcommunity Twitter-speak, and we writers need to know both….to stay hip, of course.

What other writer-related acronyms have you seen or used? Is there a cheat sheet out there, like this one for generic, popular acronyms? Crib notes? An app? Something? If not, there should be.

Side question: What’s the new word for “hip” anyway? *Sigh* That deserves its own blog post. Check out part two






Published by Rene Penn

Author. Blogger.

10 thoughts on “IDK, Am I Hip? #WriterAcronyms

  1. I had to explain to a friend yesterday what “ttyl” meant. I gave him a pass – he’s in his 50’s. So maybe hip in his generation but not hip when it comes to texting… I love your comment on 80k! Since I’m a runner, and 10k’s are quite common (and my husband ran a 50k ultra once), that could be confusing to some!
    Great post, thanks for cluing us in on more writerly abbreviations, some were new to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You explained “ttyl”, and you gave him a pass–you did what a good friend should do. 🙂 I’d really like to compile a list of writer-related acronyms. I don’t think anything like that exists. I will post something about it on Twitter and see if I get help from the #writingcommunity. I’ll surely blog about it if I get enough feedback to create something useful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What about POV, GL for guidelines, DL for deadline, and one I hadn’t seen until the other day, GF for Gothic Horror, to add to the jargon buster.
    And let’s keep using ‘hip’ until it comes back into fashion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you–those are great to add. GF is new to me, too. Gothic Horror sounds like something that would give me nightmares if I read it. When it comes to the books I read, I can be a scaredy-cat sometimes. :/


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