Millennials and Gen Z are continually evolving, implementing ways to shorten the words they use while texting or crafting their social media posts, which has led to text message abbreviations and internet acronyms bombarding our social media feeds.
Hence, intrigued to find out which texting abbreviations make people scratch their heads most, Case24.com/uk extracted global search volume data from online analytics tool Ahrefs for 100 abbreviations, to divulge which abbreviations are the hardest to decipher as online users turn to Google for clarification.
Top 20 Most Googled Text Abbreviations Worldwide
|Rank||Text Abbreviations||Average Global Monthly Search Volumes|
|1||SMH (Shake my head)||897,600|
|2||LMAO (Laughing my a** off)||429,600|
|3||TBH (To be honest)||398,200|
|4||LOL (Laughing out loud)||344,300|
|5||HMU (Hit me up)||303,000|
|6||FOMO (Fear of missing out)||292,800|
|7||NGL (Not gonna lie)||280,200|
|8||DM (Direct message)||279,900|
|9||AFK (Away from keyboard)||266,600|
|10||BAE (Before anyone else)||224,900|
|11||GOAT (Greatest of all time)||215,700|
|12||IMO (In my opinion)||214,900|
|13||NSFW (Not safe for work)||200,100|
|14||OFC (Of course)||177,400|
|15||BBL (Be back later)||166,100|
|16||TFW (That feeling when)||164,800|
|17||TLDR (Too long didn’t read)||162,400|
|18||FYI (For your information)||156,200|
|19||POV (Point of view)||156,000|
|20||YOLO (You only live once)||146,200|
*For a full ranking of the 100 text messaging abbreviations analysed, please find attached data sheet in the OneDrive folder here.
- SMH (Shake my head) tops the list as the most searched for text abbreviation, with nearly 900,000 average monthly global searches.
- Search interest for GOAT (Greatest of all time) has seen a 300% surge in the past 12 months on Google Trends.
- 35 out of 100 abbreviations analysed have amassed more than 100,000 average monthly searches worldwide.
SMH (Shake my head) secured the top spot with a staggering 897,600 average global monthly searches asking for its meaning. It was added to the Urban Dictionary back in 2004, defining it as a response to situations one finds ridiculous or stupid, which has garnered over 25,000 upvotes since then.
In second place with over 400,000 average global monthly searches is the abbreviation LMAO (Laughing My A** Off). Many might have already come across this ubiquitous acronym often accompanying humorous messages and memes, but simply have no clue what the alphabets refer to exactly.
The third most confounding is TBH (To Be Honest), leading to an average google search of 398,200 monthly globally. Also, seeing a sharp increase of 300% in search interest over the past 12 months based on Google Trends, the abbreviation GOAT (Greatest of All Time) has translated into 215,700 average monthly searches worldwide for its meaning, positioning it in 11th place.