I Know I'm Old, But What the Hell Does "BAE" Mean?

Incomprehensible Internet acronyms decoded

Ever sneak a peek at a teenager’s phone? BAE, TFW, LYMI? It’s like Soviet code--they’ve got abbreviations for everything. Here’s a guide to the acronyms you’ll see most, because we LYMI BAE.


internet acronyms 597

1. BAE
Meaning: Before anyone else (but it's used pretty interchangeably with "babe"/"baby")
As in: “Skipping out on happy hour early, gotta get home to bae.”

Meaning: I don’t give a f*&@
As in: “You think I’m a sloppy drunk? IDGAF.” 

Meaning: Bitch better have my money (a song by Rihanna, the queen of IDGAF)
As in: 'The BBHMM video is super disturbing but I can’t stop watching it.'

Meaning: Rolling on the floor laughing
As in: “Did you see last night’s Inside Amy Schumer? ROFL!” 

5. AF
Meaning: As f*&@
As in: “My mortgage payment is high AF.”

Meaning: Greatest of all time
As in: “Serena Williams is GOAT.” 

Meaning: You only live once
As in: “Still haven’t filed my taxes. YOLO.” 

8. SMH (or SMDH)
Meaning: Shaking my head (or shaking my damn head)
As in: “Starbucks raised its prices? SMDH.”

9. HBU
Meaning: How about you
As in: “I’m getting there at 9:30, HBU?”

10. KK
Meaning: OK, just way more chill
As in: “Meet in the park in 10?” “Kk”

11. LYMI
Meaning: Love you, mean it
As in: “Can you do me a huuuge favor and pick me up a Chobani? LYMI.” 

Meaning: I love you so much
As in: “That Chobani was perfect. ILYSM.”

13. FTW
Meaning: For the win
As in: “2-for-1 drinks FTW.” 

14. TFW
Meaning: That feeling when
As in: “TFW you realize Reading Rainbow is coming to Netflix.”

15. IKR
Meaning: I know, right?
As in: “Teens today are so weird.” “IKR?!?!”

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Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...