How many of these abbreviations can you name?

OMG! Reading online these days can be like deciphering a foreign language. There are so many abbreviations and acronyms to know. It’s like a weird shorthand.

For example, OMG can mean Oh My God (Gosh) or Object Management Group or Omnicon Media Group or a slew of other things.

TBF (To Be Fair), acronyms like OMG have pretty much become part of the lexicon. Mainstream advertisers use it. It’s in graphics and movies.

But be careful just throwing groups of consonants and vowels around willy nilly.

The danger here is when you assume someone reading what you wrote automatically understands what you mean.

Obviously, context makes a difference.

A CTA in marketing is your Call to Action. But if you live in California, it could also mean California’s Teachers Association or a Commodity Trading Advisor.

The best way to combat confusion of course is to be clear. Don’t assume your reader understands your acronym. When you first use it in your copy, put what it means in parenthesis.

For example, I’m an expert at LFSL (long-form sales letters). But even a lot of copywriters don’t know that acronym. It works best if I use it then immediately, then explain what it means. Then I can use the acronym throughout my copy without continually writing it out. See how that works?

How many of these acronyms do you know? To keep the fun going, I’ll give you the answers in the P.S. (post script). No cheating.

Just to keep it interesting, note that there are three different meanings for each one!


  1. TBF (you should know this!)
  2. LBD
  3. LOL
  4. WYD
  5. TBH
  6. ETA
  7. HBD
  8. IOU
  9. TMI
  10. EDC
  11. TWH
  12. CTR

No one likes to feel stupid because they don’t know your acronym. Be concise and help them follow along by writing out what your acronym stands for at the beginning of your copy. After that, you can just use your acronym on its own.

Okay, here are the actual answers. And if you want to have some fun, look up more acronyms here.

  1. TBF – To Be Fair, Trial By Fire, Total Basement Finishing
  2. LBD – Little Black Dress, Ligand Binding Domain, Lewy Body Dementia,
  3. LOL – Laugh Out Loud, Lots of Love, Lowest of the Low
  4. WYD – What Ya Doin’, Who’s Your Daddy, World Youth Day
  5. TBH – To Be Honest, The Best Husband, To Be Hated
  6. ETA – Estimated Time Of Arrival, Electronic Travel Authority, Elvis Tribute Artist
  7. HBD – Happy Birthday, Has Been Drinking, Hidden Button Down
  8. IOU – I Owe You, Investor Owned Utilities, Input/Output Unit
  9. TMI – Too Much Information, Three Mile Island, Total Market Index
  10. EDC – Everyday Carry, Education Development Center, Electronic Data Capture
  11. TWH – Tennessee Walking Horse, Tankless Water Heater, Townhouse
  12. CTR – Click Through Rate