Business Abbreviations: Acronyms and Business Jargon You need to Know

16.10.2019

Confused by IMO, TIA, TL;DR or TY? TBH you need a dictionary! Business acronyms are widely used right now - especially in industries like Online marketing, PR and advertising, Social Media and generally, in startups. What do all those abbreviations mean?

Find yourself googling “IMO meaning” or “What does AKA mean?” on a regular basis? You’re not alone.

If you’re a baby boomer, Gen X or you’re just a non-native speaker, chances are these phrases and terms are relatively new and you might struggle a little with them. But fret not - we’ve put together a quick guide on some of the most commonly used terms and what they actually mean!
 

Useful Business Acronyms and Jargon
1. General Acronyms and Abbreviations
2. Business & Management Abbreviations and Acronyms
3. Marketing Abbreviations and Acronyms
4. Computer & IT related term abbreviations and Acronyms


You can find a list of the most used abbreviations, acronyms and slang terms in the business world, below:


General Acronyms and Abbreviations


1.   AKA - Also Known As

This may be a relatively known acronym but one that is commonly used and thus pretty important to be aware of! Use it when referring to something that may be known by more than one name!
 

2.   ATM - At The Moment

Not to be confused with a cash dispensing machine, this acronym is used to indicate something happening right this instant.
 

3.   TIA - Thanks in advance

This acronym is a great one to learn since it shortens a phrase we often use especially when working online with other people.

 How is it used?

As in “Could you please look into this? TIA!”
 

4.   TBH / LBH - Let’s be honest / To be Honest

Now this one you might be familiar with. Used as in “I’m not too sure about the design TBH” or “LBH, the design could do with a little more work”, you use it when you’re not quite sure and would like to be straight up in a conversation.
 

5.   NBD - No Big Deal

Someone asks you to take a quick look at a project they’re working on? NBD!
 

6.   NSFW - Not Safe For Work

Run into a hilarious but not quite work-appropriate joke? If you want to send it over to your colleague but don’t want them getting into trouble, you should probably tag the text with NSFW!
 

7.   OMW - On My Way

Late to your meeting? Type out a quick OMW to let them know you’lfl be there soon!
 

8.   FYI - For Your Information

As in “FYI, the date on the calendar is off by a day!”, this is a pretty commonly used acronym in the corporate world!
 

9.   IMO - In My Opinion

How is it used?

Need to specify your own opinion? Use IMO to dictate how you feel!
 

10.   ROFL - Rolling On the Floor Laughing / LMAO / LOL

Trying to depict over joyous laughter? You’ve got a variety of options! Choose from LOL / LMAO / ROFL!

 

11.   TL;DR - Too long, didn’t read / TLTR - Too long to read

This acronym can be a little confusing but it is essentially used to indicate a shorter summary of a rather long passage of text. This lets other people receive the main aspect of what you’re trying to say without having to read the whole thing!
 

11.   NRN - No Reply Necessary

This is a great acronym to use, especially in emails, where ending a conversation can sometimes be a little hard to do. Simply end with NRN and you’re good to go!
 

12.   PRB - Please Reply By

Need someone to reply by a specific date? Simply add in PRB with the required date and you’re set.
 

13.   FTW - For the win

An acronym that has spilt over for the gaming community, FTW can now be used for almost anything you find yourself winning at, such as “David’s marketing proposal FTW!”
 

14.   IDK - I don’t know

This one needs no explanation and is pretty obvious for those of us who have spent even a little bit of our time online. The next time you find yourself without an answer for something asked via text, simply type in IDK!

 

15.   IIRC - If I remember correctly

If you're pretty sure you have something right but don't want to be quoted on it, preface it with this business slang term - IIRC 

 

16.   WTH / WTF - What the....

This acronym probably needs no explanation - we’ve all used it to express a variety of emotions, feelings, shock, disbelief, frustration, etc. Be careful where and when you use it though - it’s probably best used with close friends and/or colleagues that you share a close bond with!
 

 

 


Business & Management Abbreviations and Acronyms


17.   OOO - Out of office

Not available to answer your emails? Set up an automated message or response saying you’re OOO!
 

18.   MOM - Month over Month

A favourite used by managers when discussing the current month’s performance to the previous month as a comparison tool. 
 

19.   AP/AR - Accounts Payable/Receivable

Let clients know what they owe with a quick AP/AR memo!
 

20.   COB - Close of Business – by the end of the business day

If you want something done before the end of a working day, let people know by mentioning COB as part of the timeline.
 

21.   EOD - End of day

Not in a hurry? Instead of working by strict business hours, simply type in EOD if you need it done today but can afford to wait till the end of the day.
 

22.   ROI - Return on Investment

ROI is used as a performance measurement indicator in order to evaluate the efficiency and profitability of an investment.
 

23.   Q1 -  First Quarter / H1 - First half

Q1, Q3, or H2 - they all indicate periods of the year either divided into 4 months or 6 months.
 

24.   YTD / MTD - Year to Date / Month to Date

Marking off a specific date? Use YTD or MTD to define exact years or months on a calendar.
 

25.   LET - Leaving early today

Sign off from work in advance by letting your boss know with a quick LET memo!
 

26.   PTO - Paid time off

An employee favourite - who doesn’t want to get paid for time off?!
 

27.   RFD - Request for discussion

Need to quickly discuss something? RFD with your manager!
 

28.   ETA - Estimated time of arrival

This business slang is commonly used when discussing people or projects - such as “When is the project due? ETA Tuesday, at 4 pm!”
 

29.   SOW - Scope of work

When describing the work needed to be done, shoot off an email to your client letting them know the SOW involved!
 

 

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Marketing Abbreviations and Acronyms


30.   CMS - Content Management System

Use an optimized to deliver personalized web experiences to potential customers
 

31.   CR - Conversion Rate

CR refers to the number of people who click on a lead and then actually go through with the desired action. CRs are particularly important to marketing clients!
 

32.   CTA - Call-to-Action

Use a CTA to draw in more customers to perform a desired marketing action such as filling out a form, downloading content, or registering personal information!
 

33.   DM - Direct Mail, or Direct Message

DMs are private messages used on online social media platforms to engage directly with a person. DMs are a great marketing tool so go ahead and try it out!
 

34.   KPI - Key Performance Indicator

A type of performance measure used to evaluate an activity's success. While KPIs are used throughout a business, marketers look at KPIs to track progress toward marketing goals.
 

35.   WOM - Word-of-Mouth

Despite what some people may think, WOM can still be a great communication tool to help create much-needed buzz.
 


Computer & IT related term abbreviations and Acronyms


36.   Ping - Reach out to via Instant Messaging

This is pretty self-explanatory - Ping your colleagues if you don’t quite get it ;)
 

37.   ETR - estimated time of repair

Commonly used by IT professionals, ETR is used to dictate the amount of time a repair may take.
 

38.   WYSIWYG - What you see is what you get

For added whimsy, you'll hear this one said out loud as "whiz-ee-wig”
 

39.   VPN - Virtual private network

Not a slang term but an honorary mention on our list of Computer-based acronyms, a VPN is used to create your own private network at times when you’re dealing with sensitive content and would like a higher level of internet security and protect your data online.


And there you go. Think of some more slang or acronyms we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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