In the early 90’s, the Internet became, for the first time, a widely used means of communicating, learning and entertaining. Prior to this point, the original form of the invention had existed for decades, growing and adapting, but never quite available for mainstream use.
During this time, we began to see the first examples of ‘net speak’, a phenomenon that has expanded to ‘text speak’ and ‘online memes’ over the years to create what could be considered an entirely different – more annoying – language. For example, ‘LOL’ means Laugh Out Loud, and ‘BRB’ is Be Right Back.
But it goes beyond the abbreviations that everyone knows at this point. Random collections of unrelated words, non-words and shortened even longer versions of the original abbreviations are now widespread. Certain websites or genres of sites even have their own little sub-languages at this point.
One example is what is referred to as ‘Strange Facebook Language’. While not only located there, it seems to have originated from the biggest social networking giant. But what makes it more interesting is that people are now using the terms offline, in the real world.
What Is Strange Facebook Language?
Rather than the habit of abbreviating words to make it shorter to type, S.F.L seems to go out of its way to expand or shorten a word in the most confusing way possible. Often, it will be a means of speaking out the abbreviation with a twist or flourish. For example:
- Beeteedubs – At first glance, this is completely incomprehensible. I know when I first saw it, the initial thought to come to mind was ‘Beetlejuice’. But what it actually means is “BTW”, which is the abbreviation used for ‘By The Way’. It might also be presented as Beeteedoubleu, Beetdblu or Btdubs.
- YH – Sometimes, a word is shorted so unnecessarily that you can’t quite understand why it was done. ‘YH’ is short for ‘Yeah’, which begs the question of what they didn’t just say ‘Yes’ and risk that one last keystroke. Or, if they were really desperate to save space, ‘Ya’.
- Presh – The process of making a shortened spelling using ways that rhyme with the original, ‘Presh’ stands for ‘Precious’. It has also been used as ‘Preshie’ when being cute, or ‘Preshers’ when being sickening.
- Totes – This one is commonly heard being actually spoken in the real world. It has nothing to do with carrying anything, which you might have assumed. Instead, it stands for ‘Totally’. It can be shortened further into ‘Tot’, and even ‘TTS’.
- Ohhemmgee – Another example of expanding on an abbreviation. The original version is “OMG’, which stands for ‘Oh My God’, People decided to be ironic by first speaking the letters, then taking it back to the web by spelling out each sound.
These are only a few of the common words seen specifically on Facebook. If you wanted to create a very strange, annoying sentence you could say: “Ohhemmgee, that purse is tots preshers!”
For a full list of Internet slang, check out this comprehensive dictionary.