Twitter-speak, definitions and other stuff.

As a part of the Twitter for Academics book I’m currently writing, I’ve made a list of terms, words and general stuff to know.

Everyday nouns and verbs: These words are the language of Twitter; the names of the tools and features of the environment.

Banner Pic

n.

The large picture at the top of an account profile

Bio

n.

The personalised short written description or biography in a profile

Block

v.

To block a user from interacting with you

Deets

n.

Details

DeTweet

v.

Deleting a Tweet

Discover

n.

Twitter’s feature enabling users to find content, users, and trends related to their interests

Favourite

n. v.

A ‘favourited’ Tweet. To like a Tweet by clicking the star icon

Follow

v.

To follow another user by clicking on their ‘follow’ button

Follower

n.

A user who has followed another in order to receive their Tweets on their Timeline

Geolocation. Geotagging

n. v.

The location of someone when they made a Tweet. Labelling a Tweet with location at time of Tweeting

Handle/username

n.

The string or combination of word/letters/digits chosen to represent and identify an account – used in Tweets and Messages preceded with ‘@’ symbol

Hashtag

n. v.

A word or string of words preceded with a #. To add a Hashtag to a Tweet .

Link

n. v.

A link to a website or source via URL/web address. To provide a link.

List

n.

A List of users collated by a single user and named accordingly, e.g. Biologists. Users can make Lists private or public so that other users can subscribe to that list to see what those in the List are Tweeting via a Timeline. No matter if private or public, if a user is added to a List they will be notified.

Mention

n. v.

Tweets in which your @username/handle is mentioned. To mention or be mentioned in a Tweet.

Message

n. v.

A message sent privately to a single user or group of users. To privately message a user.

Name

n.

The name you’ve given your account, which appears to others in notifications when you follow them (instead of your @username)

Notifications

n.

A timeline of all the replies, re-Tweets, mentions, favourites, new followers you have received, and lists to which you’ve been added

Pic

n.

Picture: a file attached to a Tweet or a profile or banner picture/photo

Pinned (Tweet)

v.

One Tweet can be selected to always remain at the top of the Tweet Timeline stream

Profile

n.

Information page of an account detailing name, username, bio and pictures as well as Tweets (protected and settings may vary information shown)

Profile Pic

n.

A photograph or picture chosen to visually represent the account.

Re-Tweet

v.

To forward a copy of someone else’s Tweet to your followers

Reply

v.

A reply to a Tweet, which will include the original Tweet’s @username in the reply

Selfie

v.

Taking a picture of oneself on a device and posting it online

Spam

n.

Irrelevant, annoying, unsolicited and sometimes dangerous Tweets

Timeline

n.

The stream of Tweets updated in real-time (as they are Tweeted)

Trending

n.

When a topic is one of the most Tweeted about subjects on Twitter

Tweet

n.

An 140 character space in which text, weblinks and photographs is placed and shared via Twitter

Tweeter

n.

Someone who uses Twitter

Tweeting

v.

To write and send Tweets

Twitter

n.

The social network and company name

Un-Follow

v.

To stop following someone by clicking unfollow on their profile (comp. Friend/un-Friend on Facebook)

Username /Handle

n.

The string or combination of word/letters/digits chosen to represent and identify an account – used in Tweets and Messages preceded with ‘@’ symbol

Common lingo: These words have been developed by social media users to describe Twitter more deeply; the activity, environment, and people.

Tweeple

Collective name of People who Tweet

Tweeps

Collective name for a person’s Twitter followers

Tweetable

Suitable for posting on Twitter

Twitterati

Frequent users of Twitter, often adept, keen, with lots of followers

Twittersphere

The Twitter environment

Twitterstorm/Tweetstorm

A sudden spike in Twitter activity surrounding a certain topic

Common Abbreviated Conversation: Tweets limit the conversation to 140 characters so users have developed common abbreviated forms of language to communicate more efficiently in a single Tweet. It’s quite a skill to break down language and still be understood, so here are a few for starters.

Functional / Instructional / Gestures: These are the commonest abbreviated instructions given within Tweets

CX

Correction

DM

Direct (private) Message

EM / EML

Email

EMA

Email Address

F2F/FTF

Face To Face

FB

Facebook

FF

Follow Friday (Weekly Hashtag Theme)

HT

Hat Tip (Gesture)

MRT

Modified ReTweet

NTS

Note To Self

OH

Over-heard

OOMF

One Of My Friends/Followers

PLMK

Please Let Me Know

PM

Private Message (same as DM – see above)

PRT

Please re-Tweet

RT

Re-Tweet

TBT

Throw Back Thursday (Weekly Hashtag Theme)

TLDR/TL;DR

Too Long / Didn’t Read

TMB

Tweet Me Back

TYIA

Thank You In Advance

TYT

Take Your Time

Expression / Opinion / Reaction: Expressions make a Tweets more personal and personable to the reader. Here are some of the most used.

ICYMI

In Case You Missed It

IDK

I Don’t Know

LOL

Laugh Out Loud

BTW

By The Way

IM(H)O

In My (Humble) Opinion

TBH

To Be Honest

TFTF

Thanks For The Follow (for following a user)

TGTR

You’ve Got That Right

YOLO

You Only Live Once

ZOMG

Oh My God (to the max)

**WARNING** Below are for those used to a more colourful and fragrant tongue, these are highly popular.

FFS

For Fuck’s Sake

FML

Fuck My Life

FTW

For The Win

FWIW

For What It’s Worth

GMAFB

Give Me A Fucking Break

GTFOOH

Get The Fuck Out Of Here

LMAO

Laugh(ing) My Ass Off

NFW

No Fucking Way

OMFG

Oh My Fucking God

STFU

Shut The Fuck Up

Other abbreviations, symbols and their meaning: Symbols are common to social media since they have an underlying function, a few key ones are mentioned below.

@

‘at’ symbol precedes every username

#

The Pound key or Number Sign, now dubbed Hashtag, precedes conversational topics for easy Tweet indexing

$

The Dollar key, dubbed Cashtag, precedes company stock or ticker symbols indexing stock market Tweets

URL

website address

Other Twitter terms worth knowing: Other references to elements of Twitter that are often overlooked without much consequence to the user but might be of interest.

Protected/Private accounts

All accounts are public by default and by ‘protecting’ your Tweets only approved followers of that account will see them

Promoted Trends

Paid for promoted (with time and date in context) trends by Twitter’s advertisers. Distinguishable from naturally trending Tweets as “Promoted.”

Promoted Tweets

Paid for promoted tweets that will appear in your Timeline even though you don’t follow that account

Suspended

Accounts which have broken terms of service and prohibited from using Twitter

Timestamp

Time and date a Tweet is posted to Twitter

Top Tweets

Most popular Tweets on Twitter at any given time

Verification

Blue check Icon indicates legitimate source and account

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – write comments and make suggestions to add your favourites or just point out any glaring errors or mistakes.

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About Dr Jojo Scoble

Freelance Science Communicator. Microbiology PhD Oxon. Fiction Writer. Social Media dilettante. Ideas Factory.
This entry was posted in academia, blogging, conference, microblogging, Twitter and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Twitter-speak, definitions and other stuff.

  1. Aven McMaster says:

    Just one little one — people sometimes use OH for “Other Half” i.e. spouse/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend — can be confusing. I also see LRT = “Last ReTweet” used pretty often, to comment on something you’ve just RT’d.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mieneke says:

    Another character that you often see from shared accounts is the ^ followed by a letter to denote who’s actually tweeting the tweet. And I’ve also seen MT used instead of MRT,

    Like

  3. Pingback: Weekly Round-Up! | The Graduate School

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