What does ICL mean? Meaning of the phrase - and others - used in Snapchat, texts and other social media

Social media sites like Snapchat, TikTok and Facebook are full of various abbreviations and acronyms - this is what they all mean

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Like all other forms of communication, social media is constantly changing and evolving. Different generations have their preferred social media platforms; Generation Z and Generation Alpha tend to like TikTok and Snapchat, while Millennials grew up with Facebook and Twitter.

No matter what your chosen social media platform, however, they all have something in common - they all feature some commonly used abbreviations and acronyms that people use to get their messages across quickly and efficiently to their friends and family.

These phrases, which are essentially a social media shorthand for people when they are trying to reply as fast or as succinctly as they can, are used on a regular basis - but if you don’t know what they mean then they can be confusing.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a quick guide to all the commonly used social media acronyms and abbreviations, including ICL, SMH, PU, SB and FFF. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.

The meaning of phrases commonly used in Snapchat, texts and other social media revealed.The meaning of phrases commonly used in Snapchat, texts and other social media revealed.
The meaning of phrases commonly used in Snapchat, texts and other social media revealed.

What are the most commonly used social media acronyms?

There are nine most commonly used abbreviations across all social media sites. They are:

  • ICL
  • SMH
  • PU
  • SB
  • SFS
  • FFF
  • DP
  • ESB
  • NRS
  • SMO
  • SR
  • WYLL
  • SLAY
  • POV
  • GC

What do each of the acronyms stand for?

This is what each of the 15 acronyms stand for.

What does 'ICL' mean?

If someone says "icl" to you then they are saying "I can't lie". People normally use this acronym before they reveal the truth about something, give their opinion on something or confess to something.

What does 'SMH' mean?

If someone sends you "smh" it means "shaking my head". It's usually used when someone does not believe something or does not approve of it.

What does ‘PU’ mean?

When used on Snapchat, the phrase ”pu” means ”pop up“. Essentially, the person who has sent you this wants you to message them.

What does ‘SB’ mean?

If someone sends you ‘sb’ on Snapchat, a person is asking you to “snap back,” or reply to a message, picture or video they have sent to you in some way.

What does ‘SFS’ mean?

SFS means ”shoutout for shoutout”. In the context of Snapchat, this usually means that the person who has sent it to you is saying they will mention your username in their Snapchat story - but only if you return the favour and also tag their account in your story.  In other words, they’ll promote your account if you promote theirs. By doing so, the hope is that you can both increase your follower counts. This can also sometimes be typed as ‘S4S’.

What does ‘FFF’ mean?

This means ”Follow for a Follow”. So, if someone sends you this, what they are saying is that if you follow them on Snapchat, or indeed any other social media platform, they will follow you back. Again, this is another way that users can grow their followers and it’s mutually beneficial.

What does ‘DP’ mean?

“DP” means display picture, so it refers to someone’s social media profile picture.

What does ‘ESB’ mean?

This acronym stands for “Everyone Snap Back”. This is a request for everyone who sees it to send a Snap to the user – typically to ensure that snap streaks are maintained. A Snapchat streak keeps track of how many consecutive days you’ve sent Snaps to the same person. The term is usually seen in stories or group chat messages.

What does ‘NRS’ mean?

This means No Replies. It’ll often be used when someone is in a situation that doesn’t allow them to send snaps repeatedly, such as when they are going to sleep, not feeling up to it, or have little mobile data or no access to Wi-Fi.

What does ‘SMO’ mean?

This means “Shout Me Out”, so if someone asks you to do that it means they want you to give them a shout out on the chosen social media platform, usually by also tagging their account.

What does ‘SR’ mean?

This stands for “slow replies”, and if someone sends you this they are letting you know that they may take some time to come back to you, usually because they are at work, out and about or otherwise busy. It could also be written S/R.

What does 'WYLL' mean?

This is a quick way of asking "what you look like". It's a way of asking someone to send photos or videos of themselves to you directly. People could also respond by sending a written description of what they look like.

What does 'SLAY' mean?

In the context of social media platforms, the term 'slay' is used positively to describe that someone has done something particularly impressive.

What does 'POV' mean?

This stands for "point of view" and means the standpoint from which something is observed. The hashtag #POV is often used in videos to indicate that the video is meant to be watched as if the viewer were present or in a specific situation. These videos are meant to make watchers feel as though they are part of the action.

The abbreviation 'gc' stands for group chat.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.