10 Most Popular Abbreviations That Cause Confusion

Social media platforms never fail to remind us that the English language is growing. The online dictionaries are trying to keep up, with Oxford English Dictionary recently adding a combined total of 2,050 new English words and phrases for the year thus far.

We all know common abbreviations such as ASAP, but things can quickly become confusing when faced with the more recent and internet-specific ones. Here are ten of the most searched-for abbreviations from social media and what they mean.

1. SMH

SMH stands for “shaking my head” and is commonly used online to express disbelief, disappointment, or frustration. For example, you might see someone tweet “SMH at the state of the world” after reading some bad news.

2. SOS

Many mistakenly believed it stood for “save our souls” or “save our ship,” but in reality, the letters don’t stand for anything. It continues to remain an international abbreviation for distress.

3. POV

If you are a film buff, you probably know that POV means “point of view.” The acronym has been adapted to the video-sharing platform TikTok to express one’s opinion.

4. TBH

TBH means “to be honest,” or less commonly, “to be heard,” and is used when expressing a viewpoint that the listener may or may not want to hear.

ISTG stands for “I swear to God,” and it is commonly used online as a way to express the truthfulness of what someone is about to say. It can also be used to express annoyance with someone or something.




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