30+ Common Email Acronyms & How To Use Them
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As the written word has evolved to keep up with instant communications and busy schedules, abbreviations in emails have become commonplace. But how do they help when writing business emails effectively?
While these email acronyms help us save time, shorten messages and communicate better, keeping up with dozens of combinations of full stops, capital letters and initialisms can be confusing, having the opposite of the intended effect.
FYI, to help you get to grips with whatever email acronyms come your way, we’ve compiled a list of 33 common abbreviations. If you TYT, read through the list and brush up on your email shorthand, we guarantee you’ll be an email abbreviation whizz by EOD. HTH.
1. FWIW – For What It’s Worth
Turn to this email acronym when you want to add further information or context that the recipient may or may not want to act upon.
- FWIW I found this interesting article about new tax legislation.
2. ASAP – As Soon As Possible
A commonly used email acronym that has transcended into spoken English, you can use this when you want the reader to know the urgency of your request or action.
- I’ll need to let the client know by our call on Wednesday, so please send the wrap-up to me ASAP.
3. LMK – Let Me Know
A commonly used informal abbreviation that is often used at the end of a message to invite feedback or insight on something.
- LMK if you have any questions.
4. FYI – For Your Information
Use this email acronym to offer helpful or necessary information to the person you’re contacting.
- Here’s the latest version, FYI.
5. HTH – Hope That Helps
Similar to FYI, this can be used when you’re offering useful or helpful information or context alongside your message.
- I’ve attached the visuals from last year’s event – HTH.
6. IDK – I Don’t Know
A quick way of letting the recipient know that you can’t help or don’t have the answers they are looking for – or simply shortening the term for speedy communication.
- IDK if they’ll be in the office at that time, but feel free to give them a call.
7. OT – Off Topic
A quick way of segueing the conversation or jumping to a completely new topic.
- Thanks for sharing. OT – did you watch the game this weekend?
8. IMO – In My Opinion
This email acronym is useful for sharing insights or thoughts with someone whilst letting them know that it’s your opinion and not necessarily the opinion of the majority. Also IMHO (in my honest opinion) when you want to be really frank.
- We need to get better at managing the weekly minutes, IMO.
9. BTW – By The Way
This email acronym is most commonly used to add information you forgot to include in a previous message or to stress an action or piece of information’s importance.
- Don’t forget to include a link to the report when you reach out to the marketing team, BTW.
10. TED – Tell, Explain, Describe
This one is handy if you want further information on an action or work brief, inviting the recipient to respond with further detail in their next email.
- Can you TED exactly what you need from me so we’re on the same page?
11. TYT – Take Your Time
A good email acronym for letting the person you’re communicating with know that there’s no need to rush and that they can take their time actioning a task or responding to you.
- It would be great if you could help out with this, but feel free to TYT – there’s no strict deadline.
12. Y/N – Yes or No?
If you want a quick, definitive answer to a question, use this abbreviation.
- Will Monday work – Y/N?
13. TL;DR – Too Long; Didn’t Read
A common email acronym across social media, this acronym typically proceeds a short summary of everything mentioned at the end of a particularly lengthy email.
- TL;DR the monthly meeting has been canceled, but we’re still expected to come into the office.
14. MTD – Month-to-Date
Use this to mark a period of time since the beginning of the current month.
Can I get a MTD update on where we are with the PR campaign?
15. YTD – Year-to-Date
Use this email acronym to mark a period of time since the beginning of the current year.
- All teams must submit their slides for the quarterly update, including a slide on their YTD target progress.
16. CC/BCC – Carbon Copy/Blind Carbon Copy
These email acronyms refer to the way an email is sent; either to Carbon Copy to a group of recipients, in which case everyone can see the full group, or Blind Carbon Copy specific recipients who will not be visible to the wider group.
- Don’t forget to CC me on this so I can pick it up in your absence.
17. IAM – In a Meeting
Use this as a status header or in the body of a message to let the person you’re communicating with know that you’ll be in a meeting and unavailable.
- Thanks for sharing. Just so you know, I’m IAM for the next hour, so won’t be able to look at this.
18. LET – Leaving Early Today
A short way of reminding the person you’re messaging that you’re working a shorter day and won’t be available from a certain time.
- Just to remind everyone, I’m LET – grab me before 2.30pm if you need anything.
19. OOO – Out of Office
This email acronym refers to the feature in an email program that automates responses during a period in which you’re away from your emails, be it for personal or professional reasons. It can also be used to refer to someone who is away from the office.
- Lisa’s OOO, so I’ll be picking this up until she returns.
20. EOM – End of Message
EOM is typically included in email subject lines, indicating that there is no additional information in the email body and therefore the recipient doesn’t have to worry about opening the email up.
- Reminder: Claire’s birthday drinks in the breakout room at 1pm, EOM.
21. NRN – No Reply Necessary
Similar to EOM, this email acronym lets the recipient know that the sender is not expecting a response to their message.
- Thanks, I’ll take a look at it after lunch. NRN.
22. RR – Reply Requested
Whereas NRN lets recipients know that you don’t expect a response, this email acronym does the opposite. Use this to stress that you expect a reply to your message.
- What are your thoughts on the budget outlines? RR.
23. PRB – Please Reply By
Use this if you want to let the receiver know that you expect a response by a certain time or date.
- Will you be joining us for the offsite? If so, I’ll need your dietary requirements – PRB Thursday.
24. P.S. – Postscript
This can be used at the end of an email if you want to provide extra information to your recipient or stress the importance of something.
- P.S. Don’t forget we all have to wear Christmas jumpers on Friday!
25. SFW – Safe For Work
If you’re sending something that may appear unsuitable at first glance, use this email acronym to let your recipient know that it’s suitable to open it at work. NSFW (Not Safe For Work) can also serve as a warning.
- Here are the photos from the away day – all SFW.
26. FWD – Forward
This email acronym is usually used by email programs themselves, indicating that an email has been forwarded to the recipient.
- FWD: Timesheet login details.
27. PTO – Paid Time Off
A professional way of referring to annual leave or vacation days, this is a short way of letting your team know that you’re away and unreachable at a certain time.
- I’m actually on PTO from Monday – Wednesday, but my colleague Joe will be around to manage things.
28. WFH – Working From Home
With more of us working remotely than ever before, this email acronym has become very common. Use it to let people know that you won’t be in the office as usual.
- Thanks guys. I’m WFH then, but can dial in on Zoom.
29. EOD – End of Day
This email acronym is typically used to set a deadline for the end of the working day.
- Hi Gabriel, please could I have an update on the design brief by EOD?
30. EOW – End of Week
Just like EOD before it, this is usually used to set a deadline or sign-off point for the end of the current working week.
- Please can I have everyone’s expenses in by EOW?
31. ETA – Estimated Time of Arrival
Another email acronym that’s commonly spoken as well as written, this can be used to ask when something is likely to be ready by, without necessarily setting a deadline.
- What’s the ETA on the Q2 social strategy?
32. FTE – Full-Time Employee
This refers to any member of staff who’s employed full-time.
- Can all FTEs submit their timesheets to me this week?
33. PTE – Part-Time Employee
Just like FTE, this refers to employees that work on a part-time basis.
- Tracey’s a PTE, so she doesn’t need a company laptop
TL;DR you’re now an email abbreviation whizz, and can TED to your colleagues and clients next time they’re left scratching their heads over a short and snappy three-letter email.
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