What is SMS Language?

Article Details
  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
In 2014, scientists mapped a roundworm's brain and uploaded it into a Lego robot, which moved without instructions.  more...

October 15 ,  1969 :  The US Vietnam Moratorium march took place.  more...

In recent years instant messaging has become a standard form of communication for many people. This communication technique is typically linked with many social networking websites. Short messaging service (SMS) is a form of instant message that is available through most cell phone providers. The SMS language is a special shorthand slang language that is used by the instant messaging community.

The SMS language is vast communication shorthand that contains hundreds of phrases. There are several online dictionaries and directories that outline the complete list of these phrases. These dictionaries are freely available to individuals and provide the necessary information to correctly format SMS messages.

Most of the SMS language can be typed in fewer than six letters. This makes it easier to enter information on a cell phone. Much of the format is based on the first letter of each word within a phrase, but some words are also represented with numbers. An example of a simple text message is OBE, which stands for overcome by events. The number 411 is the number shorthand for information.

Text messaging has become a dangerous problem for drivers because many people are manipulating the SMS language while they drive. Many states have passed laws prohibiting text messaging while operating a motor vehicle. This is typically considered reckless driving and should be avoided.


A new form of popular texting is the sending anonymous messages. With this form of instant messaging the recipient is unaware of who sent the original message. Anonymous SMS is only available on smart phones that have special application. Many Internet instant messaging sites allow anonymous messages but standard cell phone will always include the phone number of the sender.

Some advertising companies are beginning to use the SMS language. They have found that SMS marketing is a new domain for advertisement. The mobile marketing association has created guidelines that define the best practices for sending advertising information over mobile devices. This form of marketing has exploded in many countries, which has made this a viable marketing media.

All SMS messages are not pleasant and at times filtering is important. There is a method to block SMS messages from specific individuals. This is a good way to remove unwanted harassment. Most cell phones offer customizable SMS services through online configuration tools. This online process enables custom sounds and filtering by phone number. This makes it easier to determine who is sending the SMS.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 3

As I rely on communicating with my customers through texts I am more than happy with the Internet SMS packages available these days. If you have a lot of messages to send, or even if you just hate messing around typing on the small keypad of your phone, consider sending SMS from your PC.

Post 2

@Penzance356 - I'm with you on this. SMS texting is a functional thing which can be useful but I leave it to my teenagers to use all those codes and smileys. I've pretty much got them trained to not do this when messaging me.

On the rare occasions they forget I have to consult an online SMS language dictionary for a translation! When I do that I am tempted to respond with some of my own but I rarely do. It just doesn't seem natural to me.

The most recent text I had to decipher asked for FBF, a response to my simple question of what they would like for dinner. Four brown fish? Fried beef something? No, it

turned out to mean 'fat boys food', such as pizza or hot dogs!

And the numbers! Don't even start me on the numbers! I do now know that 143 means 'I love you'. I wish there was a number for 'please use correct English'.

I understand that it's only natural and normal for young people to develop a language of their own, and that this is the tech version of such behavior. It still makes me feel every year of my age though!

Post 1

Specific SMS text language is all well and good if the person reading it knows what you are talking about.

Personally I find most of the times that I try to save time by texting words in shorthand I get question marks in response, or misunderstandings occur.

The other day I asked my friend if she was home or online yet. The response was 'BOTH', so I sent an important message via email. When there was no response I got worried, and ended up sending four more SMS text messages asking her to respond, and checking she was OK.

It turned out that BOTH meant 'bottom of the hill', a reference to a local outdoor cafe which

is located there and a popular place to meet folks in the neighborhood!

So while I am frantically typing and texting she's enjoying a coffee and chat with friends! No harm was done but it made me realize that sometimes it's just easier to avoid shortcuts!

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?