Welsh Text Message Abbreviations is a brief “English-Welsh ‘txt spk’ guide of the top 10 most popular text message abbreviations”; LOL (Laugh Out Loud), for instance, is CYU (Chwerthin yn uchel), and BrB (Be Right Back) is YOYYM (Yn ôl yn y man). A fun bit of trivia—thanks, Joe!


  1. Oh my (or maybe better, OMG), I even learned an English one: I’d never seen BrB.

  2. Dic Jones: Archdruid of Wales and master poet in the strict metres of Welsh prosody

  3. It would have been pretty funny if he’d had YOYYM inscribed on his gravestone.

  4. Does texting in Polish look just like Polish?

  5. Great find. It would be interesting, however, to know what “GOW” really stands for (no. 8) – it can’t be “Diolch yn fawr iawn” (no. 7 duplicate), that’s an obvious copy and paste error.

  6. Good catch! It turns out to be Gormod o wybodaeth, and I’ll replace the link in my post with the one where I found that.

  7. I kept having to ask my younger friends what all those abbrevations and smilies meant. And they were not even Welsh.

  8. @language hat: super service, thanks for investigating 🙂

  9. Ha! This was doing the rounds on Twitter last week. The PR company that wrote the article had initially used a machine translation website (like the dreaded Intertran) to translate the English to Welsh…with unintentionally hilarious consequences (which we are only too aware of, although the joke wears rather thin after the umpteenth mistranslation).
    Some of the original “translations” can be seen on this BBC blog that highlighted them in the first place.
    “Chwardd m’asen bant” was my favourite. It was meant to be “LMAO”, but actually has a meaning(ish) similar to “Laugh My Rib Off”, which actually seemed to make sense in a roundabout way.
    Somebody must have told the PR company of their blunder, so they then found somebody who actually spoke Welsh to have a look at them. The bad translations were removed, and the “corrections” put in their place.
    None of them are actually in use as far as I know. There have been several discussions a while back on the Welsh language message board Maes-e.com about possibilties for LOL, ROFL etc but they never seemed to reach a satisfying conclusion.
    Most Welsh speakers do use some sort of Welsh text speak, but this often consists of using “tn” for “are you”/”you are” and “vn” for “I am”, along with some more removal of vowels, rather than any contrived translations of LOL, etc. A Welsh txtspk dictionary was published, but I doubt that much of it was ever adopted.
    And best of all, the Welsh word “lol” actually means “nonsense” which is rather apt in this case.

  10. None of them are actually in use as far as I know.
    Ah, I was wondering about that! Thanks much for an informed response.

  11. Stephen Mulraney says

    dearieme: Maybe it’s just the people I know, but texting in Polish doesn’t seem to use a lot of abbreviations. Part of the reason might be that it’s hard to abbreviate inflected words. Sometimes I’ve seen ‘3’ substituting for the sequence “trzy” (which is also the word for “three”), for example in writing “3maj sie” instead of “trzymaj się” (meaning “take care”). Polish letters are, however, replaced by their nondiacritically enhanced version (even where it misrepresents the pronunciation: ą is a nasalized o-sound, but people just write “a”).

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