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TOTES FRESH? FBI’s internal guide to internet slang revealed

Published time: June 18, 2014 00:58
AFP Photo / brendan Smialowski

AFP Photo / brendan Smialowski

The FBI has an internal glossary of internet slang and abbreviations, it was revealed this week. But don’t expect the 3,000-term guide to offer too much insight into online communities, as many of the entries seem downright peculiar.

The 83-page glossary, called “Twitter Shorthand,” was made public via a Freedom of Information request by the group MuckRock. TheFederal Bureau of Investigation’s Intelligence Research Support Unit (IRSU) says the guide is not solely focused on Twitter slang, though, explaining that it serves as a primer for employees into the speech of instant messages, Facebook, and the basically defunct MySpace.

“With the advent of Twitter and other social media venues,” the manual states upfront, “the use of shorthand and acronyms has exploded. [IRSU] has put together an extensive—but far from exhaustive—list of shorthand and acronyms used on Twitter and other social media venues such as instant messages, Facebook, and MySpace.”

IRSU also says in the released documents that the list of terms – many of which are outdated or have been used sparingly – are useful for both FBI work and “for keeping up with your children and/or grandchildren.”

For example, within the first ten entries, the guide offers such low-level slang as ALOTBSOL (“always look on the bright side of life”) and AMOG (“alpha male of group”). ALOTBSOL has been used during Twitter’s eight-year history fewer than 500 times, and AMOG often seems to be a misspelling of the Spanish words “amor” and “amigo,” The Washington Post noted.

Among other odd and barely-used slang the FBI considers critical knowledge for employees:

AYFKMWTS (“are you f—— kidding me with this s—?”) — 990 tweets

BFFLTDDUP (“best friends for life until death do us part") — 414 tweets

BOGSAT (“bunch of guys sitting around talking”) — 144 tweets

BTDTGTTSAWIO (“been there, done that, got the T-shirt and wore it out”) — 47 tweets

BTWITIAILWY (“by the way, I think I am in love with you”) — 535 tweets

DILLIGAD (“does it look like I give a damn?”) — 289 tweets

DITYID (“did I tell you I’m depressed?”) — 69 tweets

E2EG (“ear-to-ear grin”) — 125 tweets

GIWIST (“gee, I wish I said that”) — 56 tweets

HCDAJFU (“he could do a job for us”) — 25 tweets

IAWTCSM (“I agree with this comment so much”) — 20 tweets

IITYWIMWYBMAD (“if I tell you what it means will you buy me a drink?”) — 250 tweets

LLTA (“lots and lots of thunderous applause”) — 855 tweets

NIFOC (“naked in front of computer”) — 1,065 tweets

PMYMHMMFSWGAD (“pardon me, you must have mistaken me for someone who gives a damn”) — 128 tweets

SOMSW (“someone over my shoulder watching") — 170 tweets

WAPCE (“women are pure concentrated evil”) — 233 tweets

YKWRGMG (“you know what really grinds my gears?”) — 1,204 tweets

The FBI also includes a variety of slang and their proper English spelling or meaning, such “hafta” (have to), “ima” (I’m going to), “kewt” (cute), and "totes fresh" (totally precious).

Muckrock’s Jason Smathers initially filed the FOIA request in January.

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