LOL, YOLO, ILY, LMK- these are some of the abbreviations you may see in the US on social media or in text messages these days (By the way, they stand for “Laugh out loud”, “You only live once”, “I love you”, and “Let me know”, respectively). But of course the French have some abbreviations too!* 

Below we break down a few common abbreviations the French are using in their messaging.


Abbreviation: AR
Short for: aller-retour
English equivalent: round-trip

abbreviation: dsl / déso
Short for:  désolé
English equivalent: sorry

Abbreviation: jsp
Short for: je ne sais pas
English equivalent: I don’t know

Abbreviation: cc
Short for: coucou !
English equivalent: hey!

Abbreviation: pk / pq
Short for: pourquoi
English equivalent: why

Abbreviation: C
Short for: c'est

Abbreviation: mdr
Short for: mort de rire
English equivalent: dying of laughter/lol (laugh out loud)

Abbreviation: b-w
Short for: bon week-end
English equivalent: Have a good weekend!

Abbreviation: A +
Short for: À plus
English equivalent: See you later

Abbreviation: A tte
Short for: À tout à l'heure
English equivalent: See you later

Abbreviation: qqn
Short for: quelqu'un
English equivalent: someone

Abbreviation: rdv
Short for: rendez-vous
English equivalent: meeting, date, appointment

Abbreviation: stp/svp
Short for: s'il te plaît/s'il vous plaît
English equivalent: please

Abbreviation: yolo
Short for: you only live once
English equivalent: You only live once (yes, the French use English abbreviations too!)

*It is interesting to note that while abbreviations are still common in France as they are in America, with the use of phone keyboards that autocorrect, there is less usage of abbreviations while texting in both countries.

What other French abbreviations do you know?

Natalie Collet

Former Membership Manager

From the Midwest, Natalie is a Francophile at heart. Her interest in French started when studying ballet and​ the language and culture entranced her through her student years.​ She became involved with the - Alliance - in the suburbs of Chicago after she spent an unforgettable year teaching English in a French high school near Bordeaux. She is happy to join the team in Boston and work with the members to provide them with unique opportunities​, ​quality programming​, and a community through French!

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