Understanding Twitter language

Basic Twitter Terms

A post to help you understand Twitter abbreviations and Twitter slang

Twitter is expanding and growing at a great rate! Are you lost in the Twitosphere? Do you now know what the Twitosphere is? Wondering what a tweet is or a tweet-up? Here are some basic Twitter terms (Twitternology) you should know before you start using Twitter.

Tweet: Describes a Twitter update. Basically what you type in the “What’s happening” box.

Tweeting: The act of posting on Twitter.

Reply: @reply Created by typing the @ symbol followed by the person’s username. Appear in the Tweet feed and are visible to all Followers.

Retweet: To repost something that’s already in the Twitter stream.
Tweeter: Someone who uses Twitter. You can retweet using the retweet link or RT @username and content they tweeted. Username is the Twitter name of the person you are retweeting.

RT: shorthand for retweet.

PRT: Please retweet.

Tweet chat: Tweet chats are online conversations, typically held at a pre-arranged time, between a group of Twitter users. A common chat is Blogchat. See: How to Participate in Blogchat on Twitter

Favorites: lets you mark a person’s message as a favorite message to be displayed in your Favorites Tab.

Hash tag: Hashtags were developed as a means to create “groupings” on Twitter. You create a hashtag simply by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag. One commonly used hash tag on Twitter is #Blogchat.

FollowFriday (FF, or #followfriday): Follow Friday goes out on Friday using the hash tag #FF or #FollowFriday. When you tweet a FF message, you are recommending that your followers check out the people you mention. More info at Followfriday on Twitter

Follower- A follower is someone who subscribes to receives your updates.

Following- Is someone that you have subscribed to. You will see their messages in your own timeline.

Fail Whale: The FailWale is an illustrated graphic of a whale held up by a flock of birds. You’ll see the fail whale during periods when Twitter is down.

Direct message- Is a private message between you and another Twitter user.

Tweetup- When twitterers meet in person- a Twitter meet up.

Strange and Humorous Twitter Terms

In addition to the more practical Twitter terms, there are a number of humorous and strange Twitter terms that have developed.

twirting: Flirting on Twitter
Tweetheart: A Twitter sweetheart. (That’s me.)
MisTweet: A tweet one later regrets.
detweet: Slang term used to describe a tweet you made, then deleted.
tweetaholic: The term used to describe someone who has a problematic addiction to Twitter.
twettiquette: Short for Twitter etiquette.
Twitosphere: Community of Twitterers
twisticuffs: Fighting with a fellow twitterer over twitter.
twitterrhea:The act of sending too many Twitter messages.
Twitterbang- To simulate sex through 140 character strings or less
drive-by-tweet: This is a fast tweet posted by an individual while he or she is in between tasks.
Twitterati- The tweet elite
Phweeter: Phony tweeter
Dweet: Tweet sent while drunk
Tweetsulted: To be insulted on Twitter
Twitterfly: A social butterfly on Twitter as evidenced by the extreme use of @ signs.
NTD: ‘Narcissistic Twitter Disorder,’ a term coined by me. See Narcissistic Twitter
STD – Silly Twitter Disorders contributed by Peter McCartney

Twitter Dictionary

Hopefully this list will help you get the maximum benefit of Twitter.
For more common and strange Twitter terms, browse the two following websites:


The Twitter Dictionary
aka Twittonary provides explanations of various Twitter related words.

Twitter Dictionary: a Guide to Understanding Twitter Chat

Feel free to add a Twitter term in the comments.

Hilarious ‘Twitter Movie Trailer’ Parody Hits YouTube

For your viewing pleasure:

For tweet loving fans check out the exclusive (parody) trailer for “The Twit Network.”

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