French texting abbreviations: The definitive guide

Celine Segueg

Communication between friends happens so much by text message nowadays, that each language has its own unique text lingo. For French learners and native speakers alike, understanding French texting abbreviations is an essential skill for keeping in touch through our ubiquitous instant messaging apps.

So while our regular content here at LingoCulture usually focuses on specific language lessons around French grammar and vocabulary, today’s post clearly falls within the realm of French culture: we’re about to cover everything you need to know about texting in French!

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We’ll start off with a couple of sections to frame the topic, including some essential vocab for talking about text messages in French, and a note on autocorrect in French. Then we’ll get into some of the general rules of French texting lingo, many of which are similar to English. Once we’ve covered the basics we’ll break the French text language down into a few broad categories, providing a comprehensive list of French texting abbreviations for each one.

At the end we’ll give you a sample dialogue in French txt language so you can see how much you understand. You’re likely to LOL in French at some of the abbreviations!

Text messages in French: Some basics

Before we get into the rules on French text language itself, let’s make sure we know the regular French terms for talking about phones. Before we move on, it’s also worth considering whether we ought to even use text abbreviations at all!

French texting vocab

In this vocab section, we just introduce a few of the French terms for talking about phones and texting. For a deeper exploration on using your phone in France, check out our detailed post on how the French phone system works.

un message texte text message
un sms text message
un texto text message
un numéro number
un numéro de téléphone phone number
un numéro de mobile mobile number
un téléphone telephone
une ligne fixe landline
un mobile mobile phone
un céllulaire cell phone (Québec only)
un appareil handset
un chargeur charger
un câble cable
une prise plug
un clavier keyboard
un message vocale voice mail
une boîte vocale voice mailbox
un appel call
appeler to call
envoyer to send
recevoir to receive
répondre to answer
raccrocher to hang up
sauvegarder to save
effacer to erase

Damn you French autocorrect?

Ok, so the main point of this post is to learn how to modify normal French words into abbreviated forms that are suitable for text messaging in French. However, let’s not forget the original premise of using a different texting language: to save time and space when typing on our phones…

Which leads us to the existential question: is typing correctly on our phones really that much of a hassle anymore?

Various forms of autocorrect are now pretty ubiquitous across so many languages, to the point that your phone will literally propose the correct word if you just start typing its first few letters. Just choose a French keyboard on your phone and you can access the whole French language! With this powerful tool allowing us to respect proper spelling and grammar, even on our phones, it’s worth asking ourselves if using this abbreviated text lingo is really even necessary.

Indeed, just like in English, the use of French texting abbreviations remains a choice for each person, with many people choosing to stick with full words and sentences. Here at LingoCulture we’re big fans of proper spelling and grammar!

Still, even if you don’t use text abbreviations yourself, it’s still important that you understand them when your friends text you with them! With this in mind, we’re happy to present you with the rest of this post to explain how to use French texting slang!

General rules for French texting

These first few French texting rules are very broad, and can apply to anything you type.

Skip the accents

This French texting rule surely comes as a relief to many native speakers, since even we aren’t always sure whether a word takes an accent or not. Rather than an excuse to hide our misspellings, however, we skip the accents in text messages simply because it saves time. We just type the base letter on our smartphone without holding it down and choosing the right accent!

Remember, however, that many French words have different meanings in their accented vs unaccented forms, so we still may include some accents to reduce ambiguity. In particular, we often include the final accent grave on past participles that end in é.

Still, we rarely ever bother with ç, ë, ï, ê, or è in French text messages!

All lowercase

like the previous rule about not bothering with accents, this one is also designed to save us time when we type our text messages. we just skip the shift key and get straight to the point!

Repeat the final letter for emphasis

This practice is actually popular in English as well as French text messages, though it’s certainly not designed to shorten their length. It’s just easy to press the final key a few more times to add emphasis to certain words by repeating their final letters.

  • je me suis bien amuseeeee! merciiiii! – Je me suis bien amusée ! Merci ! – I had a lot of fun!!! Thank you!!!


The regular use of emojis in French text messages isn’t unique to our language, but it sure is popular! The thumbs up 👍, all the colors of hearts ❤️💙💜💚🧡, and of course the full variety of smileys 😁😜😭🙃 are extremely common, as are the same fruity innuendo emojis that transcend any language 🍑🍆💦.

We’ll just point out one specific French emoji which can be used to say something is great. The French name for a small owl is a chouette, while this same word also means great. The use of this emoji isn’t super common, but if you see it you’ll know that it means chouette: 🦉.

French texting abbreviations

Now that we’ve seen the general rules that can apply to any French text messages, we’re ready to look at specific abbreviations that are unique to French texting slang. These generally fall into a few big categories, so we’ll introduce each broad rule here and then present the list of French texting abbreviations that apply to each.

Keep in mind that some French text abbreviations are formed through a couple of different rules, so our categorization isn’t too strict. A few French words even have multiple abbreviations!

Drop as many letters as possible

This rule should come as no surprise to anyone who writes txt msgs in any language. This practice surely started with the original short messaging system (SMS) on early mobile phones, when individual text messages were limited to 160 characters. Brevity remains obligatory in many digital forums to this day, such as Twitter’s 280-character limit. What’s an easy solution? Drp as mny ltrs as pssbl!

Just like you do in abbreviations for messages in English, this frequently means dropping many vowels in French text messages. It’s also common to just drop the latter half of a word altogether.

This is a blanket rule that can apply to any words which are still easy to understand with some letters missing, so it’s impossible to really list all the possibilities. Use your judgment! Still, here’s our list of the most-common French text abbreviations which result from chopping a few letters off.

art arrête stop
att attends wait
att à toute de suite see you very soon
av, ac avec with
bcp beaucoup a lot
bjr bonjour good day
bsr bonsoir good evening
cmb combien how much
cmt comment how, what
cpl compliqué complicated
dac, d’ac d’accord okay
dcp du coup so, anyway
drr derrière behind
ds dans in
dsl désolé sorry
j’arv j’arrive I’m almost there
j’sais pas je ne sais pas I don’t know
jms jamais never
jspr j’espère I hope
lstomb laisse tomber drop it, never mind
mnt, mtnt, mtn maintenant now
msg message message
nimp n’importe-quoi whatever, never mind
nn non no
pa pas not
pb problème problem
pr pour for
qd quand when
rep réponds reply
slt salut hi
spé spécial special
srtt surtout especially
srx sérieux seriously
tjr, tjs, tjrs toujours always
tps temps time
tqt t’inquiète don’t worry, it’s ok
tt tout all
vrm, vrmt vraiment really

Get phonetic

One of the most beautiful characteristics of French pronunciation is the number of letters it takes to spell out each syllable. Whereas an English speaker might want to spell a beautiful French word like “beaucoup” as “boku,” the good news here is that this sort of abbreviation is acceptable in French text lingo!

So in contrast with our usual emphasis on proper French spelling here at LingoCulture, if you’re texting in French you can take some liberties and spell phonetically. Many people take this to extremes when using French texting slang, though, to the point that they don’t conjugate their verbs correctly, or that they interchange single letters for single letters (like an “s” for a “c”). Unfortunately, at this point the French texting phrases are built more on misspellings than on abbreviations!

We should warn you that this can be a slippery slope, causing many native French speakers to have difficulty with their spelling because of their tendency to spell phonetically. Please, don’t carry this habit back to any contexts where your writing needs to have any degree of formality, including emails!

  • tu fé koi? va tu se soir? – Tu fais quoi ? Vas-tu ce soir ? – What are you doing? Are you going tonight?

Here’s our list of French texting abbreviations that are based primarily on their phonetic spellings.

askip à ce qu’il paraît apparently
biz bisous kisses
ca ça this, it
cho chaud hot, difficult, touchy
chu, chuis je suis I am
cki c’est qui? who is this?
com dab comme d’habitude as usual, as always
fo faux false, wrong
fo il faut it’s necessary to
jc, je sé je sais I know
jtm je t’aime I love you
jv, je vé je vais I’m going
kan quand when
kel quel, quelle which
keske qu’est-ce que what is…
kestufou qu’est-ce que tu fous what the hell are you doing
ki qui who
koi, kwa quoi what
mwa moi me
nrv ennérvé angry, frustrated
oki d’accord okay
oklm au calme chillin’
oue ouais yeah
ouf fou crazy
pk pourquoi why
plz s’il vous plaît please
snif sniff that’s sad
tkt t’inquiète don’t worry
tof photo photo
tt t’étais, tu étais you were
ya il y a there is, there are

Replace whole syllables with letters, numbers, or symbols

Just like you do in English when you type “C U L8r” to mean “See you later,” we’re also often able to just hit one key to replace an entire syllable when texting in French. Sometimes we even omit the spaces between words where the pronunciation is still clear, like you do with “CU.”

  • koi 2 9? – Quoi de neuf ? – What’s new?
  • g 1 plan. c cool. – J’ai un plan. C’est cool. – I have a plan. It’s cool.
  • 2rien. a+! – De rien. À plus ! – You’re welcome. See you soon!
  • 12c4 – Un de ces quatres. – One of these days.

This list of French text abbreviations includes words and phrases which are symbolized using letters, numbers, and symbols to replace whole syllables.

a+ à plus see you later
ab1 à bientôt see you soon
ac2n assez de haine enough hate, stop hatin’
b1 bien good
b1to bientôt soon
c c’est it is
cb1, cbi1 c’est bien that’s good
ct c’était it was
é est, es is
entk en tout cas in any case
g j’ai I have
gt j’étais I was
ght j’ai achété I bought
ht achéter buy
id idée idea
kdo cadeau gift
l elle she, her
mr6 merci thanks
nptk n’importe-quoi whatever, never mind
o au at, at the
o eau water
okp occupé I’m occupied, busy
p2k pas de quoi you’re welcome
p2pb pas de problème no problem
pk? pourquoi ? why?
pq papier-cul toilet paper
q cul ass
qq1 quelqu’un somebody
r1, ri1 rien nothing
t t’es, tes you are, your
tok? t’es ok? are you ok?
v1 viens come
x bisous kiss
x [je] crois [I] believe
12c4 un de ces quatres one of these days
2 de of, possessive
2ri1, 2rien de rien you’re welcome
2vant devant in front
5pa sympa nice
6né ciné cinema
7 cet, cette this
& et and
+ plus more, later
moins less

Abbreviate common phrases

Most of the rules we’ve seen so far can really apply to any text, since they’re mostly about shortening words and just making messages easier to type. For many common phrases, however, we have specific French texting abbreviations that are recognized by their string of first letters. This is equivalent to the English “idk” for “I don’t know,” or even “rofl” for “rolling on the floor laughing!”

So how do you say LOL in French? We just use the initials of mort de rire, which translates as dying laughing: mdr. Alternatively, most French people will understand if you just type LOL! The same goes for OMG, which doesn’t even have a French-only alternative.

Here’s our list of the most important French phrases with text abbreviations that you need to know.

ajd aujourd’hui today
alp à la prochaine see you next time
ama à mon avis in my opinion (IMO)
amha à mon humble avis in my humble opinion (IMHO)
bg beau gosse handsome guy
cad c’est à dire that is to say, meaning
cc coucou hey (very informal)
cpg ce [n’est] pas grave it’s not a big deal
cv ça va ? how are you?
ddd demande de discussion we need to talk
dqp dès que possible as soon as possible (ASAP)
expdr explosé de rire exploding laughing
fds fin de semaine weekend
h24 24 heures 24 hours a day
htd heureux tout de suite happy right now
jpp j’en peux plus I can’t take it anymore, I’m tired
jsp je [ne] sais pas I don’t know
mdr mort de rire dying of laughter (LOL)
omg oh my God oh my God
pdpb pas de problème no problem
peh pour être honnête to be honest
pq? pourquoi ? why?
ptdr péter de rire bursting out laughing (ROFL)
qq quelqu’un somebody
qqc quelque-chose something
ras rien à signaler nothing to report
stp s’il te plaît please
svp s’il vous plaît please
tfq tu fais quoi ? what are you doing?
tlm tout le monde everybody
we week-end weekend

Disguise French slang

Like any language, French has its fair share of slang terms that are used by a significant proportion of the population. And just like you do in English with abbreviations like WTF, we have abbreviations for some French slang terms that somehow make them appear less abrasive.

We include this list because many of these terms are quite common, but please keep in mind that you should definitely be comfortable with the original words before you consider using their abbreviations. A few of these are pretty neutral, but we include them here since they’re still within the realm of French slang dialect. Others are downright rude no matter how they’re stated. Use this French texting slang with caution!

blc [je m’en] bats les couilles I don’t give a shit
mrd merde shit
msk miskine idiot
ntm nique ta mère fuck your mom
pd pédé homo
put1 putain fuck!, fuckin’
raf rien à faire nothing to do, don’t care
raf rien à foutre don’t give a fuck
tg ta gueule shut up, shut your trap
wllh Wallah by God, I swear
wsh wesh yo, hey bro

Conclusion: French texting abbreviations

Before we go, why don’t you see how well you interpret a short French text exchange? Don’t worry, we’ll write it out in words for you after our conclusion!

slt! koi 2 9 2 soir?
jsp, & toi?
tu vx aller boire 1 coup en ville?
oue, grave. qd?
ds 1h.
d’ac. envois-moi 1 msg qd tu sors.
tkt. a+!

In this post, we provided an in-depth overview of everything you need to know about text messaging in French. We started with a discussion on whether it’s even necessary to use special text lingo on our phones these days, while admitting that it’s important to be able to understand a range of texting abbreviations in case our friends use it.

Then we got into the various rules of the French texting language. We started with general rules that can apply to any words and sentences, and then moved on to the specific rules that result in the most common text message abbreviations that you’re likely to encounter in French.

Through all these sections, we provided lists with over 150 French texting abbreviations so you’ll always know what your friends are trying to say! We recommend bookmarking this page if you communicate a lot with French text messages, or sharing it with your friends if they’re having trouble understanding your texts.

To close, we’ll just remind you again that text slang is dynamic in any language, so even though we’ve provided these clear lists of texting abbreviations in French, people will always find more ways to say the same thing. Just get creative, follow the pointers we’ve laid out here, and you’ll fit right in with your own French texting language!

Finally, how did you do with the text message exchange we provided above? Here it is using full words and sentences, along with its English equivalent. À+!

Salut! Quoi de neuf de soir?
Je ne sais pas, et toi?
Tu veux aller boire un coup en ville?
Oui, grave. Quand?
Dans une heure.
D’accord. Envois-moi un texto quand tu sors.
Ne t’inquiètes pas. À plus!
À bientôt!

Hey! What’s up tonight?
I don’t know. And you?
Do you want to go have some drinks in town?
Yes, totally. When?
In one hour.
Ok. Send me a text message when you leave.
Don’t worry. See you soon!
See you soon!