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Spanish Cell Phone Abbreviations

Shortcuts Make Text Messages Faster



Chateando en español. (Chatting in Spanish.)

Photo by María José Fornerod; licensed via Creative Commons.

Despite glaring limitations, such as tiny screens and cumbersome keyboards, cellphones have become an immensely popular tool for sending messages.

Sending messages in Spanish can pose extra challenges, as typing accented letters and Spanish punctuation isn't always intuitive. But these limitations haven't prevented cellphone chat — technically known in both English and Spanish as SMS (for Short Message Service) — from becoming useful for Spanish speakers worldwide.

One way of overcoming some of the phone's limitations are the use of abbreviations and word or symbol substitutions to get the message across in fewer keystrokes. In Spanish, many of the shorter words used are phonetic usages, such as q for que or qué (the name of the letter is pronounced the same as the word) and the elimination of the letter h, which is silent. Some of the cell phone words are also carryovers from computer chat conventions, such as the use of ":)" to indicate happiness. A few anglicisms are also common.

Cell phone abbreviations are far from standardized, but here are some of them you may come across or want to try using yourself:

100presiempre — always
a10adiós — goodbye
a2adiós — goodbye
achace — (form of hacer)
akiaquí — here
amramor — love
aoraahora — now
asdcal salir de clase — after class
asiasgracias — thanks
bbien — well, good
bbbebé — baby
bbrbbr — to drink
bs, bssbesos — kisses
byeadiós — goodbye
b7sbesitos — kisses
csé, se — I know; (reflexive pronoun)
camcámara — camera
cdocuando —  when
chao, chauadiós — goodbye
dde — from, of
d2dedos — fingers
dcrdecir — to say
dew, dwadiós — goodbye
dfcldifícil — difficult
dimdime — tell me
dnddónde — where
emshemos — We have
erseres tú — you are, are you
ers2eres tú — are you
exohecho — act
eysellos — they, you (plural)
findefin de semana — weekend
grrrenfadado — angry
fstafiesta — party
hlhasta luego — see you later
hlahola — hello
iwaligual — equal
kque, qué — that, what
kbzacabeza — head
klsclase — class
kntmcuéntame — tell me
kmcomo — as, like
KOestoy muerto — I'm in big trouble.
kyatcállate — Shut up.
m1mlmándame un mensaje luego — Send me a message later.
mimmisión imposible — mission impossible
msjmsnsaje — message
mxomucho — a lot
nphno puedo hablar — I can't talk now.
npnno pasa nada — nothing's happening
papara, padre — for, father
pcopoco — a little
pdtpiérdete — get lost
pfpor favor — please
plspor favor — please
pqporque, porqué — because, why
qque, qu.a — that, what
q acs?¿Qué haces? — What are you doing?
qand, qandocuando, cuándo — when
qdmsquedamos — we're staying
q plomo!¡Qué plomo! — What a drag!
q qrs?¿Qué quieres? — What do you want?
q risa!¡Qué risa! — What a laugh!
q seaqué sea — whatever
q tal?qué tal — What's happening?
sbs?¿sabes? — Do you know?
salu2saludos — hello, goodbye
smsmensaje — message
sproespero — I hope
tte — you (as object pronoun)
tas OK?¿Estás bien? — Are you OK?
tbtambién — also
tqte quiero — I love you
tqitengo que irme — I have to leave
uniuniversidad — university, college
vns?¿Vienes? — Are you coming?
vosvosotros — you (plural)
wpa¡Guapa! — Sweet!
xdonperdón — sorry
xfapor favor — please
xopero — but
xqporque, porqué — because, why
ymam, ymmllámame — call me
zzzdormir — sleeping
+más — more
:)feliz, alegre — happy
:(triste — sad
+o-más o menos — more or less
-menos — less
:psacar lengua — tongue sticking out
;)guiño — wink

Note: Many of the messages using a q for que or qué can also be expressed with a k, such as "tki" for "tengo que irme." A few popular abbreviations standing for vulgar words aren't included in this list.

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