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I’ll be honest— English speakers are addicted to abbreviations. It’s enough to make you get frustrated and scream “OMG”, especially when using text messages or Slack. Although there are a lot of these, we’re going to explore six of the most common abbreviations you’ll see in business English, and give you some guidance on when to use them.


AKA stands for “also known as,” and is most commonly used when introducing someone with a nickname. (According to the dictionary, a nickname is “a familiar or humorous name given to a person or thing instead of or as well as the real name.”) It can also be used to explain what someone does or what they’re known for.

Here’s an example: “Mr. Silva, AKA our boss.”

AKA is used for people as well as things— anything that has a common nickname.


ASAP is one of the most common abbreviations you’ll see in an office, and it’s important to know because it tells you that something is really important. It stands for “as soon as possible,” and if you see it, you know it’s something you need to prioritize!


EOD means “end of day,” and refers to the end of the work day. It’s commonly used as a project deadline. Another common abbreviation that’s used in the same way is COB, which stands for “close of business.” EOD and COB are used interchangeably and mean pretty much the same thing in a business context.


FYI means “for your information,” and is a helpful way to show that something should be paid attention to. If you see “FYI,” there’s a good chance that the information that comes next is important.


The first and most important thing you need to know about a link that says “nsfw” is not to click it at work! NSFW means “not safe for work,” and is most commonly used to warn people about sexual content.


Let’s say you read this sentence on Slack:

“Location TBD.”

Before you start Googling what TBD is and whether or not they have good food, remember that “TBD” means “to be determined.” It’s an abbreviation that tells you that something has not been decided yet. “Up in the air” is an English idiom that means the same thing, so when you see it, you know it’s telling you that an important detail is not yet decided.

FYI: you can learn about abbreviations— and everything else related to business English— with Verbalize Now. Our 1-on-1 and group classes will prepare you for an interview with an awesome English-speaking company.

If you’re not ready for online business English classes, check out our blog— it is loaded with helpful business English tips that can improve your speaking, interviewing, and professional skills.

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