What Does AFK Stand For?

AFK stands for ‘Away from the Keyboard’. It is an acronym used mostly when you are chatting with someone over the internet but in real time. It is used to tell the person to wait as you will be away from keyboard.

When is AFK Used?

AFK is a very common internet jargon, used by many people to inform the person at the other end to wait for you as you won’t be on the keyboard for a while.

AFK can be written in upper case as well as lowercase. The meaning will remain the same for both.

How should it be Used?

You can write AFK in the beginning, end or even in the middle of your sentence. It does not need the support of other words to clarify the meaning. However, adding another phrase along with AFK gives the recipient a better idea of why you are away from your keyboard.

Examples of AFK

Example 1

Friend 1: How come you are free in office at this hour.

Friend 2: Lunch break started a bit early.

Friend 1: Liar!

Friend 2: Just kidding. Oh, AFK, boss incoming.

You can use AFK when you are talking to a friend during office times, and suddenly your boss appears.

Example 2

Situation: You are home, and are doing some research on your project. And you have told your mother that you would help her in the kitchen once you are done doing your research. But, while you were researching, your friend came online and you started to chat with her instead.

J: Hi, what are up to?

K: Nothing, was working on my project.

(half an hour later, while you are chatting, you hear your mothers footsteps.)

K: AFK, momzilla coming.

Do you understand how you can use AFK?

Here is another example of AFK to help you get a better insight.

Example 3

Situation: You left your chat window open, and on available and went off to attend an official call. So when you come back, you see messages from your friend.

Jane: Hey, Kate.

Jane: Are you there?

Kate: Hi, sorry, was AFK , on a call with my boss. I’ll get back to you in a while okay?

Jane: Okay.

You can use the acronym AFK when you are currently busy doing something else and cant type on the keyboard while on it.

Example 4

(Your friend comes online)

H: you will not believe what just happened!

H: Tee, you there?

H: Tee???

Tee: sorry was AFK, tell me now, what happened?

In this example, Tee, did no add another phrase to explain why he was AFK. You too, can write the acronym AFK all by itself. It will be enough for the recipient to understand that you were away from the keyboard.

Example 5

Ian: I went to the shop with my wife and guess whom I ran into?

Ian: ?

Ian: There?

Jack: was AFK, will be going back again, Jen needed help with the laundry. Who did you ran into?

Saying AFK when you could not respond to your messages on chat can be a convenient acronym for everyone to use. It is self-explanatory.

Example 6

Tyler: So, where have you been? I have been calling you since an hour.

Becka: I am sorry, was AFK, mom is on a round though, won’t be able to talk for long.

Other Alternative Acronyms for AFK

AFK is not the only acronym that you can use when you want to tell someone to wait, or tell them why you were away from the keyboard. Other such acronyms include:

BBIAB which stands for ‘Be back In a Bit’. You can use it instead of AFK in many conversations. For instance, you can see that your friend is continuously messaging you on chat, but you can’t talk to her at the moment because you are on a call. So you quickly message her ‘BBIAB, on call’. Your message will be conveyed, and your friend will wait for you to be back.

Another alternate acronym for AFK can be BRB which means Be Right Back. BRB is one of the most popularly used acronyms for telling someone that you will be back in a while. Just like AFK. But AFK is not more popularly used in comparison to BRB. For example, saying ‘BRB, going to the loo’ or saying ‘BRB, moms coming’.

TTYL, that stands for Talk to You Later, is another acronym which can be used in replacement of AFK. Later here could mean five minutes, an hour or even a day. So if you are in office, or are doing some work, and your friend sends you messages, you can message them ‘ttyl, boss on round’ or ‘TTYL, can’t talk right now.

So you have a huge pool of acronyms that you can choose from when you are AFK.

Habiba Rehman
Major love for reading, but writing is what keeps me going. Dream to publish my own novels someday.