What Does ‘TTYL’ mean?

TTYL’ is a short for ‘Talk To You Later’.  It basically is a quick way of letting someone know that you cannot talk to them right now and will talk to them after a while. Almost like a goodbye. But when texting, people usually say ‘TTYL’ instead of goodbye.

Goodbye feels like an end to a conversation. Whereas ‘TTYL’ seems more like a pause for today and I will get back to you tomorrow, kind. So when you don’t feel like ending the conversation but have to bring it to a stop and if you would want to continue talking to that person, whenever your ‘later’ is, you should type ‘TTYL’ instead of goodbye.

Since grammar and punctuation does not matter at all for many young adults whether it is texting your friends and family, or, chatting to people on social media forums, you can write ‘TTYL’ as ‘ttyl’ as well. The only difference between the two is the capital form.

Origin of ‘TTYL’

It is suggested by research that it was in different places of England back in the 1980’s when people used to say ‘’ta ta” and not goodbye. The expression they usually used was “tata you all”. Where as now, it has been reorganized with a few changes in words by the Americans, and now is popularly known as “talk to you later”. And that is where it all began.

Other Forms Similar to TTYL

TTYL was not the very first alternative used for ‘goodbye’ in a message. Talking from my own experience, 10 years back, I don’t remember saying ‘TTYL’ to my friends when I was messaging them. The most commonly used acronyms of those times were ‘GTG’ which meant ‘Got To Go’. And if you wanted to take a short break from the conversation and had to be back, say within the next 10 minutes, you would write ‘BRB’, which is a short form for ‘Be Right Back’.

It was later, that ‘TTYL’ started a new trend. So now, when I have to end a conversation, I don’t say ‘GTG’, instead, I use ‘TTYL’.  And in my opinion, ‘TTYL’ adds more expression to it. It is like telling the other person or giving them the conformity that we ‘will’ talk later.

Besides these two, there are many more short abbreviations which can be used as an alternative to goodbye, or ‘TTYL’ or even ‘GTG’. These are:

  • ‘BBIAB’, which is a short for ‘Be Back in a Bit’. This is similar to the acronym ‘BRB’ which means ‘Be Right Back’.
  • ‘Toodles’ is not an acronym, but a word that was in trend. The word basically means goodbye.
  • ‘TTFN’, one of my favourites because this always reminds me of the cartoon ‘Winnie the Pooh’. The character, Tigger used to say TTFN to his friends.
  • And lastly, we have ‘CU’, which is a slang short abbreviation for the words ‘See You’.

Who uses this acronym?

Mostly, young adults. But people of an older age also use this as a goodbye note. It is a short way, it is super quick to type. And with time, everybody is getting aware of the different internet slangs that are being used commonly. Making it a ‘thing’ to text with abbreviations.

Where is it Used?

‘TTYL’ can be used for texting, on the mobile phones and on social networking forums where there are plenty of chatting options.

Examples for How to Use TTYL in Your Chats or Text Messages

Example 1

Situation: You are in the middle of a conversation with your friend, and you know it is super late and that you both should sleep now. So here, this is how you can use the short abbreviation ‘TTYL’.

Ben: So I went there today and I took his autograph.

Jen: That’s cool. Hey I am super sleepy now, ttyl okay?

Ben: cool!

So you can use this abbreviation in the middle of the sentence without making anything awkward.

Example 2:

Situation: You are getting ready for an event and suddenly your phone rings.

Text message from Julia.

Julia: Hey! I need to take the notes.

You: Not now. TTYL.

That was short and precise right? And the other person gets that you are probably occupied with something and cannot talk to them right away.

And ‘TTYL’ doesn’t necessarily has to be used along with other words to make a phrase. Look at the next example to learn better.

Example 3:

Situation: You are in your office and are presenting a very important meeting. Your wife messages you. This is how you can respond to your wife in a quick message.

Wife: Hey, Whats up?

You: TTYL

This may sound very abrupt. But, your wife would understand that you are in an office situation or are busy with work and cannot reply to her more than ‘TTYL’. (But do get back to her ‘later’)

Hope this article was helpful in understanding ‘TTYL’ better.


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Habiba Rehman


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