"I"m a FTM with DD and currently NAK": How excessive acronyms have made mommy message boards unintelligible

'I'm a FTM with DD and currently NAK': How excessive acronyms have made mommy message boards unintelligible



19:10 GMT, 10 April 2012

Gone are the days when shorthand like LOL and BRB were the most
likely acronyms to spark confusion.

Mommy message boards, the chatrooms found on a range of
parenting websites, have attracted a new style of abbreviated language that is
jam-packed with far more complicated acronyms.

In an attempt to simplify phrases like ‘nursing at keyboard’
(NAK) and ‘full time mother’ (FTM), the message boards have become almost
incomprehensible to forum users who are not familiar with the terms.

Mommy lingo: Amid the endless blogs for mothers, mommy messenger boards have attracted so many acronyms that non-users are struggling to read them

Mommy lingo: Amid the endless blogs for mothers, mommy messenger boards have attracted so many acronyms that non-users are struggling to read them

Like a secret code, it seems that mothers, mothers-to-be and
women who are planning to have a baby have developed an exclusive language
amongst virtual meeting groups to ensure they can ‘chat’ frankly about their
children with like-minded people only.

It makes no difference if a message board has not been
created for a particular set of mothers.


TheBump.com attracts thousands of online discussions every week. It is an offshoot of popular bridal site, TheKnot.com.

ScaryMommy.com is a virtual community for women looking to speak honestly about the realities of motherhood. It sparked the book Confessions Of A Scary Mommy.

WhatToExpect.com is based around the popular book What To Expect When You're Expecting, which is said to be read by 93per cent of pregnant women.

UrbanBaby.com is a New York-based website devoted to cosmopolitan mothers.

YouBeMom.com invites mothers to speak about all aspects of being a mother including favourite television shows.

Specific online forums cater for a range of mothers
including the ones who work from home, Christian mothers, Diabetic mothers and
even irreverent mothers.

The new style of language has been spotted across
message boards of all sorts.

Tracie Egan Morrissey, a writer for Jezebel.com who is a mother herself, said the acronym overload is very confusing to anybody outside the message board bubble – including fellow mothers.

She said: 'First of all, some acronyms that are already
well-established in other venues mean a completely different thing in parenting
forums, like FTM. It doesn't mean Female to Male transsexual, but rather, First
Time Mom.

'It's confusing terms like this that make understanding postings
through simple reading comprehension kind of impossible.'

Of course, the internet has long attracted a short-cut
approach to reading and submitting text.

While web users may have typed full-length phrases and words into
Talkomatic, the world’s first online chat room which was created in 1974 at the
University of Illinois, Nineties instant messaging service ICQ went so far as
to brand itself as an homophone.

It is an abbreviated version of the full-length phrase ‘I seek you.’


AI – Artificial insemination

AIH – Artificial insemination with husband's sperm

ART – Assisted reproductive technology

BC – Birth control

BD – Baby dancing (sex meant for conception)

BF – Breastfeeding

BFN – Big fat negative (in regards to a pregnancy test)

DA – Dairy allergy

DD – Dear daughter

DF – Dear fiance

DH – Dear husband

DPO – Days past ovulation

DS – Dear son

DSD – Dear step daughter

DSS – Dear step son

DTD – Do the deed (as in sex)

DXP – Dear ex partner, for people who are still on good terms with their exes

EBF – Exclusively breastfeeding

EBM – Expressed breast milk

ET – Embryo transfer

FF – Formula feeding

FS – Food stamps

FTM – First time mom

HPT – Home pregnancy test

LAM – Lactational amennorhea method (referring to natural infertility while breastfeeding)

LO – Little one

MC – Miscarriage

MIL – Mother-in-law

MS – Morning sickness

NAK – Nursing at keyboard

NFP – Natural family planning (or the rhythm method)

NIP – Nursing in public

NTNP – Not trying/not preventing

O – Ovulation

OH – Other half

OPK – Ovulation predictor test kit

OWT – Old wives' tale

PG – Pregnant

POAS – Pee on a stick

POF – Premature ovarian failure

SAHM – Stay at home mom

SB – Still birth

SW – Starting weight

TTC – Trying to conceive

US – Ultrasound

VBAC – Vaginal birth after cesarean

WAHM – Work at home mom

WOHM – Work out of home mom

WM – Working mom