Advent calendar 23 – “Grmn Mssngr Tlk”

Written By: Emanuel Updated: February 8, 2021

Hey everyone,

and welcome to day … well, it’s day 24 but door 23. I’m essentially lagging one day at this point. But who cares, it’s Christmas time :). So there’s gonna be one more door to open tomorrow. Which Advent Calendar can do that, huh?

So, what’s behind door 23?
A thesis.
I know it sounds awful, but bear with me.
Originally I was gonna tell you about German acronyms. Not the boring official one like z.B. or u.ä. but the ones people use on Whatsapp and Facebook messenger and so on. U know, stuff like lmao or lol or 4 u.
But could only think of English ones and I don’t really use any of them in my Whatsapp chats. I use this swipe-typing, you know. It’s so fast.
Anyways, so I went online to check. And I did find lists there but there was a problem. The entries were either direct imports from English (LMAO, LOL and so on) or they didn’t ring any bell at all.  Like… I’m really really doubtful that those are actually used. I mean… just because one person uses something with their friends and bothers to make an entry for it doesn’t mean that it’s actually a thing.
Seriously… the only non-English ones where I’m sure it’s broadly used are hdl and lg and the variations.

  • hdl – hab dich lieb (“lov ya”… platonic way)
  • hdgl – had dich ganz lieb
  • dhgdl – hab dich ganz doll lieb (“lov ya lots”)
  • lg – liebe Grüße (nice greetings)
  • glg – ganz liebe Grüße (very nice greetings)

Those are universally understood and used but as for the rest I found online… hmmm… I was more than skeptical about their usage. I needed numbers. And so I boldly went to like THE place on the web where you won’t find cat pictures or porn on accident: Google Scholar.
Yeah, that’s right. Your boy went to for you to do research.

Did I find common universally agreed on messenger acronyms? No, seems like with a few exceptions, German really is too lazy to come up with its own and just uses the English ones.

But I did find a really great thesis on the topic of “messenger German” as a whole and I decided to share it with you here.

Now, the whole thing is in German so you definitely need to be B2 to read it. And it is a thesis written in German so the boring is very strong.
But what makes it really interesting is the pool of messages. The whole thing is based on a corpus of thousands of messages of various people of all social classes. And they’re all in there :).
The whole thing is like a 900 pages and the message start at about page 490.
That means there are 400 pages of unadltrtd, real, bent, mistreated, disfigured, honest German.
Wana c some ex.? Sure, here you go… can you figure out what they mean

  1. Ich war gestern auf der langen nacht der uni und hab
    nur 1.5 std geschlafen:-) werd heute abend nichts machen…voll
    gut wegen dem poster!!!kussi
  2. Mama muSs morgen zahnarzt. Zahn tobt
  3. häääääääy dude, willst du kurz anrufen???
  4. Hey. Könnt ihr mich heut vll mitnehmen, wenns keine
    umstände macht? :-* glg

And here’s a part of a Whatsapp chat:

Tag 05, 17:51 – X: So ein scheiss Wetter
Tag 05, 17:20 – X: Und X wegen Dei em alten N
Tag 05, 17:28 – Y: jo reifen kanns haben, Handy auch aber schaus dir
erstmal an ist nämlich ziemlich verkratzt
Tag 05, 17:51 – X: Cool. Danke Nice X
Tag 05, 17:51 – X: Dann Tel wir morgen wegen Biken!
Tag 05, 17:51 – X: Was machst heut noch ich chill :)
Tag 05, 19:37 – Y: noch beim x biss chillen? eventl bissl fifa und Name
of y?

Seriously, if you’re interested in how German is used and bent in emails, text messages and Whatsapp then this thesis is a treasure trove. And maybe it’s even an interesting read for the holidays.
Here’s the link to the pdf.

SMS and Messenger German – a thesis and usage examples (pdf)

How about you? Do you have experience with “Messenger German”? If yes, would you agree that German doesn’t really have many own acronyms?
And were you able to read the examples I gave :)?
Let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments and I’ll see you guys tomorrow. With a nice little present…

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