10 everyday business acronyms, what they mean and how to use them

Do you think I could borrow your extra hand for my exam?


Short and sweet… let’s use some acronyms 

In today’s fast-paced world, acronyms and abbreviations are heavily used… especially in Business English. Just like investors want to invest as little money as possible to make a profit, people want to use as few characters (or words) as possible to express their meaning, especially when typing an email or a text message. 

Whether you are learning English for business or just for fun, knowing these 10 everyday business acronyms, what they mean and how to use them will help you communicate with native English speakers.



“For your information” or FYI is one of the most common acronyms used in business and communication in general. You may get a forwarded email from a co-worker with these 3 letters and nothing else! Usually what this means is that the sender of the message simply wanted to “keep you in the loop” and let you know that something happened. 

Or someone may start a sentence with “FYI” so that they don’t have to say “for your information” to save time (and breath).

“FYI your boss left you a voicemail. She was looking for you earlier.”

‘FYI Lingoloop offers online English classes, not in-person classes.”




Like FYI, “By the way” or BTW is an acronym used to inform someone of something as well.

“BTW, the memos were sent out at the end of last week.”

“BTW, I checked my notes and I don’t have her phone number.”




“In my humble opinion” is used when you want to signal to someone that you are voicing your own perspective. For example: 

“IMHO, brunch is overrated.”

“We should have fired him years ago IMHO.”

While the word “humble” means to be respectful or deferential, sometimes IMHO can be used in a proud (not so humble) or snide way… So make sure you understand the context!




“As soon as possible” or ASAP is a classic acronym that is used in all walks of life. When you want something ASAP, you want it right away!

“Sorry sir, we will get you a room ASAP!”

“I’m hoping we will know the test results ASAP.”




IOU is short for “I owe you.” It is often used as a noun to express a debt. AN IOU can be have a monetary value (like if you borrow $5 from someone). It can also have a non-monetary value, like if a friend helps you with a task, you may repay them in kind by offering to help them on their next project. 

“Thanks for covering for me, I’ll give you an IOU.”

“Hey Jimmy this is the last time. Next time you’ll have to start paying back these IOUs.”




If something is TBD or “to be determined” it has not yet been decided. Sometimes you will see TBD on a schedule. Let’s say you are looking at a calendar of events. The date and/or time may be printed, but perhaps the location is TBD. 




ETA or “estimated time of arrival” is a popular acronym used when you want to know when something will be finished or when someone will arrive.

“Mom, I’ll wait for you outside in the parking lot. What’s your ETA?”

“Do you have an ETA for when that report will be finished?” 




EOD or “end of day” is another acronym related to time. It’s usually used to express a deadline.

“I’ll have that report to you by EOD Friday.”

“I see that the package will be delivered by EOD.”




You don’t see FTR or “for the record” that often, but it does appear from time to time. Sometimes when someone is trying to argue, or defend a position, they will say “for the record” to express a fact that supports their opinion. 

“I know you think it’s my fault, but FTR I sent the invoice yesterday, before the deadline.”

“FTR I told HR (Human Resources) about this problem two months ago.”




“Keep it simple stupid” or KISS is a principle that means sometimes simplicity is best. Systems that are overly complicated in design have a greater risk of failure. It’s very much related to the expression “too many moving parts” which was covered in our last blog post. The KISS acronym is not used as an abbreviated phrase to shorten a sentence like some of the other examples. We included it because it’s an important concept and phrase that’s useful in business and life in general.

To review, people use these business acronyms to simplify their writing – to get their point across in as few words as possible. So, keep it simple stupid, IMHO if you want to improve your English quickly, practice real conversations with our expert tutors at Lingoloop. FYI we have a 5-star google rating🙂