Twitter Glossary: Twitter Lingo Explained For The Utterly Confused


Follow me on Twitter | ReTweet this post

What are all those confusing little words you come across in every other tweet? Read on for answers.

Twitter is becoming a culture in itself. Spawning new words, and creating new concepts around its lingo.

Many of us get confused when we first join Twitter and are bombarded with the inside mumbo-jumbo. This post is meant to clear up some of those words. The big ones actually, that everyone else seems to know except you!

Let’s start with the all so common Tweet.


Whatever you post at Twitter is a tweet (and thank god not a twit).

RT or ReTweet

There’s already a big fat post on Blogging Bits that explains what ReTweet is and why and how you should use it. But I’ll summarize it here again for those of you who can’t be arsed to read the whole post.

ReTweet is a quoted tweet, a repost. You ReTweet when you quote someone else’s tweet in your tweet.

That’s how most tweeple (oops.. people) use it:

RT @originalposter this is a quoted tweet — this is your comment

Where RT stands for ReTweet, @originalposter is the guy or girl you’re quoting, the following text is the quoted tweet, and the text after dashes is your comments (comments are optional).


Hashtags are a way to tag your tweets. They are keywords you use to put your tweet in certain topic.

You usually use hashtags when tracking a popular topic. Like if you’re giving updates on FOWD conference, you’ll use the tag #FOWD in your update tweets.

Use hashtags at the end of a tweet, or make a hashtag out of any word inside the tweet to save space (for example: I’m at #FOWD meeting jolly good folks).


DM stands for direct message.

Twitter is all about saying everything in public timeline, but there are occasions when you want to send some a private message. That’s when you use a DM.

Method 1: If you want to send a @Friend a direct message, type it like this:

D Friend This is the message.

D at start is to ensure this is a private message. Friend is the Twitter ID of of the person you’re sending a DM, and the rest is your message.

NOTE: Always use D and not DM at the start of a direct message or it’ll end up in public timeline.

Method 2: Switch to “Direct Messages” tab on your Twitter page, select a person from the drop down menu, enter your message in the input box, and hit the send button.

Tweeps / Tweeple

The peeps or people on Twitter of course.

Twitterverse / Twitterville

Everyone at Twitter. The Twitter community.


The big guys at Twitter. Those with more followers than you can count in your lifetime.


Any word prefixed by Tw to make it more compatible with Twitter.


There are a lot more words with TW added at the start, and many more being coined everyday, so it’d be a waste of time and energy to document them all here.

Though you must have gotten a pretty good idea of how a Tword works by now, and you should be able to decipher any new words encountered from now on.

Any other popular Twitter words/terms I have missed? Let me know in the comments.

76 comments so far and counting

  1. Blogging Bits Explains Twitter Terms :: The Fire Educator
  2. Twitter Tips at Blogging Bits | PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) Reviews, News, and Information
  3. How to Integrate Twitter to WordPress Blog Comments
  4. Useful Glossaries For Web Designers and Developers | Search Engine Optimisation
  5. Useful Glossaries For Web Designers and Developers |
  6. Emerge Inc. Blog » Blog Archive » My how things have twanged in just 4 months
  7. Useful Glossaries For Web Designers and Developers | The NewMediaStudio, Custom PHP and MySQL Applications
  8. Market Your Christian Home Business With Twitter! | Christian Home Business
  9. Why I hate “#Twestival” | rt Strategy | Kelowna Marketing Agency | Creative Services - Branding - Web Design - Advertising - Social Media - Public Relations
  10. Your Complete Guide To Setting Up Twitter For Your Job

Come on, say something!