What Does "ILY" Mean? ILU and ILU Definition (Examples for 2022)

What does ILY mean? Does it mean I Love Yogurt? Does it mean I Love Yarn? When someone texts you with the abbreviation ILY, it can be confusing to understand what it means. It's important to understand the acronym so you can get an idea of what the other person wants to communicate.

Learn what ILY means in this short guide.

"ILY" meaning and definition

"ILY" definition and meaning

"ILY" stands for "I Love You." It is typically used in text messages or online conversations between two people, rather than groups. It is when one person wants to save time and instead of saying, "I love you." They simply text, "ily."

"ILY" is most commonly send in all lowercase letters, rather than uppercase. The reason for this is so the recipient can see that the first letter is an "i" rather than an "L," preventing confusion.

The term is used to describe admiration, love, adornment, and other positive emotions. Used in the exact way that "I love you" would get used in face-to-face conversations, "ILY" means love, affection, and intimacy.

"ILY" getting used in a text conversation between two friends

Variations of the acronym

There are only a few variations of the abbreviation that could get used over text message:

  • "ilu" — which simply means, "I Love You." Although using a "u" to say, "you."
  • "iluffu" — which means, "I Love You." Although to be expressed in a softer voice.

History of "ILY"

"ILY" dates back to 2004. The acronym has gained in popularity in recent years. Reaching the peak use of the term around December of 2021, as reported by Google Trends. Urban Dictionary states that the similar variation "ilu" was used as far back as 2003. Meaning, this acronym is one of the oldest used in terms of internet slang. Similar to terms like, "OMG" and "LOL.

How to use "ILY"

Here is how to use "ILY":

  • Typically, it's common to use "ILY" in all lowercase letters rather than uppercase.
  • It can be used in all uppercase letters.
  • Used in informal communication rather than business or work settings.
"ILY" in a text message conversation

Examples of "ILY" used in text messages

Here are example where "ILY" or "ILU" is getting used in a text message:

Example one

Friend 1: "I don't know if I could live without you, ily!"

Friend 2: "Oh my gosh, I love you too!"

In this example, the first friend is using "ILY" to tell the other friend that they love them. The context fits the conversation. Showing adornment, admiration, and love. The three letters are used to shorten, "I love you." And are used to short grateful affection between the two friends.

Example two

Friend 1: "Did you say ily?"

Friend 2: "I did. But he didn't say anything back when I said that. It's weird, he's not texting me back."

This second example shows the first friend using "ILY" as a type of question. Asking if the other friend told their spouse or boyfriend, "I love you."

Example three

Friend 1: "ILU!"

Friend 2: "I love you, too!"

Using the variation of "ILY" with "ILU," the meaning is the exact same. Simply, the first friend wanted to use "U" rather than saying, "You."

Similar short forms and abbreviations

Here are other similar short forms and abbreviations:

ILY2: Which means, "I love you, too." This is a respond to "ILY" or "ILU."

ILYTB: Meaning, "I love you to bits."

GBML: Which stands for, "Goodbye, my love!"

Common FAQs

Questions and answers about internet slang.

What does "ILY" or "ILU" mean on Snapchat?

The meaning of "ILY" on Snapchat is the same as over text message. It means someone is saying, "I love you." Meanings of this internet slang term don't typically change by use on social media platforms.

What does "ILY" mean from a girl?

It means the girl is saying, "I love you." It is a sign of great admiration and adornment.

What does "ILY" mean from a guy?

If a guy is saying "ILY" or "ILU" over text message, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, or Facebook—it means the person is saying, "I love you."

For example, a guy could say, "ILY GIRL!" Meaning, "I love you, girl!"

Short form and slang guides

Other short form and slang guides to help understand acronyms used by friends:

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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