Social Media Dictionaries: Or what you need when everything starts with “tw”

In the midst of this Wild West we call social media, it can be difficult to make sense of words that should mean something, but that just…don’t. Each new Web 2.0 platform brings with it its own vernacular, and it doesn’t take long for us to get overwhelmed, throw up our hands and cry “It’s all Geek to me!” (No? Just me? Right.)

When you come across a word you don’t know in “real life,” you head to Webster-Merriam. But when you come across a word that features random capitalization, looks a little like baby talk or makes you feel more like a hipster than usual, where do you go?

Soon, AP Stylebooks will reflect some of the most common social media terms, but until we receive our new copies, the Web provides plenty of answers.

As Jenna pointed out, Google is a great starting point for staying on top of social media trends. The same can be said for social media vocabulary. Throw “social media dictionaries” into the search bar and you’re off. Depending on how comfortable you are with general social media terms, some of the dictionaries out there might be more confusing than helpful. I found some of the pre-made dictionaries to be a little meaty, so I compiled my own, just-the-basics version for our office: SM dictionary a la Emerald Isle.

For future reference, you can access this dictionary at

As you navigate this new world of social media, and try to figure out how to put it to use in your daily life, just knowing what the heck everyone is talking about puts you at an advantage.

Hope this helps,

Laura Stanelle, @laurastanelle