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IDK Meaning: Decoding The Popular Abbreviation In Online Communication

by subhasree nag
Last Updated on: September 23, 2023

Communicating with people or communication has changed over the years, and it has become way more complicated than it used to be. A lot of acronyms have come up over the decade, and it has left many of us confused. These short, to-the-point acronyms can be a bit difficult to decipher in the beginning, but if you catch on the internet slang, it becomes a cakewalk.

Humans are very good at finding shortcuts, and that is how we have come up with the abbreviations. We need everything to be quick and easy, so they have found a way to make communication quicker. The abbreviation IDK is among the popular ones we use in our daily conversation.

IDK Meaning And Full Form

IDK meaning and full form

When discussing the ‘IDK’ meaning, we need to know the IDK full form first. According to Merriam-Webster, the abbreviation stands for “I don’t know.” the term is also used in lowercase, like “idk” while texting in social media and other modes of conversation.

People write IDK to make communication quick, but it becomes difficult to understand for elderly people; millennials mostly use these. These are mostly used in informal conversations, and it is part of what we are calling ‘SMS language’ these days. This has been a part of the dialect since 2002. 

This abbreviation is mostly used in text conversations to save time. It is never used in any kind of formal conversation, as it lacks seriousness and professionalism.

Where Is IDK Mostly Used?

Where is IDK mostly used

Idk is usually used in informal conversations, mostly while texting someone. It is a part of the SMS or short message service language. It is commonly used among teenagers and young adults. It is widely used in online conversations and social media.

Do People Use It In Face-To-Face Conversations?

Do people use it in face to face conversations

Now, it is not just limited to text messages only; we use IDK abbreviation in face-to-face conversations as well. Communicating face-to-face is a lot better than texting; there are fewer chances of miscommunication and a better exchange of communication as well. This happens because we can understand their tone and body language as well. But mostly, it is used in texts and online communications.

Is This Only Used For Texting?

Well, we can agree with this, it is mostly used in textual conversation, but sometimes it is used in face-to-face conversations as well. This is the most active communication activity, which includes normal texts as well as literary texts. It can be confusing for someone who is not so familiar with the abbreviations. 

While speaking, saying IDK in the middle of a conversation may sound odd or might be confusing, so saying the full form “i dont know” would e better while we are communicating face-to-face. But while typing, IDK, is a much faster way of communicating.

Is IDK A pragmatic Particle?

To know if it is a particle, we have first to know what a pragmatic particle is. It is something that helps in structuring the communication process and implants expression into the communication context.

And now, we get o the part when we answer if IDK is a pragmatic particle or not. Yes, it is a pragmatic particle. It adds context to a sentence, expresses a mood, or indicates an action, to be precise.

Has Oxford English Dictionary Accepted IDK?

Yes, Oxford Dictionary accepted this abbreviation in June 2016. According to them, the term I dont know or what we are saying IDK is used in electronic communication or texts to be clear. It is included in the colloquial languages or slang categories.

How To Use IDK In Sentences?

How to use IDK in sentences

IDK can be used while telling someone you have no idea about the fact they are discussing, or about your personal opinion, or when you are asked a question, and we have discussed IDK meaning above.

  • How many dresses should we take for the trip? IDK, I haven’t decided yet.
  • IDK when I will be back home. I will let you know once I reach home.
  • I might be able to pick her up, but IDK for sure.
  • IDK his name, but he seems very familiar.
  • IDK what he thinks of me, so I am not going to approach him yet.
  • IDK what you are talking about, I absolutely dont have any idea.
  • IDK where they got to know it from, but I didn’t tell him, be assured.
  • Do you know how they got to know each other? No IDK.
  • I will figure this out later, maybe, IDK.
  • IDK how he got her number.

Variations Of IDK

IDK meaning is something that we have discussed, and now it is our turn to know some of the variations of IDK given below.

  • IDEK: Let’s begin with the full form, that is, “I dont even know.” It is generally used when the person is trying to imply that they have no idea about a particular situation, event or a person. This is a little bit dramatic and shows frustration and annoyance. In some cases, the abbreviation ‘IDEK’ is used to mean “I didnt even know,” depending on the situation. Here are some examples:

    Example 1:
    Sam: When are you going to ask Rachel to be your prom date?
    Andy: IDEK!!

    Example 2:
    Janet: is Matt going to be at Jessica’s party?
    Rachel: IDEK there’s a party at Jessica’s.

    Example 3:
    Luke: Wanna go watch Nolan’s new movie with me this friday?
    Alex: Sure, do you have any idea what the plot is about?
    Luke: IDEK who is in the movie.
    Alex: You are an idiot!

  • IDC: This means “I dont care.” it is used in text messages or online casual conversations. when someone is trying to convey that they dont care about something or someone or a particular situation. Here are some examples:

    Example 1:
    Kate: You are being very rude to me.
    Alex: IDC

    Example 2:
    Rachel: Who is that new girl?
    Hayley: IDK and IDC

    Example 3:
    Amy: What do you think of my new dress?
    Sam: IDC
    Amy: You are horrible!

  • IKR: The full form stands for “I know, right?” it is mostly used in an ironic context. or instead of saying the whole phrase “tell me about it” or when someone is talking about something or someone in a sarcastic manner. Here are some examples:

    Example 1:
    Amy: That girl Jennifer is such a drama queen.
    Melissa: IKR!

    Example 2:
    Rachel: I cant believe that Luke asked out that new girl!
    Kate: IKR!

    Example 3:
    Sophie: That was such a boring party!
    Olivia: IKR!

The related terms for IDK are given below.

  • IDKE: It stands for I dont know either. It is used while replying to someone who said DN or dont know. It is used to avoid getting drawn to a situation. 

Example 1:
Sam: Hey do you there is a new movie of Nolan playing in the theatres now.
Alex: IDK and IDC

Example 2:
Pam: I dont know why she was so rude today
Alex: IDKE

Example 3:
Rachel: Do you know if Mike is coming to the party?
Amy: IDK
Jenny: IDKE

  • IDKW: It stands for I don’t know why. It is mostly used on social media platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Here are some examples:

Example 1:
Melissa: Sam wants to talk to you:
Amy: Why?
Melissa: IDKW

Example 2:
Amy: Hey, do you know if Jack is coming to the party today?
Sam: Why dont you text him and find out?
Amy: I did but IDKW he isnt replying to any of my messages.

  • IDKWTD: This abbreviation stands for “I dont know what to do.” it is similar to IDK because it says that the person is not in knowledge of something.

Example 1:

Chris: Hey man! Did your complete your assignment?
Luke: Nah Man! I didn’t even start.
Chris: Why?
Luke: It’s so confusing. IDKWTD.

Example 2: 

Amy: What did you decide? Who are you going to the prom with, Chris or Sam?
Melissa: IDKWTD

  • IDKWYM: This abbreviation stands for “I dont know what you mean.” again, this is a common term on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

    Sophie: You are a backstabber and I hate you.
    Monica: IDKWYM
    Sophie: I think you do.

Wrapping Up!

IDK is something that is related to a younger target audience; content writers also use it, but depending on the content and who are the readers of that content. Fast communication is a thing these days, and these abbreviations make it easier. IDK meaning in chat, or IDK full form in Instagram, is the same as it is in other platforms of social media and what we have discussed above.

Additional Reading:

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