What does “BRB” mean? How to use it and practical examples
What does “BRB” mean?
“BRB” stands for “Be Right Back". It is used in informal online communication to indicate that the person is temporarily stepping away from the computer or device and will return shortly. It is one of the most common internet acronyms used in online communication. It is a simple, concise way to inform others in the conversation that you are stepping away, without going into too much detail.
In fact, it has a lot in common with the abbreviation "AFK", which stands for "away from keyboard". When one is taking a break from something, both "AFK" and "BRB" can be used. They can even be used in tandem. For instance, you could use the phrase "AFK BRB" to let people know you'll be away from your computer for a little while but will be returning soon.
It can also be used in conjunction with the idioms "hold that thought" and "hold tight”. When either of these is employed with BRB, it tells the other party to pause their conversation and pick up when the other party has returned.
The Origin of the “BRB” term
The 1990s saw the emergence of the acronym BRB in online chat rooms. Most people in IRC's early days did not have access to the ability to set status as "offline" or "away." So, they used BRB. Typing "BRB" would alert other users that you would be taking a brief break from your computer.
Although it was used online much earlier than that, the earliest definition of BRB was only available from April 2003 in the Urban Dictionary. BRB was frequently combined with the internet acronym "G2G," which stands for "got to go," which is no longer widely used. G2G was frequently followed by a statement about what the person was doing, such as "getting a glass of water" or "answering the phone".
How to use “BRB”?
BRB is typically used in instant messaging, online chat rooms, and social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or WhatsApp. In general, it is used when you need to step away for a short time period and don't want to leave the conversation entirely. Not only that, in many cases, if the senders feel uncomfortable ending the conversation directly, they also use the "BRB" term.
- “Hey, I am away. BRB in 5 minutes.”
- “BRB my mother is calling.”
Using “BRB” ensures that others in the conversation know you're not ignoring them and that you plan to return shortly. It is important to use this abbreviation appropriately by indicating a reasonable amount of time you’ll be away or any specific reasons why you’ll step back. This way, your absence is seen as more a brief pause than an end to the conversation.
Additionally, it’s essential to have a proper understanding of your audience and context when using “BRB”. Some settings, like professional or formal digital communication, may require you to use a more appropriate or formal language instead of slang or internet acronyms. A message like “Excuse me, I need to step out for a moment” may be more appropriate than “BRB” in an important email.
In conclusion, “BRB” is an easy and convenient way to let others know that you plan to step away from the conversation for a short time. Knowing the appropriate context and audience to use this acronym properly gives you room to switch back and forth between informal and formal communication environments constantly. Keep in mind that when you use internet slang or acronyms, it may not be understood by everyone, so use it wisely, sparingly, and with consideration for others.
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