What Does ILU Mean in a Text?

Expressing Love in a Text

There are over 100 novel ways to express love in a text message. Some of them were invented by the iKids (i.e., Millennials, Generation Z, and Generation A), making them just a few decades old, but many of them have been around for centuries. Here's the one that matters to you: ILU means "I Love You."

More Observations...

The significance of using the abbreviation ILU depends on the relationship between the sender and the recipient. Whilst actually saying "I love you" is still considered a declaration of deep, romantic, and exclusive affection, the abbreviation ILU should not always be taken so literally. It is sometimes used just to show affection, rather than as an actual declaration of love.

Image for ILU

When I write ILU, I mean this:

meaning of ILU

"I Love You"

Summary of Key Points

"I Love You" is, by far, the most common meaning for ILU when it is used in a text. (Bear in mind that it could have another meaning if used in a different context.)
Definition:I Love You
Guessability:guessability level 2
2: Quite easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults, Teenagers, and Under 13s

Examples of ILU in Sentences

Here are examples of ILU in conversations:
  • Tessa: I hate not being with you every minute of every day.
  • Danny: ILU.
  • Sharon: I have got the tickets for the show!
  • Tony: Hooray! You're the greatest! ILU.

An Academic Look at ILU

ILU is an initialism abbreviation. Technically, this means it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., Eye Ell Yoo), but as this is harder to say than "I love you" it is not often uttered using its letters. In other words, the abbreviation ILU is for efficiency in writing and not efficiency in speech. The abbreviation ILU is normally used as a standalone declarative sentence (i.e., a statement) with the meaning "I love you." ILU is not often used as another part of speech within a wider sentence.

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

Before the digital era, we would have just said "I love you" instead of using the abbreviation ILU.

Example of ILU Used in a Text

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