A List Of English Tone Indicators & What They Mean

18 July 2023
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House
Unsplash: Vitaly Mazur

Have you ever seen a comment or a message somewhere with a beginning or an ending of a forward slash and a letter? It sort of looks like this “/s” or this “/uj” or this “/g.” What you’re seeing is not just any combination of a symbol and random letters because what you are seeing is called a tone indicator or a tone tag. A tone indicator reveals the tone of the message, so you – the recipient or the reader – no longer have to wonder what the tone of the message really is.

You can see tone tags used all over social media and in online conversations. Again, they are used to clarify and express the true sentiment of the message. Because sometimes, it is a bit challenging trying to figure out the tone of what you are reading. But then, it isn't easy to keep track of this comprehensive list as there are plenty of them around. To help you learn what they are and what they mean, scroll down.

  • /s = sarcasm
  • /j = joking
  • /uj = unjerk; to indicate that the statement is not a joke and it is serious
  • /rj = rejerk; to indicate that the statement is a joke or not serious
  • /hj = half joking
  • /srs = serious
  • /nsrs = non-serious
  • /f = fake
  • /g = genuine
  • /genq = genuine question
  • /c = copypasta (a text that has been copied and pasted many times)
  • /t = teasing
  • /r = romantic
  • /ly = lyrics
  • /lh = light-hearted
  • /neg or /ng = negative connotation
  • /nf = not forced
  • /nm = not mad
  • /p = platonic
  • /pa = passive aggressive
  • /pc or /pos = positive connotation
  • /ref = reference
  • /th = threat