HomeWhat does “SRSLY” mean, and how do you use it?

What does “SRSLY” mean, and how do you use it?


Has anyone texted you “srsly”? In response to some great news, but not sure what that means? Read on to know the definition of this common internet abbreviation.

Seriously serious.

SRSLY is an abbreviated form of the word “seriousness” in which all letters are omitted. It is often used as a short alternative to the term. For example, if someone does something you don’t like, you can send them a message, “SRSLY?” However, given the context, this could take on a whole new meaning.

You can write this abbreviation in different ways. You can write it in uppercase letters “SRSLY” or lowercase “srsly”. If you are using it as a complete sentence on your own, you can also write it as a sentence, such as “Srsly”.

Another variation abbreviates the word “serious” to “SRS”. It’s a little less common and is often used with the phrase “RU SRS”, to clarify if someone is joking.

History of SRSLY

SRSLY is slightly older than the other Internet languages ​​we’ve covered. It appeared in the early 2000’s, the age of instant messaging and SMS texting. Most of the people who used the term were teenagers, who shortened the words to make them easier to type.

The first definition of SRSLY on the civic dictionary is from 2005 and states that it is “seriously a shorthand for the Internet.” It finally became more widely used in the early 2010s, thanks to the addition of social media and chat apps such as Twitter and SnapChat. Nowadays, you can find it everywhere on the internet.


The man in front of the woman pulling the food looks upset.
Dan Droboot / Shutterstock.com

Believe it or not, “srsly” can have some different meanings depending on the context. Here are some common ways to use this abbreviation.

First, you can use it as a simple substitute for the word “seriously”. For example, if you are trying to say that you are tired, you can say, “I’m very tired right now.”

When “SRSLY” is asked as a question, it means that someone is in disbelief. You can say to your friend, “I found out yesterday that Adam is getting married.” If your friend finds this shocking because they didn’t even know Adam was in a relationship, they might say, “SRSLY?” This particular way of using the term has a similar meaning to “RU SRS”, which we will discuss in the next section.

Another use is to make it clear to someone that you are not joking. For example, you might say, “I’m thinking of moving across the country. Sarsley.” It tells the other person that you are completely serious about wanting to move.


As we said before, another type of abbreviation is saying “RU SRS”, which you will say when you are in disbelief. You can say “srs” yourself, but it’s much less common on the Internet.

Saying “RU SRS” is more severe than just using “SRSLY”. This is usually the case when a truth teller says or does something. For example, if a friend tells you that they were in a dramatic medical emergency recently, like a snake bite, you might say “RU SRS”. Let it be known that this news is shocking to you.

How to use SRSLY

Before you start using “SRSLY” in your writing to save valuable typing time, don’t forget that this is a very informal abbreviation. Avoid using it in a professional context, such as on business emails or on your company’s communication channels.

Here are some examples of SRSLY in action:

  • “Did you hear? Anna lost her engagement ring. Sarsley.”
  • “Sirsley? Why are you telling me this?”
  • “I broke my girlfriend’s vase. I’m in big trouble. “
  • “RU SRS ???”

If you are interested in other languages ​​of the internet, we have a lot of pieces that you can read! Check out our guides on ICYMI, NGL, and BRB, and you’ll become an expert before you know it.

Related: What does “ICYMI” mean, and how do you use it?

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