What Does BBS Mean?

BBS means "Be Back Soon" and "Bulletin Board System."

Be Back Soon

The abbreviation BBS is typically used in online and text-based communications to mean "Be Back Soon" to indicate that the sender will be away for a short amount of time.

BBS contrasts with BBL (Be Back Later), which suggests a break of up to a few hours. It is similar in meaning to BRB (Be Right Back).

Bulletin Board System

BBS can also mean "Bulletin Board System." In this context, a BBS is an electronic message center that allows users to dial in with a modem, review messages left by others and leave their own messages. Most bulletin boards went out of business with the arrival of low-cost, high-speed internet services. However, some still survive, mainly serving specific interest groups.

Summary of Key Points

"Be Back Soon" is the most common definition for BBS on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Be Back Soon
4: Difficult to guess
Typical Users:
Adults and Teenagers

Second Definition for BBS

"Bulletin Board System" is another definition for BBS.

Definition:Bulletin Board System
4: Difficult to guess
Typical Users:
Adults and Teenagers

Image for BBS

When I write BBS, I mean this:

meaning of BBS
BBS also means "Bulletin Board System."


Examples of BBS in Sentences

Here are examples of BBS being used in conversations:
  • Dave: Congratulations, you've been selected for the job.
  • Claire: What's the salary?
  • Dave: 10K now, increasing to 20K soon.
  • Claire: Cool. In that case, I'll BBS.
  • (Here, BBS means "Be Back Soon.")
  • Son: Dad, you're so old that instead of email you had a BBS.
  • Dad: Son, I'm so old that I can remember when there was no social media and you had to go to a bar and buy endless drinks to be ignored by multiple women.
  • (Here, BBS means "Bulletin Board System.")

An Academic Look at BBS

BBS is an initialism abbreviation. Technically, this means it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., "Bee Bee Ess"), but as this is harder to say than "Be Back Soon" it is not often uttered using its letters. In other words, the abbreviation BBS is for efficiency in writing and not efficiency in speech.

Intialisms contrast with acronyms, which are spoken like words.

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

Before the digital era, we would have just said something like "Be right back" or "See you soon" instead of using the abbreviation BBS to mean "Be Back Soon."

Example of BBS Used in a Text


See Also

BBIAB (be back in a bit) BBL (be back later) IBB (I'll be back) IWBB (I will be back) WBB (will be back)