What Does BRB Mean in a Text?

The abbreviation BRB means "Be Right Back." It is typically used on instant-messaging platforms (e.g., chat rooms, Skype, gaming chat) to announce being away for a short time.

BRB was originally used for breaks such as answering the door, going to the toilet, or preparing a drink (i.e., a break lasting no more than a few minutes). However, it is now often misused for long breaks. (Which can be very annoying for those expecting the sender to return quickly!)

Image for BRB

When I write BRB, I mean this:

meaning of BRB

BRB indicates that the sender will be away from the keyboard for a short period.

Summary of Key Points

"Be Right Back" is the most common definition for BRB on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Be Right Back
Guessability:guessability level 3
3: Guessable
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Examples of BRB in Sentences

Here are examples of BRB being used in conversations:
  • Tony: Doorbell BRB
  • Sam: No worries.
  • Ian: BRB
  • Jo: [5 minutes later]: Hello?
  • Ian [10 minutes later]: I'm back. I just popped to the shops for some coke.
  • Jo: Next time, use AFK ("Away from Keyboard") instead of BRB!

An Academic Look at BRB

BRB is used as a standalone declarative sentence (i.e., a statement), which translates best as "I will be right back." In other words, it is not used as another part of speech within a wider sentence.

BRB is an initialism abbreviation. This means it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., Bee Arr Bee). (Initialisms contrast with acronyms, which are spoken like words.

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

Before the digital era, we might have said something like "back in a jiffy" or "I'll be two shakes of a lamb's tail" instead of BRB.

Example of BRB Used in a Text

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