What Does ICL Mean in a Text?

ICL means "I Can't Lie."

The abbreviation ICL was typically used with the meaning "I Can't Lie," to preface a comment in order to add emphasis, or indicate that the sender was being sincere. It represented a statement such as: "This is my honest opinion," or "I'm only telling you this because I am being truthful."

However, more recently, the use of ICL has become so common on social-media platforms and in chat rooms that its meaning has now been diluted. The actual intended meaning of ICL can now range from "I think..." to "I'm sorry for being blunt, but..." As with most abbreviations, the context of use and familiarity with the sender are key to understanding. For example:
  • ICL, your butt does look really big in those trousers.
  • ICL, I'm not sure if I want to go on Saturday.
ICL is similar in meaning and use to abbreviations such as:
  • CL ("Can't Lie").
  • NGL ("Not Gonna Lie").
  • TBH ("To Be Honest").
  • TTUTT ("To Tell You the Truth").
  • TTYTT ("To Tell You the Truth").

Image for ICL

When I write ICL, I mean this:

meaning of ICL

"I Can't Lie"

Summary of Key Points

"I Can't Lie" is the most common definition for ICL on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:I Can't Lie
Guessability:guessability level 3

3: Guessable

Typical Users:typical user
Adults and Teenagers

An Academic Look at ICL

ICL is normally used as a standalone declarative sentence (i.e., a statement). It is not often used as another part of speech within a wider sentence.

ICL is classified as an initialism abbreviation, as it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., "Eye See Ell").

Initialisms are different to acronyms, which are abbreviations spoken as words (e.g., LOL, NATO).

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

Before the digital era, we might have said something like "xx" instead of ICL.

Example of ICL Used in a Text

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