What Does SBS Mean in a Text?

SBS means "Sick Building Syndrome," "Special Boat Service," or "Step By Step."

Sick Building Syndrome

The abbreviation SBS is used to refer to a phenomena in which the users or occupants of a building experience symptoms of ill health that seem to be linked directly to the time spent in the building. No specific illness or cause can be identified and the phenomena may be localized to a particular room or area or may be widespread throughout the building.

Special Boat Service

In the UK armed forces, the abbreviation SBS is the initials of the "Special Boat Service," the special forces unit of UK's Royal Navy. (The SBS might be considered the UK version of the US Navy Seals.)

Step By Step

In text-based messaging and chats, SBS is also used to mean "Step By Step," (i.e., "in a series of steps or stages"). In this context, SBS is often used to encourage patience in romantic relationships or a meticulous approach in planning, design or construction.

Image for SBS

When I write SBS, I mean this:

meaning of SBS

SBS also means "Sick Building Syndrome" and "Special Boat Service."

Summary of Key Points

First Definition for SBS

SBS means "Sick Building Syndrome." This is a common definition for SBS.
Definition:Sick Building Syndrome
Guessability:guessability level 4

4: Difficult to guess

Typical Users:typical user


Second Definition for SBS

SBS also means "Special Boat Service." This is another common definition, for SBS, especially in the UK.
Definition:Special Boat Service
Guessability:guessability level 4

4: Difficult to guess

Typical Users:typical user


Third Definition for SBS

SBS also means "Step By Step." This is the most common definition for SBS on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and X (Twitter).
Definition:Step By Step
Guessability:guessability level 2
2: Quite easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Examples of SBS in Sentences

Here are examples of SBS being used in conversations:
  • Ray: So many people have taken days off work for illness since we moved into the new office.
  • Lucy: Sounds like SBS.
  • Ray: Don't think so. It's just that the new layout is horrible, because the boss can see you all the time.
  • (Here, SBS means "Sick Building Syndrome.")
  • Fergus: Are the British special forces called the SAS?
  • Bill: Yes. They also have the SBS, which is the navy guys.
  • (Here, SBS means "Special Boat Service.")
  • Rhea: Is he staying the night?
  • Lucy: No! Too soon! I am going to take this one SBS.
  • (Here, SBS means "Step By Step.")

An Academic Look at SBS

As it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e.,"Ess Bee Ess"), SBS is classified as an initialism abbreviation. Initialisms are different to acronyms, which are spoken like words.

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

Before the digital era, we might have just said "Sick Building Syndrome" or "Step By Step" instead of using SBS.

The use of the abbreviation SBS to refer to the "Special Boat Service" long pre-dates the digital era.

Example of SBS Used in a Text

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