IKR is an acronym used in Internet slang. Internet slang is a sort of electronic shorthand that uses acronyms to stand for phrases.
IKR stands for “I know, right?”
It’s a phrase expressing agreement with something that someone has texted, messaged, or posted.
What Does IKR Mean?
IKR, Ikr, and ikr all mean the same thing: “I know, right?”
By itself, “I know” is a statement that expresses agreement. For example, if someone says, “That was a splendid meal” and you respond “I know,” you are saying “Yes, it was.”
So why add the “right?”
“I know, right?” is a rhetorical question—one asked for effect, not for an answer. The “right” adds emphasis to show undeniable agreement. It’s like saying “Absolutely!” or “Totally!”
How to Use IKR (in Texting, Facebook, and More)
Only use IKR in texts or social media communication, never use it verbally.
Some Internet slang terms, such as BFF, are acceptable in verbal communication. For instance, you might introduce someone as your BFF.
You can infuse IKR with distinct tones using different punctuation, such as question marks, exclamation marks, and periods. Sometimes, IKR conveys a sense of relief, but it can also express excitement, annoyance, or even sarcasm.
Sender: I’m so happy they canceled the staff meeting.
Receiver: Ikr? I’m so ready to go home!
Sender: I cannot believe we actually got the tickets!
Receiver: IKR! I’m so excited!!!
Sender: How could management make that decision without consulting staff members?
Receiver: Ikr. I’m disgusted. So unfair and unprofessional.
Sender: Wow. You’d think the bosses could deliver a presentation without grammatical errors and incorrect information.
Receiver: IKR? They complain if we sign a document with the wrong pen, and this is the best they can do?
Remember to confine IKR, or any text-speak abbreviations, to informal conversations. You shouldn’t include it in professional emails or more formal digital conversations.
How to Format IKR
You can write “I know, right” in all caps (IKR), all lowercase (ikr), or with a capital I (Ikr). In electronic communication, ALL CAPS adds extra emphasis (it’s the equivalent of yelling). You can see in example 2 above, that the responder is REALLY excited about that new album.
If you were to write out the phrase “I know, right?” you would put a comma between the know and right.
When using IKR in your online chat, omit the comma. One goal of Internet slang is shortening the time it takes to communicate. Adding a comma takes time, looks strange, and would probably confuse the reader.
Origin of “I Know, Right?”
IRK started off as a verbal phrase in the 1990s. Originally, it was part of “Valley Girl” speech. The valley girl stereotype was of popular, pretty, not-too-bright girls who said things like “Gross me out the back door” and “I know, right?”
In the 2004 movie Mean Girls, members of the popular crew quoted “I know, right?” often, making the phrase more popular. That’s also the year IKR first appeared in digital communication, and when Urban Dictionary first posted an entry for IKR.
Since then, the abbreviation IKR has gained broader appeal and use. You don’t have to be a valley girl or a mean girl to use it.
IKR now has one meaning, “I wholeheartedly agree!”
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