The Meaning of LYK: What It Is and How To Use It

This guide will give you all of the information you need on the acronym LYK, including its definition, origin, example sentences and more!

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

What are the definitions of LYK?

LYK is an internet slang acronym that stands for “let you know,” according to Urban Dictionary. This slang term is commonly seen in the phrase “I’ll lyk,” which can be used as a response when texting if someone is unsure about something or if they plan on getting back to the other person. It can be used in the same way as the spelled out phrase “let you know,” but is considered much more casual. The abbreviation lyk should not be used in formal or professional settings.

According to Urban Dictionary, the LYK acronym can also be textspeak for the work “like.” In this case, it would commonly be spelled in all lowercase, “lyk this.” While this meaning is less common, it was still popular enough to inspire the duo of Anderson Paak and Knxwledge, NxWorries, for their song “Lyk Dis,” according to Pitchfork. The song uses two slang abbreviations in its title. “Lyk” for “like,” and “dis” for “this.”

LYK also has a couple of related text speak acronyms. These include LMK, which stands for “let me know,” ILYK, which stands for “I’ll let you know,” and IYKYK, which stands for “if you know, you know.” According to Grammarly, the abbreviation LMK has been used for at least fifteen years and it has become essential in the world of electronic communication. One can use lmk when texting with friends or family, or in instant messages between casual coworkers. One coworker might tell another, “LMK if your email is down too, I can’t get any new messages.” 

IYKYK is used to point out inside jokes or hidden information, according to StyleBlueprint. Someone may use the phrase within a caption on Instagram, or in response to a comment where someone asks what is occurring. 

Lyk is also a word in Afrikaans. According to Majstro, the word lyk is a noun. It means body, cadaver, or corpse in English. This does not have any relation to the casual abbreviations listed above, and is merely a coincidence.

Finally, according to Abbreviations, LYK is also a regional airport code for Lunyuk, Indonesia. This is the least common meaning of the abbreviation LYK, but is still used.

Is the term LYK casual or formal?

The term LYK is exclusively casual and should never be used in formal or professional settings. This abbreviation is perfectly acceptable to use when texting between friends and family, or even in instant messages between casual coworkers of the same level, but should never be used in formal emails, letters, or negotiations. Below is an example of a situation in which it would be inappropriate to use the phrase LYK, along with a revised version.

Jenna’s boss sent her an email asking if she would be able to take more shifts in a given week because Jenna’s other coworkers are going out of town and they are short staffed. Here is Jenna’s response:

BAD:

Hey,

Idk (I don’t know) if i can this wk (week.) I take care of my mom n (and) I gotta check her sched (schedule) b4 (before) I can commit 2 anything. I’ll lyk first thing tmw (tomorrow), ok?

-J

GOOD:

Hi Larry,

Thank you for thinking of me! I’m always looking to get more hours. However this week may be a bit difficult for me. My sister and I take turns caring for my elderly mother, and this was supposed to be my week. I will check her schedule tonight and let you know first thing tomorrow if I can take on the extra shifts. Please let me know if that works. Thank you!

Best,

Jenna

Here, the phrase LYK would be highly inappropriate to use. Jenna is writing a professional email, and slang words should never be used in this circumstance. 

How can LYK be used in a sentence?

LYK is a great shorthand phrase to use when texting or instant messaging friends and family. Below are a few examples of ways LYK can be used appropriately. First, Daphne invites Miranda to a concert for Daphne’s birthday.

Daphne: Hey! My mom is letting me bring a few friends to the concert on Friday and I’d love to have you there! We would pick you up at 7. LMK if you can go!

Miranda: OMG, I would love to! I’ll ask my mom as soon as she gets home and LYK ASAP!

Daphne: Yay!

Here, Miranda uses the phrase LYK to tell Daphne she will let her know if she can go to the concert ASAP, or “as soon as possible.” Next, Candace is inviting her coworkers to a happy hour via their company instant messenger. She messages Jeremy:

Candace: Hey! I’m having my goodbye drinks Thursday night at the bar down the street. Would love to see you there after work!

Jeremy: Wow, I can’t believe this is your last week already! I might have committed to having dinner with my in-laws Thursday, but let me double check with my partner and I’ll LYK!

Candace: Sounds great!

Here, Jeremy uses the acronym LYK to tell Candance he will let her know if he can make it to the happy hour. As shown by the above examples, the term LYK is often used when one cannot commit to plans right away, but ensures the recipient that the user will get back to them.

Overall, the acronym LYK stands for “let you know.” This is commonly used in SMS texting and on social media when someone is unable to immediately commit to a plan, but ensures the recipient that the user will get back to them in a timely manner. This is an exclusively casual phrase and should not be used in formal settings.

Sources:

  1. https://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/18532-nxworries-lyk-dis/
  2. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=LyK
  3. https://www.majstro.com/dictionaries/Afrikaans-English/lyk
  4. https://www.abbreviations.com/LYK
  5. https://www.grammarly.com/blog/lmk-meaning/#:~:text=Lmk%20is%20an%20abbreviation%20of,avoid%20it%20in%20formal%20communication
  6. https://styleblueprint.com/everyday/acronyms-you-should-know/