If you thanked someone online, chances are they replied with the letter “NP”
NP stands for “No problem”. It is usually used as a substitute for “You’re welcome” when thanks are offered.
“No problem” can be abbreviated in lowercase (np) and uppercase (NP) letters. The minor variety is more common in personal messages. You often see it online when people are thanked for helping others, for example for giving helpful advice or answering a question.
NP is often used on its own without being put in a longer sentence. The acronym already creates a complete sentence when used as a response to someone else.
Another popular way to cut the sentence is to say “No chance.” “No problem” is synonymous with the idiom “No problem” and the acronym NBD, as well as “No sweat”.
The history of NP
Like most internet abbreviations, NP emerged around the time of the early internet chat rooms. At the time, people had limited screen space to view text, so they had to trim commonly used phrases and make conversations smoother. Hence, abbreviated terms such as NP became common.
The oldest definition of NP in the Urban Dictionary dates from 2002 and is “No problem”. It has probably been in use a long time before that as internet chat rooms date back to the 1980s.
Since then, NP has become a common acronym everywhere. It appears in texts, chat messages and on social media platforms such as Twitter. It is also often seen in online games. Players often thank other users for providing support or assistance by responding with a simple ‘np’.
RELATED: What does “GG” mean and how do you use it?
NP to show match
Another common use of NP is to agree to a request. For example, if you are at work and someone tells you to do a task, you can respond with ‘No problem’ or ‘NP’. In this case, NP acts as a substitute for ‘Yes’.
It can also be used to indicate that a potentially large or intimidating task is still doable. For example, if someone asks you, “Can you finish all ten pages in three hours?”, You could say “NP” to indicate that it is indeed possible.
Using NP to downplay effort
Another common use of NP is to downplay something you did. For example, if you’re doing your best to please someone, you can use the term to indicate that it doesn’t take much effort. It essentially tells the other person that you don’t need to be thanked.
Often times, someone will use NP to downplay their efforts, even if they actually encountered problems completing the task. For example, if you stayed up all night helping someone complete a project you weren’t involved in, you could still say, “No problem” in response to their outpouring of gratitude. More often than not, this is to show humility to the other.
How to use POI
NP and “No Problem” have a wide variety of usage scenarios. Here is a summary of the situations where NP can be used. It can be used:
- instead of “You’re welcome” in response to thanks.
- to replace “Yes” when an appointment is made.
- to downplay the effort you put into something.
As it is an abbreviation, it is best to use NP in regular conversations only. If you are discussing something formally, it may be better to use “You’re welcome” or “Yes”.
Here is an example of NP used correctly in casual conversation:
- Person A: “Hey, thanks for the help last night. I really owe you one. “
- Person B: “Ah, np. It’s the least I could do. “
If you want to learn more internet language terms, check out our guides on NVM and OP.
RELATED: What does “NVM” mean and how do you use it?