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What does “RN” mean and how do you use it?

One person points down, represents
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Have you ever seen the short, randomly placed two letter acronym “RN”

; in a text from a friend? Here’s what it means and how you can use it in various internet conversations.

When? “Now!”

RN stands for “now”. It is used to specify an activity or status as being in the present, similar to words such as ‘currently’ or ‘currently’. It is also used to ask someone what they are currently doing, often combined with colloquial expressions such as “What’s up?” or “How are you?”

Another way that RN is used is to invite someone to do an activity with you as soon as possible. For example, if you need to call someone urgently, you can send them a message, “Can you go on FaceTime-rn?” This means that you want to talk to them now and not later in the day.

RN is often used with other initialisms such as WYD and HYD, which stand for “What are you doing?” and “How are you?”, respectively. For example, you can send someone a full question by saying “wyd rn?” Typing, which stands for “What are you doing now?” You can also use it as the answer along with HBU, which stands for “How about you?”

This initialism is often spelled in the lowercase “rn”. It should not be confused with the common professional acronym RN, which stands for ‘registered nurse’.

RELATED: What do “WYD” and “HYD” mean and how do you use them?

The history of RN

RN has been used since the 1990s, when internet chat rooms were the primary method of live digital communication. It became widespread in the early 2000s with the advent of text messaging and instant messaging apps such as AOL Instant Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger.

The first mentioned definition of RN in the online Internet snake hub Urban Dictionary dates back to 2004. This entry specifies that RN is usually used when someone is too lazy to type. Since then, it has become an integral part of the modern online lexicon, the most popular definition of which was created in 2018. It just says, “It means now.”

Initialism became even more widely used with the rise of popular chat and texting apps such as iMessage, WhatsApp, Snapchat and direct messaging on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. RN is a staple in all kinds of online conversations, whether they are close friends or near total strangers.

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RN in texting and chat

A hurried businessman texting.
Billion Photos / Shutterstock.com

RN takes on different meanings and tones depending on usage in a conversation. The most common way to use rn is as part of a conversation starter. For example, you want to know what a friend is currently doing or how he is feeling. You could say, “What are you up to?” When they are studying, they can answer “I’m doing homework.”

Another common reason to integrate RN into your sentence is to gauge someone’s availability, especially if you want to invite them to participate in an activity. You can send someone a message: “Are you free?” or “Are you busy?” Conversely, it can also be used to indicate a lack of availability on their part. For example, if they answer “I’m busy,” it could be read as a rejection of your invitation.

RN can also be used to convey a sense of urgency. Depending on the context, rn can emphasize the fact that something is happening in real time. For example, saying, “Get ready, we’ll park the car” to someone you are going to visit, is a warning that that person must be ready soon.

In addition to being used to indicate an action, it is also used to describe your current physical, mental or emotional state. You could text someone “I feel under the weather” to tell them you’re sick, or “I’m very worried” to let them know you’re emotionally upset.

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How to use RN

As we’ve illustrated above, there are several ways you can add RN to your chats and texts. Since it is a very casual acronym, we recommend using it in personal conversations and not professional emails.

Here are a few examples of RN in action:

  • “Where have you gone?”
  • ‘I’m just so tired. Maybe tomorrow.”
  • ‘I listen to music rn! Hbu? “
  • ‘I still work. Can you get me some food? “

If you would like to learn more about other popular online acronyms, check out our articles on TTYL and NVM. You’ll be an internet snake expert in no time.

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