What does ATM mean?

ATM as an abbreviation may have numerous meanings, depending on the context, it is being used.

The most frequently encountered meaning of “ATM” is Automated Teller Machine, which are used by banks to allow their users to get physical currency without having to deal with the pressures of social interaction.

In a more modern context, “ATM” is frequently used as an abbreviation for the phrase “At The Moment”, paired with the description of one’s current activity.


What's the origin of ATM?

“ATM” became a daily encountered abbreviation in the 1960’s, with various banks developing their very own machines for dispensing cash for people.

In the following decades, this technology spread far and wide across the planet, hand in hand with the internet, which led to the creation of the phrase’s second meaning.

“ATM” as a slang abbreviation started appearing online in the 1990’s, when people on message boards and chatrooms were inquiring about each other.

The rise of the internet also led to a new significance to the abbreviation, used in adult films.

Spread & Usage

How did ATM spread?

“ATM” became widely popular in the 2000’s, when SMS technology and later social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram allowed people to learn about each other’s activities in a mere moment.

It was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2002.

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