What does ILY mean?

ILY is a popular internet abbreviation, which may have two contradictory meanings.

On one hand, “ILY” is used for expression one’s affection for another, as it stands as an acronym for the phrase “I Love You”.

On the other hand, one may tell the other that their affections are no longer there by abbreviating the sentence “I’m Leaving You”.


What's the origin of ILY?

While the exact origin of “ILY” is not known, it started appearing in early message boards, forums and chatrooms in the 1990’s, and started becoming mainstream in the 2000’s.

An early entry of the acronym was uploaded to Urban Dictionary in 2004, with a large amount of entries having been uploaded since then.

Spread & Usage

How did ILY spread?

With the rise of digital communication in the 2000’s, the popularity of “ILY” started taking off, influenced by SMS technology and newly developed social media platforms.

During the 2010’s, online communication became normalized throughout the whole globe, making “ILY” a regular message between passionate lovers as well as alienated ones.

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