From Urban dictionary I verified that "PM me" means "private message" me. I thought "private message" is a verbing noun and it usually appears in group chat rooms where many people can see the message we send. When someone in the group decides to initiate a point-to-point channel with some particular guy also in that group s/he would say "please PM me" which means "let's have a private talk". Am I right?

What if two people are discussing something in a private channel(one to one) and one of them is vexed by something and doesn't reply to the other guy for a long time and the other guy says "please IM me when you are free" where IM means "instant message".

I found the sentence below from here.

If Mike comes online, tell him to IM me.

Do native speakers say that way?

  • 1
    They might guess the intended meaning from context, but hardly anyone would automatically understand abbreviations like MP / PM / IM without a full context. I wouldn't recommend it unless you're fully expecting that the first time you do this with any given person, you'll have to send an additional message explaining what you meant (but then at least you'll save keystroke time in the future, if the situation arises frequently! :) Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 13:49
  • ...I doubt that many people would actually speak that way - it's just a way of reducing keystrokes in text communication modes. Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 13:55
  • 1
    If you say either, I would probably understand it online. But "DM" (direct message) is also very common. Seems platform specific though.
    – user57928
    Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 16:38
  • People actually use:Please text me. Texting is instant messaging.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 15:32

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can use 'IM' as a verb so long as the listeners understand what you mean by it. And now 'IM' (verb) has made its way into popular dictionaries such as Cambridge and Lexico (powered by Oxford).

Here's the definition from Lexico:

Send (someone) an instant message.

Example: ‘she IM'd me the other day saying she was visiting her boyfriend’


It’s funny, “IM me” kind of implies that it’s a PM, because it’s just to “me”, although it doesn’t explicitly state that privacy is required.

So “IM” is more general, and is just implying the “instant” part, i.e. electronic communication. It’s essentially just quicker than saying “message me”. One might use “PM me” in the same context, for clarity.

To move from a chat room to a private message would obviously require “PM” (or “DM” (direct message), which is more common on some platforms, and also generally in today’s culture), as it differentiates between public and private.

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