Grammar 6 min read

IDK Meaning & How to Look Cool Using This Abbreviation

Main IDK Meaning Takeaways:

  • IDKmeans I don’t know.
  • IDK is an abbreviation people commonly use in informal speech like texts and chats.
  • Most often, you’ll see IDK in all capital letters.
  • This abbreviation doesn’t need any punctuation.
  • IDEK is similar to IDK, but it means I don’t even know.
  • IDC means I don’t care.
IDKif this is a good idea.
“Sam sent his friend several scrumptious taco pics and said,”IDKwhich one to get.”
Sorry,IDKwhat I want for dinner.

When you know, you know…but when you don’t, you can say IDK. When texting, you can use IDK as a shortened form of the phrase I don’t know. See when it’s most appropriate to use this phrase and how to do it best.

IDK Meaning:I don’t know
IDK means I don't know. A man shrugging his shoulders.
IDK is the shortened form of the full phrase “I don’t know.”

What Does IDK Mean?

IDK stands for “I don’t know.” It is one of the many popular abbreviations referred to as textese. If you are not familiar with it, textese is a form of abbreviated written or typed language associated with digital communication (e.g. mobile messaging, online chat, etc.).

You may use IDK as a response to a question you don’t know the answer to, or to start a sentence that expresses doubt. Regardless, this abbreviation is best suited for casual conversations and not professional or formal settings.

How to Look Cool When you use IDK

Texters often spell IDK in all caps, but you can also write the word in lowercase letters. Avoid using periods or other punctuation.


The Best way to use IDK:

  • Write it, don’t say it. Use this abbreviation in casual written exchanges like texts and chats.
  • Use the full phrase “I don’t know” when speaking.
  • Opt for all capital letters.
  • Don’t use punctuation like periods between each letter.
  • Use it as a response or to start a sentence when you want to express doubt.
  • Pair this abbreviation with an emoji like the shrug 🤷 or thinking face 🤔.

Is IDK an Answer?

IDK mostly functions as an answer in casual conversations like chats or texts. Since IDK is an abbreviation for the phrase “I don’t know,” you can use IDK wherever you would respond with the full phrase (“Which film did you like best?” “IDK, it’s hard to choose. They were all fantastic!“). Beyond an answer, you can also use this abbreviation to start a sentence that expresses doubt (“IDK where I left my keys!”). Whether responding to a specific question or generally expressing uncertainty, use IDK to show you aren’t sure about something.

Yeah,IDKif that’s true or not.
Does he like me?IDK.
IDKwhy Micah lets his kids get away with so much.

IDK works best when you’re having a casual chat with someone via text or email. It isn’t appropriate for formal conversations.

You can also use IDK on social media. The abbreviation often makes an appearance on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram.

IDK is I don't know. A shrugging emoji.
The chat/text jargon IDK is usually paired with a shrug 🤷‍♀️ or thinking face 🤔 emoji.

Is IDK Rude?

IDK isn’t necessarily rude, but it can come off that way depending on your intention and the context. For example, imagine someone has taken the time to explain a complicated situation and ask for your opinion. Considering their time and energy, responding with just these three letters may seem too short, blunt, or downright rude. What’s more, it may come off as a disinterested or even annoyed response.

Additionally, it’s best to consider the context. This abbreviation isn’t an insult, but a formal conversationalist may find it rude. This may be due to the fact that textspeak like IDK is best suited for casual conversations, such as messages between friends or family.

This is also true for popular terms like IDC, LOL, and IKR.

What Do IDK and IDC Mean?

IDK means I don’t know, and IDC means I don’t care. These abbreviations mostly appear in casual conversations online. For example, you can find IDK and IDC in texts, emails, and social media messages. IDK and IDC are not interchangeable. Both can function as a response. However, IDK expresses doubt and is not necessarily rude. On the other hand, IDC expresses apathy and may seem rude depending on the speaker’s tone and intention.

Does IDC Mean I Don’t Know?

IDC doesn’t mean “I don’t know.” Rather, it means “I don’t care.” On the other hand, IDK means “I don’t know.” Both are abbreviations, meaning each letter stands for the first letter of each word in the complete phrase.

What Does IDEK Mean?

IDEK means “I don’t even know.” Like its shorter cousin IDK (I don’t know), English speakers use this phrase to express doubt. This phrase is often sent when someone is frustrated or annoyed. Interestingly, you should be careful about putting IDEK in a Venmo transaction text field since it might set off the platform’s anti-terrorism protocols. This is because IDEK is also the acronym for a Bangladesh-based radical Islamic group (Islami Dawat-e-Kafela) that was labeled an international terrorist organization in 2008.

I mean,IDEKhow Ms. Peterson had the audacity to say that to you.
IDEKwhy you felt that comment was appropriate, but it’s not.
Ugh,IDEKwhy I rushed through that project just for it to sit on my client’s desk for weeks.
IDEKwhy I bothered studying all night since I just failed this test anyway.
Text message between two friends. First message reads: Is your new friend coming to the beach with us? I'll bring an extra towel. The response reads: IDK. Maybe I'll try to call her again.
Only use the abbreviation IDK in casual text and chat conversations.

What Does a Girl Mean by IDK?

When a girl responds with IDK, she’s saying she doesn’t know something. This abbreviation is often used as an answer to a question. You can also begin a statement with IDK.

IDKwhy you’re like this.
IDKif I should call in sick to work today.

Here are examples of how to flawlessly use IDK:

Yeah,IDKwhere we should go for our next date night. Whatever you want to do is fine.
IDKwhy you act like this every time we visit your family,” Stella angrily texted her husband.

How do you Pronounce IDK?

You can pronounce IDK by saying each letter individually: I-D-K. This word usually isn’t used in verbal conversations. However, you may occasionally hear someone say IDK as a joke or to be facetious.

IDK Pronunciation:eye-dee-kay

Give your fingers a break and type IDK next time someone asks you a question. IDEK also works if you’re voicing frustration or have no idea how to respond, but just think twice before using it in Venmo.

Have you Mastered the IDK Meaning?

IDK Question #1

Which of these statements is FALSE about “IDK”?
Correct! Wrong!

The answer is C. “IDK” is acceptable when you're having informal conversations.

IDK Meaning Question #2

Select the correct spelling.
Correct! Wrong!

The answer is A. Avoid using periods when writing “IDK”.

IDK Means Question #3

“IDK” and “IDC” can be used interchangeably.
Correct! Wrong!

The answer is FALSE. “IDK” means “I don't know”, and “IDC” means “I don't care”.

IDK Question #4

Which of These Statements Is Not Correct
Correct! Wrong!

The answer is D. You can use “IDK” and “IDEK” interchangeably in a sentence.

IDK Question #5

It isn't polite to type “IDK” in a text.
Correct! Wrong!

The answer is FALSE. “IDK” isn't rude in an informal setting.

IDK Meaning Quiz Result


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Read More: 🏃💨⌚ AFK Meaning Plus how to use it Like a pro

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Pam Weber

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, Writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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